IdahoStateJournal.com - Full Article
By HEATHER SMITH THOMAS
October 5 2018
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the last of three parts about a truly unique horse.
The spring of 1976, I was riding Ahmahl to move cattle and he trotted through some sharp rocks to head a wayward cow and stone bruised a front foot. He was lame for several days.
The bruise abscessed; we had to open up his sole, drain it and soak it. The infection cleared up, but he had a big hole in his sole that would take months to fill in.
Even though the abscess was healed, I couldn’t ride him. It was such a big hole that I kept his foot wrapped so he wouldn’t get dirt and gravel in it walking around in his pen. I thought about shoeing him with hoof pads, but that would not be enough protection. We decided to weld a metal plate onto a shoe, to cover that hole in his sole.
My husband Lynn created a special shoe for Ahmahl. The hole was an inch behind the toe of his foot, a little to one side, so Lynn cut a piece of flat metal the proper size and welded it to the shoe, to cover that hole. I put that shoe on, and started riding Ahmahl again.
When it came time to reset his shoes, Lynn created another “armor plated” shoe for the other front foot, to help keep it from stone bruising — since Ahmahl had such flat feet — and balance his stride, so he’d have the same weight on both feet. Lynn welded hard-surfacing material (borium, which is tungsten carbide used on drill bits) onto both shoes so they wouldn’t wear out in the rocks. This material is harder than diamonds and kept the metal shoe from wearing away. We were able to use the same shoes the rest of the summer and didn’t have to keep making new ones.
With his special shoes, Ahmahl happily trotted and galloped through rocky terrain with no fear of hurting his feet, chasing cows and competing on three more endurance rides that year, placing first on two of them and fourth on the other...
Read more here: