Thursday, December 04, 2008

Horse Feathers

Yesterday morning, "Larry" came to call on our growing herd of horses. Larry is a horse dentist and does a little chiropractic on the side. When Larry comes to visit, it is more like a social visit where he fits in a little work on your horses in between trading how we've been, what horses he has been working, and the like. When he leaves, you are sure your horses are better for it. Slowly, he moves around a horse, quietly, talking while he takes hold of its tail and yanks. Pop! Then the horse relaxed, a soft look in his eye.

Sticking practically his whole arm up in the horses mouths to check and then file their teeth, they stood patiently working their tongues about, trying to dislodge the clamp holding their mouths open. Phantom, he tells me, is more like 5.5 years old, not the 8 years we suspected. That's a good thing, given that his temperament is so calm. It says a lot for his future disposition which with work, should only improve. We asked his opinion on Phantom's back, as the horse tended to bunch up in the hind quarters. Coming off of the auction with a bad cold and being very wormy to boot, it is likely the poor horse is still not feeling well. We won't be able to worm him until he recovers a bit from the cold. But, all signs are that he'll shape up nicely and his back seems sound.

About the time Larry lit up another cigarette between treating horses, my friend showed up with her four children. Larry stood talking with us, occasionally spitting into the limestone aisle way. The look on friend's twelve year old daughter's face was priceless. "Disgusting" was written all over it. Still, they stayed and watched Larry gently rub over my Roxie (minature horse). "She don't need nothin' done."

We moved onto Chiron (miniature gelding). Lauren was holding him, and I was distracted talking to my friend. Next thing I knew, Larry was holding his pliers out to me with something at the tip. What's that? I asked. Well, turned out Chiron, age 2.5 years, was at the age that the baby horse teeth get wiggly and hopefully fall out. Since Larry was there, he pulled teeth to prevent "fusing" of baby teeth to adult teeth, as a preventative to a possible problem. As he began handing me teeth, I started laughing. Could I fool the tooth fairy with these? Although no one has ever said I was horse-faced, perhaps the fairy, in the darkness wouldn't notice.

What I then noticed is that my friend, after the first pulled tooth, began backing away, claiming a need to get the kids home for lunch. Right now!~ Chiron's mouth was bleeding slightly, but I knew it was mostly saliva. I offered her a tooth to take with her to show her friends. No, she demurred, that was okay. I could keep them. She might have started running to the car, I'm not quite sure. In all Chiron had six baby teeth pulled, but they came out quickly and he was soon eating hay with the molars he had left.

Larry stayed on, talking and smoking a few more cigarettes. He's another example of why I like living here. I always love when people tell me I need to send my kids to school so they'll be exposed to diversity. Love it. Don't need to have diversity in our own lives, just impose it on our kids. Poppycock! Through branching out into the horse world, through our volunteer jobs, our Church and living in the real world, we meet real people. People not at all like ourselves, but enjoyable all the same.

Phantom and I go for a ride near home:

Put up the Christmas tree today.


Janie said...

Blaze face and stockings, too! Chromed up horse!!

Janie said...

Oh! Sorry, at first I thought he was a sorrel in the pix. He's a piebald or a paint, isn't he? Beautiful!

Packsaddle said...

If Larry is such a cheerleader for diversity, ask him why he only smokes one brand of cigarettes.

Camflock said...

Even though we "witnessed" the extractions, this story still made me laugh to read! I just wonder how much the tooth fairy paid for those HUGE bloody teeth.

Note to self: NEVER go to medical school.

pita-woman said...

Is it just the angle of the photo, or is Phantom a small horse? Considering your own small stature, you look rather huge (tall I mean) on him.


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