Although March is coming in like a lion, there have been several balmy days in the last few weeks. I spent February with my daughters and friends in the states, being spoiled, but Mark and Jean François began working. They took Vanille out twice with the small “caleche” (4 wheel carriage). She was barefoot and hadn`t worked since autumn. The first trip was 8 1/2 km and the second (several days later ) was 12 km. The footing was gravel and blacktop. Unlike last year, her feet were not tender, and she broke into a trot voluntarily. Her hooves are looking great!
Here are some photos of Jean François trimming her feet:
For long trips and pulling Tòti we will shoe her with Duplo composite shoes but we are very happy with the condition of her hooves this year.
She has come through the winter in great shape living free to wander in her pasture with no shelter except for trees. She has been led over gravel and rocks nearly every day to reach another greener pasture where she can enjoy a change of scenery for the afternoon. She has hay from our land, water and salt but no grain.
Jean François sent me the link to a very interesting article by James Welz on the care of hooves. If you have a horse, you might enjoy looking at this site:
Spring is just around the corner. It’s difficult to stay positive when the skies are grey and dripping every day and the pasture is sloppy mud, but there is a feeling in the air, a promise of warm days, sunshine and soft breezes. Soon Vanille will be shedding her heavy winter coat and I will be hanging mine in the closet. We will soon peel the tarp from Tòti and think about where to begin. I wish you all daffodils and blue skies!!