Friday, July 18, 2008

Bar loses a shoe

Bar has typical Thoroughbred feet -- thin-walled, peel-y, prone to cracks -- so he has to have shoes all the time on all four feet. Mike has done a great job with Bar's feet, keeping them strong and getting them shaped well, and -- up until now -- keeping shoes on those feet of his.

Tuesday afternoon, Steve got to the barn and took Bar out intending to ride him. He brushed Bar, cleaned three feet and got to the left front (the upright hoof) and found the shoe missing. Poor Bar got put back into his pen and Steve rode Lena instead. Steve didn't find the shoe, so I worried a little bit about a shoe with nails sticking out of it laying where he might step on it.

As it turned out, the nails were still in his hoof and the shoe, with no pokey nails, was in the dirt in his pen, minding its own business.

Mike said his foot looked fine, and gave me some things to watch for in the future. If Bar seems sore going uphill, it's in his toe; if he seems sore going downhill, it's in his heel. Bar wasn't acting particularly sore, just still figuring out his way up and down hills, but it was good information.

Mike has had his trials with Bar, and has every reason to assume that Bar won't always behave just for Bar's own funky reasons. But after Mike got the shoe on the upright foot and moved onto the other front foot, Bar actually reared up. Mike put the front foot down and stepped back, his whole body focused on my horse. He walked around Bar and picked the upright foot back up, looking for blood to see if he ran a hot nail. He pulled one particular nail, no blood. He checked the foot again after he got all four shoes on and it all looked fine, but he decided not to put that nail in again, just to be on the safe side.

I like Mike a lot, and love the work he does with both horses' feet. But watching him stop and re-assess what was going on, not assume it was just Bar being bad, solidified my faith in our farrier. (That and the fact that a) Mike shows up on time and b) calls me to remind me of our appointment.)

Bar seems to be sound and his feet look great. And I got to learn good things about hoof care and about how good my farrier is.

No comments: