Sunday, July 21, 2013


I'm beginning to rethink the whole leave-the-horse-barefoot thing. Ashke is tender on his front feet again. Just like last summer. I think between the rain and the constant pawing he does in his stall, he has managed to wear away the tips of both his toes. I got more foam core to go into his boots, so that he has a little bit of cushion when we trail ride, but I can't ride him in the boots if we are going to be in the arena.

Insert four letter word here.

So, today, I went to the barn with J. Liz was there photographing another horse, who was misbehaving, so she asked me if she could get some shots of Ashke at Liberty in the arena. I said sure, and took him out.

I could tell from the moment I turned him loose that there was something off with him. He just wasn't moving like he was last night when we let him loose with Cali. I thought maybe it was the fact that this was the third day in a row and he just really wasn't interested in running. I got him to move around and Liz got some nice pictures. Then, after I put his halter back on, he demonstrated his ability to jump a crossbar. After we did that a couple of times, I made the crossbar a vertical and he went over it twice more.

Again, the photos you are about to see are copyrighted by Elizabeth Lord.

He would trot right at her, all arched neck, flared nostrils and pricked ears, never getting too close.

I remember a year ago when he couldn't trot over cavalletti or jump a simple raised bar because his back and hips were so weak. He's still not sure about the timing, but he certainly was willing to try.

After our photo shoot, I took him in and groomed him. His right butt was sore. I'm thinking the little bit of jumping we've done in the past three days has made that right hip sore. I did some massage on it before saddling him up. He seemed eager enough when I got on him, but he was really short striding on the front and his trot was rough. I couldn't get him to stride into his walk. I asked him for a short canter and got this:

I stopped, took him back to the barn and unsaddled. I gave him a little bit of bute and some apple bites. We will rest it and see how he is on Tuesday night.

He was so sweet walking back to the barn from the arena. He kept reaching out his muzzle and just barely touching the back of my shirt. I think he was very confused by why we had stopped riding so soon.


  1. Oh that is discouraging, knowing they are sore for some reason. No changes in feed?

    I have never been upset having a barefooted TB mare. The wet of Oregon can last long(making soles soft) and the plentiful grasses too. But overall, since they made the EB Glove in WIDE, I probably won't ever look back to shoeing her with "Easy walkers". Though if I did shoe, the E.W. or the "Epnonas" is the only choice for less concussion and leg health. Easy boot is reasearching a glue on...killer strength! That will be the next for us if they can manage Oregon's wet.

    I hope you may figure out the issue soon, for your gorgeous Ashke!
    I had a problem with the "E.B. Trails" very thin base and way too high for the pasterns. My mare got really bruised with them, unfortunately.

    1. I prefer the barefoot approach, but I also don't want him not able to move. I've gotten some more of the foam to fit inside his EB BC Trail boots, which helped with concussion last time. They fit loose around his pasterns and haven't caused any issues so far, but I can't ride him in the deep sand of the arena without them filling up. The EB Backcountry Trail boots are the gloves with the trail boot tops. I can order the glove tops and switch them out if I am so inclined, but so far I have removed several Prickly pear spines from the outside of the Trails, so I am happy I got those specifically for that reason. We have a lot of low lying prickly pear in Colorado, which is sometimes difficult to avoid if we are going through brush.

      I've been thinking a lot about what might be going on with him and I think it might be part hoof and part hip. The big muscle on his right hip, where he had the injury we've been rehabbing, was sore yesterday. He let me know that it was sore when I was grooming him. I'm thinking it's probably due to asking him to jump. When I first got him he couldn't step over cavalletti poles laying on the ground, because he couldn't lift his feet up that high, because he had no muscle to do so. For him to be so willing to jump over anything is an amazing feat, but I also think we are using his butt muscles in a way he's not accustomed to and it's made him a bit sore. Hopefully, we can get a good ride in tomorrow night and there will be no sore muscles and no sore feet.