Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Farrier's initial opinion on the barefoot experiment with Bella

The farrier came today to trim Bella and her companion Max.
He noted that her feet had improved without shoes and I must say that I can also see that her previously flat soles are developing a 'concave' profile, particularly at the front at the toe. He says that this will extend to all round the foot as the months go on. It is also quite evident that the weight is now being taken on the outer edge of the sole, not the wall or the rest of the sole. Apparently, this is excellent and how it should be for a wild horse.
He kept the trim to a minimum and remarked that she must have grown a lot of foot during the last 5 weeks as the nailholes were almost grown out! No doubt the ice and rock hard ground have worn the walls away - just as well or I would have needed to rasp the edges off them every week.
I am so impressed by her feet's improvement that I have taken Max's shoes off as well. Max is 20 years old and has had shoes on front all his life, so we will see how he gets on without them.
I am going to take photos of their feet so that you can see the differences month by month and post them on the site.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Rainwater Harvesting System from Oasis

Today I installed a rainwater harvesting system. My friend has one for her yard and she never needs mains water for her horses. As my field shelter is not on the mains, I have to carry water to it for Max and Bella, so a rainwater harvester seems like a good idea.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Freemax saddle arrives

The Freemax saddle arrived today. I must say that it is amazingly light and looks very well made. Shame that I can't try it on Bella, but with the daytime temperature of -16C, I don't think she would appreciate the rugs coming off and it is such thick ice that I could't ride her in it anyway.
We will wait for better weather.
Better weather arrived and I have to admit, I don't like this saddle. The knee rolls are in the wrong place for me and my knees rest on them which is hard and very uncomfortable, though I do have long legs (32").
I have since sold this saddle to someone who is only 5'2" and it fits her fine.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Time for the treeless saddle

Husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas? Well, if I am going to have so much trouble with saddles not fitting, I have asked for a Freemax Acavallo treeless saddle. I think it is worth a try and as Bella will be barefoot as well, I have also asked for a Dr. Cooks bitless bridle as we may as well go the whole 'Natural Horse' hog!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Barefoot hoof on ice

It is now the WORST conditions I have ever seen for horses turned out.
The arena, which is woodchip and sand, is frozen solid with a 3" layer of compacted ice on the top where they have compressed the snow. Riding has been impossible since the snow fell so I am pleased about 3 things:
1. I took Bella's shoes off
2. I didn't pay my Hunt Subscription, because if it stays like this it would be a waste of money.
3. Bella seems to be coping very well on the now 'rock-hard' ground