I know everyone thinks it is easy to be me, but it really isn't. Mother is prone to some strange ideas from time to time, and she says I make an excellent "guinea pig", whatever that is. For example, Mother has always had an interest in good foot care, and has had farriers through the years offer to teach her to trim. She never really did... with Devlin and me, however, she did minor things as she was getting us foot broke and ready for the farrier. The Interloper was her first more serious trim-ee, as he needed to learn to be really quiet about the whole situation, and was particularly sensitive and defensive around new people.
So off and on Mother has taken a few swipes at my hoovies. At times, she laughed that it should at least make me grateful for the farrier and how adept and quick he was.
Since mid-winter, though, with the bad weather and living on Mount Vesuvius here, Mother has been trimming my feet herself. I must admit, I find walking down the gravel driveway hill much easier than I used to. My frogs feel a bit better, too. Mother feels people should be trained before experimenting, but she has a list of reasons why she is allowed around this rule:
1. I'm from North Dakota. For the first six and a half years of my life, I trimmed my own feet. According to her, I did a decent-ish job on the hinds, but my fronts left a little something to be desired. She figures she is probably doing a better job than I did. Hhmmrpph. You try trimming your own hooves when there aren't many rocks or gravel areas in your prairie, and you don't have a rasp or opposable thumbs.
2. In fact, in the first month I was in Ohio, and before I was reliably foot broke enough to risk the cherished farrier, I lost a substantial hunk off one of my fronts. My lamina was clearly visible, as the chunk took off wall at least 2 inches higher than my sole plane. I was a little ouchy on it for a day. Just one. Mother thus reasons I am tough and able to deal if she isn't quite perfect yet.
3. Not much is required of me. I mean, work wise. So as long as I am comfortable, she feels I am a good subject for her experiment.
4. Mother has good perspective, and keeps a very close eye on keeping an even hairline/coronary, my angles, sole and frog condition, and overall balances. She won't hesitate to have the farrier out if she feels she is not helping me correctly.
5. Mother has read and studied different foot care methods for many years, and found one that makes a lot of sense to her. She is also a neurotic sort of human, and tries to thoroughly understand a topic, not just settle for a mediocre grasp of the main points. This does have its disadvantages, trust me. In this instance, though, it is in my favor.
I rather like Mother providing my foot care. I know her and I know her moods. She does my hooves so frequently that the changes don't seem like much and it doesn't take her very long. She also is nice and lets me rest more often, rather than stand with my foot up for what seems like forever, although I imagine I might spend more total time with it in her grasp. In fairness, my current farrier wasn't that bad about keeping my feet up for long periods... and he seemed to know that I don't care for idle chatter when I am being worked on. I hate when they start talking to other humans and stop working but don't give me my foot back, and I must stand there, precarious and vulnerable.
And if they are a loud talker... forget about it!
Oh, and I get more cookies on hoof trimming days... cookies... yummmm...