Thursday, 1 November 2012

Boots or Shoes?

Our grey and wet weather continues on. Here's how it looked this afternoon on the way to the trails (at least it had stopped raining!):
Kind of makes me want to stay inside with a bowl of soup, a warm blanket, and a good movie.

After the farriers visit on Monday, I put on all my rain gear and made it out for a couple of nice rides. Ginger was a little bit ouchy on the first, which I attributed to her fresh trim. The second ride a couple of days later got progressively worse to the point where I got off and walked her on the rougher parts. I cancelled todays ride with a friend and instead took Ginger along for my hike to evaluate where we were at. I ended up standing on the logging road letting her graze while I researched hoof boots:(
The difference in the last few weeks is obvious even to me - we'd probably have a great case study here on the effects of keeping your horse on soft, wet ground. No thrush or any of that, thank goodness, I'm pretty vigilant about keeping her feet clean. But soft, wet, easily bruised feet - yep, we're getting those.
Best case scenario I'd get her out of the wet paddock she's in. We do own a piece of property with a pasture, gravel paddock, small barn and even a cute farmhouse. The catch? It's rented. And they're good tenants we'd like to keep. I still not so secetly hope they move, so I can take over and have my pony at home again:) Alternate boarding arrangements simply aren't available - I say thats a business opportunity, G says thats a lot of work and money, besides aren't horse people all crazy? He's probably right. So, I was left today with my sore pony on a rocky, deserted road researching boots vs shoes.
I'm going to try the boots simply because I think she'll only need them 2-3 times a week for trails - she's fine on the roads and in the ring and I expect will be fine again on the trails too when her paddock dries up again. I have a set for Lainey and they've come in handy more than once when she's not shod. The trick will be to find large, round boots to fit cob feet. I've done a bit of research on line and the 'Renegade' brand boots appear like they should come in her size since they do have a wide and a double wide option. Guess who would need double wides? - just don't say anything, we don't want to give the poor girl a complex. I  have some endurance rider friends who swear by the Renegades as well. I'm tempted by the fun colors, too :)
Renegades: (http://www.renegadehoofboots.com )
I may or may not have got lucky, though, because on my trip to the tack store this afternoon for a desperately needed new halter for Ginger, I noticed they had a small selection of boots. Not only that, they are on a 50% off sale. The owner apologized that they're just clearing out the 'giant' sizes no one buys. How convenient ;) So I'm here at home with a pair of Old Mac's to try on Ginny in the morning. I'm not sure about them, the size chart says they may be a bit off as far as fit goes, and they seem pretty big and clunky. Ginger has been known to forge on occassion, so the chance of her catching herself on the extra size of them worries me a bit. It seems to be more of a pasture thing than a riding thing though, so we may be ok. Fingers crossed they fit, because the price is right and I'm already getting riding withdrawls.
Old Macs: (http://www.easycareinc.com/Our_Boots/old_macs_G2/old_macs_g2.aspx)



Random shot of Ginny warming up for our adventures. Her mane is getting pretty unruly - I'm wavering over whether I'm just going to let it grow out.

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