Friday, February 18, 2011

Farrier visit

It went so great. When I got there, another woman was already working him in the indoor, so I took over and free lunged him around the arena while the woman watched, and she was rather impressed that he walked, trotted, and cantered and 'whoa'd' on command, and was impressed with how well he came when called and stayed put when I told him "Stay."

Then we worked more on picking up his feet, in the middle of the arena, with no line on at all, and he stood there just fine, picked up all four feet for me like nothing.

After that I put on the lead and walked him through the obstacles in there. The water noodle frame went well. Then we walked over a puffy mattress things and stopped to stand on it. No problem. Over a shiny silver tarp laid on the ground... he shied a bit at first but then walked right over.

And then the bridge. Someone had set it up with cones at each corner and a water noodle sticking up on top. I tried it like this first, and he refused to cross it, so I pulled all of the cones away and led him across twice, just fine. Pulled one back to it's corner, crossed and then crossed back, pulled up another one, crossed and crossed back, pulled up the third one, until I had him crossing easily with all four at the corners.

Next I let him off the line and just walked around and he followed me. He stayed right beside me the whole time. Here we had fun. I would across or through an obstacle and say "Come here, Siaga" and he would follow, smell the obstacle, and cross through whatever he was facing of his own free will, since I had no line on him and was only asking him to come to me. We even got over the bridge with this, though that took a little longer.

Then Jonathon's mom came in (who drove me there) and she had molasses cookies. We gave one to Siaga and he looooved it. He tossed his head and curled the upper lip and kept trying to get in the bag.

Pretty soon, the farrier came in. This was the first time I had met the guy, and I rather liked him. He looked a lot like my brother and he wasn't a very old guy, I'd guess late twenties or so. As soon as he walked in the door, Siaga, who had been tired enough to not want to move, went all "HIGH ALERT" and pranced around and rolled his eyes. He obviously is scared of the farrier, and this is the same reaction he's given to every farrier he's ever met, and I don't blame him, since one of the first farrier experiences he had, the farrier knocked out his two front teeth by being such a flipping brute.

So I explained this to Jake, the farrier, and he asked if I could pick up his feet. I had Barry, the barn butler, hold the line and I picked up his foot like no problem. Jake attempted to take the hoof then so that Siaga would think it was just me holding his foot, but he didn't fall for that.

So then Jake took the line, walked him off, gave him a good scratching and a bit of lunging when Siaga wouldn't stand still, and once he stood still, he picked up the first hoof, and Barry and I took the line and petted him and talked to him and I rubbed the endorphin glands on his face. This was how we got through all four feet.

It was by far the best experience he's had with a farrier, ever. This is how we will be doing it every time from now on, and he'll be getting his feet trimmed a bit every time Jake is out to get him used to it a bit more. All in all, it was a wonderful day.

Add on to all of this the fact that it's 60 degrees Fahrenheit out today, in the middle of February, and I'd say it was one of the best days I've ever had. I'm so happy.


  1. Jake is a really good guy. From what I can see he is kind and fair.

  2. Yeah. He took his time with Siaga and took the time to pet him and just be friendly so that Siaga would calm down some, which most of the farriers I've had are straight to business types and don't pause for anything. He was also alright with doing Siaga's feet in the indoor instead of in the aisle way in the barn.