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Hunter Jumper Lesson on Miles

On Again, Off Again

After a full week off of mostly stall rest, I finally rode Miles over the weekend. Unfortunately, he still wasn’t 100 percent, but did seem to work out of whatever weirdness was going on. So I scheduled a short private flat lesson last night, figuring we would be well on the road to recovery, and at least able to work on flatwork. But I was wrong. Miles didn’t start off feeling great, and even though he felt better after a long, loose canter, he was still off. We only felt it when trotting to the left, on the incorrect diagonal [which stresses the left front leg, and right hind leg]. Trainer saw lameness in the right hind, but we’re not really sure if it’s actually a problem there, or if Miles has just been compensating for something else. Of course the entire chain of events led to a lengthy discussion with Trainer, and eventually a new plan of attack: three days of bute to reduce any inflammation that might be going on, with light hacks for the rest of the week. We decided against stall rest because we don’t know whats wrong, and he’s definitely not too uncomfortable to walk around in his pasture [plus moving around is good for circulation].

Hunter Jumper Lesson on Miles

We also discussed the farrier, and this is where I felt like a complete dumbass. Apparently horse’s hooves grow faster in the summer because of the lush grass, and the increased amount of work on sand also means they need to be shod more frequently. So that six-week schedule that worked for Miles in the winter is not going to cut it in the summertime. *Head Desk* I honestly had no idea that horses changed farrier schedules throughout the year; it’s not ever something I thought about. But now that I know that, I feel pretty freaking stupid. What if Miles’s feet hurt because he needs to be shod and his idiot owner isn’t scheduling farrier appointments soon enough?

I could just crawl in a hole and die.

So this week I hope to make a farrier appointment ASAP, continue treating Miles’s thrush and rain rot and basically dote on my pony with lots of TLC and cookies. I’m going to try hard not to beat myself up, and just move forward with what I’ve learned. After all, that’s pretty much all I can do anyways.

Hunter Jumper Lesson on Miles
Miles mugging the camera 🙂


Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

15 thoughts on “On Again, Off Again

  1. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone always has something to learn, don’t beat yourself up! Red’s hooves grow insanely fast in the summer and we always have to trim way more often or he starts being gimpy.

    1. Thanks for the support. I know I have a lot to learn, but I always feel guilty when my lack of knowledge causes my horse discomfort.

  2. I JUST did the same thing last week, I was off by a week with the farrier and O pony came up with sore tootsies. I felt awful, but my farrier assured me that some time off didn’t hurt her and that it didn’t do lasting damage. Don’t beat yourself up! I’m sure Miles will be feeling better soon 🙂

  3. Thrush can create that minor offness you’re describing – I’d bring out the big guns in getting that resolved ASAP. And while yes, their feet grow at different rates throughout the year, each horse is different and if don’t think his hooves look long then I wouldn’t change your schedule unless its needed.

  4. You’ve gotta learn somehow. i think you’re a fabulous horse owner and Miles is lucky to have you. You’ll get this sorted out.

    And I empathize with the wanting to crawl into a hole and die. The other day I noticed Lex was stretching in her stall and told M that I hoped that meant she was using her back muscles, and M was like, “ummmmmm that’s what they do when their tummies hurt, genius.”

    Almost 30 years of riding and horse ownership and I didn’t know that one.

  5. So, if he has thrush I’d KILL IT asap and treat really aggressively. Also check his heels for that deep sulcus thrush that I had with Simon last year. As for the shoeing schedule, don’t beat yourself up. I never changed my shoeing schedule for Elvis. Every 6-7 weeks like religion. Simon gets trimmed every 5-6 weeks, because he prefers less time in general. Hang in there!

  6. Thrush could definitely cause the minor “off-ness” you’re describing, which would be a pretty OK outcome! I keep Max on the 6 week schedule in the summer – I don’t find his feet grow any faster but everyone’s different – don’t beat yourself up about it too much 🙂

  7. Typically my farrier has always dictated the schedule. Normally longer in the winter faster in the summer. It helps that my horse is shod with a large group though. Less stress on when the farrier is coming bc he comes around the same time for everyone. This reminds me I need to call my old farrier and try to see if he’ll do hue at my new barn!

    Fingers crossed miles gets sound quickly.

  8. Don’t beat yourself up about not knowing something, NONE of us are born knowing it all! Plus if his feet were really growing that much faster in the summer your farrier should have said something to you about moving up the schedule, so perhaps his don’t grow THAT much faster?

  9. Don’t be so hard on yourself! You’re learning, and that’s good. Plus it’s not like Miles is DYINGGGG. For the thrush, I’ve had really good success with the “Tomorrow” paste for cow udders. When I first brought Dino home he had nasty, nasty thrush all around, and I saw immediate improvement with the “Tomorrow”. And maybe see if you can be there when your farrier comes to trim Miles next time, and chat with him/her about his feet and how they look, how they’re growing, what they suggest for thrush, etc. Knowledge is power! Big hugs. 🙂

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