Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Taking Off the Gym Shoes

It's been a slow news week for me. Cuna is busy standing in a field, which he loves, but it's terrible blog fodder. C-rage (his gangster name) was a superstar last Wednesday. I gave him Thursday off and he came in without a shoe on Friday. 

Fancy pony!
So. My weekend was spent watching other people horse show and waiting for the farrier. Again, really exciting reading.

It's probably just as well. That dull grey in the background of this photo is some pretty intense smoke from all the wildfires around here. Breathing=fail. My head hurts and I have a sore throat, yay.

Chillin' in the barn, dwags

Anyways. The smoke is disgusting, but it's still hot out. In order to give our farrier the best possible chance of doing a good job, it was a good day to learn to stand (dun dun dun ) INSIDE THE BARN. Up til now, I've just used the outdoor crossties because they're closer and I'm lazy and it never rains here, but winter will come eventually and I'll want him trained by then.

The advantage to my BOs thinking that Courage is the kindest and most adorable OTTB of all time is that they have taught him a very useful skill: cookie consumption. He was a little squirrely when we first went in to the barn, but then he was all "Hang on. I just stand here and you feed me cookies and give me scratches?" and I'm like, "Yes, that's the idea." And he's like "Why the h#11 didn't I do this sooner?"*

The jump jump farrier is so slow
I had a nice chat with the farrier about how his leg conformation changes his hoof growth and the difference between sport horse and race horse shoeing. We ended up pulling his remaining three shoes and putting a whole new set on. I don't know that he's ever worn steel shoes before. After the farrier put his fronts on, Courage picked up his right front and tried to chew the shoe.


I was expecting it, but I was strictly admonished that a certain little bay horse now only goes out or is ridden in bell boots, especially as his hooves/balance start transitioning to a whole new way of going. Sigh. Will I never escape bell boot hell?

I will say that I think of Courage as a veritable midget, especially next to the behemoth that is Cuna. After seeing him inside the actual barn alongside a normal-sized horse, I guess he's sort of big (in an adorable, cuddly, tiny, badass sort of way).

*He's a track veteran. Language is what it is.


  1. I had a long talk with someone yesterday about racehorse-to-sporthorse hoof transitions. My new pony has some hoof issues from being on the track, but in my mind, if they can escape without a crushed heel, we're doing okay.

    Also, I LOVE the image of him trying to chew on his new shoes. What a sweetheart.

  2. Lucy is in bells 24/7 and to this day I am still shocked when I see a horse not in bell boots! I always tell the owner, you are SOO lucky!

  3. I miss having a barefoot, bell bootless horse. On a random note, your barn is so fancy! I'm so amazed how WHITE the white cabinets are. It just looks so darn clean and organized. Awesome.

  4. Racehorse to Sporthorse hoof transitioning is tricky indeed! I went the full barefoot route with Jack, but that's because he was full of abscesses and his feet were a mess. He needed to go bare to recover. So far he's sound, time will tell whether or not he needs shoes back on.

    I haven't started with cross tie training yet, I still tie him to the wall track-style! But, I'm eventually going to have to do it, in case he ever ends up at a fancy barn with cross ties.

    Those wildfires sound awful. I don't even like to sit around a campfire very long because of the smoke, I can't imagine having to live around acres of campfire. Yuck! I hope they clear out soon!

  5. haha i live in constant bell boot lands too

  6. Yup all mine with shoes go in bell boots 24/7. Within days after I brought my OTTB home my farrier took off his track shoes and did steel.

  7. You're not alone, Alex lives in bell boots and we both hate them :-)

  8. Turnout bell boots in snowy regions are KILLER. I worked in a barn that had a couple go out in them, catching them with just one on automatically made my day suck. We ended up just buying a whole bunch of cheap extra pairs, so they'd have goofy mismatched ones, electrical tape them on, and we'd then still have to go out into the field in the spring to find what was buried beneath the snow.


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