The Red Mare Diaries: Battling With Bad Feet

By no means does Bonnie have terrible feet. They are, however, a far cry from “good.” My farrier calls them “typical thoroughbred feet” – shallow, thin-walled, and shelly.

When Bonnie came to live with me, I was riding her exclusively on grass. She was barefoot and she was fine. I’ll also own up to the fact that she was being ridden once or twice a week and usually didn’t even break a sweat during those rides.

Bonnie (before Kat cleaned her up) and her unlovely feet

Since the end of October, she has being ridden about five days a week and those rides are not quick jaunts around the yard: they are 30-45 minutes of forwards-moving, suppling, leg-yielding, cantering, small trotting, big trotting, and shoulders-in-ing. We’ve graduated from “goofing-off-in-the-backyard” to “let’s-see-if-we-can-show-training-level.”

When I first had shoes put on her feet, Bonnie was still somewhat lame, off and on, as abcesses worked their way out. Lately, though, the mare has been sound and the training had really progressed! Since the end of November, Bonnie has not had an off step. Until tonight. I felt like I was ridin’ the wave when I asked for trot. Ugh.

“We’re lame,” I announced to the trainer, who was teaching someone else’s lesson.

“No way!” called she, “See if you can work her out of it; she’s just been SO GOOD lately.”

I could not work her through it.

Maybe she stepped on a root or has another abcess. She’s not sensitive to the hoof testers, there’s no heat, and she walks sound. All I can do is give her a bit of bute and a few days off. Thankfully, it has been a while since the last episode of gimpiness. With diligent care from our competent and caring farrier, hopefully, this will cease to be a problem before too much longer.

Red Mare Diaries are written by Katherine Abel. Be sure to read her blog, The Perpetual Working Student.


1 Comment

Filed under Bon Appeal, Hooves

One response to “The Red Mare Diaries: Battling With Bad Feet

  1. Barbara ODay

    Many years ago I had a client whose TB had feet just like Bonnie’s…. we were at a show and he had once again, lost a shoe… the farrier there told us about UVE’s Biotin 22X… at first we told him… oh we have tried all the biotin products, but he told us that he had used it on many tb’s with great success…. so we tried it too!! OMG!! In less than one month that horse had so improved the farrier couldn’t believe it was the same horse…. and to this day, I still recommend it for horses with bad feet or just with problems at the time… amazing product, I think! Here is the link if you are interested:>

    Good luck with your girl!! Barbara O’Day

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