Monday, January 31, 2011

you don't know how much I love you

I think we ended up with an amazing horse in our little Foggy. Already I can tell that he is sweet and sensible.
We had my barefoot trimmer, Mike Glenn, on Friday afternoon. I can't say enough good things about Mike's patience and knowledge. I had been told that Foggy was not good for the farrier so I asked Mike to give him plenty of time to process what we were asking. We both agreed that we would like to get his shoes off, but we weren't going to force the issue if he wasn't cooperating from the beginning.
Our bank barn has low beams that would make any pop-ups dangerous, so we decided to start outside under the forebay. The sun was shining, but there was a huge snow squaw the entire time. It was actually very beautiful.
Mike introduced himself to Foggy by slowly touching him all over, especially his legs and feet. He didn't ask to pick them up, but Foggy offered them. Then, Mike did ask and held them each for a few seconds. Then he cleaned them out and started just pretending to file them. Foggy was excellent with three, but he did try to pull away with the foot with the white sock. He was funny because he would pull it away like he was afraid, but then he would offer it again. Mike said that Foggy was really trying. That made my heart sing because I was up at Foggy's head and I could tell by his facial expressions and ears that he wasn't being nasty and I was relieved that Mike could tell that too.
Mike easily removed the front shoes and the black back. The white (left rear) took a little more time, but nothing bad at all. We discussed trimming him, but decided to stop at that since it had gone so well. Foggy definitely has good memories of Mike and standing under the forebay.
Everything I have done with him so far has been just as easy. I am so relieved and grateful.
I have introduced him to a new pasture that connects to the paddock. He is still separated from the boys, but he has a bigger space to play and can see the horses. Pie and Sovey stay up in the pastures that are near him, which I think is kind. At the end of the day, they look at me like tired older siblings, asking to be relieved of their duties. I am not kidding. The second I put Foggy in the barn for the night they walk out to the far pastures. They could go there all day if they wanted, but they stay near him.
I am trying to maintain the same routines for Pie and Sovey as I did before Foggy's arrival which has been tough because of the snow and more snow we keep getting! I have groomed and "grazed" (no grass) the boys each day, but today was the first day I rode. I chose Sovereign, my go-to-boy because he is the safer of the two. I put Pie in the paddock alone and Foggy in his nearby pasture. Sovey took me out and around the farm, choosing to walk away from the barn on every trail which made me smile. Pie hollered the entire time like he always does, but I could see from a distance that Foggy ate his hay peacefully ignoring the big-baby-Pie-Pie's screams.
I introduced Foggy to hand-grazing today in a tiny little grass spot beside the tennis court. He did very well.
A couple of days ago, Foggy did not want to go back into the barn. Then, one evening he went into the barn, but would not go into his stall no matter what I did. He went into the stall that had been Sovereign's. I made the switch and gave him that stall and now he walks into the barn happily. I am not sure what that means, but I don't think he liked the other stall for some reason. I am listening, Foggy. You are too unassuming and willing to ignore.


  1. I keep thinking it's Pie's brother, but it's Sovey's brother! Foggy sounds like he's off to being an amazing boy. I can't wait for the relationship to develop further!

  2. First, I wanna say thanks for the award! I linked to you on a post about that. Did you put together the artwork... cause that little stylin' lady is so cute?!
    Second, I love how our horses prove us wrong so often. What incredible teachers they are! Foggy just needed a little empathetic care. I can't wait to read about Foggy's "join up" with the rest of your herd too! I'll be on the lookout for that.

  3. Great job with Foggy and the farrier. It's never a bad idea to listen to what our horses are trying to tell us...the stall for instance. Way to build trust, and what a(nother) good boy you have!!

    Can't wait to hear more :)

  4. Glad your farrier was willing to help. Foggy sounds like a real sweetie with a lot of try and heart.

  5. So interesting about what racehorses know and don't know...reminds me of retired greyhounds and all the things people go through to acclimate them to domestic suburban life. Like not knowing how to go up and down stairs. So Foggy has to be "introduced" to hand grazing?! That's amazing.

  6. horseypants - No, I am sure Foggy knows how to hand-graze. I just want him to learn how to calmly graze outside of our pastures with me attached without a blow-up. Today, there were leaves skittling across the icy snow on the tennis court and a low flying plane and Pie and Sovey dancing in the pasture beside us. He held it together without too much rushing. I want him to graze without rushing at all. And, also, he needs to lead well to our "grazing spot" and then lead back again. I didn't have the chain over his nose - I stopped using it after the second day, but he doesn't walk at my pace yet. He has to learn all these things. He "knows how" from the racetrack, but he has to learn how to do it correctly.

  7. Juliette, Oh, huge congratulations about getting Foggy! What a wonderful birthday gift! And the first few days sound quite good. So good of him to learn to trust Mike, your farrier- that's wonderful! And how endearing that your other horses are watching over him by staying near him- what wonderful, smart boys they are (maybe Sovey knows that Foggy is special)! What great news- I'm so very happy for you, and for Foggy!

  8. Mike just proved that a good trimmer is worth their weight in gold (probably because he's named Mike, most Mikes are good people).

    I bet it won't take Foggy long at all to get used to your rhythms, from your posts about him so far he seems like a really level-headed fellow. I bet he's probably having a hard time syncing up those great, long legs with yours ;)

  9. Oh...he is "Forever" going to be "Found" thankful for all the care and love and Acknowlegement- you lend him!
    I'm pleased a punch reading about the interactions from the barefoot trimmer! I just
    KNEW it would go well with a sensitive man/woman.

    My two barefoot(first one was a girl named Sabrina)
    specialists have been so much more caring-than ANY other farrier or shoer i've ever met! Kelli Misses her barefoot guy Henry, from the coast.

    Nice...and good'sa all such good stuff..I laughed too about Pie-Pie's tantrum!
    Loved that your new Black had the calm to jsut keep eating too!

  10. Isn't it so exciting to have a new horse in the family? It is like having a new baby! Everyone is so excited, trying to be normal but too excited to be normal. I love that Pie and Sovey stay near to give Fog a little herd. That is so fascinating. Your farrier Mike sounds like such a good egg, all that patience with a horse he does not know. Let me tell you how it pays so take baby steps! We too are getting loads of snow here. I actually like it, as long as the roof on our house doesn't cave in from the build up of ice!

  11. I love reading about Pie and Sovey's sibling sitting. They are acting as a family herd, aren't they? I wrote a post about my farrier long ago and I hope I get to post it. (I need her picture.) I am hearing all about the snow from my NJ family and I have a niece in Morisville, PA (just over the NJ line near the bridge.) <3

  12. Sweet post. You're farrier sounds like a great guy, glad that went well. Pie & Sovey are too cute, they don't want to miss a thing. What an exciting and rewarding time for you and you're boys!

  13. What a wonderful guy (well, both of them--your farrier and Foggy!!). It's easy to forget to appreciate a willing horse. I've got one right now not willing at all, and it's about been the death of me. If nothing else, it makes me really appreciate the ones that want to try to be good, even if they aren't so sure about it at first :)


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