Do you know what makes walking better? Doing it on my Gemmiecakes!
Her hooves are rock hard and there seems to be no ill effects from making her barefoot last Thursday. This morning I was checking up on my blog reel and saw this wonderful post from Rockley Farm. Now the gelding in the post was put in a bar shoe and then turned barefoot for very different reasons than Gem was, but the post specifically points out that a bar shoe will in fact weaken the support of the hoof and make the heel and frog both contract. It is perfect timing and a good affirmation of my own thought process.
I hopped up on her (wishing I was brave enough to do these rides bareback) and we headed out to ride around the farm at a walk. She behaved very well with only a few reminders that we were in fact walking only. About 10 minutes into it, I decided I should probably use this time more effectively than just walking around the tracks on a loose rein and so I started working with her on walk-halt-back transitions. I varied the distance of walking, the time spent standing and the number of strides backing up each time and kept her guessing. By the end of the ride she was stopping with just my seat and standing still until I asked her to either back or go forward. Success!
I admit that it was very tempting to let her go, but I kept myself in check. No sense in rushing anything. She felt fine and sound at the walk without any short striding at all. Afterwards I tackled her feet on my own a bit. While I love Mr. Farrier and we will be using him for Pete and to check on my own trimming on Gem, he leaves the toes too long for me. I brought her rear toes back a good bit and worked her heels down a touch as well. The rain started by the end of both hinds, so I left the fronts for another day. I really need a hoof stand as holding her with one hand and rasping with the other is just not very efficient. It is on my Christmas wish list.
Dusty is off running a 50k in NC Thursday which kills my barn day and then the next Pace is on Saturday, so I am not sure when I will get the chance to tackle Gem's fronts again. The latest will be next Tuesday which is fine. Doing a little each week isn't a bother and is less stress on both of us than tackling all 4 until I can get a hoof stand and move quicker. Once I have her feet looking the way I like I will try the Renegades on her again, so hopefully by the end of the month. I'm really wanting to get them on her before we can start trotting again in October. Once we can trot again I will hit the trails once more, but want to protection of the boots until that crack is grown all the way out.