Trial & Error (& Error…)

Monday, January 2, 2017

I’m not sure if this is a good first post of  the year or a bad one. 

Hoof boot lab

The January 1 change over to a New year seems somewhat man-made and arbitrary. In fact, if it were up to me I would have separated these big holidays out more over the year. It’s a lot to throw at us all in less than 2 months. 

Sometimes I feel a type too rational to get excited about imaginary human calendar celebrations. 

But we humans- even me sometimes- do to attach expectations to man made ideas and feel some new beginning on January 1, or that our birthday (or entire birth month for some!) is a time we’re entitled to special treatment… or that we should gather with family and be happy at thanksgiving and Christmas. 

I have two thoughts on these man-made days of high expectation… 

First: I like to hope any chance I get to see my family is a good thing and find traveling for Thanksgiving to be ridiculously expensive and sometimes wather prohibitive. It makes me resent the cultural manipulation that I won’t be happy if I can’t see them on these ‘more important family days.’ And I want to feel special every day- not just on my birthday to be honest. 

Second: I am now set up for disappointment if I don’t have a great fresh start on New Years Day. What if things I’m struggling with don’t magically reset into success? It’s a lot of pressure.  

Not that I’m unhappy or negative, but life is full of the day-to-day routine, the long road of struggle before success and things that just don’t go how you want. And somehow my real life movie doesn’t care that it’s New Years Day and I am entitled to a day of joy and miracles. 

It’s ok. I’m always the realist and reality is pretty good if you don’t have unrealistic expectations!!

After a few days of high winds and cold rain, then issues at home needing immediate attention (actually a hot tub malfunction that is serous to sort out before we drop back to sub freezing temps and have bigger problems) I was determined to take advantage of a mild day on Sunday, January 1, 2017 and take a good ride, get some of these needed miles in and continue my hoof boot & saddle fit trial and error scientific process. 

With a slightly late start, then a long barn process of hoof cleaning, rasping, measuring, and extra boot adjusting to try out a smaller size on the fronts… I finally got on the trail almost 2 hours later than I’d hoped. 

I had my doubts about the smaller front boots: they were just a little too snug. I have heard renegades do not function well too tight- slightly loose is better. 

New Years miracle for us?


I was determined if the time wasn’t there for mileage, we would test and work with speed. This ride started with a healthy warm up walk and then trotting as much as footing allowed (which was mostly decent). 

I kept constant watch over her feet (not my favorite way to ride) and we got about 3 miles of good movement- seemed maybe we were doing ok…

Then the first front boot came apart. 

I didn’t have to go back far to find it. At that point I gave up. I’d brought a spare but just didn’t have the energy to keep the experiment up- at least that was a small triumph: I can say for sure smaller front boots were not going to work. 

Returning home with only back boots

So I picked up the boot and headed home moving out when the ground was soft enough. Another mile and the other front came apart. 

Yep, I can rule that possibility out. 

Good news seems to be the back boots after filing and shaping have been staying on for the miles and speeds and mud. For the moment they seem to be basically successful. 

So after returning to the barn on a disappointingly short ride on my less than glorious start to the New Year, there are a few more things to celebrate. 

I went back to the heart pad and added 2 shims instead of the 1 I had started with. It wasn’t a hard test ride, but no rough hairs and her back looked great when I removed the saddle. No sensitivity. 

I’m still loving our relationship, we are staying in a good cycle right now. There are sometimes periods where I struggle with my horse and feel like we aren’t on the same page and it’s more of a fight or argument than a friendship- but this winter we have struck a particularly harmonious chord and I love spending time with her, and it is obvious that she feels the same.

If I can sustain that for longer and longer periods I will consider that a great thing to celebrate for 2017. 

And as a true new beginning I put in an order for a pair of Scoot Boots for her front feet. 

Now that I lost a front shell I have to do something and with my recent hoof boot-shape research these look like a good one to try. 

What I like about them:

  1. Only one part… no gaiters or cables
  2. No Velcro- at all. 
  3. Good drainage. 
  4. Super flexible material.
  5. Supposedly don’t twist or come off. 
  6. Appear ridiculously easy to put on/take off. 

The dream…. running along the beach into the sunset with a set of hoof boots that never twist, come off, break apart and are easy to put on and off!
Rear view. The materials are super flexible so I hope no rubbing…

Green to 100 is moving the trial and error boot experiment to a new boot altogether and have some hope it might bring a more successful solution. 

Thankfully I don’t hold out for miracles- just put in the day-to-day effort through failure after failure knowing that I just have to keep at it long enough and dedication pays off in the real world. We will find an answer someday. And gain knowledge in the meanwhile. 

Above all remembering to be grateful for all the things that are going right.

Happy New Year to all of you and I hope every new day brings a reality with contentment and everything you need each moment!

Published by JaimeHope

Violin teacher and endurance rider living in a rural mountain county - one of the least population dense and without a single stoplight.

4 thoughts on “Trial & Error (& Error…)

  1. There’s a distributor in our region (Emily Stambouleigh [I’m sure I botched her last name]) who had success in a VERY rocky and technical LD ride in her Scoots. And she does lots of conditioning in them too.

    She’s also had success with Hoof Armor (so have I, honestly. I like it!).

    I have a pair, but my friends bought them for me as a birthday gift based off my old Renegade sizes and old hoof size. So, they’re too large. *cries* But, I love they way that they FEEL! Very flexible and pliant and have lots of ‘give’ to them. So far, I’ve only heard a few complaints, mostly I’ve heard raves. I cannot wait to finish getting my main mount’s heels lowered to get them to work!!!

    Looking forward to your experiences!!!

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