I think one of my favorite things about keeping my horses barefoot is the number of booting options available to quickly adapt to weather, terrain or just circumstances. Earlier this summer I had planned on riding all three days at the Wild West Pioneer Ride. This is one of my favorite rides for many reasons, not the least of which is the amazing views, great trails and wonderful volunteers. Just being in the mountains is so different from our Northern Nevada high desert. The footing is not too bad but it can be pretty rocky and if it rains or snows (which it usually does) it gets really slippery.
Leading up to the ride I had not fully decided what boot I was going to use this year. Typically for a multi day ride I will just use Easyboot Glue-Ons. But for this ride I like to have the option of using Easyboot Grips if it gets too wet and sloppy so I usually just use Easyboot Gloves then I can change boots depending on the weather.
Once we arrived in camp and were all set up it was time to get the boots sorted out. I tidied up the trim on all four feet and put Gloves on all four. For some reason I just was not happy with the way the fronts looked and decided this year I was just going to use Glue-Ons and not have to worry about boots for the three days. After gluing boots on for so many years it really is not even anything that I think about any more. It takes almost no time at all and I have learned how not to cover myself in glue. Once the boots were glued I had to marvel that I had three types of boots all set out and ready for use if needed. How nice to have that many choices and to be able to pick and choose then change out in a matter of minutes.
Friday morning was simply beautiful and Fancy and I set out on a really wonderful first 25 mile loop. We came into the first vet check and went to the trailer to remove tack and let Fancy relax a bit then went to the vet. About half way down the trot out I thought I heard the rhythm of her gait change. Literally in front of our eyes she began showing very definite sign of something not right in her right hind foot. We went to the trailer and popped off the Glue On and cleaned out her foot. It did not take much and the abscess ruptured. As soon as it burst we could see Fancy relax. Boy that had to hurt. So we cleaned out the foot and the abscess spot (how can something so small cause such a large animal so much pain), cleaned, bandaged and applied another clean new Glove.
We did stay the next day so that my friend Jen could finish her first 50 mile ride on her Morgan, Willow. We had a great day crewing and helping out ride management. Then to top it off we got to help another rider whose horse had ripped off his metal shoe and was a bit off. With a bit of work with the rasp to tidy up the hoof we got her correctly sized with a Glove and she was able to finish her ride. Another Team Easyboot save and a great opportunity to represent EasyCare.
Throughout the day I was able to check Fancy’s foot and every time it was completely clean and looked good. She was actually sound and pretty happy just an hour after the whole event. So nice to be able to find the problem and treat it. We ended up getting home pretty late but in the morning I cleaned up the foot even more and just to be safe put a lintex pad on the foot and applied an Easyboot Rx over it. I just love these boots for putting on poultices or even just to protect a foot. They can accommodate a pad if needed and tend not to rub. After five days the abscess area is barely noticeable and she is perfectly sound.
In the span of just one ride four styles of Easyboot were called into action: Grips (ended up not needing them but they were there just in case), Gloves (the original first choice and then used to keep the injured foot clean), Glue-On’s (the go to long distance and multi day boot) and finally the Rx (first choice for helping hoof injuries heal). So while my husband has been known to roll his eyes at the number and variety of boots it is always nice to know that no matter what the circumstance there is a boot available. Having the flexibility to change out boots to meet the challenge of the occasion is an added bonus.