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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
Day Off In the Madison Valley

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7/2/12, McAllister, MT - I had a great day off at Lynn and Scottís place.  This morning, while the horses were relaxing I had to reset all the shoes on both of the Belgians.

Iím amazed at how fast their feet are growing. It looks like the increased blood flow from all of the walking is causing their hooves to grow at 2 to 3 times the normal rate. With about 5 weeks between shoeings, I would normally expect to trim about 1/3 of an inch of hoof away before setting the new shoe. Instead, Iím having to cut away between 3/4 and 1 inch of hoof. From one aspect this is great - if they lose a chunk of hoof, it doesnít take very long for it to grow back out again.  On the other hand, I have to trim away a lot of hoof before I set the new shoe.  This can sometimes take twice as long.

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This is a piece of hoof that I trimmed off one of B.O.B.ís hind feet.  I last shoed this hoof on 6/1/12, while I was in Eden, WY.  In one month, he grew at least 3/4 inch of hoof.  All the horses are growing hoof at this advanced rate.  If you have a horse that needs to grow hoof, exercise is probably the best cure.

In the afternoon, I went for a drive (in a truck) around the lake with Lynn. I snapped a few pictures of some wildlife, which I included below.

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These two deer were playing and nibbling on some grass along the lake shore.

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This female osprey was guarding her nest full of chicks. I didnít get a picture of them, but they were already about half adult sized. Later, I saw the male winging his way back to the nest.

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Some Sandhill Cranes in the grass, alongside the lake.

The picture below was the setting for a supper of smoked pork chops. The moon was a day or two short of being full, but it was spectacular as it rose over the Madison Range.

I really enjoyed my stay here with Lynn and Scott. They were terrific hosts and a lot of fun to be with. 

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A really nice moon rise.

Tomorrow morning, Iíll hitch all three horses. Shortly after leaving McAllister, we have to ascend some low mountains south of here.  The pitch isnít suppose to be to steep, but the hill will be a long one.

Itís about a week drive to the capital city of Helena. For the most part, I should be free of the mountains.  There are a couple of fires burning north of here, but they should be well east and west of my route.

This was a pretty darn good day. Unfortunately, I wonít be able to sleep in tomorrow. I plan on being on the road by 7 am to be the heat in the late afternoon.