Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Saga Continues

**Apologies in advance for old photos and weird formatting**

When I was in college I felt like I was on a never ending rollercoaster shitstorm and the world was out to get me and my dreams and NOTHING ever worked out for me.

Then I grew up and realized thats just life and I needed to put my big girl panties on a deal with it.

Props to all of you who stuck around through that whiney bitch ass phase in my life.

However, the shitstorm goes on.

2016 seems to be a random mess of terror attacks, political bullshit, riots, racism, radicalism, Brexit,  and people dying everywhere. I don't like thinking about it and admittedly hide in my tiny, relatively safe corner of Ohio and pretend for a few hours a day that horrible shit isn't happening around me.

It feels like everyone says that "this year is the worst" about every year, but 2016 truly is a clusterfuck. 

Have we tried unplugging 2016 waiting ten seconds and plugging it back in?
I'm not sure if I've been living in denial or what, but looking back and analyzing, it HAS actually been particularly brutal in my little corner of the world. Yankee surgery in Feb., car troubles, switching jobs, constant anxiety over money, starting a dual graduate degree, dealing past and new injuries, etc. I think it all just piled up to my breaking point (yesterday). Seemingly easy to type out, & might seem small to others battling things like cancer or divorce or death, but for me...its a lot. *Fledgling adult human reaching breaking point* #adultingishard

In reality though, none of those things are truly horrendous and its all about perspective honestly. However, I admittedly have lost what semblance to normalcy I was clinging to when Bacardi tossed BOTH his front shoes yesterday...yet again. I think my dibilitating back injury and new medication hasn't helped my mental state, but I definetly lost grip on reality for a minute or 73 when I got that text.

Me? I would never

I know, I know, first world problems.

But I really thought we were past this 'last time.' We took a 5 week break after repeated shoe flingings, tried glue on shoes WITH clips and all seemed well in the world when he didn't rip them off after a day.


5 days. Thats all it took.

We are at a loss on what to do. Farrier hasn't seen this happen ever in 25 years, I've never HEARD of a horse losing shoes this frequently ever, my trainer is baffled and social media friends are like ???

Problem child Exhibit A

I definitely took about 2 hours to completely pout and complain to my lovely, supportive horse friends and then I took a nap. When I woke up I felt a renewed fervor to ponder why this is happening and how to fix it.

**Please for the love of god if someone suggests a new farrier, so help me....feel free to PM me, but my farrier is just dandy. He handles EME horses and Yankee feet just fine. I love him and he's a saint.


The ONLY thing that has changed in the last year is B receiving routine bodywork. So I frantically texted my massage lady my thoughts and she actually agreed that the bodywork could be changing his way of moving so much that he simply is not used to moving this way and grabs the shoes off. Repeatedly. Hmmmmm. Kind of makes sense actually.

Its a small shot, but its all I got.

His feet are actually quite strong and healthy minus having been ripped to shreds the last few weeks. So the new POA is to try and transition him to barefoot.

You may state, "But oh, Monica, last time you tried that he went lame"


See; shitty rocky field

I also was riding only in a shitty rocky field at that point in time and not groomed arenas & soft grass. Last time he yanked those suckers off (2 weeks ago) he was great barefoot on the lunge and under saddle. So we are going to try it. 

So possibly; Goodbye show season. Goodbye topline. Goodbye riding.

I don't know. I know it could be a quick transition or a slow one, but either way I'm committed to trying this out.

He's going to stay inside during this sweltering heat wave, get spoiled with a shitload of extra bedding, packed with magic cushion for a few days and then we will begin operation Transition Barefoot and turnout.

I'm incredibly bummed that this is how it panned out, but I want him comfortable and I want him SOUND. This shoeing mess is some bullshit. So if anyone has transitioned to barefoot, please, feel free to give some tips. I am literally clueless. Yankee has to be shod because he has the typical horrendous shitty TB feet and Dolly and Spirit were barefoot always so I never had to transition. HALPS.

Bacardi i love you, but you're a pain in my ass

Sidetone if anyone has unwanted Cavallo boots, feel free to hand them over *laughs nervously*


  1. Depending on feet size I've seen a couple of pairs of Renegade boots for sale used... Renegades are my dream boots for my barefoot-but-probably-shouldn't-be OTTB mare. Putting shoes on a horse who is only passably sound due to a blown suspensory, however, seems stupid. She has the flattest pancake feet in the world. I don't bother with supplements; no improvement over two years with them in her system. I think only serious magic/an act of god will ever make that mare's feet concave enough to get her soles up off of the ground.

    I'd invest in fly boots if anything to cut down on the stomping damage (I like the Kensington brand, fleece or no fleece ONLY - all others have gotten destroyed by my girls within days/weeks). My farrier has basically ceased taking any shedding sole off both horse's feet (some of my previous farriers have taken it off to make the foot "look nice") to give them some extra pad while it's hot and the ground is hard and they're stomping, which he asked about and I fully support. I own a rasp and will do a little bit if I have rough or torn off hoof, which seems to slow down the damage a little in my eyes. I wish I had an Andrea from The Reeling to cast my horse's feet for me - maybe your magical farrier has heard of that? Good luck!

    1. Thank youuuu!!! This is all helpful. I actually used to have Kensington wraps for my mare, I'll have to see if I still have them or if they went with her when I sold her

  2. "Farrier hasn't seen this happen ever in 25 years, I've never HEARD of a horse losing shoes this frequently ever, my trainer is baffled and social media friends are like ???" This is so reminiscent of that now ancient but never old End of Zee World flash animation! FIRE ZEE MISSILES!

    If you join the endurance groups on Facebook you'll see a lot of posts selling used boots from EasyBoots to Renegade to Cavallo. Figure out his sizes and keep your eyes peeled for deals. I took care of both of my horses' feet exclusively until last fall when I moved into shoes. I'm happy to share any advice I can if you need based on my 4 years of dealing with 8 bare hooves. =)

    If you don't follow the Rockley blog, great place to see how a lot of sport horses have been able to transition: Lots of walking and movement over varied terrain as much as possible and a good diet seem to be the most key. You could take him hiking? lol You've GOT this!

  3. I have done this several times with my TB - who admittedly has some of the worst feet that any of our farriers or vets have seen. He grows good hoof wall,but NO SOLE, NO heels, and DEFINITELY NOT STRAIGHT! When we went barefoot for 2 years his feet were AWESOME! They looked the best ever. We used Easyboots and I cannot recommend them enough. They are great for shows when you cannot always have perfect footing. The only reason we went back to shoes is that we could not get him to grow sole depth, like at all.

    If B has ok soles then I cannot image you not being back in work sooner rather than later. The biggest thing I was always told was that the feet cannot improve if the are not moving.

    Hope any of that helped.

  4. Best recommendation is to get him on a kick butt hoof supplement and allow him to gimp around on tons of different ground textures to toughen those footsies up! Totally worth it! Love having all barefoot horses!

  5. I got nuthin but I FEEL YOUR PAIN!

  6. Sending you a virtual glass of wine as you go down this road. I do not envy you.

  7. I have an Appendix QH that has navicular syndrome that was throwing shoes DAILY. Without pads and shoes was lame, lame, lame but we couldn't keep shoes on for longer than a few days at best. Had my farrier finally recommend hoof boots with wedge pads to best support his feet and change the angle of his foot to better support his body. This combined with chiro/bowen/body work has helped to change the way he moves-he's now more comfortable barefoot then he ever was in shoes and I only have to use the boots while riding (to support his foot structure due to navicular). I'm in Canada and the hoof boots here aren't overly expensive, I use Old Mac's and they've been great and would be even more reasonably priced with the USD being so good compared to ours!

  8. I'm convinced Keratex hoof hardener is magic! It's spendy, but a bottle will last you a really long time (just don't knock the bottle over like I did lol). It works really well to paint on their soles to help them not be so ouchy on hard ground. Hope the transition is as quick and painless as possible!

    1. I'm going to have to get some of this!!

  9. Dude I feel for you. This sucks. Good luck with the transition I'm sure it will go well

  10. I'm currently working with a barefoot farrier. Her recommendations so far have been lots of turn out, good diet, Keratex, and she absolutely swears by Durasole. We were going to cast Fiction's feet but ultimately decided against it.

    Fiction went through a period of intense pain and had to be booted and buted. He seems fine now and will go unbooted in turn out and booted for riding. I have Kensington fly boots on his front legs to limit stomping. They are the best fly boots. I use Easyboot Epics since the Gloves did not fit his feet. The Epics are so-so (see my recent post), so I'll be looking into different types of boots for later use.

    Poor Woman Showing transitioned to barefoot a couple of years ago. I would highly recommend reading through her process. It's long and involved. Fiction hasn't been nearly as bad, I believe, but I'm still relatively realistic as to how long it'll be before we're riding again. And since I can't compete in boots, who knows when we'll show again :(

    1. As a secondary note - I've tried every hoof supplement out there. None of them made a difference. Fiction's hooves were never the problem - it was always the nails of the shoes + fly stomping.

    2. Foot supplements are similar to joint IMO. I feed MSM and biotin instead of the massively expensive fancy supps

  11. One of our Quarter horses used to throw shoes like it was his job. We started him on Horseshoers secret and it has been a NOTICABLE difference. Worth a shot... I guess... Good luck.

  12. ughhhhhh Bacardi whyyyyyy :( good luck!

  13. My old horse Carlos used to pull shoes constantly, we switched to a different clip type and also he wore bell boots only when being ridden and he got limited turnout (which was for other reasons but helped the shoe loss) I hope going barefoot helps Bacardi out!

  14. So frustrating! I hope barefoot works this time around :)

  15. I had Houston on a supplement that smart Pak says is More for circulation but the change in hoof growth was so significant I have both horses on it.

    Annie is also a shoe puller though not to your degree. Double bell boots are Annie's jam. It sounds stupid but it seems to work.

    1. Oh I've tried that, he just rips them off lol

  16. Fwiw none of the horses that I've pulled shoes off of and gone to barefoot needed a significant time to transition. We are mostly hard dirt out here in California for paddocks and I had decent arenas. The only thing I did was avoid really rocky trails or long gravel roads.

    Btw, I have extensive experience with renegade boots and saw them mentioned above. If I horse pulls shoes, he's likely to pull renegade boots. Boots aren't a magic fix for underlying problems.

  17. Girl, my horse used to throw all 4 shoes actually 5 times more frequently than B. bell-booted and bubble-wrapped or not. My farrier told me and Spar to eff ourselves and left, and all the trainers shrugged. I know this will suck to hear, but I it's a "owning a super-althetic, super mentally wired, playing too hard and non-stop moving" special brand of OTTB thing. Nothing hel

    1. Nothing helped--NOTHING. Except eventually with the passage of a shit-ton of time, he sort of figured his feet out and started throwing shoes at a moderate now, rather than severely high level. It sucks but I think they just have to sort themselves out. Putting more protection on them beyond bell boots seems to kind of make things worse. Hang in there. It's a really disheartening situation but I do think it s something he ll grow out of himself. Also, being a little stingy with the bute can help them connect stupid antics with ouchie footsies. Not necessarily a bad thing when they need to learn the self-preservation they were born without.

    2. This was oddly reassuring to hear haha! Thanks for the tips and sharing your story!

  18. I can't help you with transitioning unfortunately.. I haven't done it. None of my horses have ever worn shoes consistently. I put shoes on some of them when I was younger, but it was only for one cycle and they went straight back to barefoot. I think the reason there was no transitioning for them is because they had always been barefoot. The problem with OTTBs is that they have been wearing shoes since they were.. what one? Or two? So their hooves never had time to grow like they should have. I think hooves should be treated just like their skeletons. I don't think they should be shod for the first time until they are four at least. That's just me though.

    Things that are good for their hooves is varying surfaces (grass, dirt, pea gravel, asphalt, etc.) and making sure they have ZERO infection! If they have any kind of thrush or anything it will make their frogs tender and they will walk wrong and not build up the back of the hoof like they need to. So keeping them trimmed correctly and often, keeping the foot infection free and walking over varying surfaces are what I've heard are the secrets to success. Exercise is also important. Lots and lots of exercise. The more they move the more they build up that digital cushion and the stronger their hooves get. Diet is a big part too, but you have that covered I think. As little sugar as possible. You could treat for thrush even if you don't see or smell any and then spray the bottoms of the hooves with salt water daily to prevent any infections. As his frog and heels widen he'll be less likely to carry dirt around in his hooves and that will mean less habitable environment for the fungus/bacteria.

    You can do it!!!