Friday, December 12, 2014

Shoeing Issues, Trailer Issues, Lesson Issues *Updated

Just a bit irked about Mikey's shoe. For the couple months I'm at this barn, my farrier's assistant (who is a farrier with his own clients) is going to shoe Mikey because it fits into his travel cycle when he'll already be visiting the barn for another horse and it'll save everyone time and money. He usually does the finishing work after my usual farrier puts the shoes on, so no big deal.

I think I'm about to become that horrible client farrier's hate.

Pros: My horse has a shoe again. The farrier made a special trip out ($$$) to make sure Mikey has his shoes back. I am happy about that.

Cons: The farrier essentially had to do a reset mid-cycle, so Mikey's front hooves are now two different lengths. I can understand this. Mikey is due to have his other feet done next week, so that off balance problem will be fixed then. What I have a problem with is it is the wrong type of shoe, and it looks like the hoof is much too small. Which leads me to believe he was not trimmed the way my usual farrier has been doing it. I really should have written down exactly why they slightly changed how he was being trimmed up front and put toe clip shoes on the fronts. I think it was to make the heel base wider? I'm really not sure, but it was something that will be better for flatwork. This is why I write down anything important. It also seemed like there was an excessive amount of shoe out behind the heel without any hoof over it. I know some will stick out, but this seemed like too much. But I am not a farrier and do not know much about shoeing, so I hate to question the work. Maybe he just didn't have a toe clip shoe in his truck and didn't realize Mikey needed them. I don't know, so I don't want to presume.... but he never mentioned he didn't have the right shoe when I talked to him yesterday.

Ok, so I'm seriously irked about the shoe. I messaged my trainer but haven't heard back. I'm trying to figure out how to word my question of "why the heck does my horse have the wrong shoe on" in a way that won't offend anyone. I also am willing to pay my usual farrier more to make the trip out to my horse. The farrier that put Mikey's shoe back on yesterday shoes one other horse in the barn. The lady that does most of the riding of that horse noticed that the farrier is putting on one new shoe every cycle. Like a rotation of one new, 3 reset each time and it's a different new one each time. I voiced this concern to my trainer (who works very closely with my usual farrier) and she said it did sound odd, but that's not how the two normally work and there's probably some reason like a lost shoe somewhere in the cycle.

The more I talk the more I want my normal farrier out to shoe the horse. There are two other horses that use my usual farrier, but they're 3 weeks ahead of Mikey's shoeing cycle. I'd rather pay for the single horse trip a little before Mikey is due so he ends up on the same cycle as the other two horses.

As I wrote this, I pulled the trigger and texted my question about the shoe to the farrier that set Mikey. Google produced an article about the effects of quarter and side clips vs front clips and it effects how the hoof expands (makes sense). So now I have a toe clip on the right front, and side clips on the left front. The hooves are two different shapes. My horse will most likely not move properly.

I did ride last night, and he was off balance and slightly lame. He did a very good job hurting the inside heel bulb. I'm not sure how much is the heel and how much is the shoe. He did come round and through very nicely for being off (because he's amazing and will work through anything), and I stuck to a lot of walk, some trot and a lap of canter each way with changes across the long diagonal. About 20 min of work. I wanted to work him more since he's been in, but I don't feel right working him that hard. He was very sane for being locked in his stall for two days. Though life probably wasn't too bad. No going out in the rain and wind and cold to eat not so great grass. Instead, stay in the dry warm stall eating as much second cut hay as he could eat.

Mikey is going to wear a betadine bootie (betadine, diaper, vet wrap, duct tape) for the next few days for turnout to help toughen the heel bulb while protecting it from the hard ground. I'll probably wrap it to ride. We did that before when he dug his hind foot into his front on take off jumping a ditch (yes, he was wearing bell boots, this event actually made me buy the Dalmar no turn bell boots that have a carbon fiber strike plate covering the heel bulbs). He ripped the shoe half off, and dug a nice hole into the outside heel bulb of the same foot. That was a fun day, holding his foot up so his clips didn't dig into the sole, all while it bled all over my hands. My trainer had to run the quarter mile back to the barn to get pliers to get the shoe off, and some vet wrap and gauze so the horse could walk back to the barn. I then hauled Mikey so his shoe could be put back on that day. He had about a week off, and then we wrapped it to ride for the next month or so. I had a soft indoor to ride him in at the time, so we were just smart about what we did with him.

Anyway, I'm just getting angry about it. I am supposed to have a lesson Sunday where I haul up to the usual farrier's barn (my trainer is leasing it for the winter), and while I don't want to take him up if he's still not quite right, but I want her to see it so I can either get an answer or reassurance that it will be fine. But my new truck isn't responding to the brake controller box properly, so I may not even go. I hooked up last night to check the drop hitch I use is still appropriate (it's not, I need a no drop or 1in drop), and to check the wiring... Well when I apply the brakes, my marker lights on the trailer go out and the brake lights go on. Husband is already on it. I needed to go to tractor supply and get vet wrap because I can't make it out to the tack shop Saturday to get the cheap stuff, so we'll add a hitch to the list too.

This week hasn't worked out well!


When in doubt, just call the farrier. I could have avoided a whole mess of worry. He couldn't hot shoe because of the smoke alarms (they're wired to a company, so no battery pop out) and you have to to correctly fit a toe clip shoe, so he planned on swapping the shoes from toe clips to side clips. Mikey has been going incredibly well, and I don't want to compromise that, I'd rather everything stay exactly the same. So I contacted the barn owner and asked if I could pop the batteries out of the alarms when he'd be there (that's when I learned it's a fancy security system).  She said I can't disconnect them, but she can call the company and have them turned off while the farrier is working (she does that for her own horses), I just have to remind her in the morning on the day of. I asked the farrier if that was good with him and if he'd be able to reset the side clip shoe (again), he said absolutely. Farrier good, barn owner good, lots of thank yous and praise for both for tolerating a crazy me, and it's all much better! I just need reasons for things, I feel much better!

Now on to fixing the truck (husband checked fuses first, and now he's going to check the grounds in the electric), and hoping Mikey feels up to a lesson Sunday.


  1. Does your regular farrier get photos if you can text them to him? I've had a farrier that did, and was often able to text him a photo of something dubious and have him explain it to me or figure out he needed to come out -- all from the photo. Might be worth an ask?

    Shoes and trucks are both big money-sucking pains!! I hope they get sorted out for you...

  2. Yes, he can receive pics. I'm hesitant to do that because I know I am an overreactor, which is why I often pester my trainer first. The toe clip shoes are new as of a couple shoeing cycles ago (I think), so side clips aren't a big deal... And the hoof did look a little small when it was naked, so perhaps the toe clip fills it out in a way the side clips don't. I also prefer the look of a toe clip, it's very sharp and neat!

    I did hear back from the farrier who put the shoe on, he said he couldn't do the burn in he needed to do for the toe clip because of the smoke detectors in the barn. I can appreciate that for sure, not doing it because he couldn't do it properly. I'm wondering if I can somehow get the smoke detectors turned off or batteries popped for a couple hours when my horse gets his feet done so he can keep getting the toe clips? Seems like a weak excuse, but a legitimate one, but I might be able to work something out...