By Wiola Grabowska
Read Part 1 here where I explain why I am transitioning Leo to barefoot and how I plan to go about it.
The first two weeks without hind shoes have gone well for Leo and his feet are changing already. He is showing no sensitivity to any surfaces at the moment so I started 30-40 minutes hacks out both ridden and in-hand over as many different surfaces as I can find. Here is a little video of his striding over some gravel with no bother (link takes you to my Instagram post and you’ll need to swipe to 3rd position I think, the other two are from the same hack).
I also started schooling for 20 minutes at a time but decided to limit the arena time only to shoulder-in work and some trot work on 20m circles. This is because there is quite a bit of crookedness that is present in Leo’s body and I am curious as to how this improves now.
He no longer twists his left foot and it has considerably changed shape for the better…it still loads not quite balanced but I want to see if changing his movement under the saddle will help his improve the foot balance further.
The Pro Hoof supplement arrived 10 days ago so he went on it straight away and despite some reviews saying horses fussed with it, Leo eats it without problems. I feed it together with Keyflow Key3Oil at 30ml. I’d just ran out and was going to go for a few weeks without to see how Pro Hoof works on its own but having re-read ingredients and recommendations for supplementation with Pro Hoof, I just ordered another bottle of Key3Oil (it is recommended to feed ProHoof with Linseed exactly for oil content).
Plan for the next 2 weeks:
- work 5 days a week
- hacking up to 40 minutes on varied terrain
- in-hand hillwork 30min 2 x week
- schooling 20min at a time, straightness focus
- polework for proprioception and coordination
Re-evaluate at the end of 4th week.
I am so tempted to take the fronts off with his next shoeing cycle but I think I will let him go for another one. Decisions, decisions!