Thursday, September 24, 2009


For those of you who are not familiar with horses, a bit of information about their hooves and their shoes. Horses' hooves are basically heavy, tough fingernails—the middle finger, in fact, which evolved over thousands and thousands of years to be the only finger, or toe, left on the horse (with the exception of tiny bits of horn midway up each of their legs, which are vestigial bits of other toes). As nails, they are constantly growing. In the wild, horses wear off their feet naturally on rough ground (occasionally injuring themselves with chips and cracks). When they're domesticated and wearing iron shoes, however, the rough ground doesn't wear on their feet. Their feet grow at a rate of probably a little less than half an inch per month, and two months is really about the longest that shoes should stay on, because the length of the hoof starts to change the angle of the horse's leg. Anyway, Shadow was definitely stumbling yesterday, and we've called the farrier to see if we can get her and Sikem's shoes pulled as soon as possible. They were kept on in case we had to walk on gravel roads, but we've gotten pretty good over the years at avoiding the real rough patches, so in the future we'll definitely plug for shorter feet.

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