Cy Saddlery Makes It Look "Easy" in Alaska

The following is from EasyCare dealer, Stefanie Bergman, of Cy Saddlery in Wasilla, Alaska:

"Well, I just got back from a competitive trail ride (CTR) in Fairbanks. Six hundred miles in the truck and forty miles in the saddle and we're home! I am so happy to report that the HiTie worked beautifully. I honestly wouldn't do another ride without one. My horse was able to move around, which made her more comfortable at the trailer. My mare loves the HiTie. She is much less anxious being on the trailer than when she's tied hard and fast. This is such a great product!

The ride lived up to it's name of being a challenge. We rode up to Ester Dome in Fairbanks and if we weren't going uphill, we were going downhill. On thr first day of the ride, it rained and was windy and cold. I had to rock out the winter riding gear to stay warm.

The second day was beautiful. In the picture below with the Fireweed field, you will see the mountain where we rode to the very top. It was an amazing weekend.

I saw a lot of EasyCare hoof boots, Stowaway Packs and other EasyCare products on the ride. I also donated a set of Stowaway Packs to the ride, which was presented to the "red lantern" rider.

My little mare did a wonderful job. This was her second CTR and she took first place horse, I took third place horsemanship and we won high point combined. It was a lot of fun!"

Another assertive EasyCare dealer that not only talks the talk, but walks the walk! Congratulations, Stefanie!

Dee Reiter

easycare-customer-service-dee-reiter

Retail Account Rep

I am the Retail and New Dealer Account Rep for EasyCare. I will be happy to help you with ordering, selecting the most popular styles and sizes of EasyCare hoof boots to stock. Let me help you with suggestions on merchandising and provide training for you and your staff, at your convenience.

 

Your EasyCare Rep Is Here To Help You

We can help you!

  • We can offer training for you and your staff, at your convenience.
  • We can recommend the top four, best-selling hoof boot styles and most popular sizes to stock.
  • We can help you and your staff to be proficient at measuring for hoof boots so you can instruct your customers.
  • We can help you and your staff to be the experts in recommending the hoof boot style and size for each of your customer's individual needs.
  • We can explain the difference between the 30-Day Money Back Guarantee and our 90-Day Manufacturers Warranty.
  • We can explain Dealer Pricing Levels, MSRP and MAP.
  • We can help you and your customers with faster delivery through direct shipping.
  • We can help you carry more than hoof boots - Offer your customers EZ-Ride Stirrups, Stowaway Packs and HiTies.
  • We can offer you our new, 16-Page Brochure, which is an excellent tool for educating customers and a "must have" for special events.
  • We can send customers to you! If you are not currently listed on the Dealer Locator on the EasyCare Website, let us know and we will add you.
  • We can help you stay connected on the latest news and products by reading the EasyCare Newsletter. Look for the secret promo in the Newsletter for special promotions that go above and beyond our monthly sale!

Call your EasyCare Rep today!

 800.447.8836

Dee Reiter

easycare-customer-service-dee-reiter

Retail Account Rep

I am the Retail and New Dealer Account Rep for EasyCare. I will be happy to help you with ordering, selecting the most popular styles and sizes of EasyCare hoof boots to stock. Let me help you with suggestions on merchandising and provide training for you and your staff, at your convenience.

 

 

Top 10 Tips for Dealer Success in 2013

It is an exciting time at EasyCare. Listed below are the top 10 tips for dealer success in 2013:

Easyboot Glove Back Country

  1. Stock the Top - The Easyboot Trail, Easyboot Glove and Easyboot Glove Back Country are top selling boots. Give your customers the best selection by stocking a variety of boot models. On average, dealers who stock new boot styles grow three times faster than those who don't.
  2. Red Boot & Blue - Customers asked, we answered. The Easyboot Glove is now available in both Red and Royal Blue.
  3. More than Boots - EasyCare also sells stirrups, Stowaway packs and HiTies. Increase sales by stocking these must have items.
  4. Printed Brochure - The brochure is an excellent tool for educating consumers and will be a must-have for clinics and special events. Keep several on hand to share with your customers.
  5. e-Catalog - Looking for more detailed product information? An electronic version of our catalog is available online.
  6. Dealer's Corner - Download EasyCare product images and descriptions for your catalogs, ads and websites.
  7. Dealer Locator - Let us send customers to you! If you are not currently listed, please contact us and we will add you.
  8. Dealer Training - EasyCare Dealer Representatives offer training to you and your staff. Call your representative to set up a training time at your convenience.
  9. Blogs - Read our blog for the latest updates and tips.
  10. Stay Connected - Stay informed on the latest news and products from EasyCare by reading our e-newsletter. EasyCare will offer an exclusive e-newsletter special.

If you have not received your 2013 Dealer Price List, please call your EasyCare Dealer Rep at 800.447.8836.

Dee Reiter

easycare-customer-service-dee-reiter

Retail Account Rep

I am the Retail and New Dealer Account Rep for EasyCare. I will be happy to help you in the ordering process, selecting the most popular styles and sizes of EasyCare hoof boots to stock. Let me help you with suggestions on merchandising and provide training for you and your staff, at your convenience.

 

2013 Brings in New EasyCare Dealers

EasyCare is very happy to welcome our newest dealers.

The Carolina Carriage Superstore is the largest supplier of carriages and harnesses in the industry. In their 18,000 square foot facility, they stock over 100 carriages, 300 sets of harnesses and all other driving essentials at all times. Not only are they a carriage shop, they also have a complete tack room full of saddles, other tack related items and stable equipment. They pride themselves on being the one stop shop where you can get the horse, the equipment, and the lessons needed to start or advance your riding and driving career. Owners, Jack and Gloria Moore and daughter in law, Kelley, have been involved with horses their entire lives and will be pleased to help you http://carolinacarriagesuperstore.com/about.html.

At Dickson Farmers Co-op, located in Middle Tennessee, they carry a full tack line from beginner to hard core performance riders. Dickson offers everything from basic riding bits to high performance pads. They also incorporate the nation’s leading name brands. Dickson Farmers Co-Op carries feed, supplements, farrier supplies and animal health products in a one stop shop location. http://ourcoop.com

Higher Ground Saddlery offers our E-Z Ride Stirrups on their saddles. Their saddles are built one at a time and put together by one set of hands. Quality control is held to the strictest standards. By offering over ten different saddle tree bars and being able to offer them in a variety of widths, your hard to fit horse may become not so difficult after all! Whether you are interested in a particular styling, an extra degree of comfort, or security in the saddle is your priority, they work directly with you to insure your needs are met. They also take great pride in putting only top quality materials into their saddles. Each saddle is built with the Amish craftsmanship everyone loves, right here in the USA. Saddles are hand assembled with the highest quality hardware.  Visit our website at http://trailridingsaddles.com/saddles/about-our-saddles.html

Trail Pals Horse Trailer Accessory Store is our newest HiTie Dealer. They specialize in hard-to-find horse trailer accessories and other trailer cross-over items that make trailers safer and more enjoyable for animals and owners. They feature the newest arrivals in horse trailer parts and accessories. Their selection of trailer accessories is ever-changing as new products hit the industry. Many are "cross-over" type items that can also be used in other applications. Trail Pals carries many hard-to-find and standard parts that are commonly attached to horse trailers, and most of the fasteners needed to mount them. http://horsetraileraccessorystore.com/trailer_ties.htm


 

Desolation Wilderness Vacation, Part One

Submitted by Natalie Herman, Team Easyboot 2012 Member

The picture below show Tara Flwelling on her Tennessee Walking Horse stallion, Den (left) and me on my Quarmorab mare, Eowyn, above one of the many lakes in the Desolation Wilderness. They were three great days of riding.

Before heading to Nevada for the Tahoe Rim Ride, my friend and rideshare, Willi, decided we should do something more than a one day ride. It would give us more bang for your gas/driving buck. I usually tend to go to multiday rides because of this, but we did not want to miss this spectacular new ride. Willi told me about a place he'd been before that offered miles of awesome riding: the Desolation Wilderness in the El Dorado National Forest, on the west side of Lake Tahoe.

Our friend Tara, who was joining us at the Rim Ride, also thought it was a grand idea. Our original plan was to head to Lassen National Park. But a large wildfire in the park the weeks before the ride, nixed that idea, so this alternate was decided upon.

Willi told us that he'd last been there before I had transitioned his horses to barefooting. They were still shod, and he and his wife had two horses each. The trails here are extremely rocky, weathered out of the granite mountains all around. The rock is very abrasive, and in slab form, is slick as ice for steel. He says the horses would trip and stumble, slide on the slab rock, and even though they were traded out every day, became footsore in less than ten miles a day. When they returned home, all of them blew abscesses in the following weeks. He wasn't sure he'd ever be able to return to the wilderness, even though it was such an awesome place to ride.

Flash forward to now, and his horses have been barefoot and booted for almost a year. His main mounts, a Kentucky Mountain mare, and a Foxtrotter gelding, both do great in endurance in Easyboot Gloves, gating happily everywhere.

Time to test the hooves and footwear on some of the toughest terrain around. My own mare has been bare her entire life, but due to a sugar sensitivity, often does much better in Easyboot Epics with dome pads, than in Gloves. I switch back and forth, depending on terrain. Tara's horse Den, came from Tennessee a year or so ago, and has been transitioning to barefoot since then. She is still working on getting his hooves into a more ideal barefoot form, and has been having to fiddle with boot fit as his feet change. But he does fairly well in Gloves as well. So onward to three days of great adventure in the wilderness of the Sierras.

Driving to camp was a beautiful, but hair-raising drive if you don't like narrow, windy, cliff-side mountain roads. Willi lives in the mountains, so it was nothing new for him. I got to sit back and enjoy the views.

The entrance to camp. It is actually a huge camp, with lots of individual and group sites, as well as a group horse camp and individual horse sites. You take Ice House Road, off of Hwy 50, all the way to Loon Lake. There are all sorts of recreational activities available, from boating and fishing, to riding of course :) And hardly a soul in sight, despite the large campground. Perfect for a great getaway.

Home sweet home for the next four days. The camps have a fire pit, table, bear box, and a communal restroom area. They also have tie-posts that have swivels in them for picketing, but they don't work nearly as well as high-lining or corrals.

All our horses are good on lines, and we set them up as zip lines, so they have tons of room. The tie posts did make good hay bag hangers though.

The campfire was very welcome as the sun set and night set in. The night time temps did drop a good bit, since we were at just around 7,000 feet.

Eowyn always wandered to the last rays of warmth in the evenings, and the first rays in the morning. Has anyone seen spots like these? They started appearing in May, and have exploded all over her since then. Best guess is they are a color-thing, called Birdcatcher Spots. I have started calling her Sparkles.

Mornings were relaxed and spent telling bear and bee stories. Tara is explaining that the "bear was there! Right over there! He snuffled all around my tent last night." Willi supposedly heard and saw him too. Me? I must have been deaf, as I swear I never heard him. I still think they were pulling my leg all weekend. Now hornets? We did have a nest of those near camp, and they attacked Willi and Tara on their firewood search. We Raided their nest with two cans, and still they were buzzing. After that we came to the agreement they'd leave us alone, if we stayed away from the nest. It seemed to work.

Usually I can ride Eowyn bitless, but now and then I bit her up when she starts leaning on the sidepull too much. This is her opinion of the bridle: it always cracks me up when she does this. This is now her go-to trick when she doesn't like something you are doing with her. Who says horses can't say "NO!!!"?? :)

And we are off: Willi on Roheryn, his Foxtrotter. The trails are supposedly maintained out here, but we quickly found out that this was not the case. A few sections here and there had been cleaned, but other than that, we had many downed trees to negotiate and lots of brushy areas as well.

Den tracking up behind me. This is the best footing the entire trail will be. But even this sand is decomposed granite, and very abrasive, and has rocks sticking out of it all over.

The first day's trail took us around Loon lake. Nothing like a deep blue lake, a clear blue sky, and the spine of the mountains surrounding you to give you a new perspective on life.

Absolutely stunning. Den, like all silly boys, has to goof off for the camera though.

Onward down the trail, this is what much of it looks like. Some of the trails are historical wagon ways that brought immigrants over the Sierras. They actually blasted the way through the rock. One can still see some old drill holes that dynamite was dropped down. I can't imagine riding a shod horse on this, let alone trying to have them drag wagons across it.

Some of the rock formations. Really cool stuff.

After a few miles, we entered the actual Desolation Wilderness.

Where we continued wandering the rocky trails, headed for some of the many lakes dotting the area. Eowyn was very happy to have her Epics with pads in them. She never skipped a beat, striding out confidently and happily for three days. Den and Ro did great in just their Gloves.

Here we found lots of neat rock slabs and formations, that were screaming to be climbed on.

I couldn't resist, and had to go play in the jungle gym with my pony.

Up , up, up, all the way to the top. A perfect climb in my grippy boots.

The back down again, which was a bit more complicated.

We negotiated the descent without a hitch by my trusted steed. She has come a long way in the last two years: from a bratty child I was getting so frustrated with I was going to sell her, to now my Tevis prospect I trust in the tightest spots. Good Girl.

Tara and Den gave it a try too. This was his first big outing. His trails at home are basically park type groomed trails and a cinch.

He made it to the top as well. He learned a ton over the three days and is now a solid back-country horse, ready to take on the real trails.

Willi and Ro gave it a good go as well. Can your shoes do this? Maybe if they are synthetic.

 

Here are a few videos.

After the climbing, we headed to one of the lakes for lunch. And look what Tara found on one of the rocks overlooking a lake. There are some creative people out there.

There was some great grass for the ponies, while we munched on sandwiches.

Willi decided to go for a swim, but after sticking our toes in the water, Tara and decided lakes at 7,000+ ft elevation, were just too cold, even in August.

Den agreed, but splashed around in the shallows a bit.

I tried to coax Eowyn in a bit deeper. She was not too excited about the whole thing either, though. And with some rocks and tree stumps hiding in the mud, I let her be.

On the way back, we were gaiting/ trotting a bit when we found some nice dirt roads, and Den had a few boot loss issues. The next day I trimmed him up how I do my ponies, and put half a size smaller boot on his feet. He had some flares that were making it look like he needed bigger boots, but then once removed, he needed a smaller one. The rest of the time he never had another issue. Fit and proper trim, are important to boot retention. Even more so with Gloves.

The day ended as it began, with beautiful Loon Lake. What a fun day sight seeing in the back country.

Eowyn enjoying the last rays of the sun again. I tested her out on a 'horse collar' this trip as well. It worked like a charm and helped keep the lead rope out of her way. In June she pulled a groin muscle, when she got her leg over the rope while scratching her ear. He tore the whole hi-tie arm off the trailer as well.

.

Next, in Part Two, the horses go 'slabbing' and Den learns to bushwhack.

Natalie Herman, Pictures/Vids by Natalie, Tara, and Willi.

Last Ride of the Season, and Why I Love Gloves + Pads

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. 

Working Hard to Get You Your Boots

2012 has been a huge year for hoof boots, the barefoot/booted horse and the EasyCare dealer network. We are lucky enough to have an amazing in house team as well as great partners distributing our boots worldwide. Over the past four years, Easycare introduced or improved a long list of products.

2012

Easyboot Glove Back Country and Glove Back Country Wide

New Easyboot and Epic Buckle and Tread

2011

Easyboot Trail

Easyboot Glove Wide

Easyboot Glue-On wide

2010

Thinker Toed Glove and Glue-On

Save Edge Rasps

Hitie

2009

Easyboot Glove

Easyboot Edge

Easyboot RX

Easyboot Glue-On

We take pride in not settling for the status quo. We are always working hard to have ground breaking new products and make improvements to existing products to make them better. As you review your vendors in 2012, look as see who else has made strides like this in the past four years. I doubt you will find any comparable company. 2013 will be no different: we will continue to push and be better.

Thank you for expecting us to be extraordinary.

 

Brian Mueller

easycare-sales-manager-brian-mueller

Director of Sales

As the director of sales, I am responsible for identifying new dealer opportunities and building on existing relationships to foster ideas and create additional growth.

 

Transition Tuesday - The First Ride of the Year

The first endurance ride of Idaho, Owyhee Tough Sucker, has come and gone in what seems to be the blink of an eye. It's hard to believe the second ride is only now two and a half weeks away. This season is sure to fly by and I hope to remember to thoroughly enjoy every second of it! 

Vetting in at Owyhee Tough Sucker. Merri Melde photograph

Because I had done my "dress rehearsal" with all of our things and a full set of boots two weeks prior to the ride, my last ride on Nero before the endurance ride was done barefoot, as we had a bunch of rain and the ground was soft. He felt strong and fit and I knew I'd have my hands full the morning of the ride. Because we had the luxury of starting at 8 (!!) I didn't put his boots on the night before as I knew I'd have time to do it in the morning. We went to be that night and I looked forward to a good night's sleep. Nero had other ideas- sometime before 2AM he pulled off his Hi-Tie and proceeded to terrorize camp. When I woke the next morning to feed him, well, he wasn't there. I started walking around camp to find him tied tightly to the ride manager's trailer. Apparently he was causing a ruckus in someone else's camp and landed himself in jail. He was none the worse for wear and thankfully nothing was broken on the High-Tie. I guess it serves him right to have missed out on hours of food back at our trailer, fortunately he could use to miss a few meals!

Leaving the vetcheck for the second loop

I put Nero's Easyboot Gloves easily and got on to begin warming up. While I hadn't had any problems thus far with the boots, I also hadn't ridden him further than 13 miles in them so while I was pretty sure he wouldn't have any problems, one can really never know. Consistent with Nero's transition from steel shoes to barefoot and booted, we had no issues. If there ever was a horse designed for the Easyboot Glove, it is this Arabian gelding, Nero's Asad. 

We started the day near the front, and kept our spot throughout the 50 miles. Nero was an absolute monster for the majority of the first 25 miles and we came into the vet check in 2 hours and 20 minutes. My hands were cramped from my death grip on the reins and my legs were shaking from Nero's big trot with no less than 4 feet of suspension in every stride. Nero came in already pulsed down and off to see the vet, who made some sort of reference to "big" and "strong." I couldn't hear for the shaking in my legs and the fact Nero was running me over. 

About twenty miles into the first 25-mile loop

Off to the trailer to chow and soon enough our hour hold was over. Off we went on the next 25 miles, hoping for a quieter, less pully pony. At this point Nero had let down some and I noticed, for the first time ever, he was paying more attention to where his big old size 2 feet were landing. We stopped fighting and I started letting him make more of the decisions although he still appears to have no pain sensors in his feet while he's actually in motion. While a tough horse is nice to have, one that takes care of themselves can be even nicer! I think we'll start working as a team, eventually, after he gets over the fact *I* am the primary leader. This pains him to hear. 

We finished the ride in a little over five hours and in 4th place. I believe 4 of the top 8 were in Easyboot Gloves all the way around. I know 3 of the top 4 in the limited distance were barefoot or booted in Easyboots as well. I don't know about the rest of the LD's because my mind went blank after I finished due to pain. Did I mention this horse is somewhat jarring? 

Back at the trailer, I peeled back Nero's gaiters expecting to see some sign of rubbing due to the lack of miles we had previously done booted. Nothing. He had more marks on his hind fetlocks from his brushing boots than he did on any one of his heels/pasterns/fetlocks from the Glove gaiters. I couldn't be happier with my boots and want to offer those just starting down the booted path some encouragement. 

Nero, the morning after the ride. He spent the night in jail so we could all get some rest. 

At the beginning, you will probably have some boot losses, you will probably have to re-evaluate your management and you will probably have to make adjustments to your trimming, whether it be the trimming schedule or actual trim. However, it gets easier! While some horses are easier than others, they are all worth it. The growing number of successful booted riders is huge now- seek one out in your area for help, most all of us are willing. Also be encouraged that the longer you stick with it, the more you learn and the easier it becomes. For now, my barefoot horse lounges in his pasture on rest. Love those Gloves. 

Cheers to you for a successful booted year! 

~ Amanda

Resolutions

New Year
Happy New Year from EasyCare. I am always amazed at how quickly time passes. I joined the EasyCare team just over five years ago and it seems like a single blink. As each new year begins, I write my professional and personal goals and reflect on years past. In December I was thinking about all the changes I've seen in alternative hoof care in the past five years. Our market is on fire! I see it not only on a day-to-day basis, but also when I travel (both within North America and abroad). Alternative hoof care has teeth! 

One of the greatest things about working for EasyCare is the pace we move as a company. Take a second and think about some the product launches that have taken place at EasyCare since 2007:

Easyboot Grip

Easyboot RX
Easyboot Glove
Easyboot Glove Wide
Easyboot Glue On
Easyboot Glue On Wide
Easyboot Edge
Easyboot Trail
Fit Kits
New Gaiter design
EasyUp Buckle
New Buckle design
HiTie
Over 120 product Videos
Over 23,823 Facebook Fans
Over 1,500 segment relevant blogs
Hoof Boot Contest

OK, I think you get the point. Our foot is on the gas, so hold on! 2012 will be more of the same because EasyCare is going to continue to develop, improve and grow. Thank you for all you do to help us continue be the world leader in hoof boots and natural hoof care.

Brian Mueller

easycare-sales-manager-brian-mueller

Director of Sales

As the director of sales, I am responsible for identifying new dealer opportunities and building on existing relationships to foster ideas and create additional growth.


Meeting Team Easyboot 2011 Members: Tami Rougeau

Just getting to the ride took huge support from family and friends and for that I am so thankful. This was our first ride back after yet another deployment and five months off for the mares. I was traveling again for the two weeks prior to the ride and would not be back to Reno until 10 pm Friday night. Going to this ride was quickly going into the too hard pile. 

Even though the trailer was already packed and ready to go, the thought of getting home late, loading up and getting to camp just hours before the start was a little daunting. When my husband said he would drive the trailer and horses to camp for me I knew I could not turn down the offer. I told my riding partner Lucy and she said she would be on the look out for him. 

When Thom picked me up at the airport he was still in amazement at the support he recieved upon arriving in camp. He likened it to having a Nascar pit crew, people were everywhere taking care of everything.  Before he was even out of the pick up the horses were unloaded, hi-ties up, hay bags hung, water buckets filled and horses groomed. He was really touched by the display of friendship and support. Huge thanks to Lucy, Renee, Russell, Carolyn and Dave and everyone else who made this possible. Endurance riders really are the best! Thank you all so much. The icing on the cake, though, was that Dave Rabe got May's boots on for me so I did not have to do it in the dark when I got in. 

May Nevada Derby Day 1

Last year, Lucy and I finished the Triple Crown with Uno and Fancy. Of course we have to try again and this year will be May's turn. She is the younger of the sisters and has had quite the life already. I got her at 18 months old and nursed her through nasty photosensitivity burns from an allergic reaction to alfalfa pellets she was being fed. Every white part of her was blistered and had to be treated for several months. This included all four legs. She healed up fairly well with only a little scarring but it left her terribly prone to scratches. Although she is smart and brave, she is also sensitive and a little emotional. So working her through the initial training years was a challenge at times.

One of our biggest challenges was figuring out how to make boots work for her, especially where gaiters were concerned, as any small rub resulted in huge nasty sores. After much trial and treatment we found that white vinegar and water was the trick to preventing the scratches and getting them to heal quickly if they did get started. Then we added in neoprene cuffs under the gaiters (thanks again Lucy and Leslie for the hot tip) to prevent any rubbing. We had a really great season last year without one episode of scratches and no rubs, YEAH!

This year we have Gloves with the more contoured gaiters that were introduced last year. In all the rush of the morning I had forgotten to put the neoprene cuffs on her. But with the softer gaiters it turned out she did not need them. Dave had the boots on beautifully - which is a challenge with her foot shape. Checking the gaiters regularly throughout the day, we never saw any issues. At the end of the ride I took a chance and washed her legs with just water since they looked so good.  She had no scratches at all, it was amazing. So we are really loving the softer gaiters.

The three of us who were "gloved up" had a wonderful day with no issues.  What a great day all around!

The Posse - Lucy, Tami, Sally and Renee

Day two was Fancy's turn. Renee and I decided to ride out together. Her boy, Little Bit, was on day two and it was Fancy's first ride back with minimal conditioning since I got home so we had a long, slow day planned. If only the horses had agreed to the plan! To say they were full of themselves would be an understatement. That first 20 miles was like holding back a rocket ship. Solid vet scores and a much-needed rest for the riders and we set out again only this time on much calmer horses. They paced together very nicely for the rest of the ride and once again we had a perfect boot day.

Fancy Nevada Derby Day 2

Unlike May, Fancy has feet shaped perfectly for boots. The Gloves fit her so nicely it is easy to forget about them. Since the pair that Fancy used were from earlly last year, they had the original gaiter so I used the neoprene cuffs to prevent any rubbing. She has never really had any issues but it is such an easy preventive tool I just do it. I am really pleased with the way the Gloves are wearing. They don't wear out fast so we get a lot of miles of them which is nice. We are lucky to have lovely sandy footing in our training areas so I tend to be a bit lazy and ride barefoot more times than not.

And so it came to an end. A really amazing weekend made possible by my wonderful friends and family. NASTR really puts on great rides, first class all the way! Even though we did not get to use the "good" trail this year due to snow in the hills, it was still a nice ride. The back-up trail incorporates mostly roads which can get long and boring but having really wonderful company to share the day with makes up for all of that. Thank you to everyone who made this ride possible for me. It is really good to be home!

Tami Rougeau