Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hoof boots or Bust!!!!

So far, we have not been successful at getting a good fit for JB in the Easy boot Gloves. I have ordered two fit Kit’s and now waiting for my third. I will have tried every combination of boot size available in the fit kit once that third one arrives. I certainly didn’t intend for this boot business to become this complicated, that’s for sure!

In my defense, the second fit kit that was shipped to me was not the fit Kit I thought I had ordered but nonetheless, I am now waiting for the last and final fit kit for the 0.5 to arrive. I am not holding out much hope that these will be a good fit but if I don’t try I will always wonder. To add to the dilemma, if he does happen to fit in the 0.5, they are out of stock until atleast March 20 on that size. Hmph… just my luck , right?

For those of you that are out there that ride horses that don’t have a typical foot and are considering the Glove, Here is what I have found with the fit kits for the Glove for JB:

The Size 1 fit width quite well but was too long.
The size 0 was way too narrow but the length was a good fit.
The size 00.5 was too small everywhere.

The 0.5- might just do the trick.. I will keep you posted on that. I am sure by now, the folks at Easy care think I have lost my mind ….

While this process has been exceedingly frustrating because I can’t ride JB until I have something that will work (and the conditioning clock is ticking for the Oreana ride), this has also has been an extremely educational process.

What does this tell me?

What I am seeing is that these boots seem to be made for a fairly straight walled horse. JB has very round hooves and to add to that they are on the small size (maybe not for his body size but I would much rather have seen him develop a bigger hoof). I will have to get some photos of his feet to post. Maybe over the weekend.

With any length on his toe, JB tends to get ,what I refer to as, platter-like hooves. He also tends to get heels that get a bit under run. In the last 6 months, Tom and I have been quite proactive with his trimming schedule to try to get this under some control. Most of our other horses can go 6-8 weeks in between trims without any trouble. With JB, it’s a different story. We have had to rasp on him every 2-3 weeks to begin to correct some of these natural occurring phenomenons in his feet. As a result, we are seeing some great progress, finally some positive changes in his hoof that previously we weren’t seeing at the 6-8 week intervals. The concavity is starting to develop in his sole, his bars are becoming well defined and beginning to support him. He is developing a much better callous on his toe than we have been able to get in the past and we have been pretty successful in getting his heels to come back where they should be. That last part has been the biggest struggle but I am already seeing him travel at liberty much better. He is reaching much better and is landing much closer to a heel first. We still have room for improvement but baby steps!! Right? I guess the trick with JB is that he needs trimming much more frequent than our other guys. That being said, I suppose I had better learn to get good with a rasp..

Tom has always done the trimming and shoeing on our horses. He had the good fortune to spend quite a bit of time with a natural balance trained farrier many years ago (before natural balance was the “thing”) and has used it ever since on all of our horses. So why did we run into so many troubles with JB’s feet. Over the last several months we have been pouring over our various Ovincek books, videos , notes, and other resources related to natural balance trimming, trying to figure out if we had been doing something wrong. Is there something different that we were missing? The one definitive difference that we could come up with was that there wasn’t enough focus on trim of the heel. Tom tended to be bit conservative with taking heel which could have been causing too much length An 1/8 of an inch is a lot on a small hoof like JB’s..Other than that, there isn’t much that changed in how he was trimming versus how he is trimming today with JB. We have been more consistent with the trimming schedule which seems to be making a big difference for JB.

One other possibility I could attribute all of this to might be during the very early stages of our conditioning start up last year, I was riding JB barefoot. We were only going on slow easy rides but much of it was on hard, sometimes gravely ground. My guess is that he got sore heels or soles at that time. While it was only a couple of weeks of riding him barefoot before I put shoes on him, maybe the damage had already been set in motion. Then, after we put shoes on him, he ended up then getting a stone bruise during our first limited distance and it just escalated from there.

It anever ceases to amaze me that when you have horses, it’s a constant learning adventure. Since I can’t go back in time and can only look to the horizons ahead I will try on the 0.5 , see if that works and if not, move on to the next thing. Feeling a bit pressed for time in sorting all of this hoof protection out, I have also gone ahead and sized JB for the Easy Care Epic boot. They should be here any day. I am not giving up yet on keeping him barefoot! I considered the Easy Boot Bare but was told that the bare was the most difficult boot in the Easy care line up to put on due to it being very stiff. I didn’t really want to deal with that. On the other hand, the Epic, while still stiff, is less so than the bare. It seems like maybe the Epics might work better for JB. At this point, I have nothing to lose!


All Who Wander said...


I got my 0.5 Gloves from The Distance Depot at the AERC Convention. I'll bet they still have these in stock. Good luck on fit though...Phebes front angles are too steep to fit them.


Jonna said...

I finally got the 0.5 in the mail. They were close but no cigar. I have the opposite problem, JB 's angle is a 47. Not quite steep enough. We are working on that. The Epics are due in tomorrow.