Friday, February 10, 2012


The farrier was out this morning to trim everybody's feet.  I have been doing it myself for the last year or so.  However, a few times a year, I have an expert come out and make sure I am not botching everything up.  I especially wanted Emma's feet checked out as I have found that donkey feet grow very differently from the horses.  Emma's soles grow faster than the walls of her hoof which makes trimming them a little tricky.

A lot can be learned from an equine's foot.  They tell stories.  The distinct horizontal line about a third of the way down her foot...that is the day Emma came here.  The immediate change in her welfare and nutrition is clearly evident.  The line just above that, about a 1/4 inch down from the top, that was probably the fever she had a while ago...  
When she came here, her feet had already started curving upward at the toe and were rather contracted on the bottom with the beginnings of becoming "windswept" (the foot starts to fold over sideways).  The new growth, from the top down, shows that her feet are widening and growing in at the proper angle, which is more upright then a horse's.  It will take another 6-8 months for the new foot to completely grow in and the curved portion to disappear.  Equine feet grow all the time, it generally takes about a year for the new growth at the top to reach the ground.
Her hind feet are the same, new growth coming in well to take the place of the older, poor foot.

Tessa was looking forward to her turn, she saw Emma holding her foot up so she had to copy her.  She is such a goof...
Tessa has nice, hard feet.  They tend to grow at a slightly lower angle then some horses, which is entirely normal for TWH's.  They match her pastern angle, as they should.
The less dramatic but more frequent and still evident growth rings in her feet also show feeding and lifestyle changes.  She lives on pasture all summer and last year we had a lush Spring followed by heat and drought followed by massive rain and flooding.  She also went away to a different farm for training in early Spring and had her rations cut drastically after she was injured.  It was a very eventful year for Tessa, it all shows up in the foot if you know what to look for.

Gabe's feet are looking good as well.  They were quite long when he first got here, but they are coming around nicely.  His diet and environment didn't have many changes last year so there aren't many stories to read here...
I was initially concerned about having a horse with four white feet (white feet are often very soft), but his are very hard and tough.  They sure don't slow him down any when he starts galloping around the pasture like a demented loon.  The girls end up hiding in a corner out of his way and just stare at him like his brain suddenly fell out.  It sure seems like it when he gets wound up.

 Now, if I could just get my feet fixed up, we'd all be in pretty good shape. 


  1. Very interesting post,Fiona it's needing a farrier soon,for the second time since she arrived.
    After reading this,I going to check at their hoof, looking for a story too, as soon as possible :)
    Her fatty belly keeps coming in and out depending of the day...
    And yes,she was living with Cinamon's father when she gave birth,that was also her father. :(
    Vet says he can do an ecografía,but this only will say if she is pregnant or not,but no other info.
    So I decide to wait and see,he never talked about blood test.

    I installed google translator a while ago,it's not very good,but it's all what I founded.My level of english it's not enough to make a translation my self, on my blog. :(
    Sorry about it.

    1. Virginia If Fiona is 9 months pregnant you need to get Cinamon off her mothers milk so the new baby can get the FIRST milk it needs.

    2. Mel,thanks so much for the info.
      I guess I better order that ecografía to the vet first,to be sure before I separate them.They get on very well,eat and play together.They've never been separate before, and if I take one out they become very unhappy calling each other.They don't like it at all.
      I look for a pregnancy confirmation this week, before spending my safes in an electric fence to separate them.
      Cinamon was born in April, I bought them in October,So she's now 10 month and her mother could be pregnant of 9month!!!!! horror!!! I better harry up with this,although their paper and dates, are not very reliables.
      I recorded a video of them today,she didn't look that fatty today....maybe I don't what to assume it :(.

  2. What, no picture of your feet? LOL

    That picture of Tessa copying Emma with her foot is adorable!