Monday, September 14, 2009

Quick Update

I am not immune to the tremendous outpouring of support. I really appreciate each and every comment. I have a quick update on Brego, since so many people have pinged me privately to ask if he is ok. I am relieved to say that he is doing very well!

We pulled the steel shoes and found close nails on both fronts. The farrier came out that evening, was very professional, and helped us to glue the shoes back on to see if it was the weight of the steel or if it was a close nail that was making him look strange. There was some question because normally being quicked causes three-legged lameness and Brego was just not lame. Anyway, he did much better with the glued on steel shoes so we feel like it was the nails that were causing the issue. The farrier was floored at Brego's pain tolerance, but I was not surprised. That horse has tremendous heart.

The steel shoes fell off after a single ride, but I got the evidence I needed so I didn't mind the cost and effort of gluing them back on.

Since his steel shoes were off, I took the opportunity to order him some composite shoes. It was hard to find some that came in his size, but I found a brand and ordered them and lo' they are too small. So, I've been riding Brego barefoot and over the course of a few days after the shoes were removed, he was back to 100%. To finish up the investigation, I had a chiro out and he passed just fine. She did not find any issues up front. His left his is a bit sticky as always. I am going to up his lateral work to strengthen that left hind.

On Wednesday, I am getting a blood panel drawn and a Lyme test just to finally and conclusively say it was his too-tight nailed shoes. I rode him at the hunt barefoot on Saturday over a less rocky fixture and he was foot perfect, keeping up in the gallops, jumping 3' coops and even leading the field twice over fences when the master begged off. Such a star!

To help him with the increased load from hunting, I've added electrolytes to his breakfast and I just finished a full body clip. That horse has a lot of surface area!

Tomorrow we go cross country schooling, Wednesday it's back to hunting, and there may be a show or two before the end of the year. I am still willing to try properly fitting and nailed steel shoes to help with the rockier fixtures for hunting, I just need to coordinate with my farrier whom I still respect and trust.

Whew, now we're all caught up. I am still slow on the blogging, but I wanted people to know that Brego is doing very well and to thank you for your well wishes, thoughts, and prayers. I have learned a ton through this experience, both about Brego and myself. Brego continues to be challenging to fit, but he is willing to work and has so much heart. He amazes me daily.


Anonymous said...

So glad that he is doing well! The options you are considering are very sensible, and I'm glad your farrier is cooperative. Thanks for the update - we were wondering about you.

NSU_Librarians said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SunnySD said...

As Kate said, great to hear - thanks for posting the update. (If you're wondering, the deleted comment was me. I accidentally posted from someone else's account. Oops!)

EvenSong said...

Likewise glad to hear the quick, but positive update. Yeah, Brego!

manymisadventures said...

I am so glad to hear Brego's doing well! What a star, even leading the field!!

I understand if updates are slow, but I am always so glad to see when you've written a new post.

sally said...

Wow fantastic to hear from you and hear all is well and the hunting is going well. You have a great amount of support from all over .....enjoy your riding time. I'm sure you're both loving being out and about

Jennifer said...

See that?! He did take incredible care of you on that hunt right after you put those nasty shoes on.

Good Boy Brego! Steal an extra cookie from your Momma and tell her, "Mom you're welcome. I coulda done more than that little fit I threw. You're welcome."

And, welcome back.

Susan and Becca the Percheron said...

Becca (the world's most beuatiful Percheron mare! :) and I send our best wishes and are glad that things are again looking up for Brego.

Anonymous said...

Glad Brego is doing well, and glad that you haven't totally given up blogging. Ignore the subtle, know-it-all jabs that are already showing up even in response to this very post. You tried something to improve Brego's lot in life, it didn't go as planned, so you revisited your options, investigated the problem, and made appropriate adjustments. Congratulations. That is what being a good horseman or horsewoman is all about!

jenj said...

I'm so glad to hear that Brego's doing so well. It's always hard when you try something new and it doesn't work out quite as planned, but frankly trying different things is what riding and horsemanship are all about. Now you know more about yourself and your horse, and you have more tools in your kit than ever before. Good for you!

My name is Roxie said...


JeniQ said...

Daun, I'm in need of shoes for Rosie and like you am having a hard time finding the "right ones". Do you mind sharing brand of composite shoes you tried so I can look into it?

Rosie is a Percheron/Belgium cross and almost exactly the same size as your Brego!

SprinklerBandit said...

The only trouble with the drafties--finding stuff that fits. Good luck with your search! I'm glad your boy is doing better. He sounds like a saint.

M. Ells Perry said...

Please go to and take a look at Pete Ramey's barefoot site. Another great site is:

If Brego is still having issues it may be the way the farrier is trimming him barefoot. Not all barefoot trims are the same. Take care, and best wishes for you and Brego!

Daun said...

Thanks all for your kind comments.

Jennifer, not really back, just didn't want people to worry. Brego gave me a hell of a ride hunting, bucking and rearing through two fields at the beginning of the hunt on Sat. Barefoot. He was just feeling good, like he always is at the beginning and then he settles down. I moved my reins off the curb so there was no leverage and he pulled like hell but never went way up, just as I had planned. But keep on keeping on, you're bound to get it right sooner or later. It's good to know there are people out there who know my horse better than I do, all through the magic of the intertubz.

I ordered some HoofIt composite shoes and they look really nice. They are just a size too small. Brego is a size 8 which is pretty big. I will definitely try them again, if needed. I rode XC school today and Brego was foot perfect over rocks. It's amazing what a little dry weather will do. He may not need shoes this season at all.

M. Ellis Perry,
Thanks for your suggestion. I have been trimming Brego for a few years now and I recently had him checked out by a trimmer and a farrier who said he had the best draft feet he has ever seen. Brego has been barefoot his entire life, but 60 days of rain this summer put a wrinkle in things. I think we're on the mend regarding his feet. I hear you on how not all trims are equal. I've seen some pretty sketchy barefoot trims around here, but luckily not too many!

Kristina said...

"It's good to know there are people out there who know my horse better than I do, all through the magic of the intertubz."

Hehehe :)

It's important to experiment if things are not working out and you think you can improve your horse's situation. It's also important to know when your experiment didn't work out. I think you handled the whole thing very responsibly.

The draft horses here in my city who pull carriages downtown have some sort of rubber shoe that either goes over their regular shoe or is a stand alone shoe all by itself that I guess is intended to absorb some of the concussion from being on concrete while they're working. Maybe this would be something to look into? At least they'd come in the right sizes! Haha :)

Kristina said...

Oh! Maybe they are these?

They have a link to a carriage association at least.

Yankecwgrl said...


Glad to hear it was something as 'simple' as a nail or two that was too close. That's great! Something that can be fixed with out too much of an issue!

After reading all the comments thus far, I believe (and she can correct me if I'm wrong) that Jennifer was refering to your hunt a while back, the one with the shoes on when he felt 'off'. Not your recent barefoot hun. Just my two cents there. :)

Congrats on having a happier, sound Brego! Yay! :)

Yankecwgrl said...

That should be HUNT, not hun! Sorry!

Daun said...

Thanks for the link! The only version that comes in Brego's size are the street shoes which are not intended for sport. The sport shoes do not come near big enough. Bummer.

Love the name! Ha, I know exactly which hunt Jennifer is referring to. She is of the opinion that Brego reared because his feet hurt and I, and many people I have spoken to about the incident who have seen or ridden Brego in real life, disagree. There's no question his feet were not comfortable, but the rear is something is he does, barefoot or not, which is what I illustrated by describing this recent barefoot hunt. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it gets tiresome to have to continually correct false information.

We just finished another barefoot hunt and Brego is doing very well. It's tough getting back in shape, but we'll manage. :)

Jennifer said...

No, in fact, I'm not saying he reared because he hurt. But thank you for telling me what my opinion was and is.

I am now, and was then, referring to the nature of the "off" you described. You blogged he felt "off" the entire ride right after the shoes were put on. I questioned if it was good and safe to ride a horse that feels "off", for his safety & yours.

If you don't want comments or feedback, don't blog. If you don't want comments that aren't cheerful posted, require editor approval before releasing them.

Yankecwgrl said...

Play nice kids!

Daun said...

Jennifer, I welcome comments, even ones I don't agree with because I love to think about solving problems with my horse. Why should I censor your opinion? That would serve no purpose.

What you have suggested in multiple comments was that he reared because his feet hurt. Your comment on his "fit" in this post is exactly in that vein. If I have completely misunderstood you from the beginning, I apologize. Most of my friends who have also read your comments have also gotten the same opinion.

As I have also said many times, when Brego is "off" to me during that hunt was so subtle that NO ONE saw it from the ground, even people who are used to his way of going. I was also told by my professional farrier that it may take a week or so for him to get used to the weight of the shoes. So what I felt could have been him adjusting to the shoes. He was never lame, never once head bopping. I've explained it many times, but your comments have bordered on implying that I am denying my horse vet care!

The shoes were not properly put on, we all agree and admit to that. I don't think, for one second, that I am evil horse owner who lets my horse suffer needlessly.

You are right about one thing and that is Brego takes very good care of me. He's a wonderful hunt horse and jumps gamely and loves to follow the hounds. I wish everyone could have seen him today when the hounds voiced and his ears perked and he shifted into high gear, just from their song. It is a beautiful thing.

I also agree with you that it is never, ever safe to ride a lame horse. Brego was not lame and pulled me to the jumps. There are horses I see in the ring all the time who are lame, not even subtly so, and people ride. I don't agree with it. I would never ride a drugged horse and I would never ride a lame horse. In my opinion, from what I felt that day, Brego was adjusting to the weight of the shoes and possibly wearing bell boots which he's never worn and were distracting. I was wrong, there was something wrong with his shoes, but he never felt incapable to me and even when I retired early he was very upset to leave the field. We are all just guessing at what a horse really feels or thinks, but everything he told me that day was "Tally ho! Let's go!"

I know you are in Texas, but if you are ever in the area, you should try to watch him go sometime. You might understand a little better about the balancing act between a high drive horse and possible issues. Take good care.

phaedra96 said...

No one knows your horse better than you do; that is the bottom line. You felt he was not right and found out why. He is now back in rare(!) form, thank heavens. Love those Percherons!!

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Super happy to hear the big guy is doing well. He's all heart :-) And lucky to have you in his life.

Kristina said...

That's too bad. I know nothing about shoe sizing or even what size my own horses wear. I couldn't even begin to guess! (I just know that they look like they fit comfortably without changing the essential shape of the hoof!)

I'll keep my eyes open though. Best of luck, it seems like Brego has a very good advocate for his well being.

Andrea said...

What do you think about the Ground Control plastics versus the Eponashoe?

Daun said...

Hey Andrea, Do a search on COTH. I think Eponas are favored. The application of the ground controls was street riding for driving or mounted police. I would feel more comfortable with testimonials from eventers/hunters.

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