Monday, September 1, 2008

Another Week, Another Visit From The Farrier

You've met our wonderful farrier Gwen before in this post. I also subjected you to my mini lecture in that post as well: just because your horse is retired does NOT mean you can slack in the area of farrier care. I live in a very "horsey" area and there are many farriers to choose from. The problem is finding a good one. There are several that will gladly charge you $300 and up for a shoeing job, but I have learned first hand that this still doesn't guarantee you good farrier work on your horse.

I feel like I have a national treasure in Gwen. In the above mentioned post about Gwen, someone commented that I should share the before and after pictures of her horse. At some point in the not too distant future I am going to take her suggestion and do that, although I will show before and after pictures of a few horses. I am routinely amazed at the condition of the hooves when the horses arrive here. And these horses are coming from loving, caring owners, often from top show barns, and I often wonder if their farrier was blind. Gwen does an amazing job with these horses, and when their owners visit they are often amazed at how much better their horse's feet look. Especially since they are barefoot and retired. (please refer to the previous post as well to read about how we use boots and pads to transition painlessly to barefoot. I don't want someone to decide their farrier is bad and pull their horses's shoes because of reading this. I am not suggesting that in any way!).

I could rave on and on about Gwen. She is always on time, she never misses an appointment. The one time she needed to reschedule she let me know with plenty of notice. She genuinely cares about the horses and the horses love her, even the ones whose owners said they were difficult for the farrier. She is very quiet and gentle with them. She is a student of the hoof and constantly looking to learn from new people and expand her skill base and knowledge. I love spending the day talking with her while she works as she is a genuinely nice person. On top of that winning personality she is seriously cute, has a tiny, perfect figure (she just does NOT look she could work under horses all day!), and she just got this fab new short hair cut that looks so chic on her. Really, if she wasn't so freaking nice I would hate her guts!

Without further ado I bring you the pictures from our visit with Gwen last week:

Bonnie looking alert while Gwen works away Gwen with Sparky. Gwen is one of Sparky's most favorite people on the planet. He knows her truck and comes to the gate when he sees her drive down the driveway.
Sparky standing patiently with his hoof on the stand
Sparky loves Gwen so much our biggest challenge is getting him OUT of the barn when she is finished working on him. Here he has his feet planted and is refusing to budge.
Poco is every stereotype you can think of when you think pony.
Caught in the act. Biting Gwen on the arm. Yes, I try to work on his ground manners but I never seem to get anywhere! The fan is blowing his mane around.
Harmony is the definition of herd bound, and is never too happy about being in the barn. She likes Gwen though and is good for her.
Since I was already on Harmony's bad list I went ahead and gave her a bath as well. That really made her happy (that was said with much sarcasm).
Instead of putting her back out right away I put in her a stall to dry
In between screams to her friends she entertained herself. Here she is chewing on the door.
Screaming at me to let her out. (Okay she was actually yawning)
Rubbing her head on the door to entertain herself
Letting me know she would have the last laugh. She rolled as soon as I put her out. By the gate. In the dirt.
Leo politely waited his turn. Well, he made a few calls to his friends in between bites of hay.
Leo with his hoof on the stand
Homer looking very alert while Gwen works away
Ivan made lots of faces for the camera to entertain himself. He liked to open his mouth when the fan was blowing on him. I have no idea why.
Sticking his tongue out at me.
I don't even know what to say about that.
Ogie is another one that is not crazy about being in the barn, although he has good manners once he's in.
Ogies manages to rest his hind leg while he has a front hoof on the stand
That's all folks!


Jason said...

I'm kind of a fan of the 'lunch' part of our Friday visits from Gwen...hauling horses in and back from a half mile away...not so much ! About 11:30, I fire up the truck and head for Miz Brenda's at the College Grove Grocery to pick us up three plates of fried catfish, hushpuppies and baked beans ! Now that is the way to wind up a session of hard work in country boy style ! :)

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

I did forget to mention our lunch breaks with Gwen. She is usually here on Fridays and Friday is catfish lunch day at the local store, so Jason happily volunteers to go get three catfish plates.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh those pictures are GREAT! The grey horses with their mouths wide open gave me a nice laugh this morning.:) I can see so much personality in those horses!

Amy Bennett said...

Ivan & Harmony are cracking me up! :D

Gosh....I don't know how Gwen trims all day! Just looking at her is hurting my back! Girl power!

My farrier is coming today! He is a true gem! It took a long time to find him! Roxy is getting her first set of shoes today....and hot shoes nonetheless! That should be a riot!

ezra_pandora said...

A GOOD farrier is definitely worth their weight in gold, that's for sure. I could just look at your horses pictures all day, they make me smile. Which is a good thing after reading Joe's blog from TB Friends. His always makes me sad. So I look forward to yours right after his :) Love the open mouths, tongues sticking out and goofy faces.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...


Same old Harmony. You see why this mare won herself an all-expenses-paid retirement, out of all the DOZENS of horses I have owned over the years!