It’s been a month since I had Freedom’s shoes pulled (the great barefoot experience is underway). I had expected the worst: a horse that was too footsore to ride; the loss of an entire hunt season; hooves that chipped; and bruising or abscessing.
When I had to take Kroni’s front shoes off he was miserable. He walked on eggshells for the first two weeks. Eventually I had to put him hoof boots and Thinline pads 24/7 to get him through the transition.
It just goes to show that the more you think you know, the more horses surprise you. Freedom hasn’t taken a bad step yet. My farrier had recommended that I pull his shoes while the ground was still soft to help ease him through the transition and he walked off sound right from the get go. The Cavallo Hoof Boots that I bought continue to work great for work and best of all, his hooves are looking really good.
After spending the past few months making sacrafices to the hoof gods to keep his shoes on, I am revelling in all the benefits that his shoeless state has brought to me.
- When I get to the barn and I don’t have to check his feet first thing to see if he’s wearing all his shoes!
- I no longer listen for the clink of a loose shoe with a sinking heart.
- I don’t worry about him damaging his hoof by pulling a shoe.
- He doesn’t have to wear bell boots any more (which held moisture).
- I don’t have to coax my farrier back in between visits to fix a loose shoe or to re-attach a missing one.
- I don’t have to look for lost shoes in the paddock.
- He’s already set for winter — no borium or rim pads!
- And, most important — he looks comfortable and happy.