Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Renegade Boots and Fitness

I used a full set of four hoof boots on Boomer yesterday. I was a little leery about putting them on his back feet, wasn't sure how he would react. I decided that the best situation would be to put him in one of the outdoor round pens. The round pens at the barn have solid wood going up about 2 feet at a slant and round wooden logs forming the walls. It is quite sturdy and safe. It has a sand/clay base that is about 8 inches deep. At the moment, it also has a few puddles. I figured it was a perfect scenario for testing out the boots. Luckily, the sand/clay footing doesn't get slick when wet. Boomer didn't slip or slide a single time. I was happy I was able to have him 'loose' in case he flipped out about the back boots, but he was still confined and not a danger to himself or other horses. Turns out, he was fine. Not even a flinch. I put the boots on and sent him around. The wet sand was up past the toe strap on the boot and the puddles went up past his fetlock. This was a true test for the boots, especially since I hadn't been able to get the back boots adjusted quite yet. Amazingly, after an hour of trotting and cantering the boots were still on and hadn't twisted or rubbed at all! The back boots needed to have the cable tightened, which I did at home later. Even with the velcro strap shortened, they stayed put through all of the muck! They seem like they will work out very well!

I was also very pleased with Boomer's fitness. I think the round pen is 70' so he had plenty of room to move. I had him canter a few laps here and there, but mostly I just had him trotting. I really wanted to make sure he got a cardio workout today and I was impressed by his 'go' and fitness. He was barely winded after an hour of trotting in deep, wet sand. I am constantly trying to evaluate his fitness level as the April ride comes closer. We have a little over 2 weeks before the ride and I plan on giving him 3 days off before the ride. In these next two weeks I plan on doing my regular lesson and a long ride each week. Outside of those two events, I want to try to get in one short and one long arena ride and maybe one day of lunging.

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