In August I had made the decision to try Eva fully bare foot.
Well …. I thought I did.
About I week after the blog post I was discussing with my instructor – who I’ve been having regular lessons with over the last two years and probably about once a month this year – I said that the next time the farrier is out I think I’m going to get her fronts off so that Eva would be fully barefoot.
It was then that he said he was thinking that I should maybe do exactly the opposite, as he thinks she needs more support from behind, therefore putting shoes on behind might give her the support she needs.
This was a bit of a hiccup to my plan. On the one side when Eva pulls a shoe she does a right number on it, so taking off the shoes would have us take away that risk and speaking to a vet she said her way of going means that she would quite easily pull shoes. On the other side maybe if Eva is better balanced then there would be less of an issue, the vet doesn’t see her ridden every few weeks and my instructor does, so knows more about her movement while ridden. Don’t get me wrong obviously if the vet said we definitely need to the shoes off then it would be done but the vet had said that if I wanted to then Eva most likely would cope fine.
I was telling a friend of how I was now undecided on what I should do and she put it in a way that made things click. She asked if my instructor had suggested anything else and did it work, I said that he had said to change up her feed and it had worked.
Which means: Eva now has four shoes.
I gave her a lunge the first time working her after the new shoes and she definitely has more swing through her back end. Ridden wise it does feel better with more power, but she has been tripping in her back end. Not often at all. But she wasn’t before.
The tripping happens when she gets distracted and forgets about her back end sounds silly doesn’t it. Its a situation like this; we come up one side of the school, maybe we are doing shoulder in, what ever we are doing, I have her attention she then spots her pal coming in from the field and her head comes up and she goes in to “giraffe mode” she will then trip.
Could this just be Eva getting used to having shoes on again and forgetting occasionally? I mean she’s very easily distracted! However I want to do a few checks to make sure.
I booked the saddler in as I wasn’t entirely convinced with the saddle fit any more, I have a wintec lite therefore I can change the gullet up and down sizes. A size up I was getting tipped forward but Eva seemed more comfortable and a size down put me in a better position but Eva didn’t seem comfortable. For the saddler I asked that if we could get the saddle I have right now to fit that would be great but if not then I would be looking to buy a new one but on a small budget. (I don’t have 1000’s to be spending on a saddle – if I did I would of bought a trailer!)
The saddler took a look and gave us a pro-lite pad, (which you can change the shims to different thicknesses) fitted with quite narrow shims to basically fit as an in-between size for the gullet. Straight away I felt like I was in a better position and Eva felt more active as I wasn’t tipping in front of her. Funny how it’s about a centimeter difference but it felt so different ridden!
Next the Physio
Now that I know the saddle fits, I’m going to get a physio out to give her a once over and see if there are any aches and pains that need seen to.
I’m hoping she will stop tripping as she gets used to having the shoes again but if it continues I will have to keep investigating.
Heading in to winter
Now that the clocks have changed we have now entered the time of year that I don’t see Eva in daylight unless its the weekend or I have a day off. Its a little depressing but with everything going on in the world right now I’m glad I can still go up and have an outlet.
I plan on having regular lesson over winter, as my instructor is on the yard we don’t have to travel anywhere so if more restrictions happen again hopefully we can continue working away until things get better again. At least lessons can be socially distanced!
While things are quiet and we don’t have any competitions to report on I’ll probably continue to post once a month giving a general update on how we are getting on.