Friday, August 14, 2009

Shoes And Such

And Trying to Keep a Border Collie Occupied

As I was having my breakfast, a car pulled in the driveway. I was my cousin and his wife dropping by to tell me they had moved to a new house at the shore. They invited me down, and gave me their new address and phone number. I was a bit surprised by the news, but happy for them as they have always loved the ocean and the beach.

As we were chatting, my farrier showed up with his rig. Once he'd settled in that meant I had to introduce my cousin to Mic, Scott's border collie. Well, apparently, when Scott saw I had company, he ordere Mic to stay by the truck and the poor pup was beside himself with frustration as he was just dying to see the people. I called out to Scott and in a second a blur of black and white fur streaked across the lawn and right past us. Mic was just thrilled and he grabbed a huge branch, carried it over to us and made it clear he wanted to play "fetch." The branch was bigger than he was!! It took him a few minutes to warm up with a smaller stick, but in short order he was charming everyone with his exuberant personality.

After my cousins left, I became the "on demand" stuff thrower. I had bought a tennis ball slinger and that was a big hit. Then, Mic found another toy I had there for him and he kept me busy tossing that. Do you know how long a border collie will play "fetch?" Forever.

Meantime, Scott and his assistant, Kyle, were doing the Boys. Scott shapes and fits the shoes and puts them on, while Kyle does the pulling of the old shoes and all the finishing rasping. He also does the hind foot trims and Chance's trim.

Scott took a little extra time today because he was getting phone calls about his daughter's college (university to you Brits) schedule and registration. There was a major mixup with paperwork and it was causing some problems. Fortunately by the end of the morning, it had all been straightened out, despite the bureaucratic ineptitude of the whole system.

Typical educational institution. Just like the school where I taught. Want an example? Over a year ago, I ordered two class sets of Shakespeare books for my classes. I had to find the vendor, write up the order, do all that work. Eventually, I received a confirmation of my order and a copy of the invoice indicating that the books had been ordered and paid for. The books never came. I was completely unable to find them. Apparently they had been delivered somewhere. OK, stuff happens. But the part that bugged me was that no one in the school system actually seemed to care. I was told they probably got sent to the wrong school or the wrong teacher and that "Stuff like that happens all the time." So the money was spent and no one ever found out where the books were. Too typical.

The Boys were very well behaved for the shoeing. Tucker rocked a few times when Kyle was holding up his foot, but otherwise he was a good boy. He does have one annoying habit I have never quite managed to break. When he is on the crossties, he will not stand square in the center of the aisle. Instead, he swings his hind quarters over to the wall. And he seems most content if his hind legs are actually touching the wall or something up against the wall. Strangely enough, my PJ also liked to stand with his hind legs up against something and he might even kind of rub them up and down against whatever was behind him.

Curious. Anyone else ever see a horse do that? It's almost as if they want a kind of security of knowing that there is something solid behind them that they can feel. Worry about being attacked from behind?

Oh, yes, the weather. When I went out to feed at 5 PM the thermometer on the garage read at a bit over 100F in the sun. Fortunately it was less humid today. I did go for a swim and there is the outside chance I may do some longlining or lungeing after dark.

Or I might not. Report on that tomorrow.


  1. So when are you going to get a canine companion?

  2. Chicken! I have ridden, and will ride in 37 to 38 degrees C. We do not have the choice.
    TBH you build up to it.

    We give special mineral salt for our horses.

    You have had a better encounter with your farrier than me. Lucky you.

  3. Used to ride in all kinds of weather, Muriel. Sleet storms, heat, more. I am older, wiser, and whimpier.

    There may be another difference too. If your heat is dry, it's not so bad. Around here it gets like the tropics. The air is so damp it almost makes it hard to breathe.

  4. we don't do cross ties over here, jean (well, people in barns might have started to, but you'd end up in someone's way!)

    but i think a lot of horses do like to have their bums against something....

  5. Being in sheep country I am surrounded by border collies here. Did you know we have a national sheep herding competition on telly called "One man and his dog". The dog is always a border collie with a single syllable name "Bob, Sam, Dan, Bess ..." that kind of thing.


  6. Ack! Don't even get me started on the ineptitude of the modern University! I work for one, and spend most of my workday going around in circles.

    I've known quite a few horses who rest their bums on the wall when cross-tied. I never thought anything of it, it's probably just a prey animal's response to leaving his hind-quarters vulnerable.

    Hope you managed to get out to ride!