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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/ 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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