Do we have Eli’s front feet straightened out? I think so … maybe? The last time he had a shoe tacked back on by the farrier, you might remember, I wrote “plz no bars!!” by Eli’s name on the farrier list that’s on one of the white boards. So. He does not have bar shoes on anymore, on either of his front hooves. Miraculously, the bar-free shoes and pads have stayed on, through turnout and riding.
BUT JUST IN CASE.
I got a few things for Eli’s hooves, should he try to walk right out of a front shoe again. One, I got him a new pair of the bell boots I like for him to live in. The previous pair had lasted a while but they were getting a bit shredded around the bottoms and starting to tear or dry out in places.
I got him some Cavallo Simple Boots, too. These are basically for when he might pull a shoe. I can put one of these on him instead of wrapping the hoof and he could actually still be turned out. I also got the inserts to go with, in case that’s necessary but it doesn’t seem like it would be. That purchase was more of a rather-have-and-not-need than need-and-not-have type of thing.
I also nabbed the Equifit pastern wraps, as he may need them to go with the hoof boots. As it turns out, I rather like them for his hind pasterns for when I ride him. So I see getting a ton of immediate use out of them!
I can’t use Durasole on his front soles (because, you know, he’s in pads now) but I still use some for his hind feet. And I have been trying to use the Absorbine Hooflex more regularly (have loved it for years), even though it gets near-solid in cold weather. But that’s what barn microwaves are for! Eli also gets a supplement with biotin in it.
Please note the directions Eli’s toes are pointing.
This is why he has all kinds of boots and wraps. This is why he gets injections and chiro and massages whenever I can afford those things. Okay, well, the injections are mandatory whether my wallet likes it or not. This is why I cringe when I look back at him while he’s walking and see his hind feet rotating and twisting as he’s picking them up and setting them down. Although this last thing gets better with shoeing until about a week before he’s due for new shoes.
This is just how he stands, relaxed, chilling in the cross-ties while I stare at him wondering if he’ll straighten himself out or not.
It’s been in the 30s and too wet to ride the times I’ve been at the barn this week, but I am hoping that with slightly less cold weather and more sun that maybe I can ride my crooked horse tonight? I’m crooked, too, for what it’s worth, so just jot that down onto our lengthy list of why my horse and I are suitable for each other.
Eli got a new heavyweight turnout blanket (from Dover) and it’s what he’s wearing in these pictures. So far I really like it. Eli is not as hard on blankets as he used to be and this one isn’t rubbing hair off his shoulders. (I still need to clean his mediumweight turnout blanket but I don’t really like it as much as this one.) It’s only 600 denier polyester, so I wouldn’t put it on a more rambunctious horse or one who is outside all the time, but it works for Eli and isn’t impossibly heavy like his other heavy blankets. It doesn’t seem to slide out of place, either.
I think his bell boots are finally shredded, although they haven’t ripped in half or anything. They’re the stupid expensive Italian jumper bell boots but they have lasted longer than any other, cheaper pairs of pull-ons I’ve tried. Definitely worth the cost, as they have lasted over a year.
Winter in Texas (even though it’s not really winter yet) is typically damp. I am relieved Eli isn’t in bar shoes, because I think damp turnouts would have just meant more lost shoes. After some heavy rain, I let him out in the round pen the other day. I swear I really thought it was drier than it actually was …
It wasn’t really slippery, at least?
But Eli makes kind of a cute roan? No, not really.
He does need monitoring while in the round pen, since he’s jumped out of it before. He seems to assume if he runs at me aggressively enough that I will get out of the way. He underestimates my stupidity.
He has looked sound playing in turnout, and felt sound under saddle the last time I rode him, which was Monday … before winter happened. The cold is not so bad, but the rain & ice is a bit much. It’s making this whole reconditioning thing we’re supposed to be doing a bit difficult!
Eli has now tossed his left front shoe twice and his right front shoe once. This has led to me not being able to ride him at all, and a lot of days of missed turnout for him. This is all in the space of less than two weeks.
Other than they are bar shoes and Eli likes to grab his heels, I have no idea why they are coming off so easily. It looks like he is literally just stepping out of them, leaving all the nails in tact in the shoe.
Once he gets his left front tacked back on again, he’s going to be on a slightly modified turnout schedule that means less time outside and no turnout right next to another horse. I am not actually sure how much that will help, though, especially if he is going out after a few days of no turnout due to no shoe — he’s going to run around regardless of which turnout he’s in. He should be able to run around! It makes me think he just can’t wear bar shoes, but I don’t know what other options we have yet. (I plan to find out soon.)
I may buy some hoof boots, but that’s not ideal considering they wouldn’t do much to support his low heels. I’d have to fit wedge pads in the hoof boots, I guess? I’d like to just ditch the bars entirely, because Eli has never pulled off shoes like this before. I am starting to feel really bad for him because he’s stuck in a stall until the farrier tacks a shoe back on and all he is doing is being a normal horse in turnout.
I also just bought him a new heavyweight turnout blanket because his current heavyweight blanket is a stable blanket with no shoulder gussets, but he went outside in it once anyway. It’s so disgusting now I don’t even want it on him again until I get it cleaned. But with a heavyweight turnout blanket, he won’t need the stable blanket.
It’s getting to be pretty close to the time Eli can start jumping again. And he felt pretty much awesome in basically perfect weather on Sunday evening. Yay? Initially, yes. But also not exactly because horses.
We have less than ideal riding weather forecast this week AND Eli tossed his left front in turnout.
I looked around the paddock he had been in (while being followed around by a very friendly bay who clearly wanted to sit in my lap which was not conducive to me finding a shoe).
The light was disappearing, but I managed to finally find Eli’s shoe … 20 feet past the gate outside of the paddock. How does a horse do that with a front shoe?
The farrier was out briefly last night to work on a different horse, but I had already wrapped up Eli’s foot so I left a check and asked the farrier to get to him when he could this week, no rush … since it’s raining.
Eli hadn’t ever really thrown a shoe before — maybe once the whole time I’ve owned him. Uncharacteristic of thoroughbred feet, although he makes up for it with other hoof puzzles. But with a bar shoe and the way Eli plays in turnout sometimes? Yeah, I figured this would happen eventually. Luckily the right front shoe stayed on, since that’s his jacked up hoof. And the left front hoof didn’t really get torn up. Small favors, I guess?
I don’t plan on actually jumping Eli for real until November, but there was a schooling show at the barn over the weekend and the jumps were low and looked so cute. I couldn’t resist pointing him a couple to see how rusty we are. We are a bit rusty, but also a bit enthusiastic. I think Eli misses jumping as much as I do.
Also, I got a new helmet — not sure how obvious that is from the video. Apparently GPAs are the only ones that fit my head shape both in circumference and at the crown. I am not ready to give up my CO yet, but sadly the Trauma Void pretty consistently gave me a headache on the top of my head that would last a few hours. So it fit at the brim, but not at the top. Even without putting my hair up. I didn’t notice this about the fit until recently, since Eli got injured only a little while after I bought the Trauma Void, so I hadn’t worn it consistently yet.
While Eli still nips at me a bit, he is mostly just shoving his nose into me and licking me in a teeth-free manner.
Is he finally cuddly? Eh, maybe most of the time. He gets a ton of treats and always takes them very politely. He’s generally good about me messing around with his mouth in general … I regularly stick my fingers in his mouth to feel if his cheek teeth are getting points and he doesn’t seem to care. Perhaps because I am shoving a cookie in his mouth next?
I know some people discourage hand-feeding treats or using cookies or grain to incentivize the correct behavior from a horse. I am not one of those people. Obviously if Eli were rude about it or still biting me, I’d take a different approach. He’s food-motivated, though. He makes friends with people who feed him stuff. And he won’t try to bite your hand off.
He cannot possibly ever get enough of the German Horse Muffins (that name will crack me up every time … are they muffins made OF horses?). After getting one he just sort of zones out sucking his own tongue and licking his teeth and lips.
Oh, and I STILL have not body clipped him. It’s much cooler outside today so I am not super motivated to spend 2-3 hours covering myself with horse hair …
Eli did not do a whole lot last week. He’s doing well in the different shoes but on Tuesday he seemed a bit reluctant to go forward. Not too bad, just not his normal more-go-than-whoa self. He had a booster shot on Monday, so maybe that was it? His vet was scheduled to come out again to work on his teeth on Wednesday, so I asked if we could just go ahead with the Osphos that same day. Having had his teeth done, I was not going to to ride Thursday & then it rained Friday so Eli had a few days to do not much at all.
But on Sunday I finally got back on him (after he rolled–ugh he was so gross). He felt fantastic! I only rode for 10 minutes because now there’s another snag: He is furry AF and it’s not exactly cold here. I didn’t want him to get too hot, especially since our reconditioning schedule has been a bit sporadic. He got a shampoo bath, which made him look even fuzzier.
It’s supposed to rain Tuesday, so I think I’ll body clip him after work that day. Humid days are actually the best days to body clip, at least for me. Not so much static and flying hair — when it’s damp outside, the hair just falls to the ground.
Maybe by this weekend we can get back to a more consistent reconditioning schedule? I mean … I could use some reconditioning, too.
Show shirts have come a long way in a few decades. Even day-to-day riding tops have stepped up, too. And one of the features of some of these shirts is mesh. Anyone wearing a “sunshirt” is wearing mesh, even if only the underside of the sleeves. And then high-end equestrian brands (looking at Cavalleria Toscana and Designs by Dalia especially) have taken mesh to whole new sheer heights. Their shirts are gorgeous and even some are almost awkwardly over-the-top, which is my favorite kind of shirt. But … I ain’t got $200 to spend on one shirt.
I found a $10-$15 option, though. I rode in the black one last night. The top is actually super lightweight and kind of a sporty material. I kind of wish I had a few of these earlier in the summer. And if the mesh snags on something it’s not like I just ruined a $200 shirt. As far as the sizing goes, the shirt is very stretchy. I’m like a 6-ish right now and I ordered a medium. And the mesh means a little extra vitamin D for me before the time change turns all rides into night rides.
Yesterday got weird real fast as I was driving from one barn to the next. From over 20 miles away, I could see smoke on the horizon as I drove down one of the main roads I take to get to the barn where I board Eli. It was enough smoke that I thought it was much closer than it was. As I crossed the highway and took up another road heading east, I started to wonder how close the smoke was to the barn. I got closer to the barn and at this point I started genuinely to wonder if the barn was on fire. Fortunately the fire was on the other side of the county road where the barn’s road ends in a T intersection. But still … within walking distance.
We haven’t really had much rain for a few months now. The wind was blowing south to north so I couldn’t even smell the smoke but it was very visible and very close — close enough that Star Flight was pulling water from a stock tank across the street to dump on the fire. If that’s not a reality-check …
Luckily, emergency responders had the fire contained by 7pm. This could have been a nightmare scenario but it wasn’t, at least not for me or Eli or anyone connected to the barn. It was probably someone’s nightmare, though, and is sickening to think about.
Initially, I thought I wouldn’t be riding under the circumstances. But once the fire was contained, I thought I better carpe the f out of this diem and get on. Riding consistently and reliably clears my head of any real or imagined nonsense and I knew I’d regret it all night through insomnia if I didn’t ride.
So I rode, and Eli is definitely feeling good! He seems to think he’s 100%. His new shoes make a big difference for him.
If I ever meet the nice Star Flight people in person, I will probably give them an awkwardly long hug of gratitude. Same for all the people with their emergency vehicles, stationed along the county road, saving humans and animals and property and keeping an eye on hot spots overnight.
Also, PLEASE no one cook out around here until we get rain!