Well, it’s raining again today, and that means that we’re all in the small paddocks again. At least I’m next to Leo. But I won’t get to work today, because it was raining all night, and it’s supposed to rain all day – so that means the arena will be too soggy and wet for my Daddy and me to ride together. It seems like it’s been raining a lot lately. I guess it’s better than snow, though. Speaking of snow… You know that rainy days make me feel nostalgic, and I was thinking about the time I lost my shoe in the snow, back at my first home in New York.
The arena at that barn wasn’t always covered in snow. At least, not at first. But I started to really like working in the snow, especially since I was starting to really like working in general. So, one day after a small snowstorm, my Mommy and I went into the arena for a nice, light workout. As we were cantering around, I took a step that was a little too big, and I stepped on the corner of my front shoe with my back foot. I didn’t realize it immediately, but when that happened, I pulled my own shoe right off my hoof!
Once I brought this to my Mommy and Daddy’s attention, they went out into the snow on their own human feet and started to look for my shoe. For the life of them, they just couldn’t find it! So, my Mommy called a guy (she called him a “farrier,” but when I was just a little 3 year old baby, I thought she meant that he was some sort of magical fairy!) to come out and put new shoes on me. She told me that she was going to get me special shoes for the snow. She said that, although I didn’t lose my shoe just because of the snow, the weather report called for a couple more big snowstorms soon and she wanted me to be safe.
So, I met this guy and he was really nice. He told me I was a good boy for standing so still while he tickled my feet and trimmed my toenails. He was wearing funny leather chaps over his jeans, and I tried to get the buckle undone while he worked on my feet. He said that he didn’t mind. He said that most of the baby horses he knew were not as good as I was about getting new shoes. But I loved it.
It turned out that my special snow shoes were actually just shoes, but they had this sort of rubber bubble tube in between my hoof and the shoe. The fairy guy said that the rubber bubble tubes would push the snow out from my feet, so the snow couldn’t get under my shoes and pull them off. He said it was fine for me to wear those shoes even if it wasn’t snowing, too. He gave me a carrot and my Mommy gave him a piece of paper as payment, and then he said goodbye. I didn’t know if I would ever see him again. I hoped I would, because I liked him. But he had to go home to his family of horses in New Jersey.
Well, my Mommy was right when she said that there was going to be a big snowstorm. It happened two days later, and we were both very glad that I had my snowshoes. You won’t believe this, but the snow came all the way up to my knees! Needless to say, we could only walk around in the arena with the snow that deep. It was kind of funny. My Daddy even got on and walked me around!
My new snow shoes were great for the snow… but it turned out that my strides were way longer than a normal baby horse my size. So, when I was in my in-and-out the next day, I accidentally stepped on my shoe again. This time it didn’t come all the way off… but it bent the corner up really far, and it was uncomfortable to stand on. My Mommy called the fairy guy again and told him what happened, but he said he wouldn’t be able to come fix it for a few more days! He said he could give my Mommy the name of another fairy guy who would be able to come and pull the shoe off, but my Mommy said that it wasn’t necessary… because my daddy said that he would pull off my bent shoe! I always knew that my Daddy was strong, but I never knew he was strong enough to pull off my shoe with his bare hands. And that’s what he did! I felt bad because he hurt his finger and it began to bleed a little bit, but he told me that it was a small price to pay to make sure I was comfortable.
My Daddy loves me so much.
Well, the fairy guy came out a few days later and put another new shoe on with another rubber bubble tube for the snow, and we were all set!
Even though there was so much snow, it only took a couple days of sunshine and one day of rain to wash it all away. After one more day of sunshine, the mud was mostly dried up… so my Mommy and Daddy decided that they would give me another surprise and take me for another trail ride in the park! But the real surprise was that my Daddy was going to get to ride, too. The woman who was my friend Bucky’s Mommy said that my Daddy could ride Bucky out in the park whenever he wanted, so that I could go on a trail ride with both my humans. It was so much fun! I don’t know if I have any photos of Daddy and Bucky, because my Daddy was the one holding the camera. My Mommy needed to keep both her hands on my reins, since I was still a baby and got a little nervous in the park now and then. But I remember that it was so much more fun to go out in the park with both my humans and my friend, Bucky! Bucky was an old horse, so he knew a lot of great stories and he knew his way around the park really well. I was happy, and I loved my Mommy and Daddy more and more every day.
Oh, and you know the best part? After the winter, when the snow was done and the mud was dry, my Mommy and Daddy found the first shoe that I lost! They kept it and hung it up on my stall door as a keepsake.
I have so many amazing memories with my Mommy and Daddy. One day, I’ll have shared them all with you. Just make sure to check back every day, because I have a LOT of stories left to tell!
Oh, here comes my Daddy with the hay! Time to go eat. Stay dry, y’all, and don’t let the mud suck off your shoes!