The #1 horse issue I saw while travelling thru Canada, USA, Mexico and Guatemala was
OVERRUN HOOVES, EITHER SHOD OR BAREFOOT.
It was obvious wherever I went that most horse owners were not reshoeing their horses feet every 6 to 8 weeks. And I saw this at all kinds of stables, ranches and farms. Rich people, super rich people, middle class people and dirt poor people.
The reasons for excessive intervals between reshoeing are many:
- Not enough money to call farrier
- Farrier too busy
- Farrier no good
- Owner to cheap or lazy to call farrier
Whatever the reasons, this is what I saw.
Now, what does this have to do with Roxy?
Well, she’s never been shod.
Before the trip, I rode Roxy barefoot in ALL conditions: grass, dirt, gravel, rocks, pavement, snow. The higher mileage of a long ride meant I needed protection, but I didn’t want to shoe her just for the trip, especially if I was going to have to rely on bad or busy farriers along the way. Also, logistically, with one horse, I couldn’t afford the weight of the farrier tools and shoes.
I made the decision well before setting off that we were going to use hoof boots.
Over 6700 kms ridden, we went thru 7 full sets of Easyboots. I rode with Gloves, Back Countries, Grips, Epics, Edges and Originals.
My favorite for long distance WALKING:
The lack of gaiters allowed for easier articulation of the lower leg, thru observing Roxy and the corresponding tread wear.
I wrote about my experiences with Easyboots many times in my blog.
Take a look!
I’m looking forward to trying out one of the new boots from the upcoming Easyboot Fury line, as it looks like the pivoting gaiter will allow full, unimpeded pastern movement while offering the security needed to keep the boots on at all gaits and in mud and water.
Now that the trip is over, I ride Roxy down here in Guatemala barefoot, and use the Originals on longer rides. I trim Roxy’s feet myself, usually a small adjustment only, as I have been doing for almost 4 years now since I got her. I trim on a 15-25 day cycle.
Hoof boots offer the best of both worlds. Barefoot, and protection when needed.
Thanks Easycare for helping us complete our long ride!