Horseshoes

 In the midst of the hottest day of the year so far, for south Texas, our farrier (horse shoer) came to put on Feather’s first shoes.  I cannot imagine being a farrier.  My back would give out five minutes into the first client and I would be retired.

Roland has been my farrier since I moved to this little town.  My old farrier refused to make the 100-mile round trip drive to my new home so we went begging for Roland to add us to his client list.  Roland had done some of my horses over the years in Sugar Land and always done a good job.  He had some other clients in the area so he took on my group of horses.  He has been such a regular fixture in our lives that Jordyn calls him, “Uncle Roland”.  She has a book about horses and always points out the picture of Uncle Roland where they show the horses getting their new shoes.  Roland is a good man and good farrier.

Horses need their feet trimmed about every six weeks, depending on how fast they grow and other environmental factors like heat, wet or drought. When Roland got there last night, Mickey and Leo had a full set of shoes on-meaning one on all four feet.  Sometimes, if horses have good feet they go barefoot or just wear front shoes.  Kid and Feather were barefoot but it was time for Feather to get her first pair of shoes.  Kid has already had his last.

I knew Lauren wouldn’t be much help holding the horses with her sore fingers.  I did not know how well Feather would take to the idea of nailing a metal shoe to her foot (and no, it doesn’t hurt, but it does make noise and is a little scary).

We spent four hours in the heat last night.  Roland working slowly, taking his time, doing a good job.  We did Mickey first.  He just takes this as a routine thing.  Feather was next.  With the giant fan going, the anvil, the tools and heat, she was a little skeptical. But she got through the first hoof after Lauren went and got the box of treats.  Lauren continued to feed her treats as I held her leadrope until the treats ran out somewhere before the last shoe.  Probably not great to have fed her so many treats, but after being a little squeamish on the first hoof, she was fine thereafter and stood like a champ to receive her new shoes.

At almost 9:00 pm, Roland pulled out of the drive. He said he had been at his first client at dawn. Talk about hard work, this is it. We had shared stories of days on the ranch, hand injuries to riders, talk of our friends from various other barns and updates on who had a new horse and how it was going.  It was a long night, a hot night, and a rite of passage for Feather.  Now, that she has her big-girl shoes on, I hope she gets in the trailer and goes to the dance.  She is scheduled to go to trainer-Dev’s on Thursday. 

P.S.  Harry Potter, the evil cat, is alive and well and not rotting under my house in theTexas heat. Damn-it!

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