Bigger is Not Always Better

I've seen it numerous times, horse shopping for myself, horse shopping with my friends and especially when speaking to people new to boots or barefoot trimming. 

"My horse has huge feet!" 

With the exception of a few true anomalies to the breed at hand, most horses have average-sized hooves. Generally when someone is bragging about their horses' big-enough-to-mention feet, they are merely overgrown. 

I remember one particular incident where I accompanied a friend on a horse-shopping escapade. The horse was perfect on paper, lovely in photographs and had the coveted "big bone, big feet." On one hand, the seller wasn't technically lying. The horse would have probably measured into a size 2.5 Easyboot Glove. Did I mention he was a 14.2hh three year old? Those suckers were splayed out like a platypus. Big does not always equal better. 

Recently life has been overfilling with exciting and time-consuming changes. Moving, getting things ready to bring horses home and actually riding on the trail! I went three weeks without even seeing my gelding who's boarded at a lovely dressage barn only 20 minutes away. For the first time in my life, I have literally not had the time to go see my poor Topper (who's probably thrilled with his vacation). Last week, I made a point to get out to see my boy and, oh my, was I surprised at how BIG he was. Standing back, I had to giggle. Not only does my formerly lean, mean, racing machine look like a beached whale, his feet looked huuuuuuuuuuge. Oh yeah. My horse has big feet. 

Putting my ego aside (I pride myself in meticulously caring for my horses' feet), here is what my horse looks like on an 8-week trim. It's pretty bad, folks, but good to remind myself a) why I slave over pony feet every week, and b) just how significant two months of growth is and how there is no way his normal boots would even begin to go on if I tried at this point. 

I'll take a nice little pair of perfectly trimmed 0.5's over a platter-foot size 2 any day! How about you? Does your horse have "super big feet"? While eight weeks is definitely not the end of the world, it certainly impacts boot fit and retention, and I feel like movement is compromised by all that extra growth. In another two weeks, Topper will be home and back on the Trim Nazi's anal trimming schedule and his foot size will shrink. We'll take it.


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