Rebel was now 4. I had noticed that Rebel’s hooves were crumbly; easily scored and gouged by the hoof pick, and his frogs “didn’t look right” to me. I now know they were atrophied.
He was reluctant to walk forward on tarmac or gravel, and wherever possible, he chose to walk on the verge. My farrier wanted to shoe him, but I felt that crumbly hooves and a muddy clay paddock would be incompatible with clenches and shoes, and started researching alternatives.
After much online discussion with other small pony owners, soul- and purse-searching, I decided to bite the bullet and invest in Equine Fusion Jogging Shoes.
The expression of relief on Rebel’s face on our first outing in his new boots more than made up for the eye-wateringly expensive (to me!) leap of faith. I had a new pony dancing on the end of his lead rope!
We live opposite a fishing lake, which has a tarmac car park. I regard this is my own personal arena, to be shared - under protest - with the wider fishing population. Unfortunately the government department involved in its upkeep has not seen fit to provide me with a horse friendly surface, but we do have a nice wide grassy area as well, so all is not lost.
Rebel learned to walk, trot, stop, change rein, and stand on voice command, in the car park. For a bit of fun and change of scenery we would use the wide grassy area for cantering, bucking, farting, galloping, and grazing at the canter. Occasionally I would take a book and a stool, and let Rebel and Snowy graze along the lake as a treat. And we paddled together in the lake!
Rule 6: variety is the spice of life!
© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021
Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion