Monday, April 5, 2010

We won't know until it is over!

... This is how I feel about the upcoming endurance ride. I feel a little... scattered... about the whole hoof protection/shoes/boots/barefoot thing. Here is what I know: Shoes worked last ride, but I'm not too keen on keeping him shod for half the year. Boots haven't worked for me even on a 10 mile training ride. Using no protection is fine for training rides over ALL terrain for up to 10 miles, further than that is unknown. As John pointed out, race day is not the day to try out new racing flats. I am the kind of person who likes to know the answer before I ask the question. I am inclined to agree with John. So, I am going to go with what has worked over the distance we are going and then reevaluate the situation before our next ride. I know that shoeing for this ride doesn't commit us to shoeing forever, but I just feel sad about putting more holes in his hooves. However, my appointment isn't until Wednesday so who knows what will happen in my head between now and then!


8 comments:

Shanster said...

Good luck! I know I can play ALL sorts of scenarios in my head when I'm unsure of a course of action... you'll make a good call!

I keep my horses barefoot but when Rosso was with Anthony, I had shoes put on for his mountain trip so Anthony could ride him anywhere and everywhere without having to slow down due to sore feet.

He went back to barefeet once he came home...

Good luck with your decision! Don't make yourself too crazy! grin

zach_rabow said...

When is your ride? Good luck btw!! Were you using renegades? If you were you should try the Easyboot gloves, i LOVE mine and have never had a problem... Plus, you can enter the hoof boots contest and the Easyboot gives back program (miles ridden=money given to AERC)...

Story said...

I know how you feel about the shoes. To do reining we need sliding plates, but it felt so great to get those shoes off this spring.

txtrigger said...

What works for one horse (and owner) may not work for the next. You make the choices that work best for you and your horse. You know not to try anything new at a ride. I think you are on the right path to look at anything different, after the next ride, and hopefully have a new method worked out, if that is what is best for you and the horse. The problem it seems with the hoof care, is that peer pressure often convinces people to make choices that may not be right for them.

Heather said...

Shanster- Don't even get me started on the 'what if...' game!

Zach- Our ride is 4/11 at Eagle Ranch in Collins, MO. I have heard good things about the easyboot gloves, I had really wanted the Renegades to work...

Story- That is part of my problem... I LOVE having him bare. He has great feet. I guess I should take a page from your book and realize that perhaps my sport needs shoes just like reining needs shoes. AND I can be thankful that my horses feet ARE good enough to go bare for the off season!

txtrigger- I think you are right... I had really wanted the renegades to work out. Now I am faced with deciding what will work BEST for my horse. So far, the only thing that has been proven over 50 miles are metal shoes. So, thats what we will go with for now. Perhaps over the summer I will take him on a LONG (20-30 mile) training ride bare and see how he handles that. But for now, I feel safe and secure going with shoes.

Anyone know anyone who needs size 1 renegades? :)

Funder said...

I didn't want to ask last post; it seemed kind of rude, buuuut... I could use a pair of size 1 renegades, and Mel is always looking! Email me at funder @ gmail.

I wish there was an easy answer about shoes vs boots, but I think it's something we each have to figure out for ourselves, based on our horses' hooves, our home terrain, our ride terrain, etc.

txtrigger said...

And, to add one more thought. If one rides barefoot, and has boots along in case the horse started to get sore, then to *me*, putting them on after they got a bit sore is too late. Some of the barefooters feel different.

BTW, I shoe, that works for my horse and I. He has really great feet, that would do well I am sure with one wanting to do bare/boots etc., but that does not work for me. I don't feel I am compromising his health etc. by using shoes. But, I am also blessed with a very good farrier, so do not have the issues many have finding someone who does a good job.

Good luck at your ride!

Heather said...

txtrigger- that was one of the details I hadn't quite worked out yet, and another reason I was having so much anxiety about going truly bare. Yes, I could go bare until we got to a rocky section or gravel, but what if he got a stone bruise in a grassy area when he didn't have the boots on? Or what if he just got sore from overuse/wear?

I don't think shoeing compromises health at all. I do love that Boomer can be bare most of the time. It seems a shame to shoe him just for competitions. Perhaps I need to think more of him as an athlete and recognize that athletes need different gear during competitions than while training.

I sure am learning a lot through this whole process!