Blue lost a shoe on his one white foot (a back one) last week, so I called my farrier, Randy. When I looked at my checkbook, I saw it had been eight weeks since his last visit, which is really pushing the limit. I took this picture the day Blue lost the shoe; it looked much better today, since my riding him on gravel had the effect of trimming it. I noticed Blue didn't seem tender-footed at all, the five times I rode him with a missing shoe. When I told the farrier about this, he said horses carry 80% of their weight on their front feet, and lots of people only shoe the front feet.
"OK," I said. "Unless you think he needs a shoe on that white foot when you look at it, let's do that."
Randy takes off the old shoe from one foot, trims the hoof, and puts the shoe back on. Cliff was busy, so I had to try and take pictures while holding Blue. This is an under-the-belly shot.
Notice, like all real cowboys, Randy wears Wranglers. I don't see how farriers keep from having constant backaches.
He places the shoe on a hard surface and pounds it with a hammer to get it to fit the hoof properly.
After taking the shoe off, he uses a rasp, or file, to smooth out the edges of the hoof; he uses it again on the outside of the hoof after nailing the shoe on.
Since we were leaving the back feet bare, all he had to do was clip off the extra part of the hooves where they had grown, and then file them smooth. This picture, by the way, is a front foot.
He's clinching the nails here.
80$ later, Blue is ready to be ridden. Seems a little pricey since only two shoes were put back on, but I'm not going to mess with a good farrier. Besides, how many people could stay bent over like that for so long?
Hopefully I won't have to call Randy back until mid-September, and then I'll probably leave the shoes off all around.