"Sports tape?" I replied, blankly.
"Yeah - you know - like you use in athletics. You can buy it at sports stores".
Having never participated in a sport that required tape, I was at a loss. Not only could I not visualize what this stuff was, I couldn't even figure out what one would wrap with it if one were sporty enough to do so. Unhelpfully, my mind couldn't come up with any sports stores either. I can name every feed store within a 50 mile radius, but sports stores?
Finally, the local drug store came to the rescue - they have a small sporty-section and sure enough, nestled in amongst various sport-like items was 'athletic tape'.
Luckily, EasyCare have made it easier for those of us who are sports-challenged and they now stock Mueller Athletic Tape right there in the "Accessories for Gloves" aisle.
As an experiment the day we rode California Loop, we decided to wrap Fergus' feet with tape for extra snug-ness. He was still occasionally losing boots and we hadn't identified the reason quite yet.
Patrick wasn't thrilled with all the extra work this involved, but I explained that wrapping with tape was a step we'd only bother with for really long rides or actual endurance rides - it wouldn't be something we'd do for everyday training rides (...OK, so it wasn't something *I* would ever be doing - Roo wasn't the one who needed taped feet).
In the early summer - as it was then - cleaning up the horse's feet wasn't a big deal. A quick pick out, a swipe with the rasp to clean up any extra unwanted growth, a brush on the hoof and it comes up shiny.
Fergus' great big feet getting a manicure:
In the winter, however, not so much....Roo's feet a couple of months ago:
(How glad am I that Roo can go barefoot for shorter rides?)
Disappointingly, the tape I found came in borin' ol' white. Equally disappoiningly, the tape EasyCare sells only comes in borin' ol' black. It also comes in ten other cool colours including, of course, bright yellow, but you'll never figure out where to buy it unless you're one of those sports persons. <pout>
Anyway, I digress.
Here's Patrick wrapping Fergus' big foot. At least three loops around, overlapping under the sole to anchor it down and stop it working its way up. You need to wrap the layers from higher to lower so the edges don't peel up when you cram the boot on over the top:
Here we didn't overlap it enough in the toe area and the tape did indeed work its way up:
As previously mentioned, we had a great ride and Fergus' boots stayed on. As we were coming up the last grade, Patrick managed to put his back out (such timing) so I was left to de-boot both horses in the dark. Not a big deal, except for the fact that Fergus' feet smelt like sweaty socks when those boots came off... Horse riding is so glamorous.
Since then, we haven't repeated the taping experiment (not because of the sweaty sock smell; just because we haven't needed to) but I still carry a roll of tape in my sparesie boot bag on the saddle for when conditions dictate its use.