Friday, May 27, 2011


Last week was fabulous in my neck of the woods. The UFO sightings of the large, bright object in the sky were identified as the SUN!  It appreared to us for 5 days straight -blankets came off the horses, fly masks went on and the mare and me enjoyed some grassy field hours.
 Mid week above, I sat in the grasses waiting for my Equine therapist to arrive. The day before Wa and I had ridden out, but with unusual behaviour due to hoof boots, I got off several times to check on them and finally to take them off! They rode with my attached to Wa's breast collar.

I have been noticing the mare's gait really off...but only while trail riding and not in the arena. I thought it was her tender hooves with out boots.
So, I had purchased the NEWEST CAVALLO "SPORT" boot for her hinds and tried out the Newest easyboot "Trail" on the fronts last Monday. I rode twice with that set up. It was mid week now, still sunny as I waited for my Equine therapist( her link is on sidebar) Miriah, to come out to the stable and do a baseline on Wa's legs and hooves. I plan on applying the EASYWALKER horseshoes again for the summer's main riding outings.

So I layed in the grasses, while watching the mare and thought about my plans to  ride after the Apt. with the stable owner, since we now had 4 hoof  boots again.

Miriah came, we started the baseline Thermography...all was going well. Wa seemed to be the picture of health like last year, when we did this baseline...but ooouy, Miriah suddenly said, " THIS IS NOT NORMAL". As she stood behind Wa shooting  the heat read out images of enflamed fetlock/pasterns of Wa's hinds.

I recalled to her outloud, the last 2 rides with the mare having the "Stringhalt" actions, in the hind. Last year too, she had a simular action, while wearing the Cavallo hoof boots on her hinds. I had to take them off -then too...wondering what was going on.

Photo of me, taking the photo of Miriah

Wa's hinds told the story of the hoof boot design being presses into the tender fetlocks, below the pasterns. The hind leg reaches at a steeper, horizontal  angle than the fronts.

This was the only abnormal heat readout on Wa's body this day.

This 5 year quest/venture  into hoof boots to keep the mare
unshod and barefooted,  but also sound for rides on the very rocky terrains -has proven DIFFICULT at best.
My link to the EASYWALKER horseshoes, in top tab- "The hooves"- has a photo of the 3 sets of Easyboots, Boa boots, Old macs G-2's. Unfortunately, I will have 3 sets of "Cavallo's" to add to the list, I think soon.

While we were having a go of the images and talking about what stable owner came in and announced, "WE ARE IN LOCK DOWN". The EHV-1  has made it to Oregon.
I had plans  to go horse camping to Eastern Oregon! I quickly TXT'd my girlfriend to cancel the reservations..she could still get the money back being it was 7 days out. She was hesitant to do it, and offered me her horse to ride, since mine would not be allowed back onto the property if I went to this heavily populated- with strange horses from- ALL OVER- camp out (with memorial day rodeo planned too).

All this was amazing timing. I would not be able to ride my mare in a new place without hoof protection, most likely. And having my  horses health advocate there-right after I had purchased the new boots to show me why I could not use them anymore-PERFECT TIMING. The lockdown before we went out and camped-Perfect timing again! Thank you Lord!

 For how totally depressed I am not getting to go, I would never jeopardise my mare's in health. AND...the final blow is that my saddle IS STILL NOT READY anyway, for being promised on week 10. It is now week 15! This makes me a bareback rider for almost a year. The timing issue points to WAIT IT OUT.

 With all this kind of riding...I have gotten to practice my sitting trot, alot.  When I rode the "ANSUR CLASSIC" last week...I was shocked at how easy it was to sit the trot with stirrups! Though-I have to say, I felt disconnected from my legs, them jingle jangling about,( it felt like) with my butt staying firmly planted in contact with the saddle. I think one HUGE-O- differance is that my mare's back was lifted each time  I trotted. Makes a huge difference to -have a place to sit!
I have noticed the riders in the Olympics on You tube- with the jingle jangle legs. It is the contact point of the upper calf, I think, that is the important part. Please correct me if I am totally wrong. The loose ankle in the stirrups, gives stability to the entire leg, making the line up the body flexible, unblocked, I believe. Again, correct me if I am wrong. adding  back into the equation(stirrups) will be different! The angle is slightly different, raised. When I sit the trot bareback, I've made it a point to keep my calves upon the mare with my heels downward, but almost reaching backwards to touch the flank by simply weighting my knees and thinking of my thighs sinking straight down, as the mare's front hooves land upon the ground. It keeps me from gripping.
My descriptions are so -not fine science- just how it feels.

So the last weeks sightings of the now over and back to the cold wetness of what so many are experiencing. ICKY CRAP! But, in Preparations for the Horsey trip, first of many planned this summer, I had the trailer serviced last week. I have had the trailer a year almost, and it is 8 years old. I have no idea what work had been done to it, so I began by looking under the floor mats again...still sturdy and clean there! Next, to get the trailer wheel bearings packed and brakes checked. Off I went to Les Schwab.

My service dude was so accommodating to allow me to shoot photo's of the apt. with him, and his dirty fingernails in the frames! Good Bearings, he discovered and nice colored grease too.

Made me feel good to know the tires, brakes, pads, bearings and all are  in fine working order!

Now, just need some better spring weather since all is about ready to go... 
Even got my new under garments all ready to ride in!

" Fine timing" it takes theses days, stars aligned and all, to get all things to work for a ride!!


  1. Smarty Pants! *LOL*

    Amazing how things work out if we just pay attention. Sorry about all the hoof boots though. I bought a pair of the Cavallos and also got the pastern booties as I was wondering how the heck they wouldn't end up rubbing.

    "The loose ankle in the stirrups, gives stability to the entire leg, making the line up the body flexible, unblocked, I believe. Again, correct me if I am wrong."

    You're not wrong - at least - that's also what I've read and been taught. The ankles have to be loose and flexible to post correctly too. Otherwise they are blocking the energy, and your horse won't move well.

    Enjoy your trip, and glad you got to see the sun!!

  2. We had the same EHV-1 debate here at our barn over a week ago. One article I read stated that until a good vaccine is developed we as horse owners will need to be more careful how our horses interact at events. Looked at your thermography picts. Interesting I should go out and check out my ponies hoof underside I have just been checking the legs and shoulders. Wish my IR camera had as big a viewing screen :)

    Well with all the hurry up and waits at least your trailer is ready!


  3. What a shame with the hoof boots. I had some cavallos and changed them for the barefoot edge which I really like. Glad you got some sunshine, we've had sunny weather now for weeks and really need some rain! Shame about the camp though. Love the smarty pants , they look so comfortable.

  4. Haha smarty pants. I got these "boy shorts" underwear from wal mart they don't ride up your crack like normal underwear and are made of a really strechy fabric for a fraction of those "smarty pants" I've seen them at our local tack store for quite the bit of money.

    Try renegade hoof boots. I've heard wonderful results with them when other hoof boots failed. I think they might solve your abnormal pressure problem with the way they stick on. Plus they are designed strictly for horses who are trimmed barefoot IE-shorter heels and toes.

  5. Spotty has to wear special shoes due to arthritis in his hind legs so I have not used hoof boots, but was really interested to read your post about them. I am sure you are correct about the leg position in bareback sitting trot. I was always told to keep the leg long and relaxed with contact from the calf. However, I do find sitting trot much easier with a saddle :)

  6. Great work seeing the positive in all the bad stuff that happened! Cool pics of the bearings.

  7. Try these. They should be the same material as the smarty pants. I find they run large.

  8. I am so excited to find out if you still love your Ansur in six months time! Because, if you do, I think it'll be what I'm looking for Casey. He is hard to fit with high withers and a quarter horse body. So many other saddles pinch him or bridge that I'm getting a bit frustrated. So, I look forward to hearing your ongoing reviews!

  9. Well - I got to OR just as the sun left! We are at Cape Kiwanda for 2 nights. Sun/clouds/rain off and on all day, and it is COOL! (it looks cool and feels cool...) So sorry about Wa's sore feet and also about your cancelled trip. Better safe than sorry though. Your state is beautiful - it's my first visit.

  10. Wow, so many things went differently, and yet it's worked out for you. That's pretty crazy that the EHV-1 has reached your state. . . are you confined strictly to your barn or simply to not contacting other horses outside of it?
    Sorry about your hoof boots :/ I'm pretty blessed that Daisy's hooves stay wonderfully sound, and right now with it being very rainy and wet (=soft hooves) I'm using our easyboot gloves a lot, which never fall off and make Daisy walk like she owns the ground ;) haha. Have fun on your trip!

  11. Happy to see a couple of new posts. The weather has been so crazy here. Would love five days of sun in a row. Love that saddle in the photos below...hope yours arrives soon.

  12. Better safe than sorry, I'm doing a voluntary quarantine here until I find out if the Barrel-o-rama I went to on May 15 had any infected horses. I didn't have any horses there, but I worked as a volunteer at it.
    Have you checked out Easyboot Glove boots? they are supposed to be just right for the barefoot trim, and I plan on buying a pair this year.

  13. Thanks all!
    Yes, I for the mare-at home- is where it's at now! There is one horse " away"..he left early in the week, and can't come home! It could have been us.

    Well HOOF BOOTS- NONE of the "Easy Boot"models fit my
    Rounded hoofed mare. They twist and she literally-rips them off- my barefoot specialist measured her, and won't even recommend trying any of the new EASYBOOTS-EDGE, GLOVE...none.

  14. LOL about the UFO sightings and the smarty pants. Sorry about Wa's sore feet, the hoof-boot troubles and the lock-down. But you would have been in real trouble if you'd been away with Wa and couldn't return. So things could have been worse.

    I'm thinking you're correct in your description of the leg position while riding. I sometimes 'help' (he usually gets really annoyed with me when I do) hubs with his riding. He has a balancing problem and difficulties with keeping his legs relaxed and still with his heels down. He tends to pull up his knees and his heels and it's mighty difficult to get him to change that.
    Years ago friends of mine followed weekly 'sit classes' with a natural horsemanship woman who brought her own, very reliable and calm horses with her (nothing like our highly strung KWPN horses) so they could ride bareback. They invited me to join in their lessons, so I did, but the woman said she couldn't teach me anything because I'm a 'good sitter'. But I never thought about how I'm sitting in the saddle; I just do. Now I have to explain to hubs which parts of his body he needs to relax and which parts need to have a bit of tension, it makes me realise how difficult it is to describe it in a way someone understands it (I've read about centered riding and sometimes use the analogies described: your body is divided in blocks, a string from the top of your head to the sky, etc.).
    So I'm very interested in your descriptions too. I'm going to use them when I help hubs. See if he gets it and perhaps finally the penny drops.

    Hope Wa heals quickly, guessing that she will if you don't use the boots, and that the quarantaine situation clears up quickly. And that the weather stays nice. And that your saddle arrives quickly.


  15. Sorry for the long comment ;-)

  16. Oh, and I love your new header photo! Gorgeous.

  17. HAHA!
    Well, so glad you liked my word play on how it feels. My descriptions(on another blog) got bashed by some high nosers..Oh well, when you do it without IS hard to tell/type it correctly. They are only WORD DESCRIPTIONS and it IS far better to be kind- over-right- on these blogs anywho!

  18. Timing is everything they say. Glad you had some sun but sorry to hear about Wa's troubles. I don't ride with boots but we use the Soft-Ride boots for Dusty when her foot is under stress from an injury. They mostly stay on and I like that you can buy different inserts for them for various problems. She did pull them off in the mud one day and now our solution is to vet wrap them all the way round so she can't loosen the velcro. It works. Good luck with everything.

  19. Another great post so jam-packed with info I'm not sure I'll remember everything I want to comment on :)

    I'm so, so sorry that your mare was injured by the boots. That's craziness, did she had any issues with the front boots? I wonder if the hindleg angles are the source of the issue. My gelding only wore his on the front and never seemed bothered by them. Huh.

    Thank you for describing how to trot bareback, after reading that I know why I haven't been able to do it. My legs have been creeping upward and I've been gripping with my knees. Oh!


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