By Guest blogger Doranna Durgin
Ooh, am I in the midst of a Pet Peeve that really pushes my buttons! When people you count for animal care services leave you hanging! (I guess that *really* makes it a pet peeve, get it, heh heh heh.)
I recently moved from Albuquerque through the pass and into the East Mountains. I now live in Tijeras Canyon, which--weather-wise--is an entirely different animal. Several times this winter the pass has been closed for snow, and our dirt road area has been snowed in a time or two. Well, that's not my peeve. This happens to be the worst winter in many years and it happens to be creating a severe learning curve on a new property that handles a horse and dogs, but it's not like I wasn't forewarned.
No! My pet peeve is that many months ago, I asked my farrier if he worked in this area, or if I should start looking. For those of you unfamiliar with the whole farrier/horsie interaction...no hoof, no horse. A poor farrier can lame a horse, possibly for life--while a good one can keep a lame horse sound. And then there's the whole matter of how they handle the horse. Handle my Lipizzan with firm respect, and he'll stand untied for trimming while offering various poses to be admired. Get in his face prematurely, and you might as well escort yourself off the property. So when my farrier--who is one of the good ones in all those respects--said he worked that area, I was pleased and relieved, and I made our regular 5-week appointment to trim and balance Duncan's hooves.
But! The other client in the area backed out and I got cancelled! And then the snow started, so the make-up appointment was cancelled, and now it's "whenever I can fit him in" and we're going on overdue for trimming, three weeks out. Aurgh!
Here's the other thing about horse hoof trimming--maintenance and prevention is everything. Keep a horse trim and level, and you avoid problems. Let it go, and suddenly there's a hoof crack, or you've broken out a chunk of hoof wall, and you're looking at 6 months of putting things back together, and maybe adding shoes to the mix (at which point the cost doubles, and if you have a horse who tends to overstep and pull shoes, it's a nightmare of a whole different sort).
So what am I doing today? I have a list of farriers in the area, and phone numbers. And I'm making calls. My former farrier is indeed golden, but if he'd told me the truth--that my horse would be at risk due to the whim of other client schedules--I would have started looking for a new farrier months ago!
And what's bugging YOU today?
Doranna Durgin is the multi-published author of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance and Mystery novels. Her latest, THE RECKONERS, is now available. Publishers Weekly said: "Readers will enjoy the humorous dialogue and ghost-busting lingo!" Visit Doranna's web site. She also regularly posts on her blog, WORDPLAY.