Tom's Thumb: a great trail to test boots with by going up and over the mountain above us.
One of the barriers to trying a new regime like barefoot is not being up to date of the options in front of us. I can remember thinking about putting a pair of Original Easyboots over a set of steel shoes for the 50 at Eastern High Sierra Classic a couple of years ago. I was concerned about doing the right thing with the boots to ensure a good fit so I could finish with a healthy, sound horse. I felt under-prepared and under-informed.
The Classic Easyboot: it's not the only Easyboot.
A lot has changed with Easyboots since then, both in terms of product line and the support information available to users and potential users. If you think an Easyboot is still an Easyboot, think again.
Fits Like A Glove
One of the things I like most about the Glove is that there are no moving cables or buckles to worry about. There isn’t even a heel strap to stress over. I was concerned the gaiter would rub – particularly since I ride in lots of deep sand as part of my training program. In the summer I train up in the mountains in Prescott, and I cross water several times on most of the loops I ride.
The Easyboot Glove: no moving parts to complicate your life.
Today there are 17 horses within sight of my back porch. Nine of them are currently in training for endurance using Easyboot Gloves, and none of them have any rubs on their pasterns to show for it. Each of the horses has been out on training rides in various conditions to get used to the boots and to make sure things fit right. Rocky once got rubbed when the gaiter was not done up tightly enough. I always use athletic tape on Redford’s hinds: he is very base narrow and there is something about his way of going that seems to pry the boots off if I don’t use tape.
There Are Lots of Choices
Some endurance riders use other Easyboot products – Terri Tinkham logged more than 1,500 competition miles this year in Epics. Click here for some tips on how to make your choice. As well as the Glove, other boots recommended for long distance are the Edge, the Epic, the Bare and the Glue-On.
What’s The Right Choice for the Trail?
If you’re less interested in competing and more interested in trail riding, most of the Easyboot lineup will suffice. The trick is to measure your horse’s feet and choose the boot that suits size and activity. If you are looking for boots to take on shorter distances of less than 25 miles a day and don't want to use Gloves, you could also look at the Boa, the Old Mac’s and the Edge.
Good friends, good horses and good boots on a great trail: Kyle Nielsen (Maine), Steph Teeter (Idaho), Clydea Hastie (Arizona), Rusty Toth (Arizona) and Brian Malkoske (British Columbia) enjoying the Arizona sun.
It Takes A Village
Last Sunday’s training ride involved a group of six of us taking on the challenge of the trail up to Tom’s Thumb. The trail was developed in the last year – and it’s nice to finally have a real mountain to climb within a few miles of home. It was a good test for the horses new to boots. Kyle Nielsen got to ride Clydea Hastie’s horse, Rushcreek Quinby. It was Quinby’s first trail ride in seven months and it was also the first time for him to have Gloves on his hinds. One did pop off on the first steep climb up, so we wrapped athletic tape around his hinds three times just below the coronet band before reapplying the hind boots. The boots stayed on tight for the rest of the ride.
There are lots of options to try if you’re thinking of boots – and there is probably a solution out there waiting for you to discover it. Use the resources available to you to make those choices.
Keep up the bootlegging!