I hesitated to take this picture because Blue had been rolling in the mud. Under normal circumstances I'd have had him groomed, and his feet cleaned, for the farrier. But with my recent surgery, what you see is what you get. I had originally intended to have his shoes removed and just have his feet trimmed for the winter: that would have been cheaper, and let's face it, I won't be riding as much in cold weather. And I don't know when the doctor will permit me to ride. However, I like the idea of my horse being ready, if and when I want to ride. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of owning a horse, let me tell you, they're a money-hole: Just stand back and throw money at them, and you'll never see it again! Blue needs shoes about every six weeks. This farrier is cheaper than my last one... he charges $65 for a reset, which means he takes off the shoes already on the horse, trims the feet, and puts the old shoes back on. These particular shoes have had a lot of wear, but he said they're good for at least one more reset. So, they will have lasted about nine months when we retire them.
Blue is exceptionally well-behaved for this procedure, especially considering that this young fellow takes an hour or more to do his job; but I must say, since I started using his services, the shoes stay on much longer and better. No loose shoes between shoeings. It looks to me like the job of a farrier would be terribly hard on a person's back! I'm thankful for this man, because it's really hard to find someone to come to your house and do this, if you only have one horse.
On the right side of this picture is Mandy's pen, where I put her for the night or any time we're gone. Cliff made her a snug house out of hay bales, which she seems to appreciate. However, when her roof was only hay bales, she decided that was a good place to poop: So poor Cliff put a sloped metal roof over the hay. The things that man goes through for my animals! He reminds me often that he isn't doing it for the animals, he's doing it for me.