Friday, May 14, 2010

Done fussing

. . . . .with BOOTS!

I have tried all the Easy boot versions and they simply Do-Not-STAY-ON! My mares hooves are the wrong shape for them to be fitted to the standards.
 "Delta Cavallos" Synthetic version, are the ones shown ABOVE. They go on and off easy peesy- nice as pie! They have been the nicest I have wires!
But within a mo of riding...the Velcro broke, and I started to tape them with electrical tape. That worked till....
2 weeks ago...I was having a good ol' gallop down the road, flying lead change at the turn, and when I stopped (after clocking in the GPS at 25.3 mph) I looked down, such a symptom of a boot user, and the fronts were Gone!

I have gone on two rides of late, with out galloping like that...and they came off again, with a nice trot.
This is very hard...the decision to shoe or not to shoe. I totally love barefoot riding, doing my own trims.

I believe in it too, for overall hoof and leg health.
But these service roads I ride...tons of sharp rocks. And even to get to the arena, like I will be riding to tomorrow for a lesson, lots of rocks. 
So, after 4, almost 5 years of sound barefoot riding with lots of pains and money spent on boots with rubs and wires breaking and loosing them sometimes to the boot place they go to when they flip to the unknown! I am considering..........................................................................................................................yes, I hate to say..................................................................................................................................
with much strain......................................................................................................................... and  after talking a wonderful gal , Sydney, over at the "Bitless horse- Science vs.Tradition" blog........................... I am Getting..................................VERY EXCITED to have put on my mare........

This is a very good web site with facts and questions answered.
And , I have to say, I am at peace about this!

One of the questions I had, was answered too.....

Q - Does the horse need time to get used to synthetic horseshoes?
A - Horses which have never been shod normally don't require an adjustment period. Horses that have a long history on metal shoes will require some time to get used to the new feeling of unrestricted movement and flexibility. This is especially important with horses used to pavement or hard surfaces. These horses will need to "re-program" themselves to a shoe that provides sure footed traction and has little of the slippery feel of metal.

                                My apt was for a few weeks from now, in later June...effectively (should all go as planned) serve us well through 2 horse camps .  But, having  the blame boots come off every time I went out these past 2 weekends...I called and NEXT WEEKEND is the date my new farrier can come. They will cost the same if I had gotten 2 more- brand -new -hoof boots and are supposed to last 2-3 times longer!.
If I can't be barefoot- this seems to be the next best route -for how MUCH I ride outdoors!
Will keep you all posted!


  1. This is a very interesting concept. I'm going to have to do some investigating of my own. Thanks

  2. I found with us putting many miles on pavement a week the easywalkers actually lasted longer than metal shoes. At the end of 8-10 weeks we could literally bend a steel shoe in half with our hands. We got about 22 weeks out of one pair of easywalkers last year on our horse that pulls the big vis a ve and does the most miles.

  3. PS- Can't wait to hear about your adventures with the borrowed Nurtural bridle. My personal favorite is the beta bridles though. I love my leather ones but beta has such a nice feel. Plus it never gets stiff or molds.

  4. None of my horses wear shoes, but this sounds like an interesting option for those who do. Keep us in the loop.

  5. I was convinced I was going to join the ranks of the barefoot eventers, and have had my TB barefoot for the most part of a year now. However, when I took him to Jessica's she thought he was "off" on his right front. Blast. So I went ahead and put shoes on him and it was like magic. Totally sound and using his body much more confidently and comfortably. I'm definitely pro natural... but will do what works for my horse as well. :)

  6. I will check out that website. I am not anti-shoe, but 99% of the time around here, we just don't need them. We are going to WY this summer & believe they will need shoes for where we are going. Hate to do it, but don't want to drive 8 hours to ride & then end up with a sore horse.

    I did buy some EZ boot gloves. I am trying them for the first time today as I'm riding on some roads known to have white rock.

  7. Shame about the barefoot/boots issue! I'm going through the same with my 2, took shoes off a few months ago. I use Cavallo and Old Mac boots, very clumsy but the horses don't seem to mind. Off to check the website for those shoes, look's very interesting.

  8. Note on the bucking thing: When she gets her head low like that you gotta get her motor moving. Try disengaging her hindquarters, changing her direction (which will also disengage her HQ)or even speeding her up. If her back legs are engaged she cannot throw them up for a buck. I would vote on changing her direction or giving her something hard to do. When I first got Indigo she was being a total snot! Every time I wanted her to canter she would toss her head and hump her back up and either crow hop or throw a little buck in protest before breaking into a canter. If she was good and cantered I would take her about 4 strides then back down to a walk for a reward. If she bucked I would ride her hard and long. Giving them something harder to do in association with a bad behaviour often works. Indigo is lazy although shes full of piss and vinegar most of the time. She would much rather walk everywhere she just tries to fool ya.

  9. Kacey, though I've never owned a horse, I always learn something from your ecxperiences. The boot story was funny - from my perspective looking in. I can just vision you on that ride...and looking down to find the boots gone! I love your stories.. they make me laugh. You are so positive, and the really cool thing is - you don't give in too easy - you keep pushing the envelope. But when it comes to the edge - you're willing to try something new - to continue to enjoy the experience you love....riding your mare. You care about the health of your mare... and that tell me a lot...about YOU.

    I like the YOU that I see here. I'm sure, if I were to be blessed enough to meet you face to face.. we'd have a gallopping fun time. You would teach me to ride horses again.


    Take care of you and that mare!

    Patrina <")>><

  10. Oooh am really keen to hear how the new shoes go.
    Thanks for you beautiful comments about My mare Trix over the past months ....she has a lovely new mum and I have a new project which I'm sure you will love as well

  11. Good luck with the new shoes. A very interesting solution. I knew these shoes exist, but I didn't know anyone who actually uses them.
    And I know what you mean. Our horses go barefoot too, which is fine if you don't go over rocky or sort of pebbled surfaces. Especially Naloma has really sensitive hoofs and always catches little stones in them when we ride out.
    (will be back to read about your trailer later, looks really good!)

  12. EZ Boot Glove report..

    We got to the ride a little late. I thought we were going to ride out in "waves" and wasn't really worried about hitting "ride time", but the group was waiting. Since there were only 20 riders, they thought everyone could go at the same time. So time was not on our side.

    The left one slipped on easy and got the "pop" the farrier had told me I would get when it fit snuggly. The "V" in front was flat against her hoof, no gaping. Thought this would be easy. The right, now so well. Didn't get the "snap" or "pop", the "V" wasn't laying flat and I had a gap. Another rider who uses another type of boot said she should slip into it as we go. Nope, that didn't work so well. Noticed in the first mile, it had slipped & she was walking on the side of it. Adjusted again - still got a gape & she was on the side of it within the next 1/4 mile. Tried one more time with the same results, so pulled them.

    For the record, the one that fit perfect when we started was still fitting fine.

    My first thought was that I'll ebay these as quick as I got them! Then as I thought about it, it seemed the fit was because her hoof wasn't perfectly round on that side. A bit of a flange to one side. If we would have had the time to file it a bit, I bet we could have gotten a better fit.

    SOOO, I'll try them one more time with that in mind. If that doesn't work, I won't mess with them again.

    Had a great ride & she didn't seem sore with all the limestone we were on. I let her pick where to walk and most of the time, she chose the grass along the shoulder.

  13. Boots. Ugh. I was all set to get Renegades and even with the farriers help, am still having issues. You have to mail order EVERYTHING in this darn cowboy country because most people aren't the norm. I rode with a vet and his wife the other day and they have been using Cavallos for 4 years on both horses and have only lost one, once in the mud. They were not the ones you had. My fear is that I will spend all that money and look down and boots will be gone. I want to enjoy my trail rides, not constantly be looking down!!! I ride on rock that makes other horses flinch, but not Jackson. He's never been shod, and my farrier said his feet are worth a million bucks, horse owner would kill for them! I only want what is best for him, so if he ever shows the need, I may just give those shoes you are trying a test run! Great post!

  14. I too have been investigating these shoes for Bonnie. She's had to be shod for most of the past three years due to a "boarding incident" that severely damaged her hooves (bleeding).

    Now her feet are all healed, no soreness, tenderness, or cracks and she's been barefoot for about 6 months now.

    My trainer asked if she could event Bonnie again this summer a few times and I said sure. So I want to protect those feet in some way and these seem like such a great alternative.

  15. YES ALL...very exciting...great to hear from so many that have heard or wish to hear more. I love to read about hem on the site = my new farrier tells me all kinds of VET info..he has many VET clients that have switched from metal to these EASYWALKERS. Better all around hoof health -over the metal shoes.

  16. I remember seeing something like this on the work horses at Mackinac Island, MI a few years ago. The island does not allow motorized transportation so all deliveries are done via horses and wagon. Sounds like a great alternative to metal shoes! Are they lighter than average steel shoes?

  17. Reading these posts with interest--I returned to steel shoes this spring after trying all kinds of boots and discovering that my horse is just more comfortable in steel shoes.

    I'm all for barefootin' for them what can, but apparently my mare isn't one of those. I'll be interested to hear how your synthetic shoes work out!

  18. Yea AareneX....I am finding that my mare has had a problem staying focussed for a LONG TIME NOW...cause- I am having some pretty awesome rides, since putting the E.W.Shoes on her!

    The shoes are much lighter - the brochure info reports-" 1/3 the weight of a steel shoe..which translates to less musculoskeletal stresses".


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