From Endurance to Dressage
When New Shoes are a Bummer
Thanks a lot, California. Your super hot and dry conditions finally wore Izzy down. His feet that is. Two years ago this month, my farrier pulled the last shoe, and Izzy's been barefoot ever since. The hinds had been pulled the year before.
I am not anti-shoe at all, but Izzy just couldn't keep those front shoes on. He plays hard, and he loves to put his feet on, under, and around anything that will (might) bear his weight. All of that playfulness meant that his shoes were constantly getting ripped off. Eventually, he had hardly any foot left upon which to nail a shoe.
After some initial tenderness, Izzy's soles toughened right up, and he was sound as a dollar, until now. With conditions so dry here in the Golden State, Izzy has been chipping off his hoof wall faster than it can grow. Over the past six months, his feet have gotten so short that my farrier had nothing left to trim. Izzy finally came up sore footed.
After his most recent trim, if you can even call it that, Izzy looked like he had laminitis. He was so sore on his front feet that each step made me wince. I put in a call to my farrier and asked what we could do to get Izzy back in business. My farrier was actually surprised that it had taken Izzy this long to get tender. He'd been expecting a phone call long before this.
While I didn't want to do it, we agreed that Izzy needed front shoes again. My farrier came out late last week and popped on a new set of front shoes. Izzy was instantly sound. I also put him on Platinum Hoof Support, the supplement that I used for Speedy last year. It stimulates hoof growth and hardens the hoof, both are things Izzy needs right now.
Due to an unrelated hind end tweak combined with the sore front feet, Izzy hadn't been ridden in nearly three weeks. I finally got to ride him over the weekend, and while he was sound, he was also a complete jack ass.
Woohoo? Horses ...
9/11/2018 06:58:40 am
I've been following this blog for several years and have learned a lot about barefoot. Do you know it? http://rockleyfarm.blogspot.com
9/13/2018 04:48:01 pm
I've checked that blog out a number of times; it's filled with good stuff! Thanks for reminding me. ;0)
9/11/2018 04:08:11 pm
That is very interesting. Then Izzy will have to be shod from now on, or when we have rain will his feet will become more pliable and he can go barefoot again ? To me the barefoot horse is the ultimate. Mine are barefoot we live in Simi Valley. It could be that our environment is moister.
9/13/2018 04:51:27 pm
I enjoyed having a barefoot horse (it's a lot cheaper and you don't have to look for tossed shoes!), but he just wore away too much hoof. It's MUCH drier here than Simi Valley, and we get a lot less rain in the winter time. We rarely have periods of extended wet. If anything, it might get worse in the winter as we have rapid wet and dry cycles.
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: