I don't ride endurance, and I don't go on pack trips in the desert, although it would be nice to experience those things someday. I don't ride my horse every day, or every other day, either. I am an average horsewoman, sitting in an office daydreaming about the weekend when I get to saddle up and hit the trails. My horse is an average AQHA mare, not the most perfect conformation, but to me she is more beautiful than any other.
What worries me about her is that cutting style breeding - big chest and butt, little bitty feet. I was told by many that she would always need front shoes "to keep from getting sore," and that shoes all around were mandatory for some of the rides we may go on in and around Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina. I am here to say, "Not so, grasshopper!"
After close to a year of keeping her front shoes on and having no other choice but to do a lot of road riding for the season, we did a 17 mile wagon train in gorgeous Greene County, TN near our home. Sophie only had front shoes, I knew her hind hooves were hard as nails with great frog. Every other rider was on a gaited horse, so we did quite a bit of jogging intermixed with some slow loping to keep pace in the middle of the rather large group. When we headed down hills though, we had to keep it at an easy walk - those shoes will slip right out from under a horse!
Needless to say, her shoes were pulled, and our next road ride we booted up with Easyboot Epics
. What fantastic grip! But her pasterns were too short for the Epic gaiters and we had a little rub from a short jaunt. So, off with the gaiters and into the woods we went with four Original Easyboots
. We only came out with three. Whoops.
In the meantime, we borrowed some secondhand Original Easyboots to get around in. We ended up still coming out on top financially by not having metal shoes applied, and I was able to seek out a local EasyCare
dealer and barefoot trimmer, Kathy Baker of Kindred Spirit Whole Horse Care
. She fitted every different boot on my girl that was available, and we decided on a pair of Easyboot Glove Back Country
Whoo hoo, I love them! The first week after I bought them, we traveled to Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in southwest Virginia. We trekked through some rough rock, schlepped in fetlock deep mud, waded through multiple knee deep bodies of water, loped off from a walk, and loved every single second. I was worried about the water we went through and if the boots would be full of mud and rocks... Not one pebble, no mud inside the bottom of the hoof, amazing. I did have to wait until the mud dried on the outside of the boots and brush them off with a stiff bristle brush before I could hose them though.
I can't wait to hit the trails again this season with my girl. Thanks to the Back Country, there's no limit to which trails I ride, no asking about terrain if we are headed somewhere new. EasyCare's got us covered.