Sunday, November 18, 2007

Shoe Flies

No News To Report

It was cold and rainy most of the day.

When I finally managed to go out to the barn to at least lunge Tucker for his stifle, I soon discovered he was missing a shoe.

I didn't notice it until I had him out in the ring on the lunge line as I'd hooked him up out in the paddock. He was every so slightly uneven. I thought it was too strange for him to actually be limping because of the stifle so I checked his feet and sure enough, one naked front hoof. Just enough difference to make him take some uneven steps. Not lame, just not balanced. His hoof still looked great, so he didn't do much damage taking off the shoe. My farrier only uses four nails, usually, so the hoof holds up pretty well.

Frustrating as this is what happens when the ground gets wet along with his feet. All the moisture just makes them too soft to hold a shoe. Unfortunately, as we have discussed here, he really does need his front feet shod--Thoroughbred, cracks, other issues--so barefoot, even for the winter is not really practical. I'd love to have him barefoot for the winter...but considering the problems he had when he was barefoot as a youngster, I don't think I could take the chance.

The trouble is the weather and the footing. My farrier would prefer he stay in when it's wet and muddy. I'm never keen on keeping a horse in to start off with. Then, I don't want to have to keep him in all the time as that will actually be counter productive to getting his stifle strengthened. Going up and down the little hills in my paddocks and pasture are too good for him.

I called my shoer who is an angel about fixing things. Maybe he has some ideas.

Tucker is in now and I will keep him in until--if ever, things dry out a bit. If we can get the shoe back on, perhaps I can lunge him in the AM before school and then work him again at night. But right now, without the shoe, I really can't do too much with him. I will have to see if at least one of the boots I have will stay on his foot for some exercise. I haven't yet found a brand that seems to fit him properly.

Too miserable to ride anyone else.

The weather looks bleak for the rest of the week too. Ugh.


  1. it's odd, people say that about TB feet, but I reckon it's just individual horse...Molly has pretty good feet and barefoot is not a problem; her mother probably would have been the same if she'd had a different life, and as it is with a pasture trim she's sounder than she's ever been...

  2. With the feet my own experience is its the work that you can give them. Tetley had the worst feet ever. Cracks, borderline unsound in shoes, terrible disease, dreadful, dreadful misshape. Everything pretty much fixed itself over a year with plenty of work on flat tarmac roads. Zips feet were pretty weak before he started work on roads and gravel too. If you've got the facilities and the time you can fix it, but not everyone has those.

    I'm sure no-one would use shoes if they didn't need to, or at least feel they needed to because their expert (farrier) told them that they did. The joy of never having to worry about a shoe coming off is totally liberating!

    But TB feet, wet ground and a lack of tarmac to work on regularly are big drawbacks....