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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

September 2, 2013

The Renegade Viper a test ride review

I'll just lay it out here, I figured the Viper's were going to work alright at the trot, but chew her up at the canter like her other boots.  I was planning 10-15 miles today, and give it up when the humidity got so bad that I was over it.   Journey was wearing her size O's original Renegade on the fronts, and the metric sized sleeker Viper on the hind.  We walked, trotted, cantered a few uphills, worked through a sandbar, crossed knee deep water, rocky creek beds, trotted the paved road, went up and down some steep muddy places.  I stopped a few times during the course of our ride and gave her a general looking over, to see if she was chafing or chewing herself up by interfering.  Here are my take aways from today's ride:

* I really like the orange in your face color.  Not because it looks snazzy (even though it sort of does) but because I lean over and quickly assure myself that I still have a boot on the hoof.  The orange pops out, and makes a quick lean over to check easier than trying to make out a black boot.  So I like orange, orange is good.

*Fitting is getting easier now that we understand the mechanics of it.  LSEGH is much faster in this regard than I am, but I feel confident I can adjust as needed (but not under a time crunch, so spares will be essential).  Oh...and they do fit.  The captivators hug her heel bulbs, and the Viper shell conforms perfectly to her hoof walls, and the toe of her hoof seats right where it needs to be.

*Rubbing, chafing, chewing up the bulbs, pastern, interference marks.  None, none, none, none & NONE.  All of her fur is intact, no bloody chewed up areas, no cuts, scrapes, nothing.  She looked the same when I pulled them off as before I put the Vipers on her hooves.

*Movement in the Renegades is interesting in that I mostly don't notice she's wearing boots.  At the walk I do hear her brush a back boot about every four strides or so.  At the trot I hear nothing but her hoof as she places it down, and the canter she! But we only did a little.  I'll start working upwards on that as I feel she becomes more adjusted to wearing the boots on the hind.  She was wearing small brushing boots today, but in our other boots I was having to put full wrap around sport boots on as protection, and she'd still clang herself and bruise her pastern or cut herself now and then.  Her legs looked great today.

I have to say I am very satisfied with my experience with the Renegade boot makers (Lander Industries).  Problem solving and feed back was top notch.  I even got a return email this weekend which is a holiday weekend, when I didn't expect to hear back until Tuesday. 

In a perfect world a hoof boot would be a hoof boot.  However, every horse is different, has its way of moving, hooves of varied sizes and shapes, and you hope to find what works best for your horse at the end of the day.  I've already spoke to the company about booting her fronts and they have a boot sized perfectly for the front and I hope to order soon. 

Now if I were able to tweak something with the new boot?

*I'd make the slot for the pastern/captivator strap either a tiny bit thicker, or reinforce it with something.  It is the only part of the boot that I have concern with holding up.  Not saying I've had a problem, and maybe I won't. 

*A slightly more agressive roll on the breakover portion of the boot.  Again, she was moving out fine, but that might make a boot wear longer for horses that have very little lift with each step.

Honestly though...they are some great hoof boots.  I'll have to kind of track and see how many miles we can get on a set. 

~ E.G.


  1. I keep eying the vipers... but can't decide if I should leap for another trial or not. Before you mentioned that Journey used to clunk down the trail? Was that the sound of the hoof boots slapping around or what? Glad these seem to be working out for you!

    1. It was the sound of back hoof scuffing the pastern of the opposing side.

  2. Her back hooves would brush at the walk, clunk intermittently at the trot and she'd kind of drag her toe instead of break over cleanly, the last straw was tripping at a canter transition and chewing herself up at the canter. Not one mark since switching to Renegade Vipers. I do hear a hind brush at the walk or trot occasionally, but it is 90% improved. This is not a condemnation of the glove,which I still feel is a great booting solution for many horses, it just so happens that the Renegade Viper solved most of Journey's issues. I hope they wear well for us!

  3. thanks for information looking to getting a pair

  4. Thank you very much for this post. I had already decided to spring for the Vipers, and this sealed it. We're transitioning from shod with terrible feet on a Thoroughbred I am preparing to start low-level endurance. He loses shoes like some people lose pens and pencils, and it tears up his fragile hoof walls. My farrier is also at the point of saying that we have to find a solution, and it seems logical to me to spare his feet nails and shoes that reverb on the hoof wall edge, let them grow out with good care, and wear Vipers. We'll see how it goes on the hind feet, where he loses more shoes than up front, and then maybe do the same for the front ones after. Meanwhile, he'll get some additional help from pads up there until we can attack them. He's a delicate flower :-)

  5. Jacqueline, I'm interested in your experience with the Vipers. I have a tb mare that I want to transition to barefoot. She only has front shoes - but I'm too scared to just whip them off with no interim protection while the hooves harden. And I don't like riding on stoney ground - even with the shoes. The vipers sound fabulous.

  6. Endurance Granny here, and I loved the Vipers. My mare worked great in them until you kicked it up in speed on an uphill grade. She'd pop out of them. I believe she needs a slightly (very slightly) larger size. But we did finish two 50 mile rides in them without any mishap. One a very muddy ride.

  7. Thanks for the great blog! Very helpful! Did you notice a big difference between the classic (original) and the vipers?

  8. After some riding using both types of Rennies I probably prefer the classic to the Viper. Found that I had trouble keeping the vipers from twisting off on dig in uphill climbs, and transitioning to the canter. Easycare's Gloves rarely came off, and if they did, there was not a cable to contend with, just a lost boot. As time has passed I'm more of the mind to enjoy the use of boots when I don't have "money" in the game. I'd rather shoe, and add pads if needed. Off season pleasure riding, boots are great. I never tried glue on boots. They would likely be the best bet in competition with a spare strap on in the saddle bag. At the end of the day...use what works well for your horse, and don't let other's opinions sway you. There is no evil in bare, booted, shod, or glued. If the horse is comfy, and you aren't stressing, it is all good.