Today was a big day for Rusty. He got his first ever pair of shoes.
A year ago Rusty had a little funder episode. It wasn’t a normal sort of founder, no grass or grain involved. The vets didn’t have any idea. A farrier told me about cold weather founder, when they get sore when the weather gets cold. It was the only thing that fit. Rusty was back to normal within a couple of days.
I thought we had gotten away without any problems.
This winter he got sore again.
With some long distance help from a very good farrier friend I was able to get him comfortable. But he needed more. She said shoes would probably be a good thing. Wanting my horse to be sound and comfortable again I could clearly see that something more drastic had to be done and went in search of a farrier.
I was able to find a man who used to trim for me and the man I trained with years and years ago. I begged and pleaded for hi to please take a look at my horse. As with all good farriers he was booked and for as long as I have known him, not taking new clients. He’s an extremely nice guy though and agreed to meet me closer to where he would be seeing clients, in two weeks. It was a long time to wait but with trimming guidance from my friend, I would send her hoof pictures, she would tell me where to take more off, Rusty was comfortable and waiting two weeks was doable.
We met at the fairgrounds. He was there first. I had already broken one key rule of any farrier client relationship. I made him wait. I felt awful, he was nice about it.
We unloaded and he set to work. Rusty was beautifully behaved. Unfazed by the new location and people.
Dave, the farrier, said he would recommend shoes. I said I was expecting that and was happy with whatever it would take to get his feet back in order and sound again.
That quick little founder last winter hadn’t left hm untouched after all. The hoof wall was distorted and separating. It had happened so slowly and without lameness that I hadn’t noticed until he finally did come up sore and the hoof was growing out straight at the top. Then everything started to look like a train wreck all at once.
The kids watched in fascination as he pounded the shoe into shape. Rusty stood quietly, impatient and bored, but good. He took the hammering well with me clicking and shoving cookies in his mouth the whorl time. Dave was understanding and curious about the clicking and the training we do. We discussed how his wife gives her 16.2 hand gelding a cookie every time she gets on and has used that to teach him to stand still as she climbs on.
I enjoyed a discussion on feeding treats with a very good trainer who trains completely different than I do and still has no trouble giving treats.
By the time he was done we had caught up on old times and Rusty’s feet looked ten times better. We’ll be keeping this up for the next year or so and then, hopefully Rusty’s feet will be back to normal!