Last year, my favorite little brown horse and I completed our first 100 mile ride at Virginia City, and over the course of the 23 hours on the trail, I had plenty of time to come up with a list of reasons why hoof boots are still one of the best options in hoof protection.
VC 100 starts on Main Street in Virginia City in front of the Delta Saloon. It’s a magical feeling, really, to be trotting down the street in the dark with friends cheering you on. And that feeling would most certainly have been ruined, had my horse slipped on the pavement in his steel shoes and splattered us both on the asphalt.
I think I’ve mentioned before that Nevada riders like rocks. Well, I’m a California girl at heart, so I still cringe a bit when I see a cobblestone laden road or boulder studded creek bed before me. But my little steed didn’t have so much as a bobble making his way through 100 miles of challenging footing.
Some of the 'good' VC footing. Photo by Tami Rougeau.
3) Shock Absorption
At VC, a lot of the “good footing” was hard packed sandy or gravel roads. Not exactly “good footing” by my wimpy standards, but we’re in Nevada now, and I found myself trotting over a lot of terrain that wasn’t exactly perfect. A few times, I was glad it was dark, so I didn’t have to see what we were trotting through. I was so glad Bite had the extra protection and shock absorption from his Easyboot Glue-Ons with Sikaflex in the sole. I like to think his joints appreciated the extra cushioning too.
The first time I ever glued boots on, I didn’t actually glue them on at all. I made my friends do it. I was pretty nervous I was going to screw something up. Since then, I’ve learned how to do it, I’ve gotten comfortable doing it, and I think I’d actually be more nervous to let someone do it for me. The truth is, once you work out a system, glueing boots on is pretty easy. When my horse was steel shod, it was always a bit of a challenge to coordinate shoeings close enough to a ride without being too close that you then had to worry about the horse getting foot sore from a fresh trim. On more than one occasion, I took him to a ride with 6 or 7 week old shoes because his shoeing schedule didn’t quite mesh with our ride schedule. Now that my horse wears boots, he’s always up to date on his trim and ready for a ride. To prepare for VC, I touched up his trim the week before the ride, and glued his boots on Thursday. It was a relief not to have to worry about his shoeing cycle being just perfect for this ride.
May, ridden by Team Easyboot member Tami Rougeau, and me on Bite.
Both horses are cruising down the trail in their Easyboot Glue-Ons.
5) “A” for Gait
Bite is a pretty solid guy. But it still blew me away that he could trot 100 miles over some of the rubble we navigated at VC, and finish looking as good as he did. I had tears in my eyes when I trotted him out and Dr. Jamie Kerr announced A’s for gait. Bite deserves a lot of credit for being one tough horse, but I know much of the credit goes to the awesome hoof protection he had that day. As always, we are so thankful to EasyCare for offering such great products. We hope we made you proud.
And, of course, big thanks to our friends, family, ride management, and vets for making Virginia City, one of the best rides I’ve ever done. Bite and I hope to be back next year!
Bite's VC 100 boots - they look like they could handle quite a bit more!