So how did we get on? Actually, not too bad. The ride was hot. The ride was vertical. The ride was possibly one of the hardest I’ve ever done due to the steepness of the climbs – two days, 50 miles a day – a great workout for Tevis.
Drove to the Cooley Ranch Ride site. Arrived with all four boots still attached. Good start. Took Roo for a couple of miles ride. Boots still there.
|Rode Day 1 without incident. Once I got past the initial repetitive “are they still there?”, I more or less forgot about the boots. On the steep downhills when we got off to lead, I’d look at them to make sure they were all still present and correct (not much chance of being able to see them properly while on top and moving).|
|On Day 1, we did 7,600 feet of very steep climbing – through multiple creeks and rivers, up toe-grabbing grades. What goes up must come down. Sore quads R Us. But the boots worked beautifully. Excellent!|
|We naively thought that Day 2 would be the easier day. Not.|
Day 2 consisted of even more vertical climbs, riding for several miles in the river bed, crossing and crossing again through the river, followed by more vertical climbs, followed by more vertical descents, followed by more vertical climbs – repeat.
|9,600+ feet of climbing…|
|Finally, towards the end of one of the worst climbs, Roo pushed off and I felt his right rear boot go (remember my comment about how the right rear does all the work?). Looked around and there it was lying on the trail. I hopped off, grabbed it (Roo wasn’t going anywhere and was glad of the rest), pulled one of the sparsie Gloves out of the pommel bag and had replaced the boot within 30 seconds. My GPS didn’t even notice we’d stopped. Hah!|
|Walking the last part to|
the top of the hill after
the Glue-on failure,
looking back to make sure
the Glove is properly seated
Post-Ride Inspection After Removal
Using a large flat-head screwdriver taking the boots off when we got home wasn’t hard – although they were still very tightly attached. I removed them while Roo was wandering around loose, grazing, and only once did I inadvertently prise too hard on the side of the hoof wall and cause him to start. To avoid this, you have to jam the screwdriver down the side all the way to the bottom and then prise, so you’re not levering on the hoof.
|Left Front – you can see how the excess glue mounded up next to his frog.|
Goober Glue is nice and rubbery so any in the sole works as a cushion. Although it’s a little time consuming to put on and I’d say needs some practice to perfect (<grin>), I really like the fact that any excess glue won’t cause a problem in the bottom of boots.
|The other nice thing about using Goober Glue is that it makes it possible to reuse the shells in the future.|
I sat on my back deck and peeled glue off the boots with big and small flathead screwdrivers. Afterwards, it was clean enough to re-glue (or put the gaiter back on and use as a Glove). Peeling the glue off was a lot like dealing with a fondue pan with burnt-on cheese.
Next Time: Experimenting with taping hooves on Horse A.