Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Bar and the muddy pen
Bar has the muddiest pen on the row, primarily because it's the lowest. Most of the year, it looks like it does in the picture above. But every winter, with the mud and goo, it becomes a struggle to keep shoes on the crappy Thoroughbred feet. Last year, Peter added mats and some gravel in front sloping down--as opposed to the steep, foot-high drop-off we used to have--so at least Bar could get out of the mud to eat.
Unfortunately, there needs to be much more done which the last two days of constant downpour has made painfully (and squishily) obvious. His shoe on his upright foot is still on (or was last night) but is only held on by the nails on the outside. Mike, our farrier, said to wait until it comes off completely so we hopefully have a little more foot to work with. The inside wall is pretty thrashed right now, so the nails don't have much to cling to and one, in fact is only clinging to the shoe.
People tell me to let him go barefoot, but it doesn't seem like a good option for him and his thin hooves as much as he gets worked. And not working him is NOT an option.
So I'll be talking to Peter about what to do with the pen, but nothing can happen until we start to dry out a little. That means coming up with some interim solution so Mike isn't out every other week trying to tack shoes on soggy feet. Definitely not a stall, possibly pasture, but the latter would mean supplementing his diet so he doesn't drop weight.
More on this later, along with pictures of the bog. Luckily, Bar also has a shelter in back so he can get up and out of the mud and, unlike some horses, actually does.
Really, it's all just a desire to tap back into my trail-building and erosion-control past and play with dirt, rocks, tools, and grading for proper drainage.