Monday, 14 September 2009

Sneakers R Us

The horses have all been fitted with brand new sneakers in the form of shoes made out of old rubber tyres! We started off in Guyuan with conventional shoes, which lasted us to Baotou, where the horses were reshod with traditional Chinese iron shoes. These have not been a success as both Zorbee and Shandan had loose and bent shoes after only ten days, so we decided to take advantage of Peng's rubber tyre shoe kit. I had already seen rubber tyre shoes in action on Peng's own horses in the autumn, and they seemed to work very well. Li Jing says he has ridden 1000 kms with one set.

So yesterday afternoon was spent sneaker fitting and we are now all padding softly along the road. Above is Bajiu being fitted - the guy in the orange helmet (was Bajiu really that bad!) turned up from nowhere and pitched in - apparently he was some sort of lay farrier of which there are a lot in China - happily he seemed to know what he was about.

Here is the finished product on Bajiu. They may look rough and ready, but the horses feel happy and comfortable. There is some overlap on Bajiu's set as he has a tendency to drag his toes and we were concerned about the wear on the front of his hooves - one of the reasons we opted to change to rubber - hopefully this will help solve the problem.

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