In-Hand Harmony

Going Barefoot: Day 11

I told you I would keep you posted on Tobias’ progress. So here we go…

On Day #6, I threw Tobias’ saddle on and we rode around our neighborhood: a gravel road, the paved road, the road shoulder and a grassy open space with ravines. While Tobias walked slowly on the gravel, he seemed perfectly comfortable otherwise. We rode the uneven terrain of the open space and did a bit of trotting and cantering.

On Day #9, we did a five-mile trail ride at Dawson Butte Open Space, walking, trotting and cantering. The big difference we experienced on the trail ride is that in the last few months after several canter strides, Tobias would land as if his right hind was a peg leg which I would feel reverberate all through my spine prior to Tobias breaking gait. This is the first time in months that we have been able to do an extended canter without the peg-leg-thing happening. Interesting.

The other thing I am noticing is that prior to having the hind shoes removed, Tobias always stood with his hind feet close together. As you’ll see below, he now frequently chooses to have his right hind either forward, or cocked with the weight on the left. Again, interesting.

Today is Day #11. Here is what Tobias’ hind feet look like:


Tobias’ hind feet viewed from the left side.


Tobias’ hind feet viewed from the right side.








Our farrier, Jason, suggested that I take my rasp and smooth things out as needed. I have done this before with our mare and he thought I did a pretty good job. So here are Tobias’ feet after I filed a little:


Tobias’ hind feet viewed from the left, after being filed.


Tobias’ hind feet viewed from the right side, after being filed.








You can see that some of the old nail holes are growing out. By filing, I hope to avoid too much of the hoof wall chipping off as Tobias gets more hoof growth.

I also realized that I am really out of shape and out of practice with a rasp and incredibly right-handed. Hopefully, my ability will improve with practice.

Last night, I started reading Pete Ramey’s Making Natural Hoof Care Work For You which I am finding to be an excellent resource. Ramey hopes that his book takes up where Jaime Jackson’s Horse Owners Guide To Natural Hoof Care left off. I haven’t read that one yet, but will add it to my list.


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