Today, when I got to the barn, Becky and I took the horses in. In other words, we walked out into the pasture, said hello to the two horses standing tightly side by side. Then, I invited Little Love to follow me, which she did and so with me in the lead, all four of us (plus three dogs) walked to the barn.
For some reason I was thinking about horse shoes the minute I started grooming Little Love. I should have known. When I have random thoughts like that while around her, it's usually her trying to tell me something. It wasn't until I picked up her left front that I realized the message; she had lost her shoe. And not just lost it, it had pulled off part of her hoof. This is a horse that loses a shoe ONCE during the 8½ years her previous owner had her and now she has done it twice in the past 2½ weeks... Okay, I get it Little Love, you want to have your shoes off.
I looked at the hoof and realized that my initial plan of having Little Love shod in the front for another 3 weeks was going out of the window. No sense in trying to put a shoe back on the ragged looking hoof, it would probably just come off again and take even more hoof wall with it. And since I was going to take those suckers off anyways, why risk losing more good hoof. So, I called the trimmer.
Finding a good trimmer is not the easiest thing in the world. I have some hopes for this guy as I have selected him carefully. There are a few trimmers in this area that I could have called, but I have not been impressed with most of their work, as it seems that if the horse has any problems at all, the trimmers are not able to address them accordingly. They seem to sort of just stick to whatever the horse's hooves look like in the first place and not make too many changes.
But, the thing is that I want to make changes to Little Love's hooves. I want her legs to be straighter and her hooves to be balanced (something they are not now). I want her joints to be lined up. I want her to have a chance at being healthy and sound for a long, long time. This trimmer I have selected has studied with the German vet called Strasser. For those of you not familiar to the barefoot circles, the name Strasser seems to be like a swear word to some people, as the woman is mostly known for her very aggressive approach to horse hooves (she has, however, cured horses that were "doomed", but they went through hell to get healthy). However, her hoof school does have it's bonuses, as she does teach her students not just the basics, but way beyond. I have come to know the work of a few people who have gone through her trimming school and it seems like many quickly adapt their own style of trimming which may losely be based on the Strasser method, but is not as evasive.
So, I have decided to go with this guy, and we'll see what comes of it. I can always change if it doesn't work out, right? In any case, I will have a loooong talk with him before he touches Little Love's feet :-)
And just for the record, Little Love is in full blown heat. Her and Col are inseparable, and won't stop nibbling at each other even when they are in the barn. Here are two pictures of the two of them "going at it" after coming inside. She is in such euforia about this new friendship that she barely gives me the time of day. Which I'm starting to get used to, as I have been back in that square one so many times in the past weeks I've lost count :-)