For Want of a Shoe

I’m sure you all know the sense of dread that happens when you see your barn owner or trainer’s number pop of on caller ID at odd times of the day, like 8 in the morning. Well I got one of those just a few days after Rolex. Luckily the dread all goes away when the first thing out of their mouth is “Don’t worry, nothing is wrong!” But Gus did loose a shoe.

I actually really appreciated the call. It’s one of my pet peeves that no one calls when a horse is lame or something silly is going on. Especially when the horse is in a program and the first mention of anything wrong comes when I call to see if I can do a lesson and instead I get “Oh, he’s been off all week. We’ve just been hand walking him.” … but I digress.

One of the things the vet told me in the PPE examine was that his hind feet were a mess but that he had just gotten trimmed so it was hard to tell what the real problem was. The vet didn’t think it was anything a good shoeing couldn’t fix, thankfully.

I showed up to the barn and while the hoof he actually pulled the shoe on (back right) was a little ragged but no worse for the wear, his back left had literally fallen apart. Sorry for the blurriness of the photo. I didn’t realize until I started writing this post!


Definitely not riding him when his foot looks like that! So I talked to the barn manager and got her thoughts on all the farriers that came out to the barn and picked the one that sounded the most promising. Amazingly enough, he was able to fit me into his schedule that day. His first thing when he saw Gus’ feet was that it looked like two different people were shoeing him because his fronts were great (probably didn’t need to be reset for a few weeks) but his hinds were so out of balance.


And with that, the farrier got to work. Gus earned a B+ for his patience and his attitude during the appointment. He got a little snippy with his hind legs but considering it was feeding time and all his buddies were getting grained, well, I’d be a little miffed too.


Gus wants me to know that he does not need help getting back to his stall, thank you very much. And barn kitty says that napping from 10 am (the first time I was out there) until 4 pm (when I went back to meet the farrier) is more important than catching mice or birds, now go away.


I didn’t get a picture of the finished product but his back feet look SO much better now! The farrier thinks he probably needs one or two more trims to get the back really in balance but that it looked a lot worse than it was. Hopefully then we will be able to take the back shoes off and start working towards going barefoot for a while.

22 thoughts on “For Want of a Shoe

  1. Yipes, his poor tootsies! You’ll have them in working order in no time. In the meantime, we can all drool over his gorgeousness.

  2. Whoa, ack. At least the farrier sounds promising. Also, I think all barn managers universally know to say “your horse is fine!” before anything else if calling at a weird time. Or at all.

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