The boys met the farrier this morning. I am fortunate to have a top-notch farrier (www.fairhillforge.com) so I knew the boys would be in great hands. Just as I thought, Dan’s feet didn’t prove to be too bad. That’s a good thing considering the rest of him is a mess. I knew Bill needed a lot of attention and since he’s not 100% about picking up his feet I was worried that we might have to work with him in phases. There was no reason to doubt…Matt got all the shoes off and gave him a trim. Even though Bill is probably used to being trimmed in stocks, I’m lucky that my farrier is patient and willing to work with ones that need a little work on their manners. Bill wasn’t bad, just not quite sure about the whole thing. With amish shoe jobs, the goal is to keep the shoe on, often by using nails that are too long or using more nails than other farriers, so getting the shoes off was no easy task. A big thanks to Matt!
Next was the vet appointment (www.equinehorsevet.com). Again I’m lucky to have a good one there too. Unfortunately, due to Bill’s respiratory infection and Dan’s sad state, the vet felt more comfortable waiting 2 weeks to vaccinate and do the castration. That’s OK with me, as I don’t want to jump the gun and risk an infection due to suppressed immune function. He did take a gander at their teeth, and agreed that Bill is probably in the range of 10 years old, and Dan is 17-20. He also confirmed that Dan has some major dental issues going on and may require removal of several teeth. Unfortunately that may mean laying him down, and he is definitely in no shape for that. Since he is able to eat his hay and feed just fine, dental work will wait probably until November. We got meds for Bill’s runny nose and called it a day.
With an arctic blast of air on the way, I didn’t think Dan could wait for me to order a blanket online so I went to the local tack shop, which can be hit-or-miss. In his size was either a purple camoflage blanket, a teal one or red and black, so I went with that. And one for Bill too so he doesn’t feel left out. And new red halters to match for both. And a really soft brush for Dan’s bony body. And…this is why I don’t go to the tack shop. At least I’m doing my part to keep the economy afloat!
The boys are still very much attached to each other. Dan is very friendly and always comes to greet you at the fence. He’s actually a little pushy and needs work on his ground manners, but I almost feel bad getting after him since he looks so pitiful. Notice I said almost. 🙂 I’d feel even worse if he had bad manners that kept him from getting adopted, so I correct him, gently. Dan’s muzzle, ears and bridlepath were clipped not too long ago. I really wish there was a way to know where he came from and how he wound up on a path to New Holland. There is no way to ever know so I just give thanks that my path intersected his in time.
Bill is a little different…very leery of everything. I don’t want to cast any stereotypes since I know little about the amish, but he does seem like a horse that was used for work and work only. What he needs is his own horse-crazy little girl to dote on him. I can see him now, with purple glitter painted on his hooves, and hearts stenciled on his rump. Yeah, he needs some work first but I think he’ll get there. I also think he is in some pain, with his lumpy tendons, rub marks and those high heels. He doesn’t think much of the 2-legged variety yet, but all he needs is time and patience. He’s got a good mind and I can tell already that he doesn’t have a mean bone in him. He sticks by Dan like he’s his bodyguard, and shares his grain with him. Totally not what I expected from a stallion.