Friday, December 11, 2009

11th December, 2009 What's in the box? New boots and panties*

Today I am going to be testing out a set of Old macs on Petra's front feet. I really really hope they will work as I would love to keep her barefoot. I have been doing a lot more riding recently and her feet have really worn down and I was heading towards a set of shoes. My "traditional" farrier is utterly supportive and all for it. If they work for Petra then Chancer will be getting some for Christmas too. Wish me luck - if I lose one in the first muddy puddle I will be very disappointed. The Western saddle is lush but I am still waiting for the blanket to go with it and am having to borrow Chancer's in the meantime.

* A reference incidentally to Ian Dury's album just in case you wondered.

Part II - having turned Petra out in them for a little while this morning, I then went out riding in them. Apart from looking askance when I asked her to stand on a carpet while I fitted them, Petra didn't seem to mind them at all and was certainly more confident on the gravelly ground. Whilst I have a very open mind about horse's being barefoot, I am adamant that horses should not have to be very sore at any stage of their transition or indeed in the long term. I was pleased to see in the Horse and Hound this week an article that confirmed my belief that horses that are sore in their feet will change their gait and end up compensating in other parts of their body, particularly the back. A few years ago we had a horse in like this where the owner was absolutely resolute that the horse would not be allowed to have hoof boots and in the end I had to become equally resolute that in that case she wouldn't be ridden nor long reined. Not only was she starting to go short, she was losing her confidence about crossing streams and tracks - anywhere where the underlying footing was stony.