Saturday, September 3, 2011


My friend Belen had the farrier come to shoe Cancunen, the horse she's leasing, and all the time he was explaining the different problems horses can have in their hooves due to incorrect or infrequent shoeing or poor hoof maintenance, it was really fascinating both to learn and to see how he worked.  Here are a couple of links and pictures that I've found useful for learning more about hoof care:

Anyway, after he finished with Cancunen I asked him to come look at Starbuck to tell me if I should start doing anything like giving her supplements or whatever before her first trim.  He helped me out a lot, for example he showed me a new way to pick up her hooves which is more instinctual for her than how I've been doing it:  I've been doing it like this until today (always working myself down by petting her lots on the shoulder and leg):

But the truth is that today I tried this way and it worked great, I guess since stepping forward is a more natural movement than lifting her hoof backwards:
So we did this a few times, then let her think about it but I think it was a great step forward, we even picked up her back legs a couple of times too, which I had never done before!

Then we took a break so I could clean out her paddock and finally worked a little on the Porcupine Game, a Parelli exercise which uses steady pressure to get you horse to move.  After a little work, we were able to go backwards and yield both the hindquarters and forequarters a few steps before I told her she was the smartest, most wonderful horse in the world and gave her a big bunch of alfalfa for a treat.  I'm starting to get into the rhythm of these lessons and am going to try to mix it up a little more instead of just working on one thing.

We'll see how it goes in the future, wish me luck!

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