An Afternoon With My Farrier(s)
As I was eating my lunch, planning the afternoon with some work for Chance, the phone rang. It was Scott, my farrier. He was coming over to put Tuck's shoes on and to trim Chance.
End of ride plans. I went out to sweep the barn aisle and bring the Boys in so they'd be ready for him. He was a bit later than I'd expected, but that's "Scott time" instead of my time, so it was OK.
Tuck's feet were not too good. He has a chronic crack in his right front hoof, and being shoeless had aggravated it. That is one reason he needs the front shoes, aside from his tendency to bruise.
However, before Scott could do the shoes he had to replace the fire lining in his forge. That took quite a bit of time. I left Tucker in his stall while that was done so he wouldn't get too frustrated standing on the crossties. Once the forge was ready, the shoeing began.
Even though Scott was reusing the shoes he pulled back in February, he still heated them and refitted them to Tuck's hoofs. He had a new apprentice with him, Kevin, who did some of the rasping and trimming in between as Scott forges shoes, so it was kind of an assembly line going on.
For all my blogging friends, Kevin is a shoer from South Jersey. He's apprenticed with some shoers down there but really wanted to hone his skills and learn some more advanced work from a Master Farrier, and once he heard about Scott, he signed on. He does have a business of his own down there--he works out of Lumberton--and is very interested in getting more customers. He has quite a bit of experience and, as noted, is currently learning even more from a real expert. Scott is highly respected and is a good teacher.
When we got to Tucker's back feet, he had another crack we've been watching. We discussed hind shoes and this time I decided to have Scott shoe him in back as well. The crack could really use the extra support, and I'll be interested to see if it makes any difference in how his hocks react to the support.
While Scott finished up with Tucker, Kevin trimmed Chance. Chance stays barefoot and seems just fine. He had a lot of solid growth on all four hoofs. When he was done trimming, Kevin had Scott check his work--and all was well. We didn't do anything with Toby this round. He seems fine barefoot so far, but I will monitor him closely. I don't ride him much and he's been striding out boldly without shoes.
If I can keep Toby and Chance barefoot, four shoes on Tucker will even my farrier bill to what is was with front shoes on the two "T" Boys and Chance barefoot.
I woke up to rain this morning and now it's just a soggy mess out there. A bit of a worry now that Tuck has shoes again, but that's the way it goes. Hopefully things will dry out quickly as they did before.....hopefully.