Owyhee Canyonlands and 24 Boots

Still reeling a bit from the week-long trip we had at the 9th/10th (who's counting, anyway) annual Owyhee Canyonlands Five Day Endurance Ride. This ride marks the nearing of the end of the season, and has always been my favorite ride. I began my endurance experience six years ago at this ride after a few stray LD's here and there. Since, I have logged over 1,800 miles in the Owyhee desert. I never, ever tire of it. The rocks, the sand, the wind, the snow, the hot sun, the placid river, along with sheer rock canyons, never-ending washes and the mountains in the distance all make for my favorite place to ride. Although there are certain trails that I curse (damn that little yellow house!) it is truly God's country that we hope is truly never discovered. 

canyon

Stunning canyons...

... vast desert

desert

My ride started a couple weeks ago when Steph Teeter asked if I would be able to help glue on boots for their horses who would hopefully be going all week. Usually this job goes to The Bootmeister, but due to other and more important obligations (I mean, who can't do an FEI 100, a 5-day and Tevis in three weeks?? Slacker!!) I was the best choice. This was a scary thought for me and I am sure Steph but, I was all they got! 

Hoping to brush up on my gluing skills since I have only glued on once previous this year, I started with my own mare the day before we were to leave. Being adventurous like I am, I thought to myself, self, why not pick the most inopportune time to glue boots on your flighty, fidgety mare. Done deal. Although the weatherman predicated a nasty storm to blow in "after 6 o'clock PM" I had the psychic-vision that it would hit at 2PM. Naturally, I started at 1:45PM. I use a little bit different of a gluing method than most, but it works for us. I start by putting Goober Glue in the frog shape on the sole of the boot. I then spread a thick bead of glue around the boot, where the wall and sole meet. You can do all four at once or two at once, which I prefer. Then, right before putting the boot on the foot, I spread Adhere around the top of the boot to hold it on tight while the Goober Glue sets. Usually it's a pretty quick process. 

This time I added too much Goober Glue to the first boot, and as result got caught up in a slick, twisted mess. You see if the GG and Adhere mix, the Adhere can't cure and the foot essentially turns into a greased pig. Add approximately 300 MPH wind and a freaky horse and you've got yourself a recipe for disaster <insert swear word of choice here>. Luckily the next three boots attached without a hitch, and I decided to turn her out in the tornado with three booted feet, and one naked. Sometimes it's just not worth it. Thankfully, I was able to slap that sucker on in just a few minutes prior to leaving the next morning. Ironically, that was the most difficult boot to remove tonight, a week and a half after putting it on. 

We arrived at The Teeter Ranch and I found five horses tied up and waiting for me. Steph had done a really great job trimming and prepping the feet, and made everyone who was new to gluing watch EasyCare's super great and educational gluing tutorials. We quickly got to work and no sooner found out we were short Goober Glue. Oops. Not only were we short, but the tubes Steph had were old and the consistency completely different than any I've seen before. Coupled with the fact I decided to get sick the day before, this was an interesting gluing experience. 

eb

At some points, all I could do was laugh!

eb2

Towards the end, we had our gluing groove on. I have to say, the Premium Vettec Glue Gun is worth *every* penny and is on the top of my Christmas list. What a rude awakening to find out I've been making it so hard on myself for so long! Are you kidding me?!?! Nope, it is smooth like butta and no hand cramps. I also was able to do several boots with one tip, instead of using one tip for each boot and a separate tip to seal the tops. Worth the money right there. Steph and I decided that we got pretty good and might have to challenge Mr. Easyboot himself to a boot gluing race. You get the old gun, Mr. G! 

mac

A picture-perfect job on Mac. Thanks for the pics, Merri!

We started the ride with six horses, and twenty-four boots. Unfortunately a couple of the later-glued-on horses lost a rear boot throughout the five days, but it ended up being no big deal because all horses have been going in Gloves and spares were carried, just in case. Steph rode her spry cover-boy, Jaziret Bey Musc, all five days. This guy is 20! His first ride was a five day ride in 1998, and we know this wasn't his last. I should note all Mr. Rhett's boots stayed put :) John Teeter rode Rushcreek Mac to a strong 200 miles in four days. Merri, on the famous JOSE!, and Connie on Phinneas rode all five days. Four of the five five-day horses were all in Gloves of Glue-Ons! Team Easyboot Member Karen Bumgarner rode home-bred Z Summer Thunder all five days in Easyboot Gloves! Go Karen!

Rep

Replika and me, cruising the flats on day 1. Steve Bradley Photography

As for us, well Replika only made two days before the nasty scratches got her. We did the first day, took a sick day the next, and had a super fun ride the third day. Unfortunately, I figured our fun was over the next day as I slathered cream on her sore pasterns. No fear, BATMAN to the rescue!!! Steph was gracious enough to offer up her wicked cool Batman horse for the remainder of the week. This was extra special to me as my best friend owned and started this guy, but sadly had to part with him because he's just a teeny, tiny, wee bit wide and hurt her already screwed up knees. I slapped some Gloves with athletic tape on the fronts, and plain old Gloves on the back and never thought about them again for the next two days. There is something heavenly to be said for figuring it all out! 

Batty

Batty and me flying through Sinker Creek. This trail could have been a disaster for ill-fitting boots. Four miles through the water and then a steep climb out of the canyon. A good fit is a must! Another Steve Bradley great.

I have seen more and more booted horses at our local endurance rides this year than I really ever thought I would. I would say we're half and half at this point. I would think in a couple more years, we'll be closer to 75% or even more. I have watched my friends struggle, hit rough patches, and work on through. Most everyone I know is "over the hump" and enjoying booted bliss. Unfortunately I did see some boot failure last week, which is disheartening when you're in it. I plan to make some phone calls in the near future to see if I can offer any help.

I think a lot of people make the transition to boots to save money, which it can, but that shouldn't be the primary reason. I hope I can help these people understand success lies with fit, and fit can't be achieved without proper trimming. 

All in all, it was another successful and memorable five-day. I am already looking forward to the last ride of the season, and ready to break out my famous tutu. I hope to get another ride in on Replika, hopefully this time in our beloved Gloves.

Until next time, 
Amanda Washington
SW Idaho 

Hoof Help Online

It’s been several years in the making but Hoof Help Online is now live. Many people are familiar with The Horse’s Hoof, a quarterly magazine and website that covers all things barefoot. The Horse’s Hoof was created in 2000 by hoof care professional James Welz and his wife Yvonne. The Welzs hope that Hoof Help Online will educate and inspire horse owners looking for advice and assistance with barefoot trimming.

Homepage

Hoof Help Online's homepage.

This past week, I had the opportunity to navigate the website and am very impressed with its clean design and ease of use. For only $20 per month, horse owners have access to hoofcare theory, how to trimming instructions, photos, videos and a member’s only forum. The following is a Q&A with one of the creators, Yvonne Welz:

What inspired you to create Hoof Help Online?
Through our work with The Horse's Hoof magazine and website, James and I have watched the barefoot movement grow from only a small handful of horse owners into many thousands around the world. As time passed, we received more and more requests for help: photo consultations and trimming advice. We began to realize that we had personally developed a trimming system that, while incorporating elements from the barefoot pioneers, had unique differences that seemed to be keys to success. We realized that before we could offer any advice to trimmers and horse owners, we first had to teach them OUR philosophy, theories and techniques, and that would take a book! One day it suddenly hit me, I realized that we could create an online community. This would be even better than a book because we could personally interact with our members; it could be dynamic and evolve as needed.

Rolling Wall

James rolling the wall.

How long did it take you to develop Hoof Help Online?

Well, the idea initially came to me in December 2008. We didn't realize how complicated it would be, not just from the technical end, but also simply putting our "system" down on paper in a way that was teachable. It ended up taking us about two and a half years to construct the framework as it exists now. We created all the material from scratch, just for this site. Hoof Help Online is starting out with 50 articles, 70 photo pages, 15 presentations and 15 videos. We even have an interactive file: a 3-Dimensional Coffin Bone that the viewer can turn and spin, so that it can be viewed from every direction.

Solar view.

Solar view of a hoof trimmed by James.

What can members expect in terms of new material?
We are quite ambitious, and have big plans for content! On the first day of each month, we will add a variety of new articles, photos, presentations, videos, Q&A, etc. The forum will provide the opportunity for us to get constant feedback from our members, and allow us to guide them in understanding and applying our trimming system. Teaching is always a two-way street. We welcome people from every background and experience level. Hoof Help Online is here to show you what we do and why, and then encourage you to develop your own thoughts and ideas. We want hoof care to evolve, for the good of the horse.

EasyCare thanks James and Yvonne Welz for the opportunity to view Hoof Help Online. Photos are copyright Wishing Welz Equine, LLC. For more information and to become a member of Hoof Help Online, visit www.hoofhelponline.com.

Alayna Wiley

Alayna Wiley, EasyCare CSR

Customer Service

As one of the customer service representatives, I am happy to help get your horse into the right boots. I have plenty of hands on experience since my horses have been barefoot and booted since 2003.

Customer Photo of the Month: Beth Hendricks

"We have one horse left to put in Gloves," says Beth Hendricks about her hoof boot strategy. "I plan to try him in the new Easyboot Glove Wides. We love our Gloves: the first set we got two years ago finally wore out on the toe area after 2,000 miles."

Beth Hendricks & Easyboot Gloves

The photo is taken in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming at the Lake Solitude Trail in the Cloud Peak Wilderness.

Our Shahzada Story

By Susan Gill and Jenny Moncur

I'd been doing endurance for a few years before I even became aware of the iconic Shahzada ride. It sounded quite interesting, but a ride for other people not me - the distance away, the marathon riding - not something easily achievable for me so I put it out of my mind. Then less than three months before this year's event my friend Jenny Moncur sent me an email - "hey, I'm going to the Shahzada to do the mini marathon, want to come?"

"Ummmmmmmm" stuttered through my mind - all the old objections plus lots of new ones surfaced but after checking and getting the go-ahead from family and work, I gave a cautious "yes OK", which soon metamorphosed into "heck, yes!"

The weeks flew past and it was time to be leaving. A journey of two days and 1,100km saw us arrive at the ride base Sunday evening - a short statement for a long road trip full of its own adventures. We unpacked, settled the horses in, and had an early night to be ready for pre-ride vetting the next day.

Joby in blue Glove boots, her big sister Promise behind the banner

The horses were entered and vetted through early Monday morning. Then we glued their Easyboot Glove shells on straight afterward to allow a good time lapse for the glue to set before our 6:30am start the next day. After our previous ride at Kilmore we were fussier with our preparation. Each hoof wall and sole was thoroughly cleaned firstly with a dry wire brush, secondly with a wet scrubbing brush, towel-dried, then roughed up with the rasp for maximum cleanliness and adhesion between shell and hoof.

a thorough rasping of a very clean hoof  everything assembled, brightly painted shells with gaitors to be removed after sikaflex has set.

The gaiters will be unscrewed after the boots have been in place for a few hours. The duct tape on the inside was also removed - it was used to help prevent any sikaflex (you use Goober Glue in North America) oozing up and adhering to the gaiters.

Many people have written lots of things about The Shahzada - its reputation as a ride has grown to mythical proportions - the funny thing is that most of it is true!

We came with the attitude of having fun no matter what happened, without any pressure on ourselves because it was only three training rides. But to drive so far next time would require the much worthier purpose of the full five day/400km marathon. How we viewed the mini-marathon was unintentionally arrogant, and our opinions were revised before Day One ended, to become quite respectful of the track, the distance, and the achievement earned by riding and vetting through successfully.

While still out on track on our first day we were already planning next year, what horses we'd bring, who we would entice to come along and share our pleasure in the riding. Having booted horses made it all that little bit easier - no worries about trotting down the hard roads, or whether we'd slip on the rocky mountain goat tracks or lose a shoe in the boggy sections.

trotting out at the start of our ride

Joby sporting blue boots, Promise in green boots, moving along very comfortably with their sikaflex cushion inner-soles. Photo credit Keiron Power

Back at base, we strapped the horses and presented for post-ride vetting Jenny's horse Promise vetted through with flying colours.  My horse Joby had a distinctly sore back and I was told that if I rode her in the same saddle for Day Two, then she would most likely vet out. I was given the advice of changing saddles, easier said then done when I didn't have a spare saddle to use. It was suggested that I ask at the pre-ride briefing about borrowing someone else's saddle - the vets were confident that I would get plenty of offers - they told me this is what the Shahzada spirit is about. Then an adjacent camper whose horse had vetted out pre-ride stepped forward offering the use of his saddle. It proved a good fit, resulting in Joby vetting through at the end of Day Two with a marginally improved back, so I was delighted to plan for Day Three which included The Steps!

Not having a head for heights I was anticipating The Steps to be very challenging. The funny thing was that I was concentrating so hard on getting Joby down that I didn't feel frightened at all. It was only when I arrived at the bottom that I realized that I had been completely terrified all along. Not that anyone would guess to see the picture of me in the last few yards, skidding down on my backside with a mad grin plastered over my face. Jenny managed much more decorously by tailing Promise down, although Prom did have her own ideas of which direction to go at one stage, possibly trying to tell Jenny she was being silly to think that it was a real path she was expecting her to take.

The Steps

It's much steeper than it looks and maybe I would have been better with Easyboot Gloves on my feet too!
Photo credit Keiron Power

Jenny and I arrived as first-time mini-marathoners from interstate, and were made welcome. We felt quite distinctive, with our look-alike horses and our look-alike grins, and our state's honor unofficially resting on our shoulders.  We left as Shahzadians, already looking forward to next year's special week in August when we're allowed to come back and ride again.

the river crossing

Photo credit Keiron Power

The Northern Convict Trail; Boyd's Track; The Steps  - they were all memorable parts of the ride. But the nightly pre/post-ride briefings where the camaraderie of the group showed, where as one big family each rider was celebrated even as they vetted out, where the slowest rider/s were given as much kudos as the faster ones - no jealously or pettiness or bad sportsmanship, each rider taking responsibility for riding to the conditions, the hazards, their horse: that is what shined through.

The Shahzada banner

We discovered as our adventure evolved, while riding was a huge part of the whole deal, we actually got to experience the very essence of Australia and learned that The Shahzada spirit is far more than just about riding.

Mentoring Matters

Mentor: someone whose hindsight can become your foresight.

Don't you find this statement encouraging? There is someone willing to show you the way. Their wisdom will minimizing your trial and error factor and greatly enhance your chances for success.  A mentor is an individual, usually older, always more experienced, who helps and guides another individuals development. This guidance is not done for personal gain. Mentorships are common in business and educational settings. Mentoring can take many forms. If you have ever shared your experiences to help guide another for good, you too have been a mentor.

Leslie shows how to get the job done!


I had a golden opportunity a few weeks ago to travel to Gardnerville, NV, to mentor with hoof care professional Leslie Carrig of High Desert Hoof Care. I've known Leslie since she started as a dealer with EasyCare back in 2006. I've always admired her creativity and problem solving abilities. Her common sense to hoof care, diligent service to her clients and flat out can-do approach to business made her a poster child of "can" for clients having "can't" moments. As you can imagine when the door opened I leaped at the chance to jump in her truck for three full days of trimming, some booting and lots of customer dynamics.  

Honestly, a total of five days out of the office this time of year was a bit daunting, but I went for it. There was no question in my mind this would take my barefoot education and overall understanding of a hoof care practitioner's life out in the field up a notch. I love my job and am passionate about helping hoof care professionals. What better way to enhance my capabilities to serve practitioners than getting right in there for the full experience.

Leslie had set up a gamut of horses for us to look at and trim. Each with it's own unique story and living conditions. As we discussed each horse's history and current situation I couldn't help but reflect on Pete Ramey's article, One Foot For All Seasons. The contrast in hooves was sharp as we traveled from an area of hard, desert-like conditions to horses on soft, forgiving pasture. Each situation had its own set of factors affecting the trim but the environment in which they lived and the trim needed in each environment left a strong impression on me. Seeing these differences are of particular interest for me because where I live a barefoot horse's hooves are rock hard for most of the year. The contrast in the hooves and the trim needed became crystal clear seeing it first hand. 

As we worked though the days, Leslie helped me become more efficient with my tools and helped me to effectively negotiate nippers. I never seem to have anything to nipper on my own horse so she made sure I got plenty of nipper practice! 
Deb working

Rasp, rasp, rasp

Of course we did get some booting in and a couple of repairs out in the field which was great. The task master spared me no mercy and put me to the test, by-golly, with a box or two of Glue-On shells and Gaiters to make up some Easyboot Gloves. Gotta love those mentors! 
Going through boots!

Tools of the trade

All said and done, I came away with a fresh perspective and new trimming skills. When approaching a trim I was reminded to never forget about the big picture. Leslie's success confirms that to be effective and remain credible, you must be equipped to meet that horse's and clients needs in as much as it is possible when you are there. Anything less is a disservice to the client and to the horse.

The barefoot community was built on sharing knowledge and working together for the common good of the horse. Mentoring matters.

The impact of wisdom shared not only shapes the individual, it shapes the sphere of tomorrow's barefoot trimmers and hones the skills of the trimming professional of today. Most hoof trimming schools offer mentorship opportunities. Finding a strong mentor is one of the most important things I believe you can do for your career as a trimmer. Once you have been under a mentor's wing, don't forget to pay it forward and help another. We are in this journey together and when one succeeds we all succeed. 

Happy Customer

Who has been your greatest mentor?

Debbie Schwiebert

easycare-vet-hcp-deaaler-accounts-manager-debbie-schwiebert

Vet Dealer & Hoof Care Practitioner Accounts

I manage the hoof care practitioner and veterinarian dealer accounts at EasyCare. An integral part of my job is to stay current in all areas of barefoot hoof care, which enables me to serve this vital group of EasyCare dealers at the next level.


Virginia City 100 and Our Triple Crown Journey

Submitted by Tami Rougeau, Team Easyboot 2011 Member.

It has been two weeks now since we finished the 2011 Virginia City 100 and the NASTR (Nevada All State Trail Riders) Triple Crown. It still seems like a far away dream. Probably for good reason, but more on that later.

Photo by Baylor/Gore.

This was my third attempt and completion of this 100 mile event. The trail alone makes this the toughest 100 mile ride around. It is just gnarly rocky and with that many rocks on the trail there is bound to be one with your name on it. The first two times I finished on my big chestnut mare Fancy and we wore glue ons. This year it was her half sisters turn to show her stuff and boy, did she. I will post another story about this remarkable little mare and will try to stay focused on this ride for this story.

Just like the previous two legs of this adventure (Nevada Derby 50 ) http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/team-easyboot/nevada-derby-glad-to-be-back and the NASTR 75 http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/team-easyboot/125-down-and-100-to-go, this adventure would never have happened with out the most amazing team of family and friends. I could not have done this without you and you know it. I had been on the road with work for weeks and had not had more than 2 hours sleep in months. The plane I arrived on Thursday did not get in till after midnight so by the time I was at the ranch it was after 1 am and my list of things to do was still long. But my husband had done the shopping for every bizarre thing I asked for, had the trailer prepped and ready to go and had been laying out clothing items that I mentioned over the previous weeks.  I love my non-horsey hubby! My friends Crysta and Lucy stepped up to be my crew with instructions to make me do things like eat, drink and stay warm. They did a really great job of keeping the zombie rider and the zippie mare together. When I arrived at the camp site I was also treated to valet parking services by Gina Hall. Now how nice is that! These folks are so great! Of course now in hindsight I am wondering if maybe they thought I was not safe to drive so they just tricked me out of my truck? Anyway we got parked and Gina again came to the recue of my little mare by providing panels so that May and her newest bestest boyfriend could be neighbors instead of her being tied on the other side of the trailer. Yes, I was pretty blurry by this time but there was still lots to do. Pressing on to get those boots glued on.

On a side note, I had forgotten the extra troughs I had promised Connie and when I arrived to camp the electric on my trailer was not working. My wonderful husband came to the rescue and sacrificed his day at the Reno Air Races to bring the troughs and to fix the electric problem. Not only was Connie happy to have the troughs and I was happy to have electricity but it prevented him from getting down to the races that afternoon when the tragic crash happened. It was very sad for everyone.

I had ordered the new Easyboot Glue-On Wides as that is what May measured into and was excited to have boots that fit correctly for a change (see any of my other blogs to read more about my fit challenges). They fit fine 3 days ago down at the ranch.  Now they were not so good on the front, drat. The weather had been wet/dry/wet/dry and I think this had more impact on her hooves than I had anticipated. I was determined to get my boots on before Dave Rabe got there and did it for me. I do not cotton to the belief that the foot should be cut down to fit the boot, too many folks have had issues with that. I also do not trim the week prior to any of these rockier rides. That is receipe for disaster here in our rocky as all get out trails. So I trim about 10 days prior and my boots are sized for the growth that they encounter. The downside to this way of thinking is if you go from a wet climate to a dry climate (or vice versa), the foot can change so you should have a good slection of sizes to choose from.

The number 1 Glue-On Wides went on the back feet nicely. There was a bit of a gap over the dip in the spade of her foot but a little more adhere at that point was easy. Since I did this set there was liberal ammounts of Goober Glue put in to the bottom of the boot and a sparing bit of Adhere along the edges. The GG provided the added padding for the treacherous rocks and the adhere actually holds the boot on. Dave arrived as I was cussing the new front boots that had fit nicely three days ago at the ranch and that now did not fit nicely at all. So out came our bags of tricks, trying on every single size we had. We even had to get one from Henry Griffin from his fit kit (another great guy). In the end we had a 2 on her left front and a 1.5 on her right front with 1W on both rear feet. Dave put the front ones on and he made sure that those boots will never come off, ever. They are still out there now.

Once the drama of the boots was over we just had to wait to vet. All I wanted to do was take a nap but that was not going to happen. Carolyn and I checked in. May would be riding with her NASTR 75 buddy OKAY and she was pretty happy about that already. Boy does she love that big white gelding. I chose to go to the trailer to go to bed instead of going to the ride meeting, I was really tired having only had 2 hours of sleep over the previous 2 days. I made some soup and my amazing, awesome crew showed up so we could go over the plan of attack for the next day. I don't think I was much help as I was in a vegetative state, only occassionally making some coherent sound that they took for agreement. We had managed to pack the crew bags thanks to Crysta who was totally on top of what they wanted and what I wanted (even when I did not know). So all was well and eventually I fell asleep as evidenced by being really angry when the alarm went off.

The morning was perfect weatherwise. I just love the start of this ride. We all congregate on the main street of historic Virginia City in front of the Delta Saloon. How many posse's gathered on this very street? What would Mark Twain write of this gathering if he were looking out the window of his room? The history is almost over whelming and it carries you through town almost mystically. If the streets could talk...

The posse crossing the highway.  Photo by Lucy

Carolyn and I were joined by our friend Carol who was riding Bishop (another of May's beau's who rescued her up on the switchbacks a few years ago). The three of us headed out behind the larger group. May was not handling the excitement very well and I was feeling pretty off kilter so opted to run her in hand down to the bottom of the canyon. That would save my knees for later in the day when I would need them. I should probably mention here that I had been having excrutiating joint pain for the past several weeks and was not so sure how I was going to manage this event and a horse that can be a nervous ninny when she wants to be. Oh well, this is why they call it endurance.
May draining her first tank of the day.  Photo by Lucy Trumbull

Eventually we got on and got going at a decent pace, down Lousetown Road then across and over to the highlands where we cross the highway and get our first trot-by. I will now fully admit that there was a very small part of me that hoped we would get pulled. I hurt so bad and was so tired I was having a hard time rating May. She was happy to just trundle along with Okay and Bishop but she was not smooth about it. Jaime said we were good to go. My knee was already swollen and everytime I got off to run it sort of squished and cracked. Instead of crying I just said a big prayer and kept moving. My horse is strong and she can carry me if necessary so off we went, walk/jogging down Geiger grade to the next vet stop near the market.

Leaving the first trot out.  Photo by Lucy Trumbull

We made it to the vet check just a bit behind when I had planned to get there but the crews were waiting and everything went well. All three horses vetted in quickly and we went to the crew area to wait it out. Okay ate like a mad man and May stood there nibbling a bit and watching all the goings on. She is bad about doing that and I always worry but usually by the next check she gets the idea that she had better eat. Drinking on the other hand is really her strong suit to the point that I used to wonder if the reason she did not eat so well is because she drinks so much her tummy is just too full. The 45 minutes went by fast and soon we off on the next leg of our journey.

May gawking around while Okay stuffs himself.  Photo by Lucy

This is the leg that takes out a lot of riders - Bailey Canyon. I have a theory about why there is so much sandy desert in Nevada. I think that they took all of the rocks in the state and dumped them into Bailey Canyon (any left overs went into El Dorado canyon on the NASTR 75). Every year they add a few more and I think that rain actually makes them grow in size as every year it gets a little worse. At least there is no longer a bear living down there. So we took our time and made our way through then down to Washoe Lake where we had another trot by. For whatever reason by this time I was feeling a bit better and more awake. Jamie gaves us the big thumbs up and we were off again. May was in steady moving mode and hardly held still for me to get back on.

Coming into Washoe Lake.  Photo by Lucy

The next challenge of this ride are the S.O.B.'s. This obstacle has been described by many a rider using various expetives. Basically it is three serious downs followed by three serious ups. If Bailey Canyon was not enough of a challenge for the boot fit this certainly was. I opted to walk the downs and have May carry me the ups. May can climb like a mountain goat so all I have to do is stay up off her back and let her go. Since she is not fond of tailing (as evidenced by her stopping every other step to stop and stare at me with a look of total disgust) it is just faster and easier this way. The one good thing about this section of trail is that there is loads of bunch grass so going slow and being able to eat the whole way is a bonus. Once you get through the SOB's you follow the road up to the reseviour and a much needed water and hay break manned by more amazing NASTR club members. Then it is down the hill and into town for a nice one hour stop.

Trying to get on a moving target leaving Washoe and hoping that we have this much energy on the SOB's.  Photo by Lucy

Our crew met us and we vetted through quickly with all A's except for gut which was a B. No surprise there since May had not started to really eat until we hit the SOB's. The Glue-Ons were working well for both horses and they were both still perky. At the vet check Okay was on alert for the blowing flag that flies over the camp. They ate, we ate and I even dozed off for a few minutes sitting in the warm sun. Before we knew it, the hour was up and we were off for the third loop that would take us up over Davidson Mountain.

Okay, with Carolyn, Dave and Vet Susan, keenly aware of the flag overhead.  Photo by Lucy

We sure made short order of the trip up there. It seemed like no time and we were at the reseviour again and headed to the top of the mountain. About this time I got a text from Lucy asking me if I was happy. She had actually sent the message hours ago but it just appeared. She was a bit concerned at my less than energetic persona apparently. We were about an hour behind my previous years times and I was pretty concerned that we were not going to make it. Carolyn kept reassuring me that it would be fine. As the sun was setting on us I was not so sure and kept wondering where we had lost so much time. That slow start was not good but on the other hand all of the horses were very lively and stepping out well especially since the temperature was dropping. Up over the top and then down to the highway crossing where our super crew was once again waiting for us with water and food. All of the horses ate and drank well.

Off through the rolling hills east of the highway, up to Sign Hill for water and then through Six Mile Canyon and back to Virginia City. As we were making our way through town we found Andrew Gerhard. He had taken a wrong turn somehow and was on the wrong road trying to find camp. He came in with us and ended up joining our merry little group. We all vetted through and headed to the trailers to get set up for the final leg of our journey. Head lamps and jackets along with glow sticks were all in order. By this time we knew that we had plenty of time and way loads of horse left. We set off back through town and back through the canyon the way we had left so many hours earlier.
May and Okay

This loop has several memories for me and I can't help but think of all of them when I ride it, especially at night. This was my first 100 back in 2007 on my other mare, May's sister Fancy. We rode the whole loop by ourselves and even though I was never sure we were on trail Fancy just took charge and got us through. It was this ride that forced me to finally get my knees fixed when the vet threatened to pull me, not because of how my horse looked but because of how I looked. My very good friend Teri was crewing and thank the Lord she was there as she reassured him that Fancy was in charge and would take care of me. So he let me go with firm instructions not to get off the horse (which was not going to happen for any amount of money as far as I was concerned). This time was a far different experience. May, Okay, Bishop and Martini were strong and quite full of spirit as we headed out on the flat of Lousetown Road. Carolyn and I had decided that we would let them make time where the footing was good and take advantage of having so much horse until it looked like we should slow down. Well that lasted for almost 90 minutes when we over-ruled and forced them to walk a bit. They had just trotted out the whole time and we were doing the loop faster than we had ever done it. Amazing!

Super Crew in action.  Photo by Lucy (the other half of the super crew!)

At the Cottonwoods hold they all once again vetted quickly with great scores and once again we were met by the greatest group of volunteers. There were blankets, cocoa, soup, coffee and a camp fire. It was a very nice 20 minutes. My only complaint was that Patty Meserle was not there with her famous home made soup that saved my life in 2007. It took Teri over a year to finally break down and tell me that it was actually Lipton instant soup. Regardless, it is still a very fond memory for me and I will always look for Patty's soup and anyone who ever asks "what is the best thing you ever ate at a vet check" I will tell you that it is Patty Meserle's home made chicken noodle soup, which she makes in her camper no less! She is amazing for sure. This is your reward for making it that far I have determined and it is well worth it, even if it did originate in a paper baggie.

So we sauntered out of the Cottonwoods with loads of time and happy horses and a big bright moon to light our way. We shared stories of rides and riders and when we hit the sandy wash I had to chuckle a bit. This was the area where the previous year Lucy was convinced that there were large rocks and boulders and that we should be walking. It is a sandy trail 3-4 feet wide without a rock on it. But it is yet another fond memory that I have of this ride.

We made it back through the canyon and up to the finish in fine time. Apparently May did not know that the ride was now over and she could relax. She insisted on trotting (i.e. jigging) all the way back through town and into camp. By this time I was pretty done and although it had been a fun day I was ready to be done and for her to take it easy on me. Jaime caught us up as we came in and vetted us even before we got a chance to hit the trough. He is very efficient and I was into following direction at this point. He gave us his classic smile and a good job, congratulations and we headed to the trailer.

Lucy was there again and was instumental in getting the tack off and put away.  What an amazing crew I had in Lucy and Crysta.  They took such good care of May and I all day.  Once May was settled I hit the bed and went into a total coma.  The next morning dawned bright and warm. We got up to watch the BC judging and mill around until the awards. Breakfast was served and boy was it good. This is another of my fond memories of this ride - breakfast. Complete with steak and eggs, this is one of the best, and you can even get a bloody mary in the Ice House if you want one. I love Sunday morning of the Virginia City ride. Awards were presented (see Lucy's VC 100 story for a complete rundown) and May ended up 14th on the 100 and 6th in the Triple Crown. When Connie asked me to say something I was too choked up. My little Amatzing Grace who could not even stand on three legs when I walked her home was a Triple Crown horse. She was clumsy and fretful but so loving and sweet I just fell in love with her and often wondered what on earth I would ever do with her. 

She now has two hundreds to her record and has more than proved herself as a steady going endurance horse. I love this little mare and I love this ride. No matter how hard it is and how many rocks they put in Bailey Canyon I cannot imagine not doing this ride if I have a horse that is up for it. It certainly helps to have a good trail companion and a wonderful crew but the volunteers of the NASTR club are top notch and they really make the ride. As time goes on it gets harder and harder to put this ride on but somehow they persevere - thank you!

Connie and Shardonay.  She keeps this ride going with the NASTR team.  Photo by Lucy.

So if you have not done this ride you better put it on your bucket list and save your money up. You simply have not done endurance until you have done this historic ride in this historic area. Oh yeah, and if you do make it be sure to get your boots on. If there were ever a test of the Easycare boot lineup, this would be it. And boots are the only way to go. 

Thanks to everyone who helped May and I through on this one, we could not have done it without you.

Tami

Boots Are Not Just For Riding Horses You, Know

Horse Rescue Moppett here. I'm the cute one with my friend the beautiful grey Horse Rescue Yasmin and the black Horse Rescue Carly. Our names will give you the clue that we have history but we are a happy place now.


One legacy of my past is founder, later diagnosed as IR, at the drop of a hat. The vet wanted to call it quits but my mum said no there must be another way to locking me up and having me on stravation diets or alternatively; well, you know what.

Lots of research led her learn about barefoot trimming and boots. Enter Andrew Bowe, The Barefoot Blacksmith, Duncan McLaughlin, trimmer extraordinaire, Carol Layton, nutrition guru and Mike Ware, boot supplier. These people considered a little companion pony was just as important as my ridden mates.

For the past three years, I have been happily accomanying HR Yasmin and HR Carly on trail rides, sometimes as club mascot for official rides or being out in front on single lane bush tracks. I even have my own set of metal yards for big away trips. I have Easyboot Epics, Yasmin and Carly have Easyboot Bares. Sometimes we don't need them, but they are always in the saddle bags just in case. I have to wear a grazing muzzle during the day to limit my grass intake and nights are spent in a cosy stable and yard with special hay and dinner, but life is wonderful. Boots helped me get back in the game. Cheers HR Moppett.

Name: Johanna Yule
City: Windsor, New South Wales, Australia
Equine Discipline: Trail
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Bare

Virginia City 100 2011

This year the 44th Annual Virginia City 100 was held on September 17th. Sadly, because of Uno's leg injury I wasn't able to ride but did the next best thing - crewing. The temperatures were very mild - lows in the 50s overnight, with highs in the 80s with a light breeze - a welcome respite from the continuous Nevada wind that so often accompanies this event. NV rides are always very laid-back affairs and VC100 is no different. There's great cameraderie amongst the volunteers, many of whom have been helping out at (or riding) the ride for decades. Riders come back time and again because this is one of the very best 100-mile rides in the west region.

Virginia City itself is an old silver mining town perched at 6,200' on the side of a steep pink hillside. The main street is at the top with the side streets step-cut progressively lower into the slope below. The start of the ride at 5 am is on the boardwalked C Street outside the Delta Saloon (1875), home of the "Suicide Table" - one of the more peculiar starts to an endurance ride. From there riders wend their way north through town, past the old cemetery (the finish line) and out into the surrounding sagebrush-dotted mountains towards Lousetown (really).

This is a course that has a bit of everything to offer riders and their horses. After 20 miles of up and down rocky foothills, you negotiate the old Toll Road four-miles down Geiger Grade - a 1,700' drop - to the first vet check at the "Market" located right on the outskirts of surburban Reno.

Looking down on Washoe Lake

Looking down on Washoe Lake, around 45 miles into the ride

From there, you undergo an hour-long test of your horse's sure-footedness through what is effectively a rocky creek bed: the remote and seldom-used Bailey Canyon. After a climb over Jumbo Grade and a trot-by to check the horses for soundness at Washoe Lake, riders climb the first of many typical NV ascents - gradual, yet brutal in their neverendingness. But the views from the top overlooking Washoe Lake are stupendous. This section contains the infamous "SOBs" - three short but ridiculously steep V-shaped drops in the trail that many riders negotiate on foot, tailing the uphills. Once you make it over the ridge, you then drop down Ophir Grade back into Virginia City for the 51 mile check.

The next 26 mile loop takes you back out into the Virginia Range, skirting the remains of old mining buildings which appear eerily as if they came from an apolcalypse movie. You climb again to the backside of Mt Davidson and follow the ridge up to 7,600' before dropping once again down into Virginia City for the 77 mile vet check.

The final 23 mile loop, usually starting around 11 pm unless the rider is a front-runner, takes you along the relatively flat "Long Valley", past herds of wild horses to the Chalk Hills, which glow in the moonlight, through another "out check" at the Cottonwoods (an old corral) and back up the final rocky clamber to the cemetery outside Virginia City.

This year's winner, Rachel Shackelford riding Ray of Hope, arrived at 11 pm, with best condition winner Lori Stewart on LA Bandit arriving just 17 minutes behind them. But this is a 100 mile ride where it's common for riders to take almost the full 24 hours to finish: the final 8 riders all came in after 3 am.

One of the things NV rides are known for is rocks. Although VC100 isn't easy, it is very doable. While the elevation gains are over 20,000', very little of the trail is super-technical provided you can take your time and pick your way through the footing. Racing it is another matter and many riders are defeated by the rocks. Good hoof protection is a must regardless as to where you hope to place.

May stylin' in her new rear Wides

May stylin' in her new rear Glue-on Wides

This year I was aware of seven riders who were using hoof-boots in one form or another, five of whom completed the ride. There were 25 overall starters - a much lower number than usual due to the proximity to the rescheduled Tevis (three weeks later) - with 18 finishers.

Fire Mtn Destiny

Fire Mt Destiny at 40 miles - with this completion he reached 5,000 miles (AERC)

Gina Hall, completing her 12th VC100, finished in 6th place on her outstanding big chestnut Fire Mt Destiny, who himself was completing his 7th VC100 (his 14th 100 mile completion). They also completed the Triple Crown this year (NV Derby 50, NASTR 75 and VC100 with same horse and rider).  His completion earned Destiny his 5,000 mile AERC milestone - 86 rides with no pulls.  He wears Original Easyboots over shoes.

Golden Knight - Vet Check #1

Nicole Chappell and Golden Knight getting ready to leave the first vet check

Nicole Chappell was riding her striking buckskin friesian/arabian cross, Golden Knight, with size 2.5 Glue-Ons on the front. Completing the Triple Crown (including winning and being awarded Best Condition at the first phase - NV Derby 50 - in the spring), they placed 8th overall at VC100 and won the "Pioneer Division" (riding the entire ride with no outside help), securing Nicole her 19th VC100 completion - she promised herself as an 11 yr old that she would finish the ride 20 times by the time she was 30. She didn't quite make it but is close. This was Golden Knight's second VC100 completion.

Golden Knight - Trot-by at Washoe Lake

Nicole Chappell and Golden Knight arriving at Washoe Lake "trot-by"


Okay gawping at shadows

Rushcreek Okay gawping at a flapping flag shadow,
raising his heart rate during the 51 mile vet check

Another horse who always competes in boots and is hard to miss is Rushcreek Okay - a huge grey arabian who eats like... well, a horse, and sports size 3 Glue-Ons on the front. This was Okay's second VC100 finish with rider Carolyn Meier and this year they also completed the Triple Crown. After a warm-up performance last year (Okay tends to be a nosy thing - gawping at everything around him), Carolyn was thrilled with how well he looked after himself this year - getting progressively better and better at each vet check.

Okay - the following morning - no stiffness there...

Okay showing off his flexibility and range of motion
the morning after completing his second VC100

Okay's massive front foot

Okay's great big size 3 feet


Tami and May getting ready to leave VC#1

Tami and May prepare to leave vet check #1

A fourth Triple Crown booted finisher with a 13th place at VC100 was Tami Rougeau's Amatzing Grace - and she'll no doubt tell you more about their exploits in a separate post. Suffice to say May has been a challenge to fit but her Glue-Ons held up beautifully for this ride.

Nina and Gryphen at the water tank at the first road crossing

Nina Cooke and Gryphen at the road-crossing water trough at about 20 miles

Rounding out the "booters", Nina Cooke and Gryphen finished their first 100 mile ride in glue-ons.

Pat Chappell resetting her horse's rear shoes

Pat Chappell resetting her horse's shoes at 51 miles


Two of the riders in the Pioneer Division had shoeing problems during the ride. One was sadly pulled at 77 miles after having to abandon her Pioneer status by using the services of the ride farrier - to no avail: the horse was still lame. The other, Nicole's mother, Pat Chappell pulled out her shoeing tools and reset both back shoes on her horse at 51 miles. Remembering how tired I was last year at 51 miles, I can only imagine the toll it would take on a rider to have to do this. Last year at that point in the ride I'd lost both front glue-ons (a product of trying to stuff too small a size boot on Uno's expanding feet) but it was a very simple remedy to just pop on my spare 
Gloves. My biggest "problem" was removing the gobs of glue from the hoofwall (I admit, I wimped out and asked my crew, Renee Robinson, to do it for me).

During another memorable 100 mile ride, Roo did an impressive side-spook, tweaking a back shoe in such a way that it stuck out sideways by half an inch but wasn't going to come off without serious tools. Luckily for me the incident happened when my regular farrier was also riding the 100 miler and he was just ahead of us and able to reset the shoe at the vet check - but that was the last time I wanted to be at the mercy of a shoer (or the hope that a shoer would be available) during a ride. You put so much into a 100-miler that to have it all go down the drain because of lack of control over your horse's footwear is heartbreaking. Yes, sometimes I lose boots, but I can still fix the problem.

This was my 7th year either volunteering, crewing, or riding Virginia City 100 and it has become a highlight of my year. The ride has changed little over the years - it started in 1968 (two years after I was born) and the fact that it is still going is a testament to just how special it is. It should be a must-do ride for any 100-mile rider - and preferably many times over. 

(p.s. my husband Patrick points out that the Ferrari Club of America holds the annual Virginia City Hill Climb - spectator-able from the ride camp - the same weekend as the endurance ride. Just saying.)

Lucy Chaplin Trumbull
Sierra Foothills, California

Have Boots, Will Travel or What I Learned (The Hard Way) On My Summer Vacation

Submitted by Debbie BoscoeTeam Easyboot 2011 Member

About mid-October last year I stood next to my barn watching my best-in-the-world farrier hammer shoes on my horses.  I was signed up (read: had paid through the nose) for the upcoming XP2011 endurance ride – 2040 miles from St. Joseph, MS to Virginia City NV over 8 weeks.  Lots scared me about this trip, and finding good shoers en route headed the list.
 
“I’m going barefoot with boots.” I announced to Mo and he chuckled around the nails in his mouth. Six weeks later we pulled shoes and I began my crash course in barefoot trimming and boot fitting. Now I’d used Easyboots for many years, over shoes and in emergencies. How hard could this be already?

There are two parts to that question: how hard could learning to trim be, and then how hard could it be to keep boots on 12 feet for 2,000 miles in every kind of weather and terrain? I can hear some of you smirking, but here’s what I found:
-    First, not only was the task doable, it was well worth the effort. 
-    Second, the effort never ceases – that is, the learning goes on and on. So do the rewards.

The hardest part of learning to trim on the fly was all the contradictory advice I got in the beginning, and not knowing what was correct.  I stuck with less is more until you see how it works, and followed the basics  my farrier was showing me (he does a fine balanced foot). The temptation was to shape the hoof to fit the boots but a good verbal cuffing from Mo kept me in line. He also advised patience as hoofs need time to adjust and my timeframe wasn’t necessarily theirs. Soaking the hooves before I worked on them and good, sharp tools helped tremendously; a good  knife sharpener was a great investment. I also found I could only do a couple of feet at a time before my back and my judgement gave out, so I set aside time every day to do a little. To my surprise, I learned that I actually enjoyed the process.

The first endurance ride I did with barefoot horses I used Gloves (3 days, 3 horses, all booted). The temps were in the low single digits and I had to warm the Goober Glue over a fire in a garbage can, but with enough tape, Goober Glue and some Gorrilla Glue I actually kept all the boots on all three horses for all 3 days (maybe they just froze in place!).

The next two rides were much less successful as Gloves flew off.  Each time there was a barefoot trimmer/booter nearby, and amazingly, each time they gave me different advice, right down to the size boot I should be using. Did I mention that these early stages can be expensive? But the best advice was to use Glue-Ons. So off to Missouri I went, loaded down with shells and glues and guns and tips and hand gloves and tools.

My first gluing experience was much like some other ‘firsts’ I remember – not as satisfying as and much messier than I expected. Amazingly 3 out of 4 boots stayed on the first day, first horse. But the 4th came off at the start when the horse was so hyper I couldn’t even get a Glove on for 10 miles. That Glove came off again as we left lunch in the rain and just as the stallions broke out of their paddock and the tornado siren went off. The ensuing scene was the ultimate reality show: 4 riders driving the stallions away from my mare as I slide around in the mud trying to retape and reboot. That finally done, I find I can’t get back in the saddle because my foot is too full of mud to get purchase in the stirrup. Another intrepid rider climbs down and throws me up in the saddle. Now we huddle to see what we know about tornados: short huddle – we know nothing. So we just concentrated on keeping the stallions at bay and riding west. 

Dave Rabe the Great helped me glue the boot on that evening – showing me how to prep correctly. And that was the most important lesson of all. He is a great teacher and a real overachiever when it comes to getting a hoof ready for a Glue-On. No matter how much time I spent trimming and prepping, he always rasped the hoofs just a bit more before we glued. Here was the process:

-    I’d trim (with advice/correction from our resident barefoot trimmer) and then test each hoof by putting a shell on it and having the horse walk. If it stayed on, there were no bulges, and the heel sat down (eg. the toe was short enough); it was a good fit. 
-    Next I’d clean the hoof bottom again and begin digging grooves in the hoof wall with my rasp edge until I thought it perfectly groovy. 
-    Dave would then come over and clean the bottom again and dig more grooves and check that the shell was clean. 
-    One of us would put the Goober Glue in the bottom, in a V where the frog grooves would lay and at the back of the boot to keep dirt out. 
-    I’d hold up the hoof and he’d put the Adhere in the shell, then put it on, pound it in place, and I’d lift another leg to get all the horse’s weight on the one we were working on, holding it for 30 seconds or so and until Dave was ready with the next boot. 
-    Repeat.

The first part took me hours as the hoofs were growing fast with all that work and I had lots to trim each time. The gluing itself would take 5 minutes and Dave could/can do four boots with one tip and ¾ of a tube of Adhere. Something to work towards.

Here’s my take away on Glue-Ons: put on over a good trim and with the right prep, they will stay on in rain, mud, cold, heat, and over any terrain. The glue fails before the boots do, and that takes between 250 and 400 miles. If you find the boots and they have tread on them you can grind out the old glue and reuse them – again correct prep of both boots and hooves is the key. The Australian team with their 5 booted horses lost, well, manure loads of boots in the beginning. They too were new to this form of entertainment and we learned about properly prepping together. Our first non-riding day we sat with a drill with grinder, a vice, and a big stack of used boots, cleaning off the glue. That wasn’t very difficult and all the boots were re-usable.

Debbie Schellbourne
      
Boots will stay on in just about any conditions with the right preparation. This was taken at about 200 miles on this set of boots.

I left my mares barefoot for as long as possible in between new boots, but that was just a day or two because I was riding so much and alternating them. I thought I was getting away with it, but in fact one mare came home with bad thrush and a hard compacted sole; ‘nother lesson learned: 8 weeks in boots is too long.

Speaking of lessons, it worked out better gluing in the cold and wet than it did in the extreme heat. Adhere sets up in a minute or less when it is 98 degrees and those boots didn’t stay on for even 75 miles. They looked like they had goiters as the glue clumped between the hoof and boot. Of course in a perfect world you glue in moderate dry conditions, but who had perfect?

Some anecdotal information: only one rider rode all 2040 miles, and did every mile in glue-on boots. Of the five of us who rode more than 1,600 miles, only one used metal shoes for the whole ride. Of the horses that started in metal shoes, about one third moved to barefoot/boots during the ride.

Dave Rabe
 
Dave Rabe on the right, riding Red the Mule. Red is in shoes here, but makes the switch. Max and Tracy also begin booting part way through.

The reasons for riders switching to boots varied: 
-    Metal shoes didn’t hold up well to the hard packed roads during the first three weeks. The gaited horses went through metal shoes every few days.
-    Concussion lameness was our single biggest problem and the booted horses had far fewer than the shod horses (I had none over 1,660 miles). 
-    Shoers were hard to find and riders had to wait for a day off to have them come out.  At least one of the shoers lamed several horses, and those horses went directly to boots.
-    Natalie Herman was available to trim; Dave Rabe was available to boot; several of us had boots to spare; EasyCare was great about getting more boots shipped to where we were.

Concrete Roads
 
Roads softened a bit after a rain, then returned to their cement-like texture.

I’ve been home for over a month now. I’ve cured the thrush problems, got my hands on the Pete Ramey DVD collection, and found a good barefoot trimmer in my area to keep me on track. I’ve done a pretty tough 75 mile ride since returning and again lost Gloves.  What did I learn from that? 10 wraps of tape is better than 2 wraps, and those old boots really do stretch. More work for me, but dang that mare’s feet look good.

Sage & Debbie
 
Sage and I at the highest point of the ride. She is wearing Gloves, has leftover clay from her post-ride wraps, has vet wrap covering a bout of scratches, shows her old and healed torn flexor tendon, and is sound as a dollar bill, after over 600 miles.

Easyboot Gloves and Bares at the Sangre Scenic Fall Pioneer Ride

Anne and her daughter, Bunn, recently did the Fun Ride at Sangre Scenic Fall Pioneer Ride "to get some sort of idea of just what an endurance ride would be like as well as what kind of people do this endurance riding thing."

Anne says:

"Luckily the weather was pretty decent and Bunn and I were able to sleep in since we didn't have to show until sometime between 8am and 9am since we were the only two "Fun" riders.

Once I led Cadence (Tenessee Walker Stallion) away from the other horses at base camp (evidently there was a mare calling his name because he was a little insistent about staying around that area), we had a good time. Bluebirds accompanied us for about a quarter of a mile and later, we had a coyote warily watching and circling us. He was pretty close, too! We poked along about half of the fourteen mile loop and then the bug kinda bit us when we watched a group of six riders lope past us.

Anne and Cadence-Sangre

Gypsy a Tenesee Walker mare, who would try to look like an Arab every time she saw one, did not like the other horses leaving her behind and she decided the poking around stuff was over. So, Bunn and I picked up the pace, Cadence doing a nice running walk and canter while Gypsy let Bunn experience her speed rack. We jumped over a few small ditches. Bunn jumped Gypsy over a combination log to ditch, which turned out to be a jump over the log, jump down into the ditch and then jump out, much to Bunn's surprise. We both had a good laugh over that.

Bunn and Gypsy

Cadence was wearing his new Easyboot Gloves and Gyps had her Easyboot Bares on. Neither one had any problems and were sure footed and happy the entire time with protective horse boots. When we got back for our final vet check, the ride manager told us it looked like we hadn't even ridden the 14 miles since neither horse was sweaty or dirty. Guess the summer trail rides into the mountains paid off.

Anyway, we both had a total blast and I'm looking forward to trying a 25 mile ride in the Spring with Gyps.

Bunn and Gypsy

Thank you again for fitting both Gyps and Cadence with their sneakers!"

Dee Reiter

easycare-customer-service-dee-reiter

Customer Service

When you call EasyCare, I’m one of the folks that will answer. I’m also one of the cowgirls in the group. (Heck no, I don’t show, I Rodeo!) When it comes to life’s adventures – never pull back on the reins, and remember: the world is best-viewed through the ears of a horse!