Two weeks ago I loaded up Topper and headed out to the last endurance ride in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest, Owyhee Hallowed Weenies. We drove the two hours south to Steph Teeter's place where we had just ridden a few days the month before at Owyhee Canyonlands. This would be Topper's fifth ride of his first season and we would be doing a 55.
Although it was cold and dark and it was a strong fight against hibernation, I got up on time and had the Topper Pony tacked and ready to go for our incredibly early start time of 8:30. Because I was only going to ride one day, I slipped on Topper's trusty Easyboot Gloves, adding the Topper's favorite 6mm, medium density comfort pads to the mix.
Topper and me posing for a photo above the Snake River- Thanks for the pic, Merri!
It's not recommended to use pads with Gloves due to the extremely low profile of the boot, as well as the suction-like attachment of the boot to hoof. These are all good things which could be compromised by the use of pads. However, I began experimenting with pads in Topper's boots early this year, well within the time-frame for proper experimentation. Because he has never been a boot thrower, I felt like it was worth a shot and I haven't been disappointed. And for a horse who is regularly more foot sensitive than others, pads have been a great addition for him. I will stress again that pads may compromise an otherwise excellent fit. Like with anything else, try these things first, well before an important event!!
Topper's front foot after being in his Gloves from Friday night to Sunday morning. No rubs and no sore feet. The bottom picture shows the worn pad after 55 miles.
Gettin' it done, in front of a beautiful backdrop. Steve Bradley Photography.
Carrying on, we started the ride with our good friends Merri and Jose (also in his Gloves), and headed out on familiar trails. We enjoyed a gorgeous day, albeit chilly, the boys eating up the miles. The footing was mostly as awesome as you could get and during the stretch of asphalt I was thankful for my boots, as we were able to carry on without worrying about slipping horse shoes. Our boys sailed through the vet checks and soon enough we found ourselves back at base camp and shortly after, cozed up in the warm house enjoying lasagna and wine. Doesn't get much better!
Topper looking fancy. How far this horse has come.
Here's Topper on Sunday morning, before we packed up to head home. And by packed, I mean threw the buckets in the mangers and folded up the HiTie. I don't think I've mentioned recently how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE the HiTie. After a few rides of using our portable pen due to taking two horses, I've forgotten how simple, safe and AWESOME my Hi-Tie is! Need.More.HiTies.
We have since been blessed with some beautiful fall weather. Of course, this can't last and tonight it feels like winter is blowing in. With the changing seasons comes change for Topper and me. Stay tuned for the next chapter.