Thursday, April 19, 2018
Well today is load up to my favorite ride of the season and anniversary of sorts as it was my endurance event as well.
The Old Dominion No Frills 55.
Last weekend I spent two hot days (high of 80 on Friday) riding with my endurance friend Sally and a friend of hers. With the exception of losing a boot strap in some branches K and I bulldozed through – everything was great.
The boot- at a walk- stayed on with no strap and that’s how I navigated the worst of the rocky terrain we had to manage. When the footing got better and we moved into a trot it finally came off so I pulled a hind onto the front and left one back hoof bare for the last couple miles of wooded footing.
Scoot Boots are still in the success category.
And for boot advance to level 2 so to speak I’ve gone ahead and tried the Scoot Skins on the front with equilox glue. I did the glue yesterday prepared with a million how-to videos and some personal coaching from Karen N whose been doing a fair amount of boot gluing and had lots of good advice.
In the end due to my inexperience and the damp humid weather I give the boots about a 40% chance of making it through one loop tomorrow. In fact I half expect to find at least one missing when I go to load her up this morning!
Things I’m suspect of after giving it a go:
- Not sure I used enough glue. But was trying to be careful no glue would get underneath the hoof which could be devastating over 55 Miles (imagine a hard pebble in your shoe for an entire marathon)
- Not sure I really kept the hoof still enough for long enough to fully cure (this is 6-8 minutes and I wanted her to be weight bearing on the boot so she was standing still however even slight shifts in weight I cringed).
- Not sure our humid warm temps allowed the glue to dry properly. Two hours after gluing I’d kept her up around the barn in the sun eating grass – the exposed glue still felt a bit tacky to the touch.
- Not happy about the wet low places in the field and not being able to keep her feet as dry as possible- she doesn’t take well to being stalled and I refuse to restrict her movement and grazing the night before we leave for a big ride. Her overall needs outweigh boot security here.
All that being said it’s not something I can get regular practice on because I don’t want to have glue on her hooves more often than setting a boot for rides. The glue is probably better than nail holes and I prefer a boot to a metal shoe for many reasons, but it would be like having fake nails on constantly. The glue chemicals will eventually deteriorate the quality of the hoof wall which also needs to breathe.
Thus I decided to give it a try and my plan B is pretty good. I will improve over time- or I may decide the strap on Boots are really the best option and work well.
09:00 at the barn.
I arrived to collect K and load the truck though I’d stalled at home longer than planned due to sleet and snow flurries that had me uninspired to hurry off.
The boots were magically both still on even in the spongy wet mud field I found her in.
She came to the fence and I rubbed her and she relaxed but when I went to halter she stepped backward then away from me. She proceeded to gallop laps around the field bucking at the mustang and zinging past me (not close enough for me to be concerned). She would stop and square up with me, pause and then spin, buck and take off again.
This lasted about 10 minutes as I admired her athleticism and tried not to be horrified at the image of her Boots flying into the air or a pulled tendon in the mud. There wasn’t anything I could do to stop it except stand quietly and watch her go.
Often she’d run toward and stop right at the electric fence and stare intently over to the 2/3 of ‘her field’ with more lush grass now unavailable to her. I knew what she was asking.
I can’t. It’s not good for you. It’s not like anyone can see your ribs… you can’t eat cake all day. It’s spring. You’ll get sick.
Take down the fence.
We are going on a ride this weekend. Come in with me.
Cantering, trotting, spinning and some haul ass full out head down running commence.
She looks good at least. I can see she’s not lame. The boots seem to be good…
Finally she squared up again and took a couple steps in. And waited. And I walked up to her without her running off and leaving me again. Calm. She was ready.
Sheesh. So much for a calm morning. Or being careful about the hoof boots. However… they made it through that whole show and that says something.
I wondered what she was communicating to me besides take the fence down. (Not happening) does she not want to go. She’s not stupid- I think they know more than we give credit for.
Was it a sort of test: how will you react if I run the field around you like a whirling dervish? Will you get mad or frustrated? (I did not. I just waited).
When she did come with me it was as my partner. Right at my shoulder.
And it surprised me how easily and quickly she got on the trailer after all that.
Well who knows.
15:00 in Base camp (Star Tannery VA)
Camp set up easy, trailer converted to my apartment with hammock hung. Khaleesi cleaned her area of all grass quickly 😁
It’s windy and cold.
Boots are still hanging in there and we went through vet in with all A’s. Body condition of 5 (we often get a 6 as she’s not a skinny Arab) and her heart rate was 40 which is good.
It’s windy and cold.
21:50 hunkered down in hammock
It’s windy and cold out there.
Start time tomorrow is 7am and should be about 30 degrees. And windy.
No sleet or rain forecasted so that is the silver lining (it always sleet or freezing rains on this ride).
So tomorrow we ride!