Friday, February 6, 2015

Reasons Why My Farrier Can't Come

My farrier (for you Muggles, that's the person who shoes my horses), Tom, is awesome. He's smart and capable and willing to try new things; he's a true horseman who understands all the individual idiosyncrasies of my herd. He knows that you'd better smack Shakespeare, right from the start, and that you can give Sarah a good poke in the gut if she needs it, but that smacking Mickey would be a very bad idea. When I first got Gulliver, at age 3, 15 years ago, he'd never worn shoes, but on our hard clay soil needed them. Gulliver thought that nailing things to his hooves was a very bad idea and tried hard to kick Tom in the head. Tom's response was to slow down every one of his own movements until he was working at a pace Gully understood.

Tom also sometimes brings me biscuits.

So you can see why I completely appreciate him. I appreciate, too, that he understands whenever I really, really need to have something done--like, say, the time Gully threw a shoe the day before we left for the American Eventing Championships. In the same manner I've tried to be understanding whenever Tom can't make our scheduled day. In our long history together this has happened for a number of reasons:

--He was in a car wreck, and is actually at the hospital.

--His trailer got a flat tire.

--His trailer jackknifed and slid sideways down his steep frozen driveway, and is now in a ditch.

--His cows got loose.

--He woke up puking. (We've also changed the schedule because I woke up puking.)

--It's too damn cold. (This has never happened when I didn't wholeheartedly agree.)

--The horses he had to shoe before he got to mine turned out to be complicated idiots, and took up the whole of the day.

Today's excuse bests them all. His house caught fire.

A smoldering log rolled out of the fireplace onto the wood floor. The smoke alarm went off. (Always have a smoke alarm!) Tom ran to do battle in his pajamas, and, in his words, "the damn water hoses were frozen." He prevailed, fortunately; no serious damage, he says, just a mess and some flooring that's burnt up. But, no kidding, he's not doing my horses today. He'll look at his schedule as soon as he gets a minute, and be sure to fit me in before my horse, Sarah, ships down to Florida for a few weeks.

I'm glad he and his wife are okay. I'm also not particularly sorry he won't be here to day. In my opinion, it's too damn cold.