Friday, October 18, 2013

These Legs Are Made for Walking!

Jimmy with the farrier and Jeanne-first visit
We met the farrier about 3 1/2 weeks ago and he took Jimmy's shoes off. It is so difficult when every horse owner you meet has a different opinion on what to do. What feed to feed them. When to vaccinate them. Shoes or no shoes! So much information for a new horse owner!!

Most miniature horses aren't shoed because the are not being ridden nor are they racing. In fact even with people with large horses are choosing the natural way for horses. Jimmy was shoed to help fix his crooked legs. The problem was that the nails started to press into the hoof and was making them very soft. The adhesive used to keep the shoes on (because his hoof is so tiny they couldn't be nailed in like with the big horses) was making his hooves very soft. It was very to similar to when a woman gets false  finger nails on and when they are removed the real finger nail is really soft and pliable....same thing on Jimmy's hooves.

My new friend Jeanne recommended Back to Nature Hoof Care located in Houlton, WI. I love that farriers make house calls! He looked at the shoes and recommended taking them off because the hooves were getting so soft. Jeanne was worried that the shoes were too heavy for his legs. It was a tough decision for me because the breeder and the farrier in North Carolina had a good explanation as to why they should be left on...ARGH!! I had to go with the people that would be helping me care for off!

They did seem to be heavy on his legs. He wasn't running around like he had been when he had his little casts on. I know his legs were weak because the casts were just removed but....Scott carefully removed all of the adhesive as Jeanne held Jimmy on her lap. Jimmy was so good. Scott talked Jimmy through his procedure and explained to all of us what was happening. Removing shoes and trimming hooves is stinky business...literally....pew!

Over the past 3 1/2 weeks Jimmy's legs appear to be getting stronger. When he first got here he could not walk around the trail with the other horses. Now he can!! Scott came back last night and trimmed both Topper and Jimmy again. Jimmy showed even more improvement. Tonight when we walked him on the trail he didn't pull back and he even tried to run! His knees still tip in a bit but hopefully this gets better. He might need a little leg wrap for our library and care center visits!

Jimmy is a cute little dwarf but I was not prepared for the extra worry there is with a dwarf horse. I am worried about his potentially shortened life span. We will just love Jimmy for as long as we have him. Hopefully he will bring joy to those we visit-even if it is just for a little while. We are looking to get Pet Partners registered in 6 months.

On another note, yesterday I wrote about keeping your eyes open for signs from those in heaven....and the poem Amy sent me. Well last summer I had told dad about a wild flower called "Pussy Toes" I had always thought they were weeds. Well I found a patch of it growing in the shape of a heart. I should have taken the picture sooner but I hope you can still see the heart.
Antennaria "Pussy Toes" I think my dad left this for me!
Remember to hug those you love and keep those in heaven...always in your heart! ~ Kathi

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