I’m writing as show jumping is finishing. This has been a long and difficult two days.
Cross-country presented many problems for all countries. The terrine took it toll as expected. A solid third of the horses were cleaned off. There were several bad rider falls, along with injuries. Still, all horses that started cross-country at least got back to the barns.
This was a day of running back and forth with tools from the start to the finish of cross-country. Do this with a stall jack and a bag of tools and you are tired at the end of the day.
Plenty of shoes came off and the farrier shop was the busiest it has been all week. The U.S.A. was at the barn working till 10 p.m., adjusting shoes and planning for the morning.
We had two horses that had multiple injuries that included the hoof. Heart bar shoes and leather pads were used to handle the hoof end of things.
One of the horses ran the majority of the course without a left front shoe. Let me tell you, that guy was sore! He was almost to the point of being unable to bear weight on the foot. We treated him with lots of ice, fluids and a night’s rest, Lily pads and some Epsom salt gel set the stage for the shoeing in the morning at 5 a.m.
That’s right, 5 a.m. Trot up is at 8:15 a.m., so you need all the time you can get to tweak things so theses horses are sound enough to present at the jog.
We were not so lucky with the second horse. A suspensory ligament was involved. Shoeing was able a least to make him passable, but the rider gracefully withdrew the horse in the holding area.
For me, show jumping was very uneventful. We had taken care of all horses with shoeing issues in the morning, so all I needed to do was be on location in the unlikely event of a lost shoe.
As I’m writing this, Team USA is in seventh place. That’s a story for another time. Next I need to go to the barns and pack, as I go home early in the morning. The next farrier arrives tonight.
Many thanks go to Mustad for providing a fantastic, fully equipped farrier shop. Forges, tools and supplies were all very generously supplied and helped make the horses’ days go more smoothly.
Pennsylvania farrier Steve Teichman has helped provide hoof care for the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team in Sydney and Athens. While in England participating in the evaluation and selection of horses for the 2012 U.S. 3-Day Eventing team, he provided updates as the Olympics progressed. Click here to read more from Olympic Shoeing With Steve Teichman series.