Submitted by Susan Gill, Team Easyboot 2012 Member
At the last endurance ride, I got "bricked" badly. At my latest event, the Buchan Tall Timber Endurance Ride, I proved that the bruises are usually worth the bricking experience.
Affectionately known as That Buchan Ride (say it, don't just read it), BTT has the lot. It's a relatively new ride that I've helped organise for two years now, so still in it's infancy and building a reputation. So far it's known for being a challenging track, but achievable when ridden to the conditions. Conditions include rural and bush tracks, hills, river crossings, rocky sections of road, but plenty of good going too - lots of variety to keep both horse and rider interested.
Joby contemplating the next section of track.
Last year was unseasonably hot. This year was unseasonably wet. We had some areas of track that got marked at each end and that was it, because a vehicle could get bogged going through. The last thing we needed was to waste valuable time pulling out a stuck vehicle.
Stopping to glance down for a boot check after a boot-sucking, shoe-grabbing patch of track.
So hills, rivers and bogs, slippery uphill and downhill sections, and potential to move along in other stretches - all situations destined to pull off Joby's front boots. My ideal Plan A - use my recently acquired experience and ride her in Gloves with customised Sikaflex pads on all four feet, accessorised with Powerstraps on her fronts. My realistic Plan B regarding opportunity was to swap the Sikaflex with worn-in comfort pads on her forefeet, and use plain Gloves on her hinds which haven't been a problem.
One of Joby's front boots, post-ride with a minimal amount of debris considering they'd done 80km all up with quite a few mudbaths included. The comfort pad is a bit mangled but the imprint shows it was still providing some extra cushioning and stimulation to her hoof.
The ride was fantastic. Joby completed her 3rd novice ride so is now eligible for Open Endurance Status. And I didn't have to get off once to even adjust a boot, let alone replace one.
Yep, being hit with a brick can pay off.