Winter has been tough. Between the weather, wisdom teeth, and illness, it's been tough. But hopefully we are all out the other side and on to Spring shortly. Jayne's started shedding, so he's ready anyway. Got completely side-tracked from laying down since I didn't want to be outside for more than the minimum time necessary in the past couple of months.
He got his shoes pulled about 7 weeks ago. There were five farriers who I considered last summer and I went with (IMO) the best of that bunch. Tried to get another out last week, he no-show/no-called so I'm not in a hurry to set up another appointment there either, so PonyO is stuck with me for a bit longer. He's doing well barefoot. He was initially very short strided and mildly lame at a trot, in a circle, on hard ground. Definitely landing toe first. He also had thrush in both fronts, which I didn't catch on to for another couple of weeks, and just got cleared up (I hope) a few days ago.
I have been obsessively taking pictures. I compared yesterday's from the ones a few days after his shoes were pulled in JAN. Over that time, the width of both his frogs has increased and the angle/shape of the frog has widened from 27 and 29 degrees to 34 and 35 respectively. AND he is moving much more freely and not 'lame,' though if true soundness requires heel-first landings, we're not there yet either. I ordered a pair of renegades to go along with the easyboots I've got. We'll see what works best for him.
He keeps getting better though, and so long as things are improving, I am happy. Tonight was DEFINITELY better! He was giving me the best jog I have EVER gotten from him! It wasn't smooth, but it was actually sittable, which is a huge improvement over his 'normal.' He was also WAY more responsive to leg than I've ever felt him. He wasn't bracy, stiff or fighting me to lean in or counter-bend. He was just relaxed and attentive. We actually did figure eights, sitting trot, to a stop off of zero rein whatsoever. He was moving entirely off leg and seat, which has never happened before.
Not sure if it's age, experience, some part of his training gelling in his head after this time off, or his feet (pain?) playing into it, but it was amazing. We actually had a much shorter ride than I was planning simply because he was being so good and nailing just about everything I asked.