Shoeing Dilemma


Awareness of the outside world. Tokyo 2020: Equestrian Paralympic Schedule & Results. Check out the Grade I, walk-only tests, FEI: Para Dressage Tests. Imagination fails me; I have enough trouble with a single diagonal. Paralympics started yesterday (got bumped for Covid news). While I am still dubious about the wisdom of gathering in large herds, I did want to give para equal time. [Splash of Color Dash]

On one hand (hoof?). The shoe Rodney has been wearing. Lighter. Takes several days post-shoeing to adjust. With diligent bootie protocol, he has not pulled one this year.

On the other hand (hoof?). At the last shoeing, blacksmith tried a new shoe. Heavier. Same make, different model. More suited to Rodney’s size. Rodney LOVED them. I was able to ride the day after the shoe appointment. Went right back to work that weekend. With diligent bootie AND bell boot protocol … he pulled one in three weeks. [Milton Takes Point]

Slippers that are too thin but stay on.
Workboots that are sturdy but fall off.

Two notes for non-horsefolks. Pulling off a shoe often involves tearing off a chunk of the hoof wall as as well. Doesn’t hurt, but leaves the blacksmith nothing to work with. Think a breaking a fingernail. Rodney grows very little hoof between shoeings anyway, so he has little to spare.

Also, some horses can live with a few days of barefoot. Previous Horse and Mathilda used go au natural over the winter. Tried it with these two. Not pretty. Even a day or two without a shoe requires several days to recover.

Yes, Rodney has annoying,Thoroughbred feet. Horses should not be 17 hands and TBs were selectively bred for speed not for hardiness.

Result. Blacksmith went with regular, lighter shoe. Will look into middle-ground possibilities. We are back to booties and a few days of adapting. Although, not too bad. Perhaps a few weeks in workboots allowed his feet time to toughen up. I would love for Rodney to wear those all the time. I guess, as with all things, you can’t plan for the average. You have to plan so that the failure case is acceptable.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

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