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Eating, Pooping, the Frog and Picking
After a busy winter of ski town tourists, I am riding again! Last summer I searched
for and found the love of my life - a dark chocolate full Arab colt (now a yearling
and gelded) straight, thick bones, with three white socks, a pretty white blaze and
a unique partially white star in his eye. (Just so you'll all recognize him when he
starts endurance in 4 or 5 years!)
Anyway, while leading him in the warm Utah desert behind the calm older gelding (and
getting totally enthused about his great "let's go" attitude), I have come up with a
couple of endurance questions I havn't seen discussed here (please excuse any
redundancy because I have only had a little time to read ridecamp). Plus some
thoughts and questions on the hoof.
I have heard of people letting their horses graze along the trail during Endurance
rides (and training too I'd imagine). How many do this, and do you stop to take a
few bites or just let them grab what they can on the fly. Isn't this annoying or do
you get used to it?!
Do most endurance horses poop on the run, or are there stoppers? Do the horses who
were previously stoppers (Taaraka is now, and has surprised me by planting his feet
and yanking my shoulder backwards when I wasn't watching!), get excited by the
competition and change to moving poopers?
Finally, a while back I read on ridecamp something about the frog being part of the
support for the hoof and how some shoers will trim too much of the frog, defeating
the purpose. I asked my shoer and he explained that the frog and heel should be
trimmed level with eachother, fairly obviously. Then I asked if shoeing were not a
truely defeating practice, since only the outer rim of the hoof is supported, and at
that point, should we leave dirt in the hoof, providing support, and if so, wouldn't
a hidden stone in there cause damage? (from someone who was taught to "pick" 35+
years ago and has done so ever since). He then got into the discussion on studies of
horses in the wild and how the hoof was made to work and how a galloping horse puts
pressure of 30,000 lbs/sq.in. on the hoof (or something like that). Surprisingly he
agrees that horses were not meant to be shod or picked, and yes a stone in the hoof
will cause a problem, so you pick when you notice s/he's off. I don't know. At that
point we could say they weren't meant to be ridden by humans, but we do, so what do
we do? Maybe we could have a nice clean, sifted pile of dirt to step them in after
picking, or maybe it's worth reading and attempting Karen's detailed instructions on
the Easy(hard)Boot with injected foam. (Now I'm tempted, Karen!) Or maybe someone
can come up with an easy easy boot or a substance that would pack in without popping
out on a ride. SO........
Do you guys pick?
Horses poop on the run?
Horses eat on the fly? I KNOW the riders do :-)
Bambi and Taaraka
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