|March 23, 2009||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
In my previous post, there’s a picture of the hoof stand my very talented younger brother welded for me on Saturday. It works WONDERFULLY. I’m thinking of painting it, but probably won’t get around to it.
Which brings me to my next point – I have found I LOVE puttering around with my horse’s feet. Minx is currently barefoot and I have been doing my own rasping. I had my farrier look at her feet on Thursday to make sure I wasn’t missing anything or screwing up any angles, and he pronounced my work good :). I probably rasp and touch up her feet once a week.
In this part of the country hoof protection is REQUIRED for all rides, which is why Farley is currently shod (She’s been competing at least every 6 weeks). The ONLY reason I shoe my horses is endurance rides. Minx hasn’t done her first ride yet this season so she is barefoot. Both my horses have excellent hooves. (Minx actually completed a 50 last year where hoof protection was recommended, not required – obviously a duck ride!). My horses only get shoes if they are going to a ride in the next 6 weeks, the rest of the time they are barefoot.
Part of the headache of getting to a ride is scheduling shoes to be put on. The farrier comes out to the boarding stable every 3 weeks. So I’m limited. Too bad if I want the shoes reset at 4 weeks because of hoof growth. In fact, the week before Farley was re-shod on Thursday, I didn’t ride her because I was uncomfortable with the amount of hoof growth and the angles. Depending on where the ride falls, I might be too close to the beginning or end of a shoeing cycle for my own comfort. I can’t decide to go to a ride on a whim. For example, if there was a ride this weekend, I couldn’t go because the farrier was out last week and won’t be out again for 2 weeks…….which means unless I call the farrier out special (if he’s even available!) my horse won’t get shoes.
Before I go on, I do want to put a plug in for my farrier – he’s WONDERFUL! I’ve only lost one shoe ever and that was the first set of shoes he put on my Standardbred. He’s helpful, nice, and good to look at. He’s in high demand in this area and I feel lucky to be able to use him (he has a standing appointment at the stable every 3 weeks for any horses that need to be done). To top it all off – he’s affordable! Shoes, including hot shoes with clips, are only $85! Trims are $35. His affordability is one reason it’s hard for me to justify going to hoof boots – the boots are going to cost more.
So what’s the answer? You might automatically say hoof boots….but it’s not that simple. Minx’s hooves are not shaped for most hoof boots on the market. Additionally, until I discovered I could do my own trimming, it was much more expensive to pay my farrier to trim AND do hoof boots. However I think it’s time to make a change……so what did change?
1. The introduction of the renegade and easy care glue on boot on the market. The renegade was the first boot I could see myself using. The easy care glue-on was the first boot that would actually be cheaper than shoeing my horse.
2. The realization that I could trim my own horses. The realization that I loved doing it.
3. The realization that Minx will be getting a light year. We won’t be doing more than 4-5 rides this year, all spread out. I’ll have to shoe for 6 weeks, for every single one of those rides.
4. Upon investigation, the renegades can be cut down for length, meaning that they should fit Minx’s rounder hooves. Finally a hoof boot that will fit. (at least the front hooves. I’ll figure out the backs later)
5. The incredible feedback from Karen Chaton’s use of the boots, and Ashley from “Go Pony” about Renegade customer service. Discovering Renegades generous return policy.
So, this post was a long way to say this: I ordered a pair of size 2 yellow renegades for Minx’s front feet. I’m having them lop off 3/8″ off the length, which should be perfect.
So what’s next?
Minx will be my guinea pig. I think keeping Farley in shoes is for the best right now. She wears down her feet MUCH fast then Minx when barefoot, and has an old hoof injury that I worry about (I like having the support of shoes there). Farley is doing more rides and more miles than Minx this year, so the steep learning curve will be with Minx whom I’m using recreationally, rather than on a 100 miler with Farley….I’ll reevaluate after a year.
I will need to figure out what I can put on Minx’s hinds. I doubt the renegade strapons will work. Perhaps the renegade glueons, which have the ability to be cut down like the strapons. The easy care options (glueons) can’t be cut down, which limits me to fit that comes out of the box.
Wish me luck!