On today’s episode of “Buy an OTTB, they said. It will be fun, they said,” my 6yo overgrown beastie has half-removed his left front shoe and is quite sore on that foot, despite the bell boots that he wears on all four hooves (one of which he also removed). Of course, because he has perfect timing, our farrier is out of town on a work trip in the midwest (we are located in southwestern PA), two of the other local farriers are in Canada on a hunting trip until October, almost all the other local farriers and a number of the vets are up in New York at the NAEP conference, and our farrier’s last possible emergency contact that he reached out to for me is out of state until next week.
My horse is due to be shod again on Thursday (a week from today), which is one week past his normal cycle due to how scheduling worked out around our farrier’s trip, and if it was a hind shoe, I would just pull it and let him hang out in the field until next week, but I’m hesitant to pull only one front shoe (which we will be doing when I can get out to the barn to help my barn owner remove it tonight) and turn him out on one shod and one bare foot, especially given his propensity for Antics™ (aka tearing around the field at top speed at least once a day).
He becomes a bit of a menace when left inside for a prolonged period of time because bored horse = troublemaking horse (he’s too smart for his own good), plus I’m just generally not a fan of stalling more than overnight at most, so keeping him in for six to seven days until our farrier can make it out to us again is something that my barn owner and I both feel would invite its own form of catastrophe. He also just had his SI injected two weeks ago (that is a separate story unrelated to this incident aside from the fact that I’m meant to be bringing him back into full work right now) so keeping him in an environment where he can still move is preferable. His feet are a lot better than they were when I bought him a few years ago, but he’s still growing out the last bit of less-than-ideal hoof from before we switched to our current farrier last year and they definitely aren’t in a place for barefoot to be a reasonable option at this point without him becoming even more foot-sore.
I can run up to our local tack store and Dover this weekend to see if either has any hoof boots on hand that I could turn him out in, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find one that’s suitable for that as opposed to just for riding (if anyone has any suggestions for boots that will work for turnout short-term, please share—I might buy one to keep on hand for future situations like this regardless). I have all of the usual abscess-wrapping supplies, so I can wrap it, but it’s supposed to rain Sunday through Tuesday, so I’m not sure if that’s the best idea if he’ll be going outside then. Indoor arena turnout during the day to keep a wrap dry during those days is theoretically possible, but a lounge/tack room addition is being built off the back of the arena right now, so TBD on whether it would even be safe to turn him out in there (it’s fine for riding, but there’s a big hole cut into the siding for the viewing window and glass had not been put up yet when I was last out earlier this week, so that plus unsupervised horse seems like a recipe for trouble).
I’m open to any and all ideas here - he’s been engaging in absolute chaos for the last month and a half and will not let me go a week without some sort of nonsense occurring right now and I would really like to just get him through to next Thursday so he can have his full pedicure without having to stall him the whole time if that’s possible. Thanks in advance for any suggestions