After playing in the arena with Mirana this weekend, the next day, Roy was more sore on his feet than he has been in a while. He has been out of glue-on shoes since early January, and has been mostly sound since then (a few off steps here and there, but nothing compared to how he was pre-shoes). Since his first foray into glue-ons, he has grown a lot of sole depth, and our farrier did express that it would be worth trying him out of the shoes to see how he held up without them. This was not only to see if he could exist comfortably barefoot having grown a lot of good foot, but also because some logistical issues were coming into play: Roy is a master of pulling shoes well before the 5 week mark, and his arthritic joints (and, admittedly, tendency towards stubbornness) make standing for shoes something that is quite difficult for all involved parties. As much as our farrier likes us, she was unable to make it out with the frequency needed to keep replacing a thrown shoe. Boots, while a great option, are even more easily shucked by our shoe-dini. Aside from those factors, just one pair of Roy’s shoes cost the equivalent of 5.5 trims. For all these reasons, we are trying Roy barefoot to see if he can keep comfortable that way.

And for the most part, the answer is yes. But after a play session on the soft arena footing, he was noticeably more stiff and uncomfortable. He is on daily equioxx to help his joints.

A survey of his baseline vitals on this post arena turnout day were all in normal range (HR 36, temp 99.1, gut sounds active and present (Roy is a very flatulent guy)), but he did have a digital pulse on his LF.

Roy has also been intermittently off his grain. He is VERY sensitive to environmental factors, and the presence of his neighbors, Theo and Mirana, is basically necessary for him to eat. Still, there are some days when no matter what we do (fresh grain pans, different water concentrations in his mash, etc etc) he simply does not want to eat, even when there is no clear disturbance in the force.

We continue to monitor our sweet old guy daily for changes in his behavior and comfort levels.