Submitted by by Carol Warren, Team Easyboot 2012 Member

We competed in our first NATRC ride May 5 and 6 at the Wimberley, Texas Wayfarer Ride. We rode in the Novice Horsemanship Division. I am proud to say we were classified as Lightweights. It was a great experience and pushed our horsemanship, training and conditioning skills to a new level. It also really pushed my mental preparation to a level I had never been before. Figuring out the pacing was a whole new game to me. I am used to riding competitive trail challenges, but never one where we had a time frame to complete the ride in.

Standing in the only shade waiting to complete the vet check.

Newt sported his Easyboot Gloves. We had many positive comments from other riders and the ride veterinarian. I was surprised at how few of the NATRC riders had boots of any kind on their horse.  Most wore traditional horseshoes, a few were barefoot, and only a handful had hoof boots of various kinds. On the competitive trail rides that I usually compete in, it seems like about half of the horses are barefoot or have boots of some kind. The ride vet was very impressed with how well the Gloves fit the hoof.

Newt and me at the Wimberly Wayfarer NATRC ride. Photo by Jim Edmondson.

Newt scored very well in the post ride checks, and I attribute a good portion of that to his Gloves and all of our conditioning. The ride was very rocky with lots of steep hills. Due to the high temperatures Saturday, the ride was started about two hours early so we could be off the trail before the heat of the day. A thunderstorm blew in early Sunday morning and delayed the ride start for about two hours. We had a variety of trail conditions – day one was dry and hard, the second day was muddy. We only slipped a boot one time as we were trotting up a rocky hill and a large rock rolled out from under Newt’s hind foot. I saw several lost horse shoes along the trail. Overall we finished 2nd Place in the Novice Lightweight. I was very pleased for our first NATRC ride. Just wait until next year!

Carol Warren