Have you had one recently? Recently I saw a post on Facebook by a friend who came home with a pile of bones a couple years ago and now has an athlete that anyone would be proud to own. I felt proud of her, and a little sad to think of the horse she brought home. While he's a lucky guy now, he was sure in need of an upgrade previously.
Although my mare was no where near a pile of bones, nor in true need of an upgrade to her leisurely life, I am sure proud of the transition she's made. She came to me as a lovely but anxious, worried, herd-bound mess of a mare with no muscle, long hooves and a serious tangle of mane and tail. Now, less than a year later, she's a less anxious, less worried, the same amount of herd-bound mare with luxurious locks and a rockin' athletic body on a set of nice, albeit little, feet. Anya recently completed her first endurance ride with energy to spare and I couldn't be more proud.
June 2013 to May 2014. Wow!
I experimented a little with using a pair of Transitions on my mare, thinking she'd appreciate the extra cushion that the Transitions offer and the looser fit of the boots. I really liked this concept if even it only made me feel good and for some ridecamps where there are rocks underfoot, I'll definitely be doing it again! Y'all should definitely be keeping a pair of these boots in the tack room, the horses love them.
The definition of "transition" is technically the process of from one state or condition to another. Are our horses ever truly transitioned, or are they perpetually in the process of transition? I can't wait to see how Anya and the rest of the herd continues transition to better and better. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be the same path without the tools from EasyCare. Lucky us!
At the end of April, a friend and I decided that while our horses weren't quite ready to embark on a 50-mile endurance ride, they would likely benefit from a 25-mile ride as a jump to a 50 the following month. Her gelding is a game little guy and the 25 miles would be nothing more to him than a training ride, but for Anya, well, not only would the 25 miles be a good training ride physically, I suspected the ride might be mentally trying. Unfortunately, I was correct. The ride proceeded a crappy week of 20-10,000 MPH wind. The horses hadn't rested well in days and the evening of the ride was no different. We vetted in with more wind and in the dark. Anya didn't rest the night nor was she crazy about eating. The following morning dawned bright and WINDY (OMG- please stop it! One can only take so much wind!) and off we set. Both my friend and I outfitted our ponies with four Easyboot Gloves, which performed flawlessly through the day. Each horse traveled easily over the miles and looked fantastic following the ride. However, the Princess Pony decided that I hadn't yet spent enough money on her and spent the next few days picking at her hay and looking at me from under her ridiculous eyelashes pitifully. A few days of ulcer meds bounced her back to 100% and I spent the next three weeks chasing her around her paddock with syringes of this liquid gold. I am pretty sure that if the neighbors didn't already think I was insane, they do now. I'll be forever known as the girl who chases her horses around in her pajamas to shove stuff in their mouth, never hesitating to drop to the ground to rescue any lost morsel and then proceed to wrestle it back into their mouth despite serious protest. Oh well, I guess I could be the girl who has gorgeous flowers or a bountiful garden. We can't have it all.
Anya and I at Owyhee Tough Sucker. Gloves all the way around.
I began to bring Anya back into work which she ate up like a fat kid eating cake, or, like me eating cupcakes. The annual Owyhee Fandango was quickly approaching and I decided to try again. This time, with a few management changes, Anya camped like a champ with her boyfriend and we embarked on our first 50-mile ride on a lovely May morning. The Owyhee trails have changed a lot over the last few years due to flash floods and serious erosion. The rocks. Oh my gosh, the rocks. We chose to ride the second day, a ride which I've done numerous times, due to the nice footing. Apparently, things have changed a bit since my last ride on the Hart Creek. Thankfully the first loop had lovely footing that allowed us to move out at a nice steady pace but the second loop was pretty miserable at times. That said, both horses finished the ride in their Easyboot Gloves with no issues. We were stoked to find out we had finished in the top ten despite maintaining our turtle status for the first 20 miles. Yes, there were more than ten people in the ride!
Owyhee Fandango. Steve Bradley Photography.
I was thankful for my Gloves many, many times during the day and my friend and I commented numerous times about how much easier it is to slap on a set of Gloves than deal with pads or pour-in protection with shoes. We flew down a stretch of gravel road, floated above the deep sand and charged up hills and down slides, crossed creeks and cruised the single-track. I find it amusing and satisfying to see more than half of the riders at our local endurance events using Easyboots.
The climb from the creek to the ridgeline was one rocky SOB.