Friday, July 8, 2011

Cole's First Pair of Shoes

Well, it was time. Time for the first pair of shoes. I rode him a lot this last 8 weeks, and his feet were fairly worn—and I plan to increase his riding. In anticipation, not only did I decide to have shoes put on him, I increased his grain. Hard to believe the fat horse I got a year ago needed his grain increased. He looks so much better than before—he lost over 100 pounds according to the weight tape.

Anyway, back to his feet. I spent a lot of time tapping his hooves with the hoof pick and then even tapped him a few times with a hammer. He was always perfect for the tapping. Of course, it helped that I was clicking him. I also spent time stretching his front legs forward and holding them, too.

My farrier agreed, when he saw Cole’s feet, that shoes were necessary. I can trust my farrier to be truthful about this. There have been times when he told us we didn’t need shoes, too. Some farriers want to shoe every horse. My farrier isn’t that way.

He trimmed the front feet and then went to trim the back. Oops! All the time I spent working on the front hooves—not one minute did I review his back hoof lessons. He pulled away several times, and my farrier held on and made faces. Reminder for next time—review the back hooves before the next visit.

Now, for the big moment. Time to put the shoes on the front. On the first hoof, during the procedure, he tried to pull away and got his hind feet way under him. This could be bad, cuz when Cruiser does this, it means he wants to rear up to pull away. My farrier just kept going, and Cole had to stand that way until it was time to put his foot down. On the second hoof, he was fine. At no time did he misbehave during any pounding of the hammer.

I was disappointed. I really expected him to be better. To my surprise, my farrier was very pleased. It was a matter of expectations. I wanted perfection, but my farrier, who has shod many horses with their first pair of shoes, knew how bad a horse can be the first time. He was tickled—particularly when he pointed out how awful Cole was the first time he trimmed his feet a year ago. The best news—he will just get better. We went through several years of Cruiser rearing during shoeing, after all.

Now I can ride all I like without worrying about wearing his hooves to nothing.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

:( I'm sad that your farrier thinks shoes are necessary. I don't like shoeing because it takes away all the natural shock absorbency of the hoof and damages the walls. I'm happy he did so great though! I was the same way when Chrome got trimmed for the first time. I thought he did awful, but she said he was awesome. :D