Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Well if last night I was leaning toward shoes this morning I'm leaning away from them. 
Tacky, but accurate...
Yesterday when I went to get Prair I was surprised to see a chain attached to her halter.  I used a chain with her briefly early on (when she was supremely unaware of where her beak was) and a few times when hauling to a new place (again, beak management).  I've never needed one at home so my little antenna went up.

Prair seemed quiet and normal to me when I pulled her out of pasture (if anything her relaxation and attention when being led has improved significantly in the last 4-6 months). I jogged her out behind the barn on my way back and she *seemed* to be significantly more comfortable than on Sunday. 

On Sunday her walk was a little short over gravel and her trot was reluctant at best.  In fact after I jogged her once, she gave me a "really lady??" look when I asked her to trot off again. (she politely declined)

Yesterday she moved up to the trot willingly several times.  Definitely a bit sore, but decidedly less so, and certainly more eager. 

Of course, if she was a loon bucket all day and needed a chain to get her to pasture it's possible that her "willingness" is really just excess energy building up from 10 days functionally off work.  I've seen Gus mask his lameness like a champ when he puffs up and gets excited.  He trots off like big fancy Dressage horse, but hen returns to his usual limp when he calms down... With that in mind I tried not to get too excited about the potential improvement, but still.

I threw Prairie on the lunge for a few minutes and while she did look a bit short, she didn't look uncomfy.  She's still swinging her head around, willing to stretch down, look around, etc.  When she's been super ouchy in the past she doesn't get distracted by what's around her and tends to just wear a face that says "ow, ow, ow, ow."

So, that info gives me hope that maybe I can get things under control more easily.  That hope prompted a text to the barn manager to move Prair to a dry lot for the time being and a text to the Farrier to not kill me if I haven't made up my mind yet.  He responded politely that he could easily push our possible appointment to Friday to give me one more day of observation...  (I really like him).

To speak to some of the comments on the last few posts, I appreciate the support.  I think my problem is that I don't know what my threshold is for allowing Prair to be sore.  I know successful transitions can take months (and months, and months), so I think my (unrealistic) expectations for a quick turnaround are predicated on the previous success we've seen.  I am honestly dismayed at how quickly Prair's feet got out of shape.  Rationally I know I shouldn't be surprised, I've seen feet transform in a week... so a couple months of shoes should have a huge impact on her feet, and specifically her soles. 

I would prefer to not miss the rest of the show season, but as I continue down this path, I'm not sure how mission critical that is, or how much I would enjoy it all the while thinking that the transition will just keep getting harder and harder if/when I ever try it again.


  1. I think you said it all here, "the transition will just keep getting harder and harder if/when I ever try it again."

    When Q shed her frogs and was sore for a few weeks in a way she'd never been sore before I SPAZZED. I spazzed so hard. But I waited (and spazzed and slept poorly), and then a month later she was SO much better. She just needed time and exercise on surfaces that helped encourage those tootsies.

    Granted, I'm not competing and taking the show ring by storm like, y'all...but if her feet are coming back and she's trending toward comfort this quick, I think it'd be a shame to not go with it. Who knows, maybe a weensie time off from wearing her crown in the ring will bring new insight for even more awesomeness to come!

  2. Hope the miss' feet fell better soon!

  3. Well it sounds like she's feeling a little better! Which is definitely a good thing. Here's hoping she continues to improve and you are able to stick to your guns!

  4. I have a big WB who has awesome round feet. However during show season I need studs so he has to have shoes. So what I do is right after the last show the shoes come off, we light hack or he has a mini vacation and I let his feet return to nature. It always makes me sad how his lovely feet go to crap so quick in shoes (despite a good farrier) but it gives me some comfort that in his down time he can regain his lovely round feet.

  5. If she's improved that much in such a short time, it's possible that a few days in the grassless paddock might work wonders. Maybe she can just go out on grass in the very early morning for a few hours, when sugars are lowest, and hang in the stone dust paddocks the rest of the time? It sounds like you have some options that could work.

    Fingers crossed that she continues to improve rapidly!


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