As a hoof care practitioner and horsemanship trainer I encounter many situations that require good problem solving skills. Recently, a client called wanting me to start a 17 year old mare under saddle. Unfortunately the mare had stepped on a nail in the pasture and the wound, although treated, had not healed properly. (If your horse has a puncture wound, please call a vet ASAP!). The owner decided to bring the mare to my place to heal and then I would proceed with training when she was sound. I treated the wound, packed her hoof with an Epsom salt poultice, wrapped with vet wrap and applied an Easyboot Glove that would fit over the bandaging. Perfect! It only took a few days for her hoof to heal and we started training.
One morning, I went out to feed and noticed she was holding up her right front. What had started as a little crack had turned into a huge abscess. Hoof cracks are often a sign that important minerals are lacking in the diet. A balanced nutrition program helps avoid cracks in the hoof wall. I use California Trace, it's a great supplement balanced to our West Coast hays. I repeated the packing and bandaging process on this foot. It took a few days for the abscess to blow out the heel and sole but the Easyboot Glove sure did the trick of keeping this horse's hoof medicated, protected and clean. California Trace minerals are now a part of Lyrics diet and she is growing in healthier hoof walls.
We resumed training and below is a picture of her first ride under saddle. Since we were on softer footing and only doing a little walking, I did not use hoof boots. After a few training sessions I noticed this mare wasn't really willing to move out which seemed odd to me since she has plenty of confidence. I realized her hooves still needed some protection. I had an older pair of Easyboot Epics in my tack room that fit. I asked her to trot with the boots on and this time she was able to trot, trot, trot and trot some more. Her right front hoof was not completely healed yet from that giant abscess but when it was protected she was comfortable moving out.
In horsemanship, we do a lot of lateral work, to get to the horse's feet. The Easyboot Epics worked great in the beginning but then I started to have problems with the horse catching her other leg with the boot on the hardware. I decided to fit the mare with her very own pair of Easyboot Gloves.
Lateral work, reaching back and to the side with her right front leg.
This is Lyrics owner during a training session, she calls her boots her Mary Janes.
Lyric confidently and comfortably moving forward wearing the Easyboot Glove.
So as you can see, training might not have to stop if you have some Easyboots to protect your horses feet during training, everyday riding, and recovery. Most importantly the horse is comfortable and their feet are protected. As for Lyric, she is very comfortable in her new boots and is already hitting the trails. See more photos of Lyric training in her Facebook Photo Album.
Amy Allen, Amy Allen Horsemanship