Saturday, August 3, 2013

Can we just have a cry together?

This is going to be a serious whine of a post. You've been warned.

I've been feeling a little uninspired coming into this show tomorrow. When I sent in my entry for Training, I was thinking this:

  • The dressage is solid. He can cruise through Training A.
  • It's a small, local CT. The heights were listed at 3' to 3'3" max. The chances of all the jumps being maxed out at 3'3" are slim to none.
  • Regardless of the above, he'll make it over 3'3". The height won't be an issue.
  • The arena is massive. My show jumping has been disastrous at Bucks because Bucks's arena is tiny as hell.
  • I was supposed to move up to Training in the beginning of July. It's about fucking time we got it done.
What I wasn't considering was this:
  • If the dressage is so good, why not just do First 1-3 like I was going to do in June before that show was cancelled?
  • Do we jump 3'3" on a regular basis? Mm, no.
  • Do we jump 3' on a regular basis? Mm, not really. Usually there's a fence or two set up at 3', but not a course. 
  • Actually, we don't really work on full courses pretty much ever.
  • Bucks sucks. There is no untruth in that statement. But really? Do my stadium courses suck just because they're in that arena? Not completely. Mostly though. Bucks still really sucks.
remember when we had fun doing things? and we had shoes?

Then Bobby's feet started their new routine of being rid of their shoes. I pulled his LH the day before I left for vacation. The LF was loose as well, but I let it go. NF was here on Thursday and looked skeptical as always about the state of Bobby's feet. He was a little sore in the LF when I rode him in the indoor that same day, so I kept the ride really short. 

On Friday, I took him up to the outdoor. He still felt a touch off at the walk in the LF. However, once he picked up the trot, he felt fine. Same at the canter. I popped him over a few 2'6" fences and he didn't take a bad step. I gave him my last gram of bute to ward off any lingering soreness and called it a day.

Today, I planned on doing a few fences at Training height and call it good. I went into the barn and saw a note on the board: "Leave Bobby in TFN." I was all, huh? Just then, BO called down and explained it to me. 

NF had called her that morning and told her that Bobby should really not be turned out any longer. He said that if he pulled off another shoe, he was going to destroy the foot so badly that it would take a year to get right again. To be honest, I was speechless. 

I guess I'm pretty naive, but I feel like if I'm paying this therapeutic shoer $200 every four weeks (or whenever he can get out), something should be getting better about the state of my horse's feet instead of worse. I understand that it gets hot, and buggy, and dry, and horses stomp their feet, and they lose their shoes. Any horse can do that. But this whole situation is starting to make me feel like my horse's bad feet are my fault.

Only, I didn't breed him. I didn't give him his genetics. I don't shoe him. What the hell am I supposed to be doing to make his feet become magically strong and healthy when they just aren't built that way? I mean, am I supposed to get rid of him because NF doesn't like working on his feet? 

For now, he's going to get turned out in the indoor at night with an ancient, tiny pony named Joey. He'll be out of his stall for about twelve hours, but he won't be on grass. However, I'll be able to turn him out on the grass around the round pen whenever I go out. That's something, I guess.

Anyway, I had a cry to Hubby about that whole deal. Then I got on I still felt that teeny, tiny hesitation in the LF at the walk. Still not there at the trot or canter. Jumped a couple of 2'6" fences fine. Took him through a 2'9" to 3' two stride line and he brought the pole on the 3' fence down twice, just not picking up his knees enough. I called it quits there. I called the whole fucking thing quits.

We're not going to the show tomorrow. I'm not taking a lame horse to a show. Does he look lame? No. Does he even feel lame? Only at the walk. But Bobby does not get sloppy with rails like that, and certainly not twice in a row. He's not himself. 

Should I have pulled that LF shoe before I left? Yeah, maybe. But for fuck's sake. There were two other horses with missing shoes the week before I left, and they'd all been done the same day as Bobby. Maybe NF could have come out then instead of a week later, and it wouldn't have been a problem. It's really frustrating that I'm missing so many days of riding due to missing shoes, and then scrambling going into a show with a horse that's footsore. And that I'm paying so much money to do it!

just as fed up with farrier issues.

Hubby and I came home and had a long, long talk about the whole horse situation, but that's another post that's sure to come soon, since I won't be busy riding my horse or anything.


For now.


  1. Feel your pain on the crappy feet thing. Two things that have seriously helped Charlie (besides glue-ons) - 1) Birdsalls Farrier Barrier and 2) white lightening. He's been able to keep shoes on (for the most part) for four weeks before they fall off and hasn't been destroying his feet when/if they come off. He hasn't had glue-ons since March as the new farrier thinks they rot the feet and should only be used in extreme cases. After seeing the difference in his feet, I tend to agree. Good luck!

    1. Will be buying on pay day Friday. Thanks!!

  2. :( I'm not elated about your farrier. We have a great guy here who shows up when he says he will and will work late nights or whatever he needs to do to take care of the horses under his oversight.

    Best of luck to you and Bobby. Sounds like scratching was a good idea.

    1. The thing is, it's not just this farrier. The other barn farrier comes "every" Tuesday (most of the time), but Bobby couldn't keep a shoe on for a full WEEK under him. The other two farriers (besides NF and other barn farrier) in our area are no longer used by the barn because of their inability to show up. Really frustrating.

  3. How frustrating!! I wish I had some awesome advice for you, but I'm sure you've tried a lot of things already. Sorry you are dealing with such a crappy problem.

  4. *big hugs and a bottle of beer*

  5. Ugh. I really hate that a lot of times your location dictates farrier. I will say this: best thing I ever did for my horse with on/off soundness was switch farriers. Worst thing I did was wait too long to do so.

  6. Lucy's feet go to SHIT in the summer from all the bug stomping. We were on a 2.5-3 week cycle as soon as the flies came out this year. What has helped IMMENSELY are fly boots. I can't even tell you how majikal the difference in her feet is since she has been wearing these boots. So maybe that would be worth a try?

  7. I'm going through the exact same issue right now with Fiction. Now I'm terrified my farrier is going to tell me the same thing soon.

  8. Boo. I'm very sorry for the foot woes... Hope the stuff Charlie & Me recommended helps :)

  9. Ugh :( hope something gives, not fun having to sit out riding so much bc of something out of your control!

  10. I agree, sounds like your farrier is not very helpful. I'd certainly be frustrated if I was paying that much for my horse's shoeing and still having these problems. Hope things get better :-)

  11. I'm so sorry about his continuing shoe issues! I went thru a similar thing with my mare a few weeks ago, and it is SO incredibly frustrating. Sending you good luck in dealing with your farrier situation and making Bobby feel better soon!

  12. Feeling your farrier frustrations. Gonna throw something wild out there. Does Bobby *really* need shoes? Could the 'barefoot' approach work?
    I've kept my horses barefoot whenever I could. Way before "barefoot" became a fad. Even when I was showing. Psycho Mare seems great barefoot, and we want to keep her there through the levels. Recently, I've been reading up on the whole philosophy behind the barefoot movement.
    Obviously, I don't have all the data to even make an aducated guess. I'm just throwing out food for thought. Would love to know what you think on the whole thing. I'm the analytical type. Can you tell? Just call me 'Virgo'. ;)

    1. I would LOVE if he could go barefoot. I pulled his shoes when I bought him in Dec '10 and he was barefoot until May '11. He rarely got turned out starting Jan '11, and was ridden primarily in an arena. His feet absolutely fell apart and he was never 100% comfortable. I don't think he'd be able to do it out here where the ground is all shale.

      But it might eventually come to me pulling all his shoes, beating NF over the head with them, and trimming them myself. It sounds really appealing when your horse is gimping around, I'll tell ya.

  13. Hey Carly! I also hear your farrier woes! I had a farrier hot-nail, and trim my OTTB's feet down to nubs, which led to a blow-out at the coronet band and a quarter crack that only a YEAR later can I see the light at the end of the tunnel! We were so frustrated with the whole experience - I put my girl in Cavallos for turn-out (which breathe) and then Easyboot gloves for riding. Together with regular barefoot trims & Farrier's Formula (to encourage new growth), she is coming back around. Hang in there! It will grow better (slowly, but surely!) HUGS!

  14. Sorry to hear this. Such a frustrating situation!! Fingers crossed itll all sort itself out soon.


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