The Frog and The Farrier

A hearty Grassy Munchies all.

A man called Farrier trimmed my feet recently. He also responds to Mark, so I’m not completely sure which it is.

The first time Farrier trimmed my feet I wasn’t impressed. I mean, a flight animal can’t really take flight tied to a wall and on 3 legs… So, quite understandably, I tried every trick up my extremely hairy feathers to get all 4 legs back on the ground.

I tilted forward. I tilted backwards. Bit like a rocking horse actually. I even tried hoping around on 3 legs, but he just held on.

Turns out I had incorrectly reckoned my extreme round solidity would be more than a match for his extreme big tallness.

Despite my objections, I did end up with very nice tidy feet, so that’s a bonus. Kat said to think of it as a pedicure, which apparently is a therapeutic and cosmetic buffing for human feet.

These are my feet. Kat needs to trim my extremely hairy feathers so that Farrier can find them.

It’s Farrier who puts the shiny metal shoes on the feet of other horses. I don’t have these. Although Kat does sometimes put shoes on my feet that have the lovely grown-up shiny black strap I told you about.

You can just about see the lovely black shiny strap underneath my extremely hairy feathers

I can understand horses needing something on their feet. Standing in wet fields and stables can make our feet rather soft, which then makes them sore on the road or hard ground.

In the wild we would roam for miles, every day, over all kinds of hard and rough terrain, which would keep our feet naturally strong.

Unfortunately, the field I live in is almost soggier than my soggy grassy munchies at the moment. So, although Kat takes me over plenty of hard and rough ground during our trail riding training sessions – thanks very much for that – I still spend the rest of the time standing in a wet, muddy field.

Despite this, I think I would rather put up with occasional soft feet, than having those metal shoes.

Horses feet are an anatomical wonder – to be honest, the whole of my extreme hairiness is one of nature’s wonder, but I don’t like to brag. Anyway, our feet need to be pretty special as our survival depends on them.

The frog part of my foot is an elastic rubbery triangle structure that sits below the heel and functions as a shock absorber.

This is my frog

When the frog hits the ground it distributes the impact around the foot so minimal pressure is put on the bones and joints in my legs. It also keeps the blood flowing around my feet, keeping them strong and healthy.

I am literally feeding my feet soggy grassy munchies. How good is that!

I think there’s a strong argument here for Kat to feed me more soggy grassy munchies. Just to keep my feet strong. Obvs.

GMFN

F x

Wind Power

Grassy Munchies all!

Today we had a trail riding session that was rather windy. And, much to Kat’s amusement, windy in more ways than the weather. I feel comfortable sharing this with you now and also admitting it’s nothing new.

Yes, I suffer from wind.

Anyway, today we had a 10-mile training session planned with Sara and Tilly. However, Sara slept through her alarm, so me and Kat did a much shorter session. Hurrah for Sara!

Shorter than planned training session – thanks Sara!

Given that Kat arrives in the dark some mornings, I have to assume she never sleeps through her alarm. I think I’d like to swap humans.

Anyway, back to the wind.

Kat, quite rudely, likens my gassy emissions to a trombone – whatever that is. Not only that, she says my trombone is playing a tune! I mean, what does she expect? She’d be a bit windy if her diet was just fibre.

I personally think a soundtrack to our training sessions is something she should be grateful for. Bonus I say. And, it certainly beats her singing.

Kat also has to take some of the blame for my windiness. She ensures I am able to eat grass or hay all the time which keeps my unique digestive system working as it should – pretty actively.

Being able to continually eat forage also helps me maintain my body temperature in the cold weather, keeping me lovely and warm. Okay, so maybe all of this is a good thing, but I’m sticking with the blame game.

I have noticed that Tilly doesn’t make any windy emissions like mine. To be honest, none at all really. I reckon she is either:

A) very adept in control
B) just not producing the same level of wind
C) a lady

To Tilly’s credit though, she has always been very polite about my wind problem. I appreciate this, especially as she is usually bringing up the rear – my rear. I’m never quite sure if she is:

A) quietly disgusted
B) a little bemused
C) deaf

I did used to feel quite happy and proud of my audible and constant windiness, but I have felt less so on hearing the level of mirth it creates for Kat and Sara.

I think Kat might have picked up on my despondency when she tried to make me feel a bit better about the situation. She said it was my ‘Super-Power’. Apparently, it propels me up the hills with an almighty surge. Sounds good to me – in both ways.

Happy Grassy Munchy New Year one and all !

Fx

PS: I have a feeling 2020 is when my Trail Riding will begin in earnest. Wish me luck!

The Case of My Extreme Hairiness

Mucho Grassy Munchies all!

Now the weather is colder my extreme hairiness is reaching extraordinary new levels.

I am a trail riding horse with the most lustrous facial and belly beard and my feathers are so dense it’s practically impossible to find my legs.

I’m rather proud of this hairy abundance, which serves its purpose very well in the Winter weather. Unfortunately, it does present a dilemma during my training sessions. I’ll come to this later.   

On the plus side my hair has the ability to fluff up – literally stand on end – creating a lovely toasty layer of insulation around my body.  Kat says I look like I’ve put my hoof in an electric socket.  See what I have to put up with?

This insulation trick works a treat – up to a point. Heavy rain or strong winds will mess the hair up making the insulation less effective. Huddling together as a group can help but, unfortunately, where I live there is a lot of wind and rain!

Between you and me, I really think Kat should have given my accommodation a bit more thought.

My extremely hairy winter coat also has two layers. The outer layer prevents rain and snow getting through to the inner layer, keeping my skin nice and dry.  Amazingly, snow will sit on this outer layer without penetrating further.  Even more amazing, this snow can act as a third top layer adding even more insulation!

My double layered very hairy Winter coat

On the down side, I sweat during our training sessions.  And, I mean really sweat.  We’re talking right down to a drippy belly beard.  It’s quite embarrassing to be honest.

I’m glad Murray isn’t around to see me in this hot and bothered state. I would have been hot and bothered on top of hot and bothered. If you get my drift.

Having a fabulous roll in the mud after training helps cool me down, not to mention gives Kat some extra work to do cleaning me up.  Fair do’s I say.

I have discussed the sweat issue with Kat – even making the helpful suggestion of abandoning training until it’s a bit warmer.  When my hair is, well… just less.  Perfectly reasonable if you ask me. Kat doesn’t agree.

She says we won’t be able to choose the weather when we’re out on the trail all day every day and its good practise.  Mmmh, I still haven’t been consulted about this trail riding malarkey.

Some of my friends have their hair cut short in the Winter.  This means they don’t have the unpleasant sweat problem, but they do lose their outer layer and also the ability to ‘fluff up’.  To keep them warm their humans put a blanket on them.   Seems like a win-win to me.

They don’t have to contend with any humiliating ‘dampness’ and their humans don’t spend hours de-mudding them.  They also never have to contend with the wind and rain messing up their natural insulation.  In-fact, they just stay a lovely snug warm temperature all wrapped up in their blankets.  

I do sometimes wonder if their mud rolls are a bit of a disappointment. Or, how they keep cool on warmer days.

All in all though I can’t imagine being without my extreme hairiness.  

Not only does it perform amazingly throughout all seasons to keep me warm, dry, cool and relatively free from bothersome summer flies, it ensures a damned good groom between me and my pals.  

For my friends who wear blankets they only have a bit of neck to be nibbled on.  I on the other hand can present my whole body for grooming, belly beard and all.  

It’s positively lit. Init.

I’ve been hanging out with Kat’s young human. He seems to use a different language.

GMFN

F x