Submitted by Sandra Fretelliere.
Last weekend Twist and I were to do a 50 in West Virginia. After riding Glove booted horses at the Strawberry Fields event in Utah in June, I was convinced Twist and I could try to use the Gloves instead of the Glue-Ons on a 50. I am still hesitant to glue the boots on myself and I would rather not glue if it’s necessary.
I have Twist on a very regular trimming schedule every four weeks. So Dave came and trimmed Twist a week ago, just to give a couple of days in between the trim and the ride. The morning of the ride I put on the gloves with athletic tape on four feet. I’m getting much faster than when I started a couple of months ago: it took me 15 minutes max. I then saddled up and got on to warm Twist up. The night-time lows were in the 40s: first cold night in months.
The start time got delayed by 15 minutes due to heavy fog. I was afraid miss Twist would get "hot" and put on a show, she did NOT! We were off for a good ride :-). My plan was to leave with the front runners since there were a couple of technical water crossings and I did not want to get stuck behind a lot of horses as Twist would probably not like the idea and then let people pass us later on.
The start was a good climb, actually the all ride was up or down, my guess would be there wasn’t more than 5 miles of flat. At just 4 miles into the ride I lost the hind left boot as Twist was pushing hard to go up a steep hill. I got off and managed to put it back on, knowing I did not put enough tape around this hoof. Twist is kind of between sizes on her hind hooves. Anyway, we kept on moving but Grrr, lost the same boot again. This time it took me longer to find the boot and I decided to keep going without it, as the footing was good and I have been riding Twist barefoot quite a lot during the summer.
There was a water stop with munchies for the horses. I stopped there and spent some time since the 1st loop was 25 miles, so I could get the boot back on. The boot stayed on for the 12 remaining miles. This loop was quite interesting, since we had to deal with Beth (riding Bit) being kicked by a 25 miler horse with the smallest red ribbon in the world, the horse kicked because he got kicked by the horse in front! Beth was OK, I’m sure she has a huge bruise though! Then her saddle pad kept slipping so she had to get off a couple of time to fix it and at the end of the loop we heard someone screaming and saw the horse riderless trotting down, we managed to stop him and waited for the rider to get back on, she was ok and finished the ride ! Phew! We must have lost at least 30 minutes all together on this loop, oh well…
Twist vetted in two minutes without a drop of water. This little horse is something – I love her. We went back to the trailer were I checked on all the boots and re-taped her left hind hoof. That fixed our problem and the second loop was uneventful, just enjoying the gorgeous trails on my pony with some friends. We pulsed down with no issue at the second vet check in four minutes. Twist was happy!
My out time was three minutes before Beth and Bit, we decided to "move" since both our horses looked good, eating and drinking like champs! I left on time and Beth was going to catch up. Twist felt great, picking up a nice canter on her own leaving camp, woo hoo! We passed a bunch of people and I was delighted with Twist, it’s her first season and her fourth 50. Anyway, everything was great until the pilot (me) made a wrong turn less than a mile away from camp and we ended up doing the last loop twice. I met two riders and stuck with them, they were both in boots, one in Glue-Ons and one in Gloves. We started to chat and they knew who I was and who Twist was. Thanks to easycare blog and the French accent I would guess :-).
I did not know them but apparently they are pretty famous: The Bills! Very Gloves but she was ahead of us. So Twist endeded up doing 60 miles. I could not be more pleased with her. Our ride time was around 8 hours and 10 minutes, not bad! I am convinced the Gloves work. Next time I’ll be more prepared and probably use the power straps. This weekend was a blast, it is about the HORSES, the FRIENDS, the TRAIL and FUN. And all of that I had! Special thanks to Jen and John for being there all weekend!
Name: Sandra Fretelliere
City: Brooklyn, NY
Equine Discipline: Endurance
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove