My particular moral compass that lets me take an extra tea bag from a restraunt without guilt, forbids me from lying. I will wheedle, skirt around, and otherwise distract the asker, but when it comes right down to it, I try to avoid lying at all costs.
I really really really like my farrier. He does a great job. He’s easy on the eyes. He’s non judgemental (or rather, he won’t say anything, even though you know he dissagrees because he gets quiet). He’s good with the horses. He’s mostly on time. He’s polite and has a wonderful smile. He’s more than just competent at trimming and shoeing – he’s fantastic.
As with any professional I like, I want his respect.
When he took off Farley’s shoes in September, we talked about people who kept their horses barefoot at all costs (even if the horse was paying the price) and we both agreed that the barefoot extreme does no one any good. I did not tell him I was planning on “going barefoot”.
When he trimmed Farley in October, we talked about how it’s good to let a horse to go barefoot when off work. I showed him my renegades and he trimmed the back of my LF boot for me. I did not tell him of my intention of riding a 50 barefoot and casually mentioned my next 100 was in February.
Today he casually asked when my next ride was. I dithered around and told him the end of February. I started to make excuses of how I didn’t know for sure because we hadn’t ridden for 2 weeks, she had taken some funny steps 2 weeks ago etc etc.
Then I stopped.
This was silly.
I wasn’t fooling anyone. Chances are I AM going to 20 mule team. Chances are I’m doing it barefoot. I need the farrier on my side.
I told Mike I didn’t know whether I was going to shoe for the 100 mile race in February.
I told Mike I had ridden 2 50’s in the fall barefoot.
Then I told him that if Farley told me she needed shoes, I would put them on. And if he saw something, and he thought I should put shoes on, I would listen.
His only comment was: “It’s good to keep shoes off a horse as long as they are doing OK with the work”. (or something like that. I was so nervous at this point I don’t really remember the exact wording…)
Whooo Hoooo! What a relief. He says her feet look great. I watched him carefully as he trimmed. Even though he trims the frog more than I would like, he didn’t touch the sole. He told me that I was letting the heel on the LF get to long, and the toe on the RF run away. He doesn’t seem to mind that I’m rasping between visits.
I let him know I have no intention of being the sole provider for my horses feet, and even if I do much of my own trimming/rasping, I will still be paying him to look at her feet every 9-12 weeks because I value his professional opinion and his eye.
I’m feeling good!