I really want to congratulate all the barefoot, booted horses and riders who have completed some very prestigious and HARD rides as of late. We have had the Big Horn, the Vermont 100 and The Tevis. Not to mention we have also had several FEI selection rides for the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games. ALL of these HUGE events had booted horses. Do you realize the magnitude of this?!?! Do you realize that Garrett Ford, Mr. Easyboot himself, won the elusive Haggin Cup?!?! ON A BOOTED HORSE!! AWESOME!!! 

Garrett Ford and "The Fury" after winning the 2010 Haggin Cup! 

Congratulations to all the riders who have recently ridden booted at some equally important but perhaps not as high-profile rides as some of these big name events. GOOD JOB! Do you realize that you most likely scoffed at the idea of a barefoot endurance horse several years ago, or thought it would be too hard? 

Steph Teeter and "The Bat" at Eagle Extreme. Photo by Steve Bradley Photography

Congratulations to those of you who headed out on the trail for an enjoyable afternoon, picnic lunch in one hand, and the reins of a great horse in the other. You can happily say that you are able to do what’s best by your horse and offer him the protection of boots as needed. WAY TO GO!! 

Courtesy of the Easyboot Facebook fan page

Congratulations to everyone who has defied the "norm" and perhaps taken their performance horse of whatever discipline towards a more natural method of horse care, either using boots or going completely bare. We have recently come across professional barrel racers, reiners, working cow horses, dressage horses, eventers and jumpers who have pitched their horseshoes to the pits. KEEP IT UP!!!

Courtesy of the Easyboot Facebook fan page

And lastly, congratulations to whomever else is reading this. Perhaps you haven’t yet made the jump, but are headed in that direction. Keep in mind it is a slippery slope!!! Can’t wait to hear your stories!! 

You’ll notice I haven’t identified "booted" horses as using specifically Easycare products. While Easycare offers the best choices for myself and my horses, there are other products out there. Recently there have been some pretty nasty talk from loyal customers of other brands. Really people, give it up!! Please don’t forget the purpose of keeping our horses barefoot is for the good of the horse. The petty "Boot Wars" need to stop. Can’t we just all be happy for each other for meeting certain milestones that may not have been possible without protecting the hoof? 

The other night I had a unique opportunity to spend the evening riding with my husband. For once he was not on-call, didn’t have to mow the yard and was game for a babysitting gig. We saddled up my big, grey gelding, who still needs a sitter, and Robert’s horse-of-the-night, Chez. I outfitted Khopy with his Easyboot Gloves, no powerstraps, no tape, just a quick pop on the boot. We put Chez in his Gloves, again, no mods necessary. We climbed steep trails, went through sharp rocks hidden by the brush and rode through the dark. No problems, no questions. Just solid performance, like always. 

We set out about 7PM, the start of a very fun ride. We went my typical route- up the sand wash, down to the canyon, which consists of a small, single-track cow trail, with rough boulders, large roots and steep drop-offs. Upon crossing the bottom of the rocky canyon creek, we head up the big hill and keep on going. 

Although the sun was starting to set, we decided to add a few miles and take a left at a fork. Although Robert doesn’t get out to ride much, he was game and we were headed down a single track away from the ranch, much to the dismay of Khopy. We rode along in the setting sun and quickly came to a point where I realized we weren’t on the trail I had planned to be on! Oops!! At this point the sun was setting fast, but it was a beautiful night and a near full moon was to be rising soon. We made the decision to cut off a mile or so of trail and headed straight up a rocky hill, to the top of a boulder field. There was no trail, and the ground was completely covered in rock. Not to worry, both our horses’ Gloves were stuck on good, despite the lack of tape or powerstraps that some people seem to have problems with. I still can’t understand why it’s such a big deal to wrap the hoof a few times or install powerstaps to prevent possible problems, but whatev, to each his own, right?!

Robert and Chez traversing the rocks. Can’t see them too well in the picture but they were sure there! Neither horse flinched going across them in their Gloves. 

The view from about halfway up.

We rode on, the night quickly settling around us, still four or so miles from home. The ponies trotted peacefully down the trail while we enjoyed the ride. Pretty soon we were a mile from the ranch and were in full view of the beautiful Tevis Moon. Lucky me to have gotten to ride under it after all. 

Happy Riding!

Amanda Washington
~ SW Idaho