Apparently Socks has been shod in the past. Was wonderfully well behaved for the farrier. Or maybe it was having us tug and pull boots on her for the last month that did it?
After discussing the problem of gaiting barefoot and trotting in boots, as well as the terrain/parks we were training/competing at (farrier's a big time camping trail rider) he decided to put simple flat plates on her.
I must say, we did a 20 mile training ride right after - and he was right! Flat plates let her gait as nicely as when she was totally barefoot! She still eyeballed the rocky areas for the first ten miles. But then finally realized that she now had hoof protection without boots. There was no stopping her once she figured that out.
Socks is truly a boss! The Arab group road with us for the first twelve miles. I didn't expect them to try both laps with us - but they did. One of their horses normally wears boots on front - but they'd forgotten them. So he became footsore and they walked the last four miles.
Since they have the same time constraints that I do when I'm working (I teach) - they are planning to try the conditioning technique that I've been using this year - 20+ mile training rides at race speed once a week. And during vacations is when I ride every-other-day and really increase mileage. Horses are turned out in pasture 24/7. Only way I've found to keep a horse in shape when you work 60+ hours per week :)
Just wish I could build more over Sock's topline. She's gained so much weight that she's even got fat pockets in front of tests now. But still has pointy back syndrome - not a horse to ride bareback for sure!
Posted via Mobile Device