For about a year straight after the D & F pack station, where he was made to work on excessively rocky, rough trails barefoot while carrying overweight riders in an ill-fitting saddle at 4-years old, at which age he was not developed or grown enough to do such atrocious tasks, Mudpie wore leather rim pads on his front hooves. In the beginning, it was necessary, and it worked just fine. Throughout this year, my mother's negligence and my inability to do anything about it had detrimental effects on my poor boy's hooves. First and foremost was that she allowed the hooves to grow out and for his shoes to just crumble off. 'Twas disgusting. He went completely lame in these instances, and would regain "soundness" a day or two after being shod with leather rim pads and kept in a small paddock before being turned out on the 200 acres again to run with the rest of them. Along with this issue on general hoof care, he also suffered from the poor nutrition he was receiving. His hooves became brittle, unhealthy, and cracked. And overall he remained rather tenderfooted.
After removing him from that situation (Thank the holy heavens for that!), he's been receiving consistent farrier care and excellent nutrition, and it shows. I've been blessed with a Mudpie that does not need leather rim pads, whose hooves are starting to produce healthy and rapid growth, and who is overall sound and happy. Not to mention the deep and vibrant color of his normally sunbleached-looking summer coat, and the health of that coat.
'Tisn't a terrible or "oh no don't buy that horse!" thing... Can't say much about this particular situation, but in Mudpie's case it was simply a case of bringing him to health and care. And I'm happy to say that my tenderfooted boy is no longer so tenderfooted.
The hills were bathed in moonlight, the shadows not so stark;
Silver light reflected off his brown hide as he held me in the dark
– I love you, Mudpie!