Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Saddles and Hooves

Yesterday afternoon I decided to take Blaze for a test ride in the arena and see how the saddle did on his back with just the numnahs it came with. That's right, an afternoon ride, as the temperature suddenly dropped from 100+ to the 80s in the last few days, hurray! Blaze was feeling quite mighty and proud of himself on the lunge line and I thought he needed to blow off a little more steam so I let him free in the arena and gave the lunge whip a little POP which was all he needed. He galloped and bucked and had a grand time then gave two big SNORTS and trotted back to me and dropped his head like okay, ho hum, we can work now. Such a funny boy. Sometimes he just has fits of big stallion mojo attitude, and then lapses back into his quiet gelding self. I rode for about half an hour, just enough to work up a sweat as I wasn't confident in the saddle fit. Turns out I was right to be cautious as when I pulled the Free 'n Easy it had left two matching dry pressure point spots on his back. Argghh! Its just not distributing my weight well and I can't get it to fit right. That coupled with the fact that the seat is quite flat and I feel like I might fall off the back after being so used to my deep seat and high cantle..I dunno, I might just be sending the saddle back to the gal instead of buying it. Its all so frustrating!
 Today the new barefoot trimmer came out to work on Desire and it was an eye opening experience. Up to this point my education on hooves has been pretty minimal, I know a bad shoeing job when I see one and have tossed quite a few farriers whose work I didn't like, but my actual knowledge of what a quality hoof should look like is pretty minimal. Right off the bat the trimmer said Desire's hooves were so flat to the ground no wonder she was sore, her coffin bone was barely protected. by sole She didn't trim anything off but just worked the rasp. She said the goal is to protect the sole, get some flare off her front left and prevent the inclination for the toe to curl on the front right. She said the hormones of the baby and the sugars in Desire's diet were probably also largely contributing factors and recommended I switch Desire off grain hays to grass hay and no grain (she's getting half of half a scoop of mare and foal grain once a day, so minimal but its still there). So here I am thinking all is well besides Desire being a bit tender footed and apparently she is dangerously flat footed! Everything is a learning experience. The lady is an Easyboot dealer and fit Desire's Gloves and recommended a power strap for the front right boot then sized her hind hooves as 0's that will probably need power straps as well.  She said to make sure any riding is done with all four feet protected by the boots due to the very thin sole. All this coupled with the NASTY bite Desire gave Sheza this morning at feeding time (I mean a full mare pinned-ear nasty bite on the face, not a mother's nip) points to it being weaning time. Once I separate them Desire will be off all grain, switched to grass hay, and start losing some of that gut and hopefully get some good hoof growth. I haven't been able to reliably buy quality grass hay which is why I've stuck with the grain hays, also the horses clean the grain hay up much better. Desire is enough of a pig that I'm not too worried about her eating the grass but I know Blaze isn't much of a fan. We'll see what kind of hay I can find. There are rumblings that hay is going to be scarce this winter and prices jacked way up.
 So. Need to figure Desire's diet out, the saddle situation out..order more Easyboots and a couple of power straps...oy.


  1. Fitting saddles to Arabs is SO hard. Sucks that the Free 'n Easy isn't working! Have you thought about treeless? Loads of Arab people swear by them.

    The trimmer sounds quite good. I keep meaning to pick up a bale of grain hay for vet check food, but I think it's way too rich to feed full time. I know lots of people do, but I'm with the trimmer on that! Ride Desire as much as you can with boots on - the movement will really help her grow better feet.

  2. I'm not into treeless, I know it works well for some people but I'm not a fan. See I wasn't under the impression oat hay was too rich to feed full time. But I guess that's just me. There is limited grass hay available here and the most reliable, good quality hay ever available here are the grain hays. Grass hay is $17/bale here right now! I don't know what you pay in your area but that is just a BIT much for my wallet when feeding 2 horses, a mini, and a growing foal. I'm thinking just switch Desire to the grass but then I think well if its having this effect on her, why not put the filly onto grass as well to prevent any of this insanity..and the dollar signs just keep mounting up! I'm starting to like my husband's idea of growing our own hay in our bottom field.