The Moose. I adore this guy!
Then came The Moose. Yes, my big (too big), black (too dark), substantial (too bulky) Shagya gelding arrived. I think I mentioned before that this gelding has tree trunks for legs and Tonka trucks for feet. I joked with a friend that I shouldn't be riding a horse who's feet were bigger than my hands (mind out of the gutter, buddy!) and estimated that he would wear a size 3 Glove up front and a 2 behind. While I knew these were big boots in my mind, I didn't realize the actual SIZE of them until they arrived. HOLY HECK THESE SUCKERS ARE HUGE! I excitedly drove out to the ranch to take my boy for a ride with his new wheels. Fail.
Big Ass Boots
Quite a bit of overhang goin' on up there.
At least a size too small on all accounts, I left a little dejected. I started to worry a little about having an endurance horse with bigger than a size 3 foot. Is this too big? Will he hold up? Of course only time will tell. And in the meantime, I'm gonna enjoy the heck outta him!
Fit kit, extraordinaire! Thanks, Shari!
I went home and got on the phone. Luckily my pals at Easycare were quick to the rescue, putting together a customized fit kit for The Moose. We troubleshooted and figured a 2W, a 2.5W and a regular 3.5 would give the best range of sizes for the monster feet. I gathered up my stuff and went out to go try on boots. I grabbed The Moose with his new custom-made halter (apparently regular endurance horses don't have ginormous heads, as none of the endurance tack my friends or I owned, fit) and tied up at the rail.
Big head? Big belly? We got it!
I reevaluated his feet and decided to do a bit more trimming. This guy has incredibly solid feet, but they were markedly high on the inside when I got him and pretty long at the toe. I backed his toe up and tried to level him out, but didn't want to get too aggressive with taking off too much as I had planned on riding riding riding! Ride we did, and the last month of riding barefoot showed nicely on his feet. Even still, he was a bit high on the inside and had some flaring at the back of the foot. Sometimes it's really helpful to use the boot shell to judge your trim for unevenness and the horse's foot for flaring. I saw a little of both while trying on the different size shells.
First glance at the front feet. Of course I couldn't get him to stand square. Something about cookies??
First try- left front, size 3.5. Good fit and powerstraps can be added, should the boot stretch or the foot size down a bit. We like!
Still likin' it.
Mmm.. not so good. This is the left front, which obviously has enough flare to impact the boot fit.
A few swipes of the rasp to work the flare down that was impacting the fit, I was horrified to see the bruising!! I won't lie, I felt a little relief because I have only had this horse for a month and knew at least it wasn't *I* that caused that bruise! I took extra care to relieve the quarters on both feet as I am assuming the bruising was caused from the pressure of the too high quarters. Hope the guy feels better now!
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!! HOLD THE SHOW!!!!!!! Seriously, this is how I reacted when I saw that. BUT, I didn't DO this and it can be fixed. Phew. (I can be such a freak sometimes!)
A size 3 Glove is a much better fit after a little trimming of the right front.
Hind foot in a 3. A 2 is too small and a 3 is a bit too big. I'm thinking 2.5 will be just the ticket!
As for the final verdict of the boots, at this time we'll go for the 3.5 on the left front and 3 on the right front. 2.5's for the back, please. Did I mention I'm used to much, much smaller boots?? I guess we'd be in trouble if he had little feet but oh boy is this different :)
Take advantage of the fit kit people! It is such a worthwhile effort as the measuring can oftentimes be inaccurate. Kind of like those tiny little pregnant ladies- you know, the ones who look like a size 2 from behind, and then they turn around and BAM they almost knock you over with their belly? Kinda like that. The fit kit can save a lot of time and effort and will insure the perfect fit.
'Till next time!
~ Amanda Washington