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

May 10, 2014

I totally get it why people shoe

Today was hoof trimming boot refitting day.  My front Viper had two cables fraying and I didn't want to go to a ride depending on them like that.  The captivators weren't easily pulling up, had to really pull them up.  Once the hooves were tweaked it was better, then there was the front boot to replace cables on.  I have ZERO patience for such things, LSEGH who has the patience of a SAINT took it upon himself to break down and rebuild the boot.  He's extremely handy that way, and I swear between fitting, and cable adjustments, and fitting again...and again it was easily two hours.   Now I'm anxious.  Anxious a set screw will come loose, or a pulley button will strip, or the cable will pull out, or the straps won't hold.  I'm not dissing my Renegades.  When they are right they are just a beautiful thing, but good God almighty if something isn't right are they ever just a PITB.  But they don't put bloody sores on her, so I'm shutting up.  My husband should be nominated for sainthood, really.  I have four front boots working and four hinds.  Maybe the trail will smile on us and we won't be in mud up to her fetlocks (or hocks).

We had about a 48 mile week last week (over eight days actually), and a set of intervals yesterday.  My plan is to not ride her until next Friday, but put her on a longe-line and work her hard enough to get sweating for the next three days.  Hoping that will be enough to avoid a tie up.  My thoughts are getting her well-hydrated and rested right now out ways random miles.  She was looking pretty reedy last week, and seems to be filling back out alright now.  I'm also covering work for someone off on vacation Monday and Tuesday, so will be time starved all week.  Just hoping the rest doesn't work against us, instead of for us.    The longing should be adequate...that is what I'm telling myself. 


  1. Yes, booting IS tough, and I know it all too well. I have let many a curse word fly while changing out cables or spending over an hour trying to clean boots coated in glue-like mud. Lucky for me, I have only had one complete boot loss (as in, never recovered) in about 2.5 years of booting. And yes, that boot loss cost me a completion at a ride. Since my horse is IR and the concussion of shoes makes him lame, steel shoes are just not an option (been there, done that, got the T shirt). It always cracked me up when other boarders in VA would tell me how expensive my boots were and they couldn't figure out how I could afford them. I tried to explain to them that I don't buy new boots every six weeks like they buy new shoes. That my $400 worth of boots could last me a year or more (depending on how much I rode) and that my professional trim was only $35 (and that I learned to do it myself). Compared to their four shoes that cost them upwards of $200 (or MORE!) every six weeks. Whenever I think of how much money I have saved and how much happier my horse is in boots, it makes it all worth it. But not while I am struggling to change out a cable! :)

  2. Yeah, I totally agree. Part of my issue I think is needing to get an additional set of boots in a bit larger size for between trims. I run the fit so close that we don't have wiggle room after two weeks, and we trim every four. I probably have enough boots I could have one set with the cables a tad longer, the other set shorter and get by. My boots have stayed put pretty well except that hock deep mud hole we sunk into and that boot will likely never again see the light of day. If I'd have had new straps, probably would not have lost it. Losing a boot though is kind of upsetting, as they aren't cheap!

    On cleaning them, I put them on the gravel drive and turn the hose on jet, and it really does a decent job, even gets the velcro pretty darned clean.

    Someday I've got to start adjusting the boots, I just I am. It will be ugly. My attention span is about the size and depth of a fruit fly.

  3. Ha ha! Some of the trails I have ridden on had a special kind of mud that was a cross between paste and super glue. I had a special routine for boot clean up when I rode on certain trails. I would soak the boots overnight, then spray them off with a hose, then scrub them down with a toothbrush. And the scrubbing would take at least 45 minutes. I am not joking! I have ridden on trails with my Renegades in something like eight or nine states, and trust me when I say that the mud is not created equally everywhere! The trails here in SE Alabama are all sand, hard packed sand, hard clay, or gravel roads. Cleanup is a snap and requires little more than a quick once over with the hose. Be darned happy that you only need to hose yours down to get clean!

    My horse is now on a three week trim cycle and I hope to move him to a two week cycle. I have found that after about two weeks, his boots just don't really fit right. They are just a little snug. Can you maybe shorten up your trim cycle to help with your boots fitting? Or at least groom them a bit to help with fit?

    I finally got a second full set of boots. After about 2.5 years of booting. Because it never hurts to have back up! :)

  4. Our mud here is clay, it is horrible, like thick pasty cement/ glue. The jet nozzle is kind of like a low level power wash and it does take some time to get them clean. I used to put them in the washer after bucket rinsing, but this is so much easier.

    I have two sets of fronts now and two sets of hinds, plus a spare front, and a spare hind. Having a spare is mandatory if you want to keep rolling.

    How frequently do you change your tension and pastern straps?

  5. Whew! Just finished our first LD of the year with my Gloves. I've had no boot-loss problems with them, but occasionally would get a front pastern rub from the gaiters. So I bought some thick sticky shelf liner, some sew-on velcro and fashioned a "cuff" that fit around the gaiter. 25 miles of rocks and sand, and the pasterns were perfect, cuffs stayed in place. I have only 1 pair of Gloves, and I've had them for 4 years now. His feet are good so I typically need to wear them less than a dozen times a year so I guess that's why they last. They seem to fit good enough whether long into the trim cycle or not. But one of these days I hope you and I are in the same place so I can see the Renegades in action!

  6. I don't recall ever replacing the pastern strap on any of my boots. Ever. And I have the original toe straps on all my front boots. One set of front toe straps has probably seen 1,000 miles of trail. My back toe straps...well that is another story. I usually replace them about every 250 to 300 miles or so. I don't know why my back toe straps take such a beating, but they do. It must have something to do with the way he moves? It has been this way no matter what size he wears on the hinds. He has changes sizes twice due to switching from a regualr farrier to a barefoot trimmer (he went DOWN a whole size) and then after moving to Alabama where I rode him completely barefoot for the first six months I was here. He went back UP a size when I moved him to a barn with lots of gravel trails and I pulled out my newer boots and couldn't get them to fit because his hooves had mysteriously expanded in six months. Thank goodness I saved that old set of bigger boots! Whew!

  7. And oh, yeah! I know all about that mud in Indiana! That was where I had my only complete boot loss! That boot is still buried in that mud somewhere in the Hoosier Natl Forest!

  8. I tried to use the clothes washer to wash my boots after I cleaned them up with a hose and toothbrush. I just tossed them in and when I pulled them out my cables were TRASHED! Boy, I will never do THAT again. I guess the smart thing to do would have been to put them in a lingerie bag, but I didn't think of that.

  9. Blue is going to be getting a set of easyshoes applied later this week for our first 50 of the season. This is not something I can afford to do regularly, but at the height of the season it is an expense I am willing to bear. If I were a little more gutsy, I'd try to do it myself, but for the first time I'm having a pro help.

    Boots are for sure a PITB, but shoes destroyed my horse's hooves. This horse, at least, will never be going back to steel.