Booting and maintaining the barefoot horse is, as with so many horsey things, like maintaining a regular drug habit. At first it's: OH, yeah, best idea ever, my horse should be barefoot like they are in the wild, this is IT and it feels so right! Then you apply (and lose) your first boot(s) and come down hard to the reality that these things aren't nailed on and can and will fling off and disappear entirely, unless they decide to hang on half attached and cause some other sorts of problems. BUT, before you know it, that farrier name isn't back on the list no, no, you're ordering some other sort of gadget for your boot or a different brand of boot or a different sized boot, because you WILL get your barefoot fix, no matter the impact on your bank account or sanity. Your friends ask you how it's going and your eyes roll back in your head as you say, "OH, it's awful, great, I mean, you *gotta* try it!!!!" And now suddenly you're spreading your habit, encouraging others, even as the roller coaster of the booted barefoot horse continues to screw with your body, mind, and soul.
Am I Exaggerating? Anyone who has a hard-to-boot/maintain barefoot horse would say No.
And yet. There is a beam of light in the darkness. Here comes my friend J with her Mustang, Sedona, and the Pintabian Chief and she's looking for another direction for their hoof care. Ohhh yeah, I say, try the boots! You've heard how
unbelievably aggravating awesome my booting experience with Desire has been, you gotta try these boots! She drank the Kool Aid so I eyeballed Sedona's hoof size and on the next ride brought along some size 0 Easyboot Epics for her. The boots popped right on, Sedona stepped out nicely, and despite the hardware not tightening correctly, the boots stayed on perfectly over mileage, climbs, walktrotcanter, and literal boot-sucking-sinking mud. Amaazzzing! Now that's how booting should be.
And it continues! This morning J hauled the horse's up to her property nearly next door to my trimmer D and they connected and got Chief's front shoes pulled and all of J's horses some good trims. I met J at the lake afterwards with my tack and bucket of boots and we played the boot game now that the trims were fresh. The Epic wires had to be pulled into a tighter configuration but they stayed on Sedona perfectly for 15 miles, and I slapped the size 1 Gloves on Chief with about half a roll of athletic tape and they stayed on too, despite being large enough to literally twist on the hoof.
Un-frickin-believable! This really hammers home the point that so much of booting success depends on the horse's movement. I'm in the testing phase of Renegades with Desire but the battle to keep Easyboots on her has been unending and costly. It soothes me somewhat that this booting experience for J and her horses is going so well! And another person is hooked...
Big antlers on the buck, squint and you can see it..lot's of deer out today
"This is my Deer Face"
*Slurp slurp gobble gobble*
Cruising back to the trailer
Look at those mucky Gloves..still on though!