Lady is my 16 old Thoroughbred mare. February 6th will be the 7th anniversary of her rescue date. She was given to me by a girl who could not take care of her. After spending a year or so feeding her I was finally persuaded by a friend to hit the trail. Prior to this we had tried a little flat work but due to my lack of understanding as to how critical using your leg is, I did not have fun (Lady may have as she was flying around while I held on for dear life). So anyways we hit the trail.
First time out was Woodward Resevoir. Lady promptly turned around, cantered past our trailor, and decided a solo mission would not be her best option. She then calmly followed my friend's gelding around the lake. As this was early on in my greenie years, I accounted our success to the fact that I had borrowed her barrel racing saddle instead of using my dressage. Next weekend we were off to Dinosour point. At one point my friend was seperated from her mount. As he cantered away I picked up Lady's nose and circled her convinced we would soon be bolting off to the sunset. However, as the gelding returned to his owner my poor girl was still trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with her crazy rider. Another wonderful ride, was the barrel saddle our trick? Our next adventure was a poker ride in Madera. As other riders galloped by and my Thouroubred conitinued to calmly walk head down, with no care in the world, it struck me, what that heck am I doing wrong when we try to school on the flat?
Lady and I took up lessons and have learned so many things. We have participated in local dressage schoooling shows and competed in a few hunter paces. I think she may enjoy little cross country jumps as much as I do. This spring was amazing. We have a fabulous trainer at our barn and the flat work was transforming into something with many possibilities. But for some reason we were struggling with jumping. Lady would loose her calm demeaner and seem concerned aproaching a small vertical even with an expereinced rider.
One Friday I turned her out and she looked a little off. Suddenly she was clearly lame at the trott, and even walk, on her right front. It came on so quickly everyone assumed it was an abcess. After five weeks I took her to a teaching hospital (she was seen by a DVM twice before and it was diognosed as an abcess). I was given a "bad prognosis". They veterinarians suspected an injury in her hoof where a ligament joins the coffin bone and put her on a bute and hand walking regiman. Months later we had no improvement. The last time she was shod I realized that her metal shoes seemed to be making her even more uncomfortable. On August 24th a barefoot trimmer removed Lady's shoes. She now recieves a trim every four weeks. There have been good and bad days, but her hooves have been changing and for the better. Last Saturday a friend and I tried Renegade Hoof Boots on her and I rode her for the first time since May 4th. She felt great, and promptly threatened to buck me off when I tried a little trot. I am picking up my new pair of Renegades today, and will begin a slow rehab program.
There are barefoot sucess stories everywhere and I have allways had mixed feelings. However my time of doubt may soon be over. I would like to share our journey, gain further knowledge, and hear from those who have or are traveling down the same path.