For endurance riding, everything has to be perfect in order to have a good ride. And when your primary endurance horse is an opinionated Thoroughbred mare with less-than-stellar feet, that’s even more difficult.
Many endurance rides are held in places with rocks and more complex terrain than my local trails, so hoof protection at least on the fronts is a “must have” for Peaches. I’m a firm believer in no metal and no nails, and I trim my own horses. I have tried just about every type of strap-on hoof boot and glue-on shoe and shell with varied levels of success for my horses. However, I had one problem or another with all of them … until I found Scoot Boots.
One of the things I love about Scoot Boots is their openness. When I’d used other hoof boots and glue-ons, moisture would stay in the hooves. Whether it was due to walking through water or just the Florida humidity, containing moisture in Peaches’ hooves is a recipe for thrush and seedy toe. No issue at all with Scoot Boots!
Admittedly, getting the perfect size was a bit difficult, but finally, the Size 2 fit Peaches’ hooves perfectly. (Thanks, Dave!!) No twist whatsoever! I glued in the endurance gaiters and was ready to go for the first ride.
That ride was the best ride I have EVER had on this horse. Keep in mind that she’s been doing endurance riding for nearly five years, we’ve had lots and lots of miles together. Let me explain what was so great about that ride.
First, Peaches was very confident with her feet. We hand walked about a half mile to get into the preserve, and she was totally comfortable with her new boots.
On the way to the preserve, I noticed that she was walking with the most beautiful heel-first landing. Up until that day, I had always assumed that she moved with a heel-first landing, but I realized at that moment that it had actually been a flat landing. Now, she had a lovely heel-first landing.
Once I got in the saddle, wow! I could tell that she loved her Scoot Boots. We walked, we trotted, and we cantered. It was the smoothest canter (okay, really a gallop) I have ever had on this horse. Ever! I was giddy with excitement that I’d finally found a great solution for her feet! It was starting to get dark, so we called it a day after about 5 miles. A wonderful day.
A few days later, I saddled up Peaches and went for another ride with her Scoot Boots. She seemed to welcome her boots being put on. Again, lovely heel-first landing and awesome walk, trot, and canter. She was super confident with her feet. After about 6 miles, we went into the bank of the lake so she could get a drink. She stepped into the side of the lake with no hesitation, even with a 20 mile-per-hour wind slapping small waves. Walking out of the lake, there was no water squishing sound like I’d heard with other hoof boots previously.
Fast forward a week later to a 50-mile endurance ride. Peaches was absolutely awesome!! I don’t normally Top 10 and was pleasantly surprised to learn that we’d completed in 7th place.
Peaches started out the ride with lots of energy, actually, too much energy! She felt superb, but it wasn’t until after about 10 or 12 miles that the adrenaline subsided and we were synchronized. At that point, I let her open up—and run she did! There’s nothing like galloping down the trail on top of a 16.1 hand Off-the-Track Thoroughbred, and that day, she was “on.”
After the first loop, I took off her Scoot Boots to check for rubs. Absolutely nothing. I was concerned that the sand might have abraded her foot, but her feet looked phenomenal as did her boots.
The second and third loop were much of the same. We galloped for much of the trail, not because we felt any pressure to go fast, but because it felt so wonderful. After 50 miles, she was understandably tired, especially in light of the 85-degree temperature, but she moved beautifully during vet out—albeit with less energy than she’d had that morning.
Her feet looked perfect after removing her Scoot Boots at the end of the ride. No rubs or sore spots. I checked her feet again the next morning before loading up in the trailer to go home, and still no sore spots. Total success!
Jo Harder, Florida, USA