Started this post a couple of days ago - couldn't seem to get along with blogger.....
I finally did it. For several years now I have played with idea of
trying boots on my barefoot horses for some of the 'ugly' trails we hit
sometimes. Our guys have beautiful feet which basically take no care.
I have a good barefoot farrier check them twice a year and he just
sighs over them, tells me they have perfect feet and occasionally takes a
file to get the niches out if I want to go to a clinic. We live on
hard rock and that keeps their feet toughened up - however they HATE
gravel roads. Those silly pieces of gravel are pokey, they say. As
soon as we leave the road and hit the trail, it is hard to keep up with
them. So why do I want boots?
I guess because I think
it is a great training exercise. I tried EasyBoot a few years ago and
never did get one to fit right - and they were hard to put on. This
time I bought a pair of Cavallo Simple Boots. They came yesterday, so
today was the fun try-it-on day. I was amazed at how easy it was to
measure for them and even more amazed at how easily they went on! Now, I
am not doing endurance, so I can't speak to how they would do in that
world, but I am anxious to try them on one of our trails. Luckily, both
my horses took the same size, so I bought a bright purple pair so I
could find one if it did come off somewhere; that and nobody else around
here would want my purple boot!
Fast forward to today....
I wanted to get the horses used to the feel of the boots, so today we took each one around our 1.4 mile loop we use for warmups and practice. It has some pavement, some nice smooth, hard packed dirt, and some gravel. Good trial run. Washoe was the first to come when called, so he got booted up and hopped on bareback. He started a little hesitant, getting the feel of them when being turned around for mounting.
When we got back, Ranger reached over and touched the ribbon on the sign all by himself, just before he decided it was safe to trim the grass at the bottom of the post.
While Ranger worked, I got Jesse booted up. She didn't hesitate anywhere getting to the mounting block, then walked off like she had worn these things forever. I thought we certainly had a winner.
Well, at least Washoe can get some good use out of them. I can try them on Jesse again if she acts gimpy, and work with the stay. I will check their website for more info - and I need more practice getting them on in a good position. Her hooves are a little flatter and wider than Washoe's, so the boots sit differently, even though they both measured out the same size.
Next step is getting Washoe on a real trail in them; that's for tomorrow .... Stay tuned.