Dixie took a short break after his event due to a lost shoe and me waiting for my most excellent farrier to fit me in. Dixie needed some help with his feet so I switched him to my other farrier who is much more expensive but well worth it. Mike is a farrier that is in high demand on the eastern shore and despite the fact that he now only lives five minutes from me it can take up to a week for him to fit me in which drives me nuts but good farriers are nonexistent in these parts.
Dixie had a few cracks starting up his feet from not being balanced. His heels were low and toes a bit long which was putting pressure on the quarters. Mike brought the toes back under and added pads (frog pads) with equipak and copper sulfate under them. The copper sulfate helps to kill the bacteria or keep it out and the equipak is a cool gel type of filling under the pad which helps to absorb concussion. The quality of Dixie’s feet is good they were just not balanced correctly. Partially my fault because I try to save CANTER as much money as possible and the other farrier is cheaper. He is a good farrier but his technical skill is not as good and we all know Tb’s are prone to the long toe and low heels so you do not address it more problems will arise.
Dixie is loving the new shoes especially the pads on this harder ground. He still has a bit of leftover skin funk and mysterious swelling in his right knee which I am sure is irriation from the bites. I have ridden him twice since he got the new shoes on and he loves them. I feel that he is more free in his shoulder and willing to stride out. We need rain in the worst way right now so I am taking it easy since the ground feels like concrete.
I notice that Dixie is really starting to feel a bit spunky. Of course it’s Dixie so this does not result in any bad behavior but he is more reactive to my leg and wants to look around for things to spook at. I have increased their grain a bit due to the dying grass so I am monitoring his change. He also had a week off due to the lost shoe and I am telling you he really thought he was hot stuff after that show. It is amazing how a x-country course can build confidence in a horse. He was strutting his stuff and I had to gently remind him that I was boss and there were rules he needed to follow not running all over in the trot and going weeeeeeeeee in the canter.
I have a few goals I want to accomplish with him this week. The main goal is establishing more stretch in the trot. I am going to lunge him in the vienna reins before I ride him and keep reminding him he can really stretch his back. He is good at “faking” it. The other goal is cantering more fences although I need to be cautious on the hard ground not to overdue it.
I can’t wait to get home and ride on this gorgeous 80 degree day. It was chilly this morning!