No Hoof, No Horse
In the horsey world, there is a saying, "No Hoof, No Horse." What this basically means is if your horse doesn't have good feet, he's not much good for anything. Of all the different breeds there are of horses, Thoroughbreds have a reputation for having really bad feet. Ahh, you know where this is going, don't you?
Last Thursday I had the farrier come out because Victor obviously had tender tootsies. Limping, not walking correctly, tripping over himself, it was clear something was going on. Along comes Dave The Farrier, who I adore, and after inspecting Victor's feet proclaims, "These are the worst feet I've ever seen on a horse. I can't believe he's still walking." Then he looks at me and says, "I have no idea what to do. I'll have to get my friend to come out, he's had 25 years of experience." I look back at him and say, "But, but, you're the farrier. You're SUPPOSED to know what to do." He shrugs and replies, "See ya Saturday."
I take Victor back to his stall, a process that takes 20 minutes because we have to stop every few feet because his feet are so sore. All I can think is that they're going to tell me I have to put him down.
Yesterday rolls around and Dave The Farrier and The Expert Farrier show up. I've already been to the ATM and pulled out every penny I have. The Expert Farrier looks at Victor's feet and tells Dave, "Shoe the fronts." Dave puts the shoes on and The Expert Farrier looks at me and begins giving me my To-Do List.
1) Pick out all the rocks in Victor's pen every day.
2) Rub iodine on his soles every night to toughen the skin.
3) Buy special hoof supplements that cost $50 a bucket.
4) Put special boots on his feet so he doesn't throw a shoe.
5) Hope for the best.
6) Give me $80.00.
Victor is already walking better with his new shoes on his front feet. The front feet of a horse absorb 70% of the overall weight of the horse which is why we shoed those first (he was barefoot previously). Today we walked up a small hill and Victor didn't hesitate once. Except for when he stepped on the back of my sneaker and I yelled at him to get off me.
Here's Victor in his rock free pen with his snazzy new shoes. On the left is "Peyote" who Victor tolerates and on the right is "Meteor" who Victor likes to bite through the bars. It's a good thing I had a substantial stash of yarn before I got this horse.