Friday, July 20, 2012


It's been a rather dry year here in upstate NY. While we haven't had it as bad as much of the country, we're still inches below normal when it comes to precipitation.

Because of that my horses' hooves have pretty much morphed into desert hooves. Because of the lack of moisture they haven't been wearing away the excess like they normally do, instead the dead tissue has been building up on top of the sole, making a really thick callus. You might think this is a good thing, but thrush can worm its way around that dead tissue creating pockets of disease, this callus can also create lumps over the sole that can bruise the sensitive corium underneath.

I'll let my lovely model, Gwen, show you what I mean.

Left fore before trim
Right fore before trim
Because of the reasons I mentioned before, those lumps needed to come off. Unfortunately since it's been so dry I've practically needed a chisel to get that excess off. Thank goodness it finally rained today and I took advantage of the moisture to get in a half-decent trim. It still took a bit of grunting and groaning, but I finally managed to get it off.

Left fore after trim

Right fore after trim, the angle on this one makes her foot look a bit funky
I could have taken a bit more off, but being a little conservative probably won't hurt anything. Comfortable is better than pretty, after all.

How's everybody else doing with the drought? Or with the super-duper excess rain? Whatever the case may be...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

If it isn't one thing...

Then it's another.

This is what Coriander greeted me with today:
Coriander's leg wound
 A leg wound right next to a joint. Awesome.

Add that on top of the swelling Gwen's had on her chest and neck for the past week and a half and my horses are just smashing (themselves to pieces).

Gwen's chest swelling
Hello vet appointment.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cali the guide horse

Photo from the Times Union


In case you haven't already heard about her, this is Cali, a guide horse. She was trained by clicker trainer Dolores Arste under the guidance of Alexandra Kurland. Alex was the first to train a guide horse with the clicker: Panda, a horse you may have heard of before.

I think there are only a handful of guide horses around the world, but they have an advantage over dogs in that they live a lot longer and apparently are able to focus better on their jobs. Which would you prefer? Guide dog or guide horse?