“My check engine light came on yesterday. Looking at the light gives me anxiety, so I took a few seconds to put a sticker over it. Light covered up, problem solved!! I won’t have to worry about it ever again.
That sounded really dumb, didn’t it? It’s not about the light; the light is just a sign that there’s a problem under the hood. What I really did was call my mechanic and make an appointment for him to diagnose and fix the problem. It’s going to cost me some time and money, but when I’m done, I’ll know for sure that the problem has been solved. Had I actually just covered it up with a sticker, it would have damaged my vehicle in the long run.”
Now let’s apply this to horses. Let’s say your horse is footsore or lame on certain surfaces, so you put some shoes on so you don’t have to see him struggle, and forget about it and keep going about your daily riding business. Quick fix, problem solved, right?
Footsoreness or lameness, like the engine light, is a sign that something is wrong “under the hood.” Look at the diet, look at the hoof, familiarize yourself with how a healthy foot is supposed to land and move, and what a healthy frog and digital cushion look and feel like. Call a professional and let them help you diagnose the problem if you’re stuck. It’s most likely going to cost you time and maybe even some money, but you’ll have a much sounder horse in the long run.
This post was taken and changed from a Facebook post by Kelly Meister, which used the analogy for behavior under saddle, not feet. I simply adapted it to what what I see with horses!