I have changed to a different farrier. I have known this farrier for years, he shoes for a few of my friends and he is open to discussion, which is why I decided to ask him to do my horses for me from now on. He already knew about Minnie’s tendon injury and has seen it in the early stage during the time she and Sam were kept together. Yesterday he came out to look at Minnie.
It is awkward to change farriers, because of course they all know each other and recognise each other’s work. Technically, I had a good farrier, but that in itself is not enough.
Cassie was shoed two weeks ago and I asked for Minnie’s feet to be checked too, because I felt she was a bit short in front. I was told she was grand and she certainly wasn’t lame or in pain at the time.
I told the farrier this and he agreed that her feet looked very short and that she probably needed shoes. Closer inspection revealed that the outside of her right fore foot, which is the leg with the tendon injury, was worn away to the white line. Minnie has been out in the field for months and she only walks on the gravel on her way to the stable for her dinner. Obviously her feet have not been able to make the transition to barefoot, even though she’s had no shoes for more than six months.
The farrier put front shoes on and then he asked me to walk her out. Minnie gingerly stepped on the gravel. She was expecting pain and I could see it in her eyes. Then the farrier spoke. “Well”, he said, “the memory of the pain will linger a bit, but she should be fine by tonight”.
He had a look at Minnie’s tendon then and told me to give her a few weeks to grow a bit more hoof before taking her to the vet to be scanned again. Then he proceeded to tell me how to rehabilitate her if the vet gives her the go ahead. It was very good advice and I was impressed.
I’m relieved that there doesn’t seem to be anything seriously wrong with Minnie’s leg. But I can’t help thinking how my own lack of knowledge ultimately caused Minnie pain. If Minnie had been shoed two weeks ago, she would have been spared this.