Vilas County & Katharina – Bare Feet but No Cold Feet

Katharina and Klaus married in August and shared their special day with Vilas County and friends

Katharina and Klaus married in August and shared their special day with Vilas County and friends

Vilas is actually doing pretty well. We had some issues over last couple of months with his front feet. The shoes didn’t want to stay on and he lost them over ten times. Very frustrating and nerve racking. So we finally decided to let him go bare foot for two to three months, so that his hoof wall can recover. That means no riding in the arena, but at least riding on grass. He is doing pretty well with his feet, better than I thought. Since he probably was shod all his life, I figured he would be very sore. But he’s doing ok.

He has gotten so pretty over the last two weeks, since his coat is now turning dark again. He was a little bit sun bleached from being outside. Now he is dark like back in January. He muscled up so nicely, even though I didn’t do a lot with him. It’s just hard to keep three horses in training when you still work regularly every day.

Vilas County spent the summer mastering ground work and good manners - next summer, blue ribbons!

Vilas County spent the summer mastering ground work and good manners - next summer, blue ribbons!

But anyway, he’s a great. His ground manners changed a lot and I now can even groom him untied – which was impossible before. He just had to have his nose into everything. Was pulling around and couldn’t stand still.

I also did a lot of round pen work with him. He now lunges perfectly. I did let him also jump over a cavaletti in the round pen and he took it like nothing. Just a big canter step over it. So, we will see what the time brings and maybe we are able to go to our first show middle of next year.

I took him on a little ride to our neighbor’s pasture two days ago and he was just so ready to go – running wise. I think he thought there must be a racetrack somewhere – I did let him gallop, totally under control – but he wanted to get more and more. He will never forget how to run…somehow it was a great feeling.

So, hopefully when he is ready to get his shoes on again we will be able to work again.

Katharina

Elizabeth’s Note: It takes a year of good nutrition to get a horse’s feet to see any change in diet. Letting a horse go barefoot is a great way to get the foot aligned. I highly recommend Boa boots for everyone. They stay on a horse’s foot and are suitable for riding in as well. They are easy to put on and off and are perfect to protect a foot if a shoe is lost. They can be also be used to hold medicines in case of abscess or cuts in the frog. Bye bye baby diapers and duct tape! We have even jumped small fences with Boa boots on our horses. I will never be without several pairs.