Monday, March 29, 2010

Rugby's New Kicks

As of this past Saturday, Rugby now has a nifty pair of egg bar shoes on his front hoofers. He's a first in that department for me. I've never owned a horse that wore bar shoes of any kind. It was nice to work with my old farrier again. I'm reminded of just how good he is at his craft. I was also rather impressed when he took a look at Rugby's unshod feet and shook his head and said, "wow, his hooves are really nice. It's almost a shame to put shoes on him".

He took his time, Rugby was pretty good but very aware of what was going on. He wasn't overly nervous but he did get a bit fidgety especially when he smelled and heard the sizzle from the hot shoeing. My farrier was patient and kind and simply chalked it up to Rugby having "forgotten" what it was like to have shoes nailed on. The best part was when the shoes were on and the farrier brought out the rasping stand. As soon as Rugby put his hoof on it and heard the familiar rasping sound, his entire body relaxed and he submitted. All the nerves were gone! It was as if he just said, "ah, something familiar! whew!".

When my farrier was done he asked me to get my lunging gear and let's see what if any difference we made. At first it all looked the same. But the longer Rugby walked on the shoes, I started to see a difference in his stride. He was laking longer steps with both front feet, and landing the same. Gone was the shorter step on the side opposite his soreness. Then I asked him for a little trot. Pretty good to the left, still slightly "off" to the right. My farrier said only time will tell. He asked that I keep him updated with the vet's reports and to not let the shoes go past 5 weeks.

When I went to the barn on Sunday, I took Rugby out for a little lunging again, no more than 20 minutes and mostly at the walk. And was rewarded with a 100% sound horse to the left at both the walk and the trot and going to the right he was 100% sound at the walk and about 90% sound at the trot There was a marked and very visible improvement on day #2 wearing the bar shoes. My fingers are so crossed. If he can stay sound and can get back to very light work it will be enough for me for now. At least I can train and work on his steering and forwardness if I can at least do a little at the walk and trot under saddle.


Jean said...

Good news indeed. Looks like a super nice shoeing job too. Riley will be the judge as to whether it is the solution you need, but so far, so good.

And, yes, it does take a few days for a horse to adjust. Remember too, if he was sore before he was shod, that too will take a little time to wear off.

Once Upon an Equine said...

Glad you are seeing some fast improvements with the new shoes.

jill said...

I had Joe in and out of shoes over the years. Sometimes a horse just needs them. Actually Joe had so many hoof issues that it took YEARS for him to be sound barefoot.
Glad Rugby seems comfortable.
Hope your back in action soon.