On Saturday morning I gave Zephyr another fresh trim, with extra attention paid to getting his toes as short as I could. That afternoon we had a great ride with my neighbor Laurie and her gelding Chief. We rode out on the snowmobile trails behind her house, with Zephyr barefoot so I could see how he was feeling about his fresh trim. Sadly, he wasn’t very comfortable on pavement or gravel; really he was only ok on grass and pure sand. Luckily we were able to be on grass/sand for most of the way, and we mostly walked anyway.
Sunday morning I waited around for my neighbor Gary to bring over his two geldings for their introduction to Mrs. Hand (ie to have their sheaths cleaned). Lucky me!! I don’t mind though, Gary’s going to put in some new gate posts for me. It turned out that he couldn’t catch the pony, so just rode his own dun gelding over to my house.
Rocky behaved ok, considering, but didn’t relax at all. I was glad it was getting done, from the dirt up there it seems as if he’s never had it done before.
After Rocky was all cleaned up, I took the Power Straps off of a pair of Size 2 Easyboot Gloves (half a size larger than the ones I used last time) and put them on Zephyr’s front feet. I left the hinds bare. One of them was the old style gaiter on the thin-toe Glove, and the other one was the new style gaiter with the thick toe Glove. I took the power straps off because I recently read a comment from someone who said she thought they made the entire boot about a half size smaller than without the strap. Since I’ve been having heel rubbing issues, I thought removing the straps would help.
We headed out on the old Ice Road trail to see if it was clear all the way to Bald Mountain Road. I plan to use this trail on Sunday for the second pleasure ride of the Mounted Search and Rescue camp-out weekend. We didn’t make it all the way because Gary had to head back home to take his daughters apple picking. Oh well! It was a nice ride anyway.
The excellent news is that after 5 miles of riding with sand, water, rocks, and mud, Zephyr’s heels did NOT look white and rubbed like they did the last few times! YAHOO!
The good news is that I was able to get the gaiters MUCH tighter this time… both old style and new style. Maybe they just need time to get broken in?
The interesting news is that it seems as if I can’t have it both ways. Either I can have him sound on gravel, or I can have the size 2 boots fit. If I want him sound on gravel, I have to leave him some length to the hoof wall, and therefore I need bigger boots! I’ll be consulting with my farrier as soon as possible, but I may need to order a size or two larger than I have now.
My next report will be next week, after our MMESAR camp-out weekend. If any of those horses are barefoot, I’m hoping to do some fitting and testing on them with my spare boots!