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.
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.