Free With Every Horse: New Zealand Trek Part II

One man, two horses, 3,000 km.

On November 1, 2012 Pete Langford embarked on a 3,000 km (1,800 mile) trek across the length of New Zealand. What inspired Pete to undertake such a challenging journey? His love of horses and nature were the main catalysts, along with a desire to raise money for Air Rescue Services in New Zealand. EasyCare and our New Zealand distributor, the Institute for Barefoot Equine Management (IBEM), are proud to sponsor Pete on this journey. Pete's horses, Two-Shoes and Cloud, are barefoot off the track standardbreds and they are traveling over the varied New Zealand terrain wearing Easyboot Gloves. The trip started at the bottom of the South Island in Bluff and will end at Cape Reinga on the North Island (you can follow their progress on this SPOT Adventure page). Pete and his horses reached the North Island on April 2, 2013 and are currently near Martinborough.

How are the Easyboot Gloves holding up to such a demanding journey? A few weeks ago, Pete described his initial experiences using hoof boots in the blog Free With Every Horse: New Zealand Trek Part I. Below, Pete discusses application and performance of the Easyboot Gloves on his trek:

Putting these boots on is straightforward and the ease with which they go on should serve as a guide to how good a fit you have - if they just slide on with no effort at all then, in my experience, you are putting on a boot that is too large. They should go on with a bit of effort, twisting them on seems to work best and then a couple of taps to seat the hoof into the front of the boot should see all is well. I have taught team Two-Shoes and Cloud to allow me to tap their hooves on the ground to drive their hoof into the toe of the boot. This method works for me and means no need to carry a rubber mallet.

Performance wise these boots excel, great traction in the rough stuff. Loose gravel, rocks, muddy hills? No problem. I really like that when on rough stony ground, there is little or no risk of stone bruising...brilliant! Grassy slopes? The same story, although I have a feeling that wet grassy hills would be better tackled barefoot. Then again, if I had any extended periods on grass I wouldn't have the boots on in the first place. Thus far, my long ride has consisted of terrain that is mostly stone, gravel and shale and some dirt tracks with only short periods on grassland.

Pete, Two-Shoes and Cloud. Photo by Cliff Smith.

One of my first questions about these boots was how much mileage would I get out of them. After all, I will have covered over 2,500 km's when I complete my ride in May/June this year and being in the right place to have replacements mailed would be tricky (there aren't so many mailbox's around these parts). So far, I have traveled over 1,200 km and one set of boots has covered over 1,000 km of constant use. So there it is, a great boot that performs superbly in even the most demanding of situations...remember the quicksand? Get out there and ride, wherever you live there is a big wide world waiting for you and it's right outside your back door!

Worn tread (left) next to new tread (right).

If you want to know more about what myself, Two-Shoes and Cloud are up to, visit us at www.freewitheveryhorse.com, on facebook (Free With Every Horse) and twitter (@3witheveryhorse).

Pete Langford


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