My husband and I recently competed in our first NATRC (North American Trail Ride Conference – more about this in another post) ride of the year at Uwharrie National Forest in North Carolina. Both of us ride our Missouri Fox Trotter mares in Easyboot Gloves on all four, adding Power Straps to the hinds for extra security.
My set of Easyboot Gloves after 40 miles of mountain, mud, rock and water.
The same set of boots, after a quick hosing off (after the AFTER…)
For those of you not familiar with Uwharrie, it is a beautiful area, forested and very little of it flat. None of it flat actually. Our ride was 40 miles (over 2 days) of mountainous terrain, rock, water and mud. Oh, there was mud. I’m talking the boot sucking, foot deep kind of mud.
As usual, the boots held up and stayed on through all of this. My husband’s mare did tear a front boot at one point when she stumbled through a particularly deep and boggy mud patch and grabbed herself, but it was quickly retrieved and a spare applied (we always carry spares, though this was the first time in 4 years that we’ve had to use one). We had no further problems.
There are so many reasons that I love my Easyboot Gloves. First and foremost, my mare has great barefoot feet that become not so great feet when conventionally shod. Her hooves don’t hold shoes well and she ends up with her hooves pretty thoroughly thrashed. And, I personally think it is better for the health of the horse and hoof to leave them barefoot if possible. I appreciate that there are others who feel differently, but this is what works for me in my situation with my mare.
Secondly, they last many, many, many miles. Occasionally, I hear some comments about the price of the boots. Seriously? Given the price of shoeing every 6 weeks and the long life of the boots, I find the Easyboot Glove is extremely economical. Add to that the fact that you can replace only the boot shell or the gaiter separately if need be and the economic appeal goes up even further.
They are also super easy to clean and maintain. Simply hose them off after a hard ride, do a periodic check of the hardware (screws tightened if necessary) and gaiter condition and you’re good to go. More and more NATRC riders are using Easyboots on competitive rides. Given my experience it’s easy to see why.
Submitted by Mary Dukes, Team Easyboot 2014 Member