That Didn't Go as Planned

I came back from Turkey to a pony with a loose shoe. He was over due by about a week due to both the farrier and I being out of town so I can’t really get annoyed this time. And the farrier was already scheduled for Friday. So we just went on long walk hacks last week and explored the XC field that was all set up for a schooling show over the weekend.

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Last month, the farrier and I talked and decided to take Gus’ back shoes off. He grows a fair bit of hoof every month and his feet are now balanced. Gus was a bit tender the first week but over all he did great. I made sure to coat his soles with Hawthorne Venice Turpentine and I rode in boots that first week.

So I thought this month, let’s take his fronts off too. I’m definitely pro barefoot but not anti shoe. If it didn’t go well, we’d put shoes back on. But you don’t know until you try. My farrier agreed this was a good plan and had no problem taking the shoes off. I like that this farrier doesn’t push fancy shoes on me, he just wants to make sure the horse is feeling good.

Saturday, I agreed to jump judge for the schooling show, which was a lot of fun. The little kids in amoeba and tadpole were SOOOOO cute! Except when they had problems and then I felt so bad. There was one girl on a high strung bay horse in tadpole who had two refusals at one of my fences. You knew there was going to be a refusal because she was just so stiff and nervous. She was carrying a crop but didn’t use and I just wanted to call out to her “Use your crop! Put your leg on! GET UP THERE!” But obviously I couldn’t help her. Thankfully she got over the fence on the third try.

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But this was also making me want to school Gus over the fences. So after the XC was all done, I went up to get the Gussers. He took one halting step out of his stall and then a second.

Fuck.

Dead lame. I had to fight with him to pick up either front foot. He just wasn’t having it. So I gave him some bute and tossed him back in his stall with a note to leave in for the weekend. Then I went home and prayed he would feel better the next day.

Thankfully, when I went out on Sunday there was a major improvement. He was still lame. Still sore but he was willing to talk down the isle and let me pick up his feet. I coated his feet with the turpentine, fed him lots of animal crackers and another gram of bute. I’m hoping for the same kind of improvement today because I really think he needs to get back outside and start moving. That being said, we’ll take it one day at a time and if I don’t keep seeing improvement, the shoes are going back on!

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