Thursday, June 9, 2011


I had a great conversation with Dr. Finn last night that got us somewhat caught up on what Miss P has been filling her time with.  I'll save some of the details for the (hopefully) forthcoming videos of her playing with other horses.

She said that as we spoke, Miss P was out in her own pasture and happily munching on grass while two cowbirds sat on her back.  I wish I had a picture, but just hearing that she was so relaxed and happy was pretty nice too...

I bombarded Dr. Finn with all sorts of questions.  How are her knees? what's up with her feet, what's the plan for body work? Any new concerns? Questions for me? what are you hoping for in the next few weeks?

Once she got a word in edgewise, it was clear that mostly she's really happy with how P is going.  She said that P's body is "morphing" quite a bit as she relaxes (partially from running around, partially from her shoes being pulled), and her whole topline is a different shape.  Regardless, I guess she's seeing the sort of changes that she was expecting and it's starting to have a good impact on her attitude and behaviors.

Apparently Miss P was doing her best to charge/bite/intimidate whoever came into her corral to feed/pat/touch her.  It took a crop whack to get her to back off initially, but I guess she's managing to behave her self these days. Dr. Finn claims that she's already acting like a much sweeter girl and the faux aggression has all but disappeared. 

In terms of her feet.. I'm curious to see them for myself.  It sounds like they are one of the larger question marks for Dr. Finn right now.  She'd really like Pia to be barefoot, but apparently the mare was really ginger and ouchy over the big gravel she has to cross in order to get to the pastures.  Sooo shoes went back on yesterday.

I'm slightly horrified/embarrassed that the shoes that came off P were a size "0".  Zero. Zero, as in pony sized.  I'd expect her to be in a 2... or something close to that.  This time she's in Natural Balance shoes, and she's wearing a size 1..

I've never had a horse in these shoes before, but I've known plenty of people who have and they swear by them.  Who knows.  So many things will be different for Miss P the next time I see her, I doubt I'll be able to determine what improvements will be because of her fancy new shoes :)

Dr. Finn seems to think that she's moving more comfortably already and that they'll be able to continuously improve over the next few trims.  She won't be able to widen as quickly as she could if she was barefoot, but keeping P comfy is a big step in the right direction.

With regard to herd integration, P has gone for a few walks through the group, and is socializing over the fence with everyone.  In theory last night was going to be her first chance to be totally turned loose with them (under supervision for about 30 minutes), so I'm anxious for a report on how she did with that.

Fingers crossed that she made friends!


  1. I don't use the natural balance shoes with Tucker because I need toe clips to help keep them on (he overreaches pretty badly in turnout), but I have a few friends whose horses are in them, and they said they'd never go back. Weird that she was in 0's, I definitely wouldn't have expected that. It sounds like these guys know what they are doing though, so everything's moving in a positive direction. And... cowbirds???? Really???? On our little princess???? Wow.

  2. There are all kinds of reasons why Ms. P might be sore on big gravel - having struggled with the barefoot route myself recently, I've learned a lot about what it takes to be successful. The biggest "ah-ha" for me is how much of a role diet and exercise play a role in the health of the foot. I highly recommend spending some time over at the Rockley Farm blog if you haven't already - Nic's pictures and explanations of how hooves grow and change out once out of shoes is really incredible. You might also see if you can get your hands on the book Feet First. If you choose to keep Pia shod, it's really good to be informed about your horse's feet and understand what's going on with them!

  3. It's a challenge sometimes transitioning to barefoot. Once you get there, it's awesome though.
    Sounds like Pia is a happy pasture girl and enjoying herself. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only chatterbox when it comes to my horse.

  4. That is some exciting news. I hope bare feet are in her future.

  5. Sugar has tiny feet but she's halter bred. Barefoot has helped her immensely. I've recently found a great barefoot trimmer and switched her to barefoot. I changed her whole nutrtion plan with advice from the barefoot person, and both Sugar & Rally are much's to hoping Pia gets there soon!!

  6. I hope Pia has bare feet in her future too. It might be something you can do when she's home. I know transitioning would probably take too long and she is there for training, so I guess it would make sense to keep the shoes on her so she's comfortable. Do a ton of research while she's at camp and see if it's something you're interested in. A great website is It has fantastic articles on almost all hoof related subjects. :) I'm a fan hehe.

    I'm glad she's still doing well. I can't wait to hear how her first herd time went. :)


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