There’s a lot of talk these days about which boot is better. Not surprisingly, most of the value judgments are very subjective, such as ease of getting said boot on foot; whether or not tools are needed; whether or not athletic tape is required; whether or not glue is used, etc. My opinion is that the optimum boot is the boot that works best for your horse in your conditions for your planned activity. For some of us, that means we use different boots for different days.
The people at EasyCare believe putting the boots through the toughest, most challenging conditions known to horse is the best way to show how Easyboots might work for you. Although many of the EasyCare peeps are focused on endurance riding, it doesn’t mean that’s the only thing our boots are good for. But it does mean they’re good for practically anything you can throw at them.
Using Las Cienega 100
What better test than a 100-mile endurance race? And I don’t just mean a middle of the pack performance. Of the top 11 placing horses of 25 starters in the Las Cienega 100 last weekend near Sonoita, Arizona, 8 of them were sporting Easyboot Glue-Ons. Im just sayin’.
1. Christoph Schork – 1st place 100
It was also Christoph’s 200th win, of which more than 25% have been in barefoot with Easyboots. Boasting more than 20,000 competition miles, Christoph is the most winning rider in the history of endurance riding.
2. Tarnia Kittel – 2nd place and Best Condition 100
Known by her friends as Tarni, she is one of the most talented riders I’ve ever met. Based in Australia, she spent the summer in Moab and can currently be found supporting the Australian team at the World Equestiran Games. She also had a great summer of competing in boots with horses from the Global Endurance Training Center at various events across the country.
Tarnie has the unfortunate ailment of falling in love with every horse she rides.
3. Jennifer Shirley – 3rd place 100
Jennifer is newer to endurance than her horse is, but hers is a great story of instant transition. Jennifer pulled her horse’s shoes the day before the ride and applied Glue-On Easyboots with Goober Glue in the sole and Adhere on the shell walls. The team looked great all day (I know because I saw her on the common trail – hours ahead of me). It was also their first 100.
4. Kevin Waters – 6th place 100
Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. Kevin keeps promising he’ll retire from competing, but we’re still waiting and we’re starting to doubt his intentions. Golden Ali’s 860 competition miles so far this year comprise four 100-mile races including one at Tevis and one at Old Dominion. Kevin is another 20,000 miler (21,610 miles, to be precise).
Kevin and Golden Ali during the Tevis Cup 100 this year.
Clydea has logged more than 9,600 competition miles, including 30 100-mile completions (six of them at Tevis). Clydea has been using Easyboot Gloves and Glue-Ons for almost 12 months now.
Clydea and Kim at the finish line of the Las Cienega 100.
6. Kim Abbott – 9th place 100
Kim is the matriarch of endurance riders in southwestern Arizona. With more than 7,600 miles in endurance, 17 100-mile completions, including five Tevis Cup completions, Kim is one of a surprizingly large wave of barefoot/booted riders enjoying Easyboot success in the southwest. Her horse, Sea Spot Run, reached his 2,000 mile mark at the event. He has been barefoot for 12 months and this was his second 100-miler in boots.
7. Kevin Myers – 10th place
My horses have been booted for 16 months now. This will be my highest mileage year since I started endurance in 1995, logging 1,080 miles in Glue-Ons and Gloves so far this year.
8. Rusty Toth – 11th Place
As well as the 100 at Sonoita, Rusty completed the Tevis 100 and Big Horn 100 this year with horses in Easyboot Glue-Ons. Let him rip!
Rusty and Ripper/Rocky doing what they do best.
9. Julia Elias – Turtle Award 100
Not 12 months ago, Julia told me she would never have the patience nor the time to take her herd of 11 horses barefoot. Today, thanks to the gentle encouragement of Kevin Waters, there is not a steel shoe on her ranch. Julia is one of the most focused and most generous mileage junkies I know, with more than 11,630 lifetime competition miles.
Julia: the ultimate mileage junkie.
10. Cathy Peterson – Almost Last Place 50
Cathy and Soldier approaching the finish line of the 50 at Las Cienega.
83,860 Miles of Wisdom
The riders listed above have a combined lifetime mileage total of 83,860 AERC competition miles, give or take a few. And their collective wisdom speaks volumes. So if you’re thinking of trying out this booting thing, or if you have questions about how to make the boots work for you, just ask one of us. We’ll be glad you did.
Keep up the bootlegging!