The halfway point between vet check 1 and vet check 2 at Big Horn.
There are four lessons to remember when embarking on the transition to a barefoot/booted protocol for your horse. As I rode a horse through his first 100 at Big Horn last weekend, each of those lessons came back to me, one after the other.
1. Preparation is Key to Success
Do your homework. Getting a horse successfully through a first 100 is dependent upon a thorough training and nutrition program. If you take short cuts, the chance of failure is high. The same is true if you fail to properly understand the principles of a barefoot lifestyle. Successful transition requires proper diet, proper trim and the right living environment.
2. Evaluate Fit and Re-Evaluate Fit
Tack has to fit correctly or it won’t work. And tack fit changes over time. Does your saddle fit properly? Does it fit as well today as when it was evaluated a month, six months or one year ago? Has something in the mechanics of the tack changed during use? Have you used the tack or equipment before you came to the event? Gone are the days of vague sizing for hoof boots. Today’s designs rely on accuracy of fit: don’t underestimate the importance of getting it right.
3. Solutions Are Not As Elusive As They Might Seem
Think carefully and fastidiously. If something isn’t working or if things just don’t seem right, go back to square one. Go carefully through each of your evaluation steps. The solution will almost certainly reveal itself.
4. Keep in Touch With Your Community: Locate Your S.M.E.
The knowledge and expertise of a community is very powerful. There are hundreds of people in your extended communities who are Subject Matter Experts. They have experienced the successes and challenges of a transition and are more than willing to share with others.
Director of Marketing
I am responsible for the marketing and branding of the EasyCare product line. I believe there is a great deal to be gained from the strategy of using booted protection for horses, no matter what the job you have for your equine partner.