I've had some time to use the Renegade Vipers, put them to the test, and now that I'm over my initial oh they are so pretty love affair feel like I can post a somewhat honest review of my experience so far with the boots. I will use a scale of A (rockin good boot), B (pretty good), C (I'm starting to get pissed with the boot), and D (dumpster time). Please keep in mind that not all of my angst was a boot problem, but possibly a user learning curve problem.
The true test ride was the CMO on Oct 12-13th. I'd give the front Vipers a score of A. So apparently fit was good as they went on easy, stayed put, and did not cause any rubs over the course of two days. The back Vipers, in particular the right rear Viper I was less than enamored with. It did this incredibly impossible thing, flipping forward during a gynormous spook/bolt pushing the entire boot above the hoof just below the pastern. It was caught there and could not be removed without dismantling the boot while on the hoof. I was pretty much ready to bale. Then in trying to get the boot back into action, the pulley button was stripped so it would not hold the cable, nor would the boot thus stay on the hoof. This meant day two of the CMO we went bare hooved on the back which was not optimal as I have plans and can't afford a bruised heel right now, so we had to ride very conservatively and hope for the best. Much grumbling ensued. LSEGH being the patient soul that he is (where I am not) says, " interesting that you've lost two right rear boots, either they aren't fitting right, or we aren't doing something right." So back to the Renegade website, a call to tech support, and we believe we know what the issue might have been. Not enough attachment on the toe straps / cable too long. So new parts were ordered. We had lost one entire boot the week previously, reordered boots, now we needed cables, pulley buttons, and shorter pastern straps, and adjusting. So I slap them all back on for my 25 mile ride on Friday. Five miles in the right rear is unstrapped at the toe and ready to come off. It did stay put for the remaining 20 miles including another epic spook on pavement. It just boils down to user error. The learning curve on these boots can be pretty steep if you aren't generally "handy" with tools, cables, and things that can be tedious with the fitting process or the fixing process. But the fact that once those things are right, they are so gloriously simple to put on and take off, makes me want to keep using them. The fact that she has not interfered and cut up her pasterns not once since the switch to the Vipers has made me want to keep using them for this horse. I'm happy with the original Renegades which were gifted to me. They have given me not one problem since the adjustment was right. If it were Phebes though, I'd likely pick up a Glove and a rubber mallet and go to town, as that boot worked very well for her. In the end it just comes down to finding the best boot or shoe for your horse, and having at it. Seems with horses it is never a one-size/one-product fits all world. It is just fortunate that we do have some choices.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association