Because I've inevitably gotten a bit of the sour grapes thing going with the comments on my last post (which, of course, we all knew were coming), I thought I would clarify one or two things.
Firstly, and I've said this many, many times before, I'm not crazy barefoot Nazi. I'm not out to tell anyone what to do with their horses ever. I actually try to avoid giving people advice unless they specifically ask for it, and even then I'm hesitant, because I don't like when people do it to me. There are insane barefoot freaks who say that shoes are evil and cruel and that no horse should ever wear them ever. I think they're nuts! There are also people who say that you HAVE to shoe a horse to do anything beyond stand around in a field. I think they're nuts too! It takes all kinds for the world to go round, and I do my best to keep an open mind. I keep saying this over and over, if this were a matter of Gogo needing to be shod, then I'd do it. I'm not out to prove anything, I'm here to just try and enjoy my time with my mare and do the best I can by her. Nobody feels worse than me when something bad happens to her. I hate to say it, but I really can't be bothered to care whether or not people around me shoe their horses or not. I've really got better things to do with my time than get all crazy on people. This is a public blog meant for sharing my own personal journey, and like all public things on teh great interwebz, somebody's going to disagree. So what? That's what makes the world interesting. I know for a fact that plenty of my readers regularly shoe their horses and that's what works for them. Keeping Gogo barefoot is what works for me. She's been barefoot for years, she's never tender, never gets chips or cracks or ouchiness or anything. She's a freak of domesticated nature. So I keep going because she gives me the green light to do so.
Secondly, I'm not making excuses and trying to direct attention away from her barefootedness as a source of the slipping issue. Yep, she's barefoot and she slipped. Related? I can't stay that it's not! I just think there's more to it than that. If she were regularly slipping and sliding out on XC, then yes, obviously we'd need to address this as purely a traction issue. In this particular case it's just not that easy.
Thirdly, can I PLEASE reiterate that I'm not a crazy barefoot person trying to press her lifestyle on others? Seriously. It's the same accusation people make that by merely existing, my gayness is invalidating straight marriages everywhere as we speak. By merely sharing my barefoot journey, I am not invalidating shod horses everywhere. I'm doing what works for me. Doesn't work for you? Let's agree to disagree and have a conversation about it. The finger-pointing and name-calling are a little shocking and quite frankly, I'm surprised at how nasty it's gotten. I feel like I've done by best to be neutral about my stances. I'm certainly not walking up to barns nationwide and pounding their doors down until they listen to my crazy opinions. I'm just sharing the journey.
Fourthly, this is the first real issue Gogo has ever had. I've had her for over three years and this is her first injury, and I'm pretty sure it was my doing. So the accusations that it's always "one thing after another" with her and that she's constantly broken are seriously out of left field and I'm quite frankly confused because I'm not really sure where that came from! She's been disturbingly sound and problem-free until now, on all types of terrain and at all speeds. We always made fun of how low-maintenance she is, at least physically. And given how freakishly well she's healing, I can only conclude that she's just a hardy, healthy soul who's had a rough couple of months. Can I mention again (like I keep doing) that she just had a bone scan and those "problem hocks" and her back were as without inflammation as could be? The vet made a point of telling me so. So what can I deduce from this and from those comments that she "lacks push from behind" in her trotwork (never her canterwork or walk work, I should mention)? It's probably me! I'm no Rolex rider. I'm just some Smurf trying to do my best.
And finally, I've also been accused of being a close-minded know-it-all. Which, really, is a rude accussation from a total stranger who doesn't know me in real life, so I can hardly in reality be offended. I try my best to keep an open mind - hell, how do you think I got into this barefoot stuff anyway? Because I try to learn about new ways of doing things and if something seems intriguing, I try it. If it works, I learn and aborb. If it doesn't, I learn and absorb. I know - we all know - that we've all only just scratched the surface of the collective world's knowledge. It's the name-calling and finger-pointing from those who come from one side and have NOT tried the other that I would tag as close-minded. I've tried shoes, believe me! It was because of my prior journey with shoes that I became interested in the barefoot thing. I KNOW both sides. So don't knock it til you've tried it, or until you at least understand it a little better. If it doesn't work for you, then at least you can accept that it DOES work for somebody else.
I'm not out to prove anything, to convert anyone, to tell anyone they're wrong, or to tell anyone they're right either. I'm just trying to do the best I can by my horse, even if people, for whatever reason, think I'm not. Those of you that know me in person know better, and quite frankly, you're the only people that matter to me anyway.
Over and out!
The very special Ridgeway weekend
1 day ago