|Made really big so you can see Pete's face|
Farrier was slated to come out Friday afternoon to replace all four shoes. It was earlier than normal, only about 5 weeks, but she needed all new ones for the ride coming up.
Friday was one of the hottest days all week, if not the hottest, coming in around 91 or so degrees. When I pulled in both horses were grazing near the drive entrance as I waved my hand out my window and yelled a hello to Gemmie. Both horses raced me to the gate and by the look on Pete's adorable face you can see what his thoughts on the temperature was.
I grabbed Gem and took her up to the jump field to get some hand jogging practice in. She used to be a real brat at dragging her feet and making herself look nearly lame, but we have worked on it quit a bit. I wanted to do a refresher and she did remarkably well. Farrier texted me backing me up an hour due to a really busy day, so I let her hand graze for a while and then took her into the barn. BO has told me in the past that I am free to use the stalls whenever I want and since they all have a personal fan, I put Gem in the large stall, threw a flake of hay in and turned the fan on. She stood in front of it and munched her hay. Pete was none too pleased being left out alone, so he got to come in too.
|Pete living the high life|
Farrier finally texted me that he was 5 minutes out and so I grabbed Gem and put her in the cross ties. Guys, she is looking so healthy and fit right now. A little extra pudge to get her through a ride, but otherwise sleek and happy. I didn't grab a picture of her, so you will just have to take my word for it.
He got to work prying off the NGs on her fronts. I asked if they were able to be reused and he said that typically they can be reset a second time with nails only depending on the amount of wear. Mine showed some wear, but still had a lot of life in them, but I wanted a new set.
When he pulled off the front left shoe and put it on the ground, my stomach dropped to the floor and my heart raced. It looked like he had ripped off half her frog with it and the stench was awful. I made a comment and he looked back over his shoulder and laughed at my expression.
|Shoe on far left all cleaned up and ready for use straight nailed. Packing in the center which made me think half her foot came off. Not yet cleaned up shoe on the right.|
Apparently that was just the packing. Phew! I knew he had put packing in, but had visioned it just filling the hole and didn't realize it also sank into the frog and surrounding grooves. Heart attack averted. The stench he said is typical and doesn't change much if you use the copper packing although this time he did end up using that instead of plain packing. Not sure why beyond the fact that that was what he had readily on hand.
He cleaned the hoof up and it looked really good. The frog has even started to expand some which is what I want. Farrier says that he has never seen a frog not respond and expand in these shoes and that he loves them for that reason. In his opinion they are better than being barefoot for that one specific reason. I can tell you that in my N=1 experiment, her frogs have responded better to the NG than barefoot.
|All cleaned up and looking really nice.|
In the end he cleaned up her old NGs by removing the old side wall clips and any extra glue he found. He gave them to me to hold onto saying that if I run into trouble on the ride he can straight nail these ones on to save me money since they have so much life still in them.
I am really liking the shoes. A lot. I need to speak with him about straight nailing them and not using packing for when we aren't in race mode. He charges $260 for all 4 (front NGs, glued and nailed with packing and hot shod with steel on the back) and I can't afford to do that year round. No way. If he is willing to straight nail them and then re use the shoes then I should be able to afford to keep her in them. I can then have the extra security of the glue and packing for an actual race and eat the extra cost a few times a year versus every 6-8 weeks.