Soaking hooves

My wonderful farrier managed to come out yesterday and look at Elliot’s hoof.  Elliot has what my vet diagnosed as a “close nail”, not exactly a hot nail, but close enough.  In my farrier’s defense, the horse has shelly, thin hooves and is tough to shoe.  He’s been shoeing him a couple of years now and this is the first incident.  That’s pretty dang good.  So we took the nail out.  Elliot was improved, but not really right.  So last night my farrier came out again and dug around in the hoof.

I don’t know about you, but it always amazes me to watch someone really dig around in a hoof.  Hooves are so rugged and yet so fragile.  Such a delicate balance of strength and elasticity.  My farrier spent a good half an hour hoof testing and considering, digging a little, modifying and digging some more.

Lucky for me, a few weeks ago, I bought some of these hoof wraps.  They seemed like a really good alternative to the duct tape contraptions we all make.  So, just as my farrier was launching into the ‘soak, sugardine and duct tape boot’ spiel, I produced the hoof wrap to his nearly dumbfounded amazement.  I was lookin’ like a dang genius.  He put it on and it stayed on until this morning when I took it off during breakfast, for a soak.  See?  Money can buy happiness.

I held Elliot’s breakfast for him while he stood in the cross ties, left front leg dutifully parked in the bucket of warm water and epsom salt.  There is something really endearing about holding a feed pan for a horse while he eats his breakfast with single-minded zeal on a cool autumn morning, chasing the little bits around the pan, snuffling with pleasure.  After his breakfast, I still had 15 minutes left on the soak. Everyone else with hooves had left the building, headed back out to the pasture.  So it was just us.  I groomed Elliot, brushed his face, trimmed his bridle path, primped his mane and tail, fed him cookies and marveled in his horsie fabulousness.  I was invited to just spend time, rather than rush on to the next thing.  It was among the most thoroughly enjoyable 15 minutes of this week.

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