Welcome to Fern Valley

Here in central Alberta prime farm country,my husband Martin and I work together raising beef cattle and Appaloosa horses. Fern valley appaloosas have long been known for their quality of temperament conformation and color.I have recently rediscovered a love of writing and have published 2 collections of poetry. "Telling Tails" and Tails Trails and Campfire stories" . I look forward to a future spreading my wings as an author and as a horse woman .

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Moving ahead by looking back

Sometimes we do things a certain way out of habit , or because we have had success with it . Other times we learn a new way that works better and change based on greater knowledge and skills , and sometime we change things , for what appears to be no reason at all, and find, that we should not . In fact sometimes we find the old way worked just fine , and half of the struggles we have been having are as a direct result of the change .
So in point of fact sometimes it is only by looking back at things that we are able to move ahead

We had a beautiful sunny (if a little chilly)  day today . And a visit from the farrier . Something that occurred to me was that I used to always just tie the horses , and the farrier would trim,unless it was a horse that was a poor one for tying , or very young . They stood tied for trimming and it generally went very well. In working with Dandy for his visit with Charlie , I have been tying him up , and working with his feet while he has his (extra groceries ) . Once this is done , he stands tied  for about 15-20 min after so that he learns some patience as well .
So when Charlie got here today ,we discussed this , I tied Dandy up and picked up all of his feet . Charlie agreed he seemed good with this and away we went . Dandy ? well he was a STAR!!!! Ran out of his snack long before he was done and continued to stand like a trooper ! I don't agree with feeding all of them all of the time , and likely next time Dandy wont be noshing while we are trimming , but I wanted this to be a really good experience for all and it was !
So good I even snuck a photos of the process !
This made me wonder why ,I find myself holding horses. Most of my horses learn to stand tied as one of their very first lessons , so why am I standing holding them for the farrier ?They stand tied comfortably , are not distracted or rubbing on me , if they pull a little they hit the end of the rope on a solid fence not my tired weak self . So what was I doing ??

Anyhow  checked with Charlie to see if he was OK with is , and we basically did the rest of the herd standing tied , and it went ... Just fine . We had one little blip with Johnnie , when Deb brought Ritchie up. Apparently , EVERYBODY likes that Richie mare !!!!! Johnnie (my gelding ) puffed up and made a bit of a fool of himself for a couple minutes till I got Rich out of his line of sight , then settled right back down ,if it hadn't been so stupid it would have been funny . Awe who am I kidding ,it was kinda funny . It wasn't a huge blow up , just momentary foolishness . and he was over it quickly . All in all a good day !
Stopped for a coffee with Charlie ,as well as mom and dad who came out for a visit .To deliver my freshly printed 2012 Fern Valley Appaloosas  Calenders!!! Yeah!! they are here! So now I can go back the the calender posts to draw for the winners!

Also a little sad news today . We heard of the sad death of a Canadian hero . Eric Lamaze' wonderful  horse, Hickstead , died tragically in Verona at the world cup. Hickstead  so terribly sad .

Stay safe and warm my friends


Leah Fry said...

I've read plenty from folks who say they never tie them for the farrier. I always ask him what he'd prefer. Usually, he'll opt for Jaz being tied. It's still a little too much to expect from Daltrey, so I hold him. He's wobbly, but generally good. That said, he's developed a case of the terrible twos, so we'll see. Farrier is overdue.

Anonymous said...

Dawn goes on cross ties for the farrier, and Pie ties. Drifter also goes on cross ties now, but I stand at his head both to correct him if need be but also to praise him for good behavior - his foot handling was so bad when I got him that I use cookies to reward him for good foot behavior - he now thinks the farrier is about the best thing ever and his foot handling is just about perfect.

Country Gal said...

When I was younger and had my horse I tied him. He started out as a cart horse so standing around quietly he was used ! Wonderful photos. I had just heard this morning on the the news whilst making my tea about Hickstead what a sad thing such a beautiful creature.

Shirley said...

I don't tie, I think it's not safe for the farrier- especially on the front feet. We all know how quickly things can go south with horses, and there's a greater chance for injury to a farrier if he's under a tied horse. I stand on the same side as the farrier, and if anything goes wrong, I can turn the horse's head towards us and put his hind end out of gear.
That being said, we all do what works for us, and a horse that stands quietly tied can be a dream to work with. But since I usually have young horses, I prefer to be more cautious.

Sherry Sikstrom said...

that is a good point too Shirley, that is why I asked Charlie his preeference , I figure if he is not OK with it then ,as he is the one at greatest risk we will follow his lead.

Crystal said...

I usually hold my horses, not that they aren't good, but we normaly end up doing them in the middle of the yard where there is nothing to tie to. If we are in the barn then my farrier prefers them tied, except the babies.

I heard about Hickstead too, such a loss.

GoLightly said...

LOL, OH, Johnnie, showing off his stuff. That WAS funny, I guess mostly to me:)

RIP, Hickstead. You will never be forgotten..

Janice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda said...

So sad about Hickstead:(

We trim and shoe our own for the most part and I usually start out holding them but it usually doesn't take long before they get done standing tied up. They learn to stand tied in a stall when they're young so it's not a big leap to being tied while getting the feet done.

Cut-N-Jump said...

It depends on the day, the horse and what's going on. Sometimes they they are tied otherwise somebody holds them. It's a nice feeling when you can leave a check for the farrier, they can show up, catch, tie, trim or shoe and you don't have to be there. Some horses and some owners- it goes easier that way for everyone.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Clicky link to the story-

From the link-

"We finished our round, I circled and was leaving the ring, and he collapsed and died," Lamaze said in a statement. "It is the most tragic thing that has ever happened. We had him until he was 15, and we had a great time together. He was the best horse in the world. We are all devastated."

RIP Hickstead.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

My farrier used to not care if a horse was held or tied, until he had an terrible experience last summer with a 24 year old horse that was stung by a wasp as she was trimming her feet. The poor mare went crazy bucking, spinning and snapped the 4x4 wood tie our rail in half. The farrier just dropped and rolled and then leapt over the fence, thankfully only sustaining some major bruising to his thighs, arms and two broken ribs....but it could have been so much worse. He's getting up there in age and not as agile as he used to be, and said he never wants to move that fast again to get out of the way by a horse who loses it's mind in a split second.

I don't blame him.

I also learned the hard way that no fence or post is completely safe and fail proof when it comes to a scared, panicked horse. When my mare pulled back two years ago and completely broke the welds off our steel pipe rail fence she was tied to, I didn't expect that to happen, nor for it to come loss and ram me into the ground and break my knee.

About the only thing I'd trust with a tied horse is a railroad tie, buried at least 3 feet in the ground. But even then I have seen a horse freak at a loose pig and yank a railroad tie halfway out of the ground. Damaged and broke the horse's face in several places before the halter finally snapped.

I was riding with a friend last year and we were tacking up at the trailer and she was picking out his feet, when someone was messing around in her tack room and a bunch of stuff fell and make one heck of a loud noise. Her horse freaked, kicked out, and pulled back. She was kicked in her jaw and shoulder and trampled across her leg, thankfully nothing broken, but awfully sore.

Nope I've learned the hard way not to completely trust a tied horse.

A horse can be perfect.....until it's not.