With essential businesses closing down and vets delaying non-essential services like vaccines, I’m feeling lucky that my farrier will still come to the barn. Her very reasonable request is that the horses be put on the cross ties and that she be alone with them.
Zelda and Curly are easy. They are both barefoot and will happily stand on cross ties without fuss.
Freedom is the problem. First, Freedom is not good at standing still. He will, but he usually requires some entertainment. That means me standing at his head. Second, Freedom wears glue-on shoes. They are fabulous once they are on, and they stay on for a long time. But, and this is the crux of the problem, they take a LONG time to apply and the horse has to cooperate by standing still while the epoxy sets.
This is not a situation where he can stand on the crossties and get his manicure. Even with a bit of sedation Freedom gets antsy.
So, I’m debating what to do. His current glue on shoes were put on in January 11th. That’s a pretty good run for a set of shoes. I’m not sure how much longer I can count on them staying on. And, one of the problems with glue on shoes is that they are glued to the hoof wall. If they come off unintentionally, you don’t just lose the shoe; you loose a good amount of hoof along with it. Trust me, it happened once and his feet were in such bad shape, I wasn’t able to put any kind of shoe on his hoof for about a month.
I could put regular shoes on. Freedom is pretty good at losing shoes. He’s never had great feet and with the amount of rain we’ve had recently, I cringe at the thought of watching him stand and run in ankle deep mud. I don’t care how many bell boots you put on (I used to double up for him), those shoes are unlikely to stay on.
Or I could go with the fact that the ground is soft and pull his shoes altogether. I’ve had him barefoot in the past and it’s not pretty, but he’s survived. In fact, for several years I kept him barefoot and put hoof boots on to ride him. At least then he’s not dealing with the extra damage that can occur when a shoe is ripped off.
Right now I’m leaning toward barefoot. My farrier is coming on Wednesday and we’ll look at his feet and make a decision. What do you all think? The best solution would be for Zelda to magically gift some of her amazing hoof growing capacity to Freedom. Wish that were an option!
Update: Today we pulled Freedom’s shoes. His feet look fantastic after the glue-ons. We decided that with the soft ground, this was the best time to remove his shoes. Next step — applying hoof hardener and crossing my fingers.