I don't know why, but for some reason Rose being barefoot is more of a novelty in Montana than it was in Oregon when I was around dressage people 24/7. I guess that shows my own stereotypes about "western people". Apparently it's just as weird to western riders in my area for a horse to be barefoot as it is in the hunter circuit. Odd, because I always thought it was common for western horses to be barefoot (that would be my stereotype). So far, dressage people have been the most accepting of it without looking at me as though I have three eyes. Although she is barefoot, I don't preach "mustang rolls" and "natural hoof trimming". I just have a good farrier that does a nice balanced trim, doesn't mess with her frog, and cleans up the edges. So, where exactly is that third eye of mine? I'm still looking and don't see it...or out of it!
Anyway, I've noticed that at some point since moving back to Montana I started getting defensive when people comment on her bare feet. When the question was posed to me recently it was meant as a complement, although my immediate reaction was to be defensive. A very nice gal at our new barn was simply curious about why/how I'd managed to keep her barefoot, who trims her, and thought it was great. Apparently she's aware of all the "it must be shod" mentality in our town and gave me kudos for sticking to my guns and not giving into pressure. It's nice to know that there are a few people around that have no issues with a perfectly sound barefoot sport horse.
Speaking of feet, Rose's feet are also very happy about our new barn. Every single hoof has shed it's frog and the very hard dry cracked solar horn she's been sporting all summer. She'd had rather ugly looking Jabba the hoof frogs going on ever since we moved to Montana. I figure that was partially due to the major environmental change (it's very dry here) as well as suddenly standing in a stall 8 hours a day. Now that she's walking around all day again her hooves are letting go of all that gross stuff and beautiful smooth frogs and horn have once again emerged. It is truly amazing what can change in 3 weeks. I even struggled to get the girth tight on our usual setting today. Looks like we might be letting it out again at long last!
Happy trails and swooshing tails!