It’s time for a hoof pedicure and Sundance doesn’t mind, he lets the blacksmith pick his feet up and trim the overgrown hoof away. If the ponies were roaming miles over different kinds of ground they would wear their feet down naturally. When they are in stables and grass fields, they need a bit of help.
The blacksmith comes approximately every eight weeks. First of all he cuts the hoof off with a special farrier’s knife and then he rasps the hoof into a smooth round shape. The important thing is to have the feet level, otherwise the pony would walk unevenly and that would put a strain on the legs and lead to lameness.
At the same time he checks for any signs of thrush, which is a condition where the foot goes soggy and becomes infected. He’ll also check for bruises and corns (yes ponies get them just like us!) and also have a look at the coronet, which is the sensitive band of hoof where the hair growth ends. Ponies can also get cracks and splits which potentially cause a lot of trouble. These are often caused by poor nutrition – again like our own nails when they become brittle.
All is well with our little gang, the big horses will be done next time he comes. It’s essential to keep ponies feet in good condition – no foot, no horse as they old saying goes.