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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Friday, 3 May 2013

Sweeties and Spavins

The biggest challenge with this horse (for me) was getting her shoes off without hurting her.  I was pretty sure she was nail bound, quite possibly pricked and being on the older side, somewhat stiff and she has spavins. Shoeing had always left her sore, and her owner had to bute her before being shod.

The owner has an ongoing task which is bigger still.  Keeping this young lady away from the sugary consumables she loves.

A recent incident involved breaking out of her stable and into the cattle feed shed where she was found stuffing her face with Liquorice Allsorts.  Apparently that is one of the ingredients of cattle feed these days, and if you check out Dairy One you can get the analysis for 'Candy Byproduct'.

Despite these challenges, the usual livery/grass problems and the dire warnings from the usual suspects about how a spavined horse can't go barefoot, this partnership has done very well.  You can see them below on a sponsored ride, completely barefoot, no problems with slipping.  Quite a few problems with brakes so I'm told.  Oh and her hinds aren't nearly so stiff these days.

Rocket fuel not required, a forage based diet provides this horse with plenty of energy - picture taken by Mark Dalton

One of the fab four... hooves that is


RuckusButt said...

Amazing! I love hearing about lack of slipping on grass because I'm about to start schooling over fences on grass(4 yr old, always been barefoot, I've owned for 6 months). Even though I purposely bought a barefoot horse, I have almost no experience jumping one. I'm determined to keep him barefoot but don't want a slip injury either - any advice for jumping on grass?

He has great feet and we walk over everything, gravel doesn't phase him at all.

Sarah said...

It's my horse in the picture. We do jump on grass - at the event pictured, we also did cross country jumping and last summer did some outdoor showjumping (at one event, a shod pony fell over just before we went into the ring).
Honestly, I don't do anything differently. My horse is in charge of looking where she is going, I set her up for the jumps. I would never pull her off her feet, but obviously I would never do that if she was shod or even studded. I just ride normally and considerately - listening to your horse is always a plus - and you sound like the sort of person who will do that anyway!

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