First Place Honorable Mention Story Winner
Submitted by Jesse Caswell, EasyCare Customer
I was raised on a cattle ranch. Steel shoes on horses was a way of life. My Grandad would say “I can’t ride that horse until get I get shoes on him.”
In 1960, I became interested in endurance riding. Steel shoes were all we had. All of my friends were riding the Tevis. It became my dream and goal, but due to my occupation, there was never time to condition my horse properly. No time, no money. But I dreamed of retirement.
By the time retirement age came, my health was so bad I could not ride. I had rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. The more doctors I went to, the more medicine they gave me. At my worst, I was finally bedridden. I was in excruciating pain. I decided to go with all natural care and threw out all the medicine.
Nine months later I was back riding horses and pursuing my dream. I soon found out that endurance riding was no fun. I kept getting pulled for lameness. I had five horses, no matter which one I rode, I would get pulled. I went through a dozen different farriers. The horses would get hoof abscesses and were always fighting thrush. The worst part of steel shoes was when I would lose one and the nails would tear out half of the hoof wall.
I went to 29 races and got pulled 19 times for lameness. The last race I did with steel shoes was the 2013 Tevis. I went 85 miles, only to get pulled. That was it. I quit, came home and pulled the shoes off all my horses and said, no more. I did not race for the next two years. I spent all my time getting my horses healed from the ground up.
I did go back to endurance racing. It was with Easyboot Glue-Ons. I could not believe how my horses performed. They trotted so smooth. Just seemed to float. They just naturally went in to extended trotting.
I did two day rides, 50 mile races, and each day on the same horse. I never tried to win, just stay up in front all the way. I was in the top five in most of my races. I did 21 races, all 50 miles and had seven Best Conditions. The biggest success was at Chalk Rock. This was a two day, 50 mile ride each day. Saturday placed 2nd and got Best Condition, and Sunday, on the same horse, I placed 1st and Best Condition!
I knew I was Tevis ready. Tevis 2016 I finished 6th place!