Those that know me know that I am not a settling person by nature. I need to be thinking, doing, constantly moving forward. I frequently change my mind, my path and my goals. One thing that never changes in me is that drive. This summer I found myself ending the chapter with my big Shagya gelding. No fault of his own, we just weren’t *that* match. Breve was going well down the trail, had those big ‘ole Shagya feet looking great and was ready to be That Guy for someone special. As most things happen, the perfect person was in the perfect place at the perfect time. Breve is now tearing it up in Eastern Idaho with a girl who found her special match in the big black beastie. I love it when things work out that way, and won’t mind when they kick my butt on the trail next year.

Of course this left me with an empty space in the pasture, although I wasn’t in a hurry to fill it. Like always, the spot filled itself when I was practically not looking. One gorgeous sunny day in August, I was out visiting my favorite, now-retired, red rocket mare at Belesemo Arabians when a stunning little bay mare (mare!!!) with four white socks barged in. I knew I had to have her at that moment, and a month later she was in the trailer on the way home.

Belesemo Enchanter meeting Belesema Dazling Lady for the first time. There was much squealage and strikage later on. Love me a sassy mare! 

First things first, and me being me, her feet were priority #1 on the list. Dazl’s recent history is somewhat unknown, but what we do know is she arrived back home this spring with reverse shoes on her feet and a very cresty neck. Not only that, but she survived a serious illness and apparently had a very traumatic spring. Concerned about possible laminitis with her feet shod in such a manner,  but confused as there were no obvious changes from the outside, we xrayed her feet and were thrilled there was no evidence of rotation. Onward, we marched.

Pre-Trim: All of Dazl’s feet looked the same- long with evidence of bruising about to grow out. Whatever happened to her, she was sure to have been sore. 

Pre-trim: Solar view

As Dazl had been turned out and given a very basic pasture trim, her feet needed work, but weren’t even close to some of the disasters I have seen. When doing the first trim on these guys who come to me to begin or continue their careers on the trail, I always consider my immediate future plans with the horse and then trim accordingly. In this case, my plans were to ride. While I always have a full set of boots for each horse to use as needed, I still like to start the initial trail riding barefoot as much as possible. Because of this, I opted to trim her minimally, mostly focusing on bringing back the toe, relieving the quarters, and letting “good” foot grow in. Of course movement is paramount to growing a good foot, so turnout on the hills and plenty of trail rides require.

Topper and Chant show Dazl how it’s done in the pasture. 

Project Dazl will continue with monthly updates showing her progress. Next time, post-trim pictures. Life feels complete with a sassy mare back in the mix. For now, trail riding barefoot to develop feet, and boot to keep her happy. I am so thankful to have the option to choose.