Saturday, August 26, 2017

boat shoes graduate?

Big news in Charlieland: homeboy has officially gone two full cycles without losing a shoe!!! Wooo!!!! Granted, he's still basically on a 3-3.5 week cycle. But.... ya know, it's still better than 2.5 weeks haha!

(sob. also, between this and my post about how much this horse eats, you've gotten a real insider's view on the insane amount of care and maintenance going into this saintly beast. thank god he's such a good boy! #worthit)

freshly done + keratex-koated tootsies. and new le mieux!
Anyway, many aspects of Charlie's day to day care changed with the barn move. Obviously. Unfortunately the move also necessitated a slight shuffling around in Charlie's A-team of care providers. Specifically: our beloved farrier, who brought Charlie along from race plates to his current set of hooves, was unable to keep us on as clients after the move.

finally bought the guy his own dedicated xc boots. you could say it's getting serious.
This was sad news, as I really liked this farrier - particularly as he had been very thoughtful in developing a plan for Charlie, and had taken ownership and accountability over Charlie's hoof health. You may remember this past June, for instance, when he asked me to try Charlie in leather rim pads - something that's seemed to work well for the horse.

a surprisingly difficult picture to take - that's light shining through the boot perforations. my experience with the earlier generation of these boots (that isabel wore) was that they basically hold zero water and dry super fast
So switching to a new farrier (actually even just deciding on one in the first place) has been a little nerve-wracking for me. I'm lucky that the new barn has three different farriers who each come on property every single week. Which is.... actually really freakin awesome and reassuring.

But ya know. Everyone always has strong opinions about who does the best work or whatever, so it's been tricky trying to navigate that mine field. Luckily we've now gotten through our second shoeing with the new farrier (3wk cycle yo, time flies) and I think we're in a good place.

obvi haven't actually used 'em yet, notice tags still on. chose these boots bc 1) i loved the full set i had for isabel and, imho 2) these boots offer the most hi-tech protection for the best price currently on the market
In my ideal world, I'll have a professional who I can trust intrinsically to make good choices for my horse - to be the expert in farriery so that I don't have to be. I want the ppl who provide care for my horse to feel like they can be creative in addressing his needs, and feel like they can do what they think needs done.

But.... I also have opinions of my own. For Charlie's first cycle with the new farrier, she expressed her own personal disinclination for rim pads and preference for full pads. So this past cycle, Charlie wore full leather pads. Meanwhile, I personally have my own reservations about full pads... some of which felt merited when Charlie came up with a minor abscess and I kinda had my hands tied for treating it.

first impression is very strong tho. the strike plates (blue patches) are super interesting - they're fully flexible while also feeling thick, protective, and shock absorbing
So for his second shoeing at the new place, we opted to go entirely sans pads. The reality is that Charlie's soles and frogs were actually in reasonable shape when the previous farrier decided to try rim pads. His purpose had more to do with clearance and shock absorption, and perhaps a softer cushion to reduce crumbling in the hoof wall.

This makes me optimistic that the three weeks Charlie spent in full pads won't have softened his soles much or made them too overly sensitive. Hopefully, lol. Tho obvi I'll do everything I can to help toughen them up. #keratex4lyfe

lol he looks excited, no?
We'll see how it goes. Charlie's inconsistent riding schedule has persisted despite all my best intentions over these past few weeks, as he came up with an abscess basically right after our baller xc school and is only just now ready to rock 'n roll again.

Obviously the past three-ish weeks of limited and sporadic riding are not at all ideal going into what ought to be our 'ramp up' for the fall season. But.... well. That's kinda the silver lining of riding in lower levels, right? We don't need a ton of fitness to get through a BN event.

I would like a little more schooling tho. It would be nice to do Charlie a little bit of justice in the dressage ring. To be able to piece together some of his newfound abilities long enough to grab a couple good scores haha. It'll be what it's gonna be tho. We're officially in the two week count down to kicking off our fall season. Here's hoping we can use this period to make up for lost time!

25 comments:

  1. Man, summer has flown by! Those xc boots looks good on him. You are lucky to have so many options with farriers. We have heat vets here but really awful farriers. The good ones won't travel for two barefoot horses so I've been struggling since moving them home.

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    1. We are definitely lucky to have so many options - it helps that the new barn is HUGE. That's so tricky that nobody wants to come out. Bleh. That's what happened with my last farrier for Isabel. He just came for two horses and when the second horse left he dropped us :(

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  2. I feel your pain on the farrier thing. Our super excellent barn farrier reduced his travel radius, meaning we had to find somebody new. it was horrifying and nerve-wracking! (And idk the outcome of the new one yet since we don't start using him until next month, ugh). But it's super exciting that Charlie is holding onto his shoes longer! And those xc boots look sweet!

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    1. Omg it's so nerve wracking! I mean I keep trying to trust that most professionals know what they're doing ... But... Ya know. Some ppl are crazy! So far so good with the new one for us tho

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  3. Those boots look amazing!!!! You are going to be styling out on XC!!! And I feel ya on the farrier woes. When I first moved my horses home I had to get a new farrier bc my old one didn't want to travel that far. The next guy I called proceeded to lame all 4 horses within 2 trim cycles. He was the nicest guy and I really wish great personality made you a great farrier but alas it doesn't. But I've been very happy with the next guy I found and he's taken good care of my ponies' tootsies for 4 years now :)

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    1. oh man, the friendly with great personality person who is actually bad at the job - what a tough situation! glad the newer person has it figured out! it's definitely not one of those things i like dealing with often, that's for sure!

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  4. So amazing that you have multiple options!! Crossing my fingers for strong healthy happy hooves :)

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    1. Thanks - my fingers are crossed too! Tho I'll be satisfied with a little less: hooves that can hang on to a shoe for 4 wks lol! And yea we are so seriously spoiled in Maryland by being surrounded by so many horse professionals in every aspect

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  5. Glad his feet are doing reasonably better! Shoes problems can be such a PITA. I'm loving the look of those Le Mieux boots, I've been wanting to try some if their products for ages!

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    1. i actually really like all the le mieux stuff i've seen in person! this is my second pair of their boots, and i have one of their contoured saddle pads for cross country too. it's stylish without being over-the-top price wise.

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  6. Progress on the hoof front! I also have reservations about full pads for the exact reason you mentioned.

    I haven't been able to ride Aria regularly either. The beauty of not showing! :D

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    1. ha yea it's certainly nice to not feel any deadlines breathing down our necks!! i tend to waffle back and forth between wanting something on the calendar to keep me going vs being happy to chug along at whatever speed. and yea full pads certainly have advantages, but also tradeoffs too. as with all things, apparently, with horses!

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  7. Hey!!!! Way to go Charles, you keep those shoes on! Here's hoping he can keep slowly increasing his cycle until one day you're up to 4 weeks! Or even 5! I do know the pain of thrown shoes with Phoebe and my old gelding Joey. Phoebe also is super helpful in that she loves to destroy any bell boot that I put on her haha

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    1. lol we were on a 4wk cycle fairly consistently through last fall, winter, and early spring. in fact - we even made it to 5 wks *once* last spring haha - riiiiiiight before charlie's feet basically immediately fell apart with all the lush fresh grass. whoops.

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  8. Oh man, that is a short cycle! I'm so so happy to hear it's working though. And I am celebrating the lower level lack of fitness with my own busy schedule right now. We're just gonna wing it knowing we're at a comfortable place haha

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    1. ha yea... basically as we get closer and closer to the event itself, i kinda start thinking less in terms of 'training' and more about refining, practicing, polishing up - trusting the training we've already done and preparing such that our strengths can shine and our weaknesses can be downplayed. theoretically lol

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  9. His feet look awesome! That is a short cycle! Our guys are on 5 weeks in the summer time. But I posted some feet pictures today so you have to go look at them and just laugh. Her feet are a "work in progress" to say the least

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    1. ha yea, it's a very short cycle. the reality tho is that charlie WILL go lame (fake or otherwise) if he gets even a little long - he needs the short cycle bc his feet need that much management to keep them growing in the right directions and at the right angles so that he can stay sound and so that his hoof is healthy enough to hang onto the shoe. it's always a tricky balance, but that's just where we are right now

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    2. She's getting pads today (different ones of course) so we'll see how they end up doing. It's so funny because her back hoof with no shoe has been holding up wonderfully and then her front feet are such a mess. I should be happy that they're growing like they are though - one year's growth in around six months!

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    3. good luck with the pads! and yea the hind feet really take an entirely different amount of stress and weight bearing as the fronts, so that doesn't surprise me about her front feet being more problematic. it's great that they're growing so well tho! charlie's have been too. obvi a 2.5 wk cycle was a bit too short so there wouldn't be much to trim before tacking his shoe back on after losing it yet again... but at least it helped us stay really on top of controlling the shape of his hoof.

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  10. I'm kinda jealous of your access to 3 different farriers every week. I have one farrier who comes every 6-8 weeks and if anything falls off I have to drive to him wherever he is that day and beg for an appointment at that.

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    1. Uh yea that would be challenging beyond resolution for my purposes :(

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  11. I loved my last farrier dearly (and I sorely miss him and his wife) I never once questioned the decisions he made about my horses feet, I knew he was right, and he always listened when I had something to say (because I had read something) and would entertain the thoughts and talk me through them.

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    1. See that's exactly the type of relationship I like with my horses primary care providers. I want to learn, I'm curious. I like a pro who will talk me through their ideas and show me what they're doing. But I also really like being able to step back and let them do their thing and have complete ownership. A pro who has a long term for a horse is a pro who is invested and feeling accountable for their work. That's exactly what I want!

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  12. I would die without my farrier. I have had him for 25 years and Im only 33 LOL!!
    I would love to feel those boots - they look interesting and like they could be really great!

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