Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's Hoof Time.

I'm pretty happy with my farrier. I think she's doing a great job and Fred's (all of them, but it's his feet starring here)feet look great.

I took measurements this morning two days after trimming.

His feet have gotten bigger over the last TWO(TWO YEARS I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!) years.

This morning:

His measurements:

               W                  L
LF:      4 13/16"       4 13/16

RF:     4 15/16"       4 13/16

LH:     4 7/16"        4 5/8"

RH:    4 1/2"           4 5/8"

His feet look huge to me. (keeping in mind he's barely 15hh)

Here's the handsome boy.

and his hooves:




 Why...yes, I do wear inappropriate footwear around my horses sometimes.


any imbalances are more than likely because the recent road work had them worn down to the point that taking enough off to completely balance would have sored him. (he paddles on the front) He's comfortable on all terrain and we're walking over some pretty big limestone.

I'm thinking about ordering some boots.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vibram Footwear Review and a Story About My Jungle Excursion.

So, I went for a three Mile walk in the KSO Treks last night. I really liked them. No trouble at all except for one stone that hit my arch and hurt a teeny bit. Not enough to lame me, just made me say ouch.

I'm walking over some big rocks too. Now I may have a leg up over the average person trying out *Barefoot* footwear  (now that's an oxymoron) for the first time in that I already spend the majority of my life either in Crocs or barefoot and my feet have spread over the years into a fairly natural configuration as opposed to someone who's worn narrow toed shoes for the majority of their life.

But the terrain I'm walking on daily (for exercise) isn't exactly smooth:

The KSOs I used. (LOOK! That's Fred's hoofprint from the morning ride)

MAN! Fred has some HONKING big feet. I'm a size 8 which means my feet are 9.5" long from heel to toe)

Anyhow, yesterday's walking adventure:

I am supposed to get out on the road no later than 4:45 pm to be able to complete the full 6 miles before dark. Juan was fuzting about with this and that and after waiting for him until 5:05 pm I (rather annoyedly) set out alone with the Brown Dog Club.

When Juan isn't along to keep me gaspingly hopping to keep up to his ground eating walk(that's what growing up in the mountains of Western Honduras will do to you) I tend to meander a little more than I should, stopping to look at Ooooh! a Pygmy Kingfisher, what's that random blurry black spot in the road ahead of me? (Grackle) LOOK peccary tracks!

...I digress.

It took me an hour to reach the Bridge. (just short of three miles) and in accordance with my aloneness I sat down on the bridge to watch the water flow and listen to the sounds of dusk falling in the tropics.

Yes. Sitting down to reflect in the gloaming 3 miles from home alone without a phone or gun (or BUG SPRAY) is ALWAYS a good idea. *smacks self*

@6:15 I decided I really NEEDED to get up and head back through the creepy silence of the Cacao groves before I ended up sleeping on the bridge for the night. I might wake up drained of blood by the vampire sized mosquitoes we have here. (Not to mention the VAMPIRE bats) I raised one leg and looked up...there was Juan cresting the riverbank and coming down the hill.

I got up and breathed a quiet sigh of relief that my chickenshit self wouldn't have to brave the Cacao alone. He met me 1/2 way up the hill and mentioned that he should probably cancel the rescue truck already on the way.(He had called Angel as he was certain I wouldn't have come all this way on my own and was getting worried that he hadn't encountered me)

I have to say, I found the thought of an Angel riding to the rescue in a Dodge Ram 250 mildly amusing.  What? are the wings broken?  (at least the truck is white?)

Anyhow....all this getting fit shit flew out the window at the thought of being able to ride in a nice comfy truck for the three miles home so I said

 We therefore had some time to kill. Juan points at the 20' tall coconut tree growing on the river bank and asks if I'm thirsty.

Does a jaguar shit in the woods?  HELL yeah.

But you don't have a knife to open the coconut or a stick to get it down...

He laughs.

and I'm jealous because I can't do that.


The Coconut Water was VERY refreshing.

Angel arrived just in time to drain the dregs from my coconut.(Juan having drank all of his own)

and then I went home and slept the sleep of the innocent all night.

This morning I got up, got dressed and put on my Treks. Then proceeded to amuse a large portion of Belize City by wearing them out and about all day long through shopping and Dr's visits. It was an amusing day.

I'm still wearing them and they're still comfortable.

Vibram on Amazon


The difference between the two models I have:

The KSO Treks are slightly more shoelike with a thicker sole and the Kangaroo leather is SOFT and cool but I can feel the fabric sock liner around the heel a little more.(still worn for three miles and all day shopping with no blisters)

The Bikilas are more like a skinfit. The fit is tighter to get on but once on they're like a second skin. There is no shifting at ALL. They just flex with your foot wherever your foot goes.

Both really do feel very close to walking barefoot and I can see/feel my feet flexing with every stride.

The only soreness I have as yet experienced was as I went to sleep last night? My big toes felt slightly fatigued. LOL Yes. Just the big toes.

IOW...I'm loving them so far. If I happen upon any big issues with them I'll be sure to speak up.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's a Toe New World

I got new shoes in the mail today.

I'm going to have the weirdest footprints in the jungle now. :D

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Video. FINALLY. Me, Fred, Mandy, and a little Gypsy.

So, I finally got Youtube to u/l some video for me. FINALLY. The internet has been a complete ass for me for the last month. *kicks shitty ISP*

So this morning Me, Mandy and Fred went out for our *morning constitutional*

FRED BUCKED. But didn't buck me off.

Here we are walking before he decided to buck. (go right ahead and giggle at my getup it ain't pretty but it's comfortable and that's more important)

and here we are beginning the 4 minute trot.
(the buck happened right after Juan turned off the camera)

AND... here is little Miss Bree wearing a saddle. WAY to big for her, but fine for her to get used to swinging stirrups and whatnot.

yeah, as per usual she couldn't care less

When we got home and I took Fred's saddle off I noticed pressure points on his back and that was the likely cause of the buck so good to know it wasn't for no reason and we won't use that saddle again for him.
(It was the first time I had used that saddle on him
It seemed like it fit when I checked it out just before we left)

and here is me walking with Gypsy yesterday afternoon. We were just starting out and she was fresh.

and here we are at the bridge I mentioned in my last post. Huh...the dogs are still fresh and I am decidedly not. Ahh well, we have 3 miles left to walk.

Juan isn't fresh either. Poor boy. He took a nap.

Then on the way home Mico *found* a wild animal. (it was either a deer or peccary still not sure) He didn't catch it, but it took an extra 1/2 hour to find and catch him...

So this is what the sky looked like when we finally got home (well, we're about 600' from home) after the bushwhacking detour to retrieve Mico. (and this is why I won't go out alone) Mico is the one on a SHORT leash.

Dipshit dog.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

She done good...

We trotted an unbroken 1/2 mile. I know that doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment but it's a big deal for us. Now I just need to wait and see how her leg likes the increased activity. Fred was a star again. Even when Mandy bit him on the shoulder. (What a little guttersnipe)

So we rested immediately after the trot and it's possible that she may have been slightly uncomfortable...or the flies were just getting to her. She rested that leg and stomped/kicked out a bit. Seemed a little teeny bit uncomfortable when we resumed walking but she soon smoothed out into a good walking rhythm for the last 1/2 mile home.

So. The daily routine now seems to be:

Saddle Fred

Halter Mandy and Bree.

Saddle Mandy if it's weight lifting day

Mount up.

Juan leads Mandy

Bree either has an Angel or a Saint accompanying her. (Private joke... our other two workmen are named Angel[pronounced AN-hel] and Santos respectively)

I ride Fred ahead and we have our little power struggles going down the hill. By the time we hit the one mile mark we've usually got all the discussions about which direction we're going to go in (mine or his) worked out and we settle in for a two or three minute trot to get the kinks out.

Once we've got that done, Mandy and Bree are hitting around the one mile mark.

Fred and I trot back to meet them and I take Mandy for ponying on the ride back.

We trot the allotted time.(I kind of guessed it today, but we did a 1/2 mile and it felt like it was about four minutes)

Tomorrow we just walk.

THEN there's the dogs. I skipped yesterday as the dogs were just dragging when we hit the last mile on Tuesday(especially Honey). But right now we're regularly doing a 4.6 mile afternoon walk daily up from 3 miles last week. I'm working on making it all the way to the bridge. which will put us just under 6 miles round trip. Awesome. I'm going to have to figure out some way of having a water stop along the way though.

Even when I wait till 5 pm and get back just before dark the temps are still in the 90s most days and it's hard on the dogs.(and me)

Here's a google image of our routes:

 As Mandy improves in her back muscling I'm hoping I can put Juan on her (he's much lighter than I) and we can increase our distances. Today all I'm going to worry about is her leg. She seemed fine on it after resting an hour but... you know, I'm a worry wart.

If anyone has ideas for ways we can improve the routine for the horses suggestions are always appreciated.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Three rides in one week. Put a mark on the wall. No food pictures today.

 Mandy's *halfperson*

makes me laugh.

 Fred ponying like a pro. He really makes her have to stretch those legs to keep up to him.
 Waiting for the slowpokes.
 Waiting for the slowpokes...again.

 Almost home.

 Yay! Hose time!
 Little to the left there. Ahhh, yesh. Right there.

Today we worked on Mandy learning to drop behind and come up the other side while being ponied. She done good. I'm so proud of Fred. He seems to be taking his new job(ponying Mandy) very seriously. I think my boy is growing up.