Ugh. Folks, I’ve about had it with Eeyore this winter. It isn’t his behavior. In fact, after consistently riding in lessons most weeks he and I are going the best ever. We’ve come to reach an understanding of one another and while things aren’t always sunshine and roses, I’m much better equipped to work through issues without emotion. We are even walking the entire big pasture without fuss (or fear) and working towards trot sets up the hills. Honestly, I look forward to throwing a leg over him and end each ride in a really good place.
So what’s the issue?
The horse can not keep his front shoes on his feet worth a darn. And he can’t go barefoot without becoming lame. So when he loses a shoe everything grinds to a halt until the poor farrier can come out yet again. Ive missed two lessons due to this already and might lose next week as well.
The one time he literally lost the shoe two days after it got put on. Two days!
|Not Eeyore. You can tell because his butt fits in the frame 😁|
This past week had me nearly writing his sale ad. I rode both boys Tuesday - no issue, shoes all tight, everything grand. Wednesday Trainer came for a lesson and I asked her to ride Eeyore to help work on his roundness and bend as I’ve been asking more for it and feeling quite a bit of resistance and I wanted her take on it. She rode for about 30 minutes and then I hopped on to get a feel of how he was going and rode for another 15 or so.
All was good. In fact she commented that he was moving nicer than ever.
|Hamilton’s mood on the regular|
I untacked him and Trainer stuck around talking for a while. All four horses were inside. After she left I led Eeyore out to the far pasture followed by Hamilton and then Pete. Last to go was Gem and as I was slipping off her halter I looked down and saw a shoe. With a sigh I picked it up, walked over to Eeyore and saw the his right front was now bare.
What the hell horse?!
It was week 3 of his 5 week rotation. The shoe before this last 2 days, one week for the one prior.
He usually has no issues with shoes. In the prior two years I can think of two times he lost a shoe. It’s been at least four so far since January.
He is driving me insane.
There have been two changes this winter. One are his pads. He has worn them before but only in the summer when the ground is hard. The vet recommended them last May during his annular ligament injury and since he was moving so well we kept them. It has been an incredibly wet winter and with a leather pad absorbing the moisture, his hooves are softer than normal. I already know he over reaches significantly in the hind and the addition of the pad gives him more material to step on and thus pull the shoe off.
The other change though is Hamilton.
Those two geldings play rough. There are skid marks, super long and deep ones, everywhere in all three pastures. In fact, Wednesday I put Eeyore out then grabbed Hamilton. After setting him loose, he tried to roll however Eeyore came over when he dropped and jumped on top of him causing Hamilton to get up and kick the snot out of him (well deserved) and then both went galloping off making me think I don’t ride them hard enough.
The thing is that Eeyore pays zero attention to where his feet are in the best of circumstances. Watching him galloping around playing makes my soul hurt. He flails. He flings his body around. His legs paddle and over reach. He closes his eyes and relies on gravity to get him around. It’s a good thing he doesn’t do that under saddle or he wouldn’t be rideable.
So as he is flailing about he steps on himself and pulls the shoe right out of his now soft hoof.
He gets hot shod with clips every 5 weeks. We square his hind toes to limit the over reach (it really helps - before we did this you’d hear him clicking with every stride), I use Keratex as a topical and he has a well balanced diet with plenty of exercise. I’m going to add a feed through hoof supplement. We are going to experiment with potential rim pads or a pour in instead of the full leather.
But there seems to be only so much I can do when his conformation is that of a 5 year old’s drawing of a horse and he insists on flailing about. Spring Fat Camp is about to start again for him and Gem which will limit play time to half a day only but I don’t know folks.
I’m frustrated. It’s a good thing I have Hamilton or I’d never get to ride these days. It’s a shame too because we are going so well that I hate missing these days. By the time farrier can come out again it will be a week of time off yet again. Ugh.