December 6, 2012
My Horse, Meindert, Has New Boots!
There is a lot of controversy about whether to shoe a horse or not, as many of you have commented on this blog. Betsy Perreten, my stable manager, and I feel that shoes are appropriate for my Friesians because of the type of riding we do, mostly on dirt roads and trails through the woods. We also employ a knowledgeable and capable farrier, Linda Friedman, who takes great care of the horses’ hooves and fits and changes their shoes regularly. Meindert, one of my horses, hasn’t worn rear shoes in quite some time. He suffers from arthritis and has difficulty holding his rear legs up for Linda to shoe. Betsy is very in-tune with the horses and can read their moods quite well. When Meindert is feeling fine, she likes to keep him active and will take him out for short, easy rides. Recently, she got him some hoof boots for his rear feet from a company called Easy Care Inc. and from the looks of things, Meindert really loves wearing them.
1 Before measuring for the boots, Linda Friedman, my farrier, cleaned and trimmed Meindert's hooves with a rasp.
2 After trimming, she took a hoof measurement. This is the hoof width at its widest.
3 And this is the hoof length from the toe to the buttress of the heel, or the farthest weight bearing point of the heel where the hoof wall ends. Friesians have very large hooves!
4 Using these measurements, Betsy referred to Easy Care's sizing chart and ordered their largest size 10.
5 Betsy chose the Old Mac's Generation 2 boot for Meindert.
6 Betsy likes this style of boot for the Friesians because it sits low, clearing much of their feathery fetlock hair.
7 The soles have a very generous shock-absorbing tread pattern.
8 The front shield is reinforced to protect the boot from wear.
9 She also ordered a pair of snow boots for Meindert.
10 The snow boots are the same model except for the studs attached to the bottom.
11 Optional gaiters are included with each pair of boots.
12 These boots open nice and wide, making them very easy to put on the horse.
13 The top of the hoof boot has a cushioning rolled collar for comfort.
14 Since Meindert was feeling happy and energetic that day, Betsy decided to saddle him up and test out the boots.
15 The boots are well marked - right...
16 And left
17 Gelbu gave Betsy a hand by putting the boots on.
18 See how wide these boots open?
19 A pastern wrap secures the boot to the hoof using a hook and loop system.
20 The outside panels fold back into place.
21 The outside buckle is fastened for extra security.
22 Very handsome indeed!
23 Meindert was spry in his step as he followed Betsy.
24 The mounting block
25 A walk through the linden allee