Sunday, June 20, 2010

Good for another 100,000 km

The horses got a good farriering today, their feet have been in muddy conditions for some time - just like the rest of them - and need constant care. It seems like only yesterday Farrier Mike was out here trimming their feet and fending off the dogs as this happens roughly every 6 weeks. Kalara had pointedly removed one of her front shoes on a fence so he came a bit earlier this time. They were also wormed because then I don't have to remember two 6-weekly repeat dates. Fully serviced. Ready to go.

I had to hose their lower legs off so he could work, also checking for greasy heel, rain scald and other nasties with nasty names. None were found and they were stored in the waiting room that is the yard. Princess killed time by doing a bit of gardening.

The conversation this time turned to how many lounge suites Farrier Mike had ended up with (five) and how many microwave ovens I had ended up with (also five) after combining our respective households with others. Most of the excesses had been given away or sold, but we still had enough horse gear of all vintages between us to open a tack shop.

The whole time Farrier Mike talked through a mouth full of nails, but was still understandable albeit a bit mumbly. He said the Occupational Health & Safety folk would have a fit. Farriery is a bit like firefighting in that to make something safe you have to face a bit of danger and there's simply no avoiding it - that part is the job. OH&S folk don't much like either.

One keen young OH&S fellow followed Farrier Mike on his rounds one day, making notes. For just one day. That was enough. He didn't come back. Farrier Mike sees to in excess of 200 horses and donkeys on his rounds, give or take, and he's been doing this for at least 15 years that I know of, probably quite a bit longer. He reckons having nails stuck to a magnetic wrist band or some other part of him would be much more dangerous. He would know. At least when he moves his head to avoid an annoyed horse he takes the nails away with it!