Fergus Doesn't Do Rides of March

This was supposed to be an excited entry detailing Fergus (my husband, Patrick's horse) and my visit over the mountains to NV to do our 50 miler together. Instead, by Friday afternoon when we should have been travelling over 7,000'. Donner Pass, I-80 was closed in both directions due to white-out conditions and severe accidents. Fergus and I stayed at home, him watching the snow coming down, me catching up on some much-needed sleep. 

We are now definitely in rainy-season shut-down mode. The rain continues to pour down, I watch the slop in the paddocks get deeper and deeper, I admire the attractive waterfall feature that has sprung up on the driveway between house and barn, and I neglect my trimming duties. What? Those horses have feet?

One good thing happened a couple of weeks ago. As you might remember, Uno did the 20 Mule Team 100 in Glue-Ons and a few days after we got back I embarked on the Prising Off the Boots Ceremony. For this I usually use two fat, flat-head screwdrivers and my trusty rubber mallet. It's still a lot of work and I didn't think my tools were the best possible solution. The morning of removal I explained to Patrick what I really needed and he disappeared up to his shop. About 15 minutes later, he returned with this tool:

My new Glue-on removing tool

It's a motorcycle tyre removing iron. Not only does it have a broad, blunt prising tip on it, it also has a slight curve at the end, so you don't run the risk of chiselling into the side of the hoof wall when tapping it down the inside of the boot.

Nice broad end to the tool

Broad, blunt prising end

Curved end

Curved away from the hoof for safety

To begin with, I thought this might be a little heavy-handed for the job but although I still need to use my screwdriver to get under the lip of the boot and start the separation process, once I get that far, this tool works great. Using this to prise seemed to bother Uno less than usual and the long handle meant less levering effort for me.

Into the trimming tool bucket goes my new tool, ready for next time we glue. The current schedule has us aiming to do two days of 50s at Washoe Valley in May, so I may glue again then, or at NASTR 75 in June. We shall see. In the meantime, I'll continue to use Gloves for our 50 mile rides.

Assuming, of course, the rain ever stops and the mud ever dries up.

Fergus and Uno mowing the lawn

Fergus and Uno mowing the lawn shortly after 20MT
and before said lawn turned into a swamp.


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