Barefoot, heading into week 4

I wanted to snap some photos this morning but the sun just didn’t cooperate.  Everything was too dark to show you how all their feet look super great!

Dan Sullivan (our farrier) was here on Friday and he worked his magic and cleaned everyone up a bit.  It was nothing  major, just a bit on the rasp and bingo…they are all set for another couple of weeks.  We want to keep on top of any chipping of the hoof walls that will occur till the hoof grows out past the old nail holes.

The quality of the work we have been doing in the last couple of weeks has been really off the charts.  All of them are carrying more engagement while staying out and through in the top lines and quick…whew…excellent, excellent work.  Lindsey and I have been puttin’ it together in the arena and the horses are digging deep and looking awesome!!

How much of the improvement has to do with barefoot?  Well, I’m not quite sure but my gut tells me…not much.  The improvement in the work is primarily the improvement in the rider (yeah Linds!!! 🙂 🙂 ).  But, in my position as chief analyzer (horse and rider), I do notice a freedom and lightness of the limbs that has shown up in the last couple of weeks.  I’ll definitely attribute that to the barefoot change.  It’s very significant in Lance (Grand Prix level); the piaffe and passage is really getting some awesome air time (he’s such an amazing horse!!).  The other horses are moving with the same lighter, freer change in their movement but as the work is not so collected I think the change is not so obvious.

I am very pleased.  Thank you again Shannon Peters for letting me know that our goal of competitive international level dressage is attainable with no shoes.  The knowledge  that we are not taking a step backwards as we push towards our goals to compete in the international rings of dressage by going barefoot was really only “knowable” because of Shannon’s example.  To read about it or to see it occasionally in the competition ring wouldn’t have convinced me to make such a drastic change.  But to watch the management of barefoot horses in one of the top dressage barns…???  Well…’cause barefoot makes sense on so many levels and Dan’s on board, let’s take the leap and go for it!

Barefoot and happy…so happy…

V

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