Submitted by Gene Limlaw
I am eager for our competition year to get started. Last fall I pulled my mare Grace's shoes and decided to leave them off. I went through a season of being out of balance and getting interference marks. I was reading EasyCare blogs and got increasingly intrigued by the thought of not needing shoes.
Grace and me with a few friends on a training ride earlier this winter.
Here in the northeast we have a lot of Competitive Trail Rides and not being able to use leg protection posed a problem for my horses well being. I would pull her shoes between rides so she wouldn't hit herself. The idea of a glue-on made a lot of sense as you cannot use boots with gators either in CTR.
I have spent the last seven months trying to learn as much about this option as possible: the lifestyle changes of feed, hoof care and work. I have hauled to Florida twice over the winter to be able to compete and test the Gloves on a 100-mile event and a pioneer ride and had great results. My horse goes better all the time. With subzero temps here in the winter there really are no competitions for about six months.
So I am looking forward to testing the Glue-Ons on the Northeast CTR circuit this season to see how they work on my hometown terrain. I will keep refining my gluing techniques and gaining a better understanding of it all.
Grace and me at Fun In The Sun this year.
Unlike a lot of people gluing and booting I do not trim my own horses’ hooves much. It is one of those things I don't have an eye for at this yet, although I know it is my own lack of knowledge for trimming. I found a barefoot trimmer and will start having them teach me to do touch ups in between her visits. I believe it is really important to find someone who understands to learn from (have you ever had a riding instructor that you just did not click with?). This is so much easier when you find a person that is easy to learn from.
We own different breeds of horses with different types of feet and am excited to see how they all take to the transition. I look forward to this new lifestyle for my horses and myself and feel more empowered every day by my decision to leave my horses bare and boot them.
Gene Limlaw, Weathersfield, Vermont