Farrier came out Tuesday afternoon while I was at work. I can’t repeat this enough. Finding him has been a life saver. Not only is he amazing at what he does, but he comes out when I’m not home and even offers to let the horses back out after he is done.
This has killed off so much stress. I used to have to trailer Gem and Pete to TrainerJ’s barn the night before the farrier was to come and have them spend the night so they could be done the next day. I would then go get them and bring them home after. It was a pain and not very sustainable especially if something were to happen before the next due date.
My current farrier isn’t just prompt and willing to work with my work schedule. He makes all his shoes from scratch so H’Appys oddly mismatched sized hooves don’t need to be trimmed to a size or placed in an awkward shoe. He hot shoes and doesn’t use clips, two things that I’ve been on board with.
He comes out every five weeks or at least that is the plan. There were a few cycles in there where H’Appy decided to drop his shoe at week four, which isn’t so terrible except at $245 a pop the whole monthly habit was getting a bit hard to swallow. Thankfully the last two times he has managed to maintain for the entire five weeks.
Farrier always shoots me a text when they are leaving to ask if I want the horses back out. Typically I tell him he doesn’t have to bother unless they are in the closest pasture which they aren’t right now. I also love the quick dinner feeding when they are already inside.
The text opens up my chance to pester him with questions which he is always gracious enough to answer. Or he just knows I won’t stop if he doesn’t respond.
I asked if there was anything new and he informed me that the soles have changed enough that he left the pads off. He wants me to check in with him after I ride next to let him know how he does. I’m really excited they are gone but also a bit worried he will be sore.
H’Appy is not shy about telling me how he feels so I won’t need to guess. The pads weren’t really a big deal and if he needs to go back in them then fine, but less is more in my typically barefoot fanatic mind. If I ever do get him out of shoes it will be a very happy day for me.
It’s supposed to rain for the next week, no exaggeration, but it’s ok. H’Appy is always a bit sore after the farrier leaves and giving him a few days off has proven wise in the past. As he continues to grow out a better hoof I’m thinking that will go away.
It has been 9 months since I brought him home and he ripped his hoof to shreds. His first major hoofiversary will be the third week of May, when he did the damage to his already poor quality hoof capsule. The second one, the one I’m more interested in, isn’t until August when I found this farrier and had the xrays done by the lameness vet. That is day one of good rehab in my mind.
Hoof growth is super interesting to me and while I tend to lean towards barefoot for healthier circulation and overall function, sometimes that just isn’t possible with the horse you have. H’Appy proved that to me last summer. Maybe with his stronger hoof wall and thicker soles he can withstand barefoot in the future but other than hating the damage shoes do to my pasture, I’m not anti shoe either. I’m pretty much pro whatever makes my horse happy and pain free and at the moment that is shoes sans pads.