Thanks to some very generous Renegade friends who loaned me boots to try out before committing, yesterday I strapped 2 size 2s, 1 size 1, and 1 size 0 onto Desire and went for a ride. If you've read this blog for more than a minute you know that I have been battling to keep Easyboot Gloves (and lately, Epics) on Desire for over a year. She is a foot stomping, trail grabbing, power-trotting fool and the Easyboots fly like hotcakes off the griddle. If I ever do manage to keep them on she gets gaiter rubs, despite my many prevention techniques (slicking, baby powdering, stockings, etc). Then there's the matter of the Glove shell being so thin that a flatter, thin-soled hoof like Desire's doesn't get enough protection. So basically, Easyboots don't work worth a darn for this mare.
My 1st time ever seriously putting on Renegades in an effort to go for a ride, they slid right on and Velcroed, easy as pie. I didn't adjust any of the cables. I saddled up and went for a 12 mile ride around the neighborhood including pavement, dirt road, uphill, downhill, and as many walk-trot-canter transitions as I could pull off. I let Desire power trot, and the boots stayed on. I gave her her head to surge into a canter uphill--the boots stayed on! Matter of fact, no matter what I did the boots stayed on, nothing came un-Velcroed, and when I pulled them off at the end there were zero rubs of any kind! The thicker material the Renegades are made of provided great protection for Desire's hooves and the fitting system, with the heel captivator cables directly related to the toe strap, makes so much more sense in keeping a boot on a torquey, powerful horse, than hoping the mere fit of a shell will do so.
Neighborhood Donkey friend
Sunrise over the neighborhood Cemetery
holy crapsilon, guinea hens!! They sound a lot like our turkeys though so she wasn't *too* alarmed
Snack for the road
While trotting merrily along my stirrup suddenly fell off. I ride Desire with a death grip in my seat since she is a master swerver (I wouldn't call it spooking so much as general swerving/eyeballing), so nothing really happened. I dismounted to check it out and turns out the nut fell off the bolt holding my stirrup on. I remembered my stirrups keepers were still hiding out under the fleecy bits on my saddle and buckled them together and then cinched that tight around the bolt and it held the stirrup on like a charm for the ride home.
I didn't get a chance to do a water crossing test as I was running out of time, but that's the next step in Renegade testing. I am so incredibly happy that I got to go for a ride on my mare without dismounting to fix a boot one time. It was only 12 miles but I've been fixing boots on rides as short as 6 miles when she was in Easyboots.
Happy campers with boots still on! I was bored riding at the walk up the hilly mile of paved road for home so I got off and walked. Coz sweating and panting makes time pass much faster than just riding!
These boots are made for trottin..
Some cloud cover rolled in and kept the heat tolerable
The welcoming committee as we ride up the road for home: Bay Boys Blaze & Joey
Of course you all know the real reason I'm excited about Renegades is that they come in so many fantastic colors! Like Burgundy Blitz, for example, which will fabulously match Desire's tack ;-)