Since Soraya’s hoof is getting better, I decided to try her new boots in the forest. They are called “All terrain” and are Norwegian jogging shoes for horses from Equine Fusion.
If you need to test a pair of boots in difficult terrain, well then this is the place to begin! First of all, to be able to hit the “normal” trails you need to go down a steep track with rocks and sliding ground.
Then you need to cross a small river where your horse kind of take a bath in the mud before you even get into the water! To be able to get to my house, you need to climb some steep tracks with even more rocks and mud. Then you choose to cross another creek or to use the bridge.
A normal ride?
This is a totally normal ride for me and our horses. For other riders it might be too rough, but if you keep a horse in the hills there is no choice! Either you get down there, or you get stuck in the riding ground.
I get easily bored in the riding ground, but this forest never makes me bored. It´s always such a relief to get into that green zone where you only meet deers, foxes and hares. Luckily I´ve only seen a wild pig once. It was larger than my horse!
Trying out the boots
Back to the point… The goal was to try the new horse boots. Did they manage the rough terrain? For sure I didn´t loose them on my way! As soon as you manage to put them on, they´re stuck! It’s important to get the hoof well placed into the shoe.
I was quite curious after crossing all that mud and water. What happened now? I could hear the sound of water gurgle inside the boots, but after a while the water seemed to go out. There are actually small holes in them to make the hoof breathe.
Luckily I had some company in the forest. It´s always better to be two or more riders in case something happens. My friend Robbie and his lovely Quarter horse Tempesta came along all the way.
Robbie is not interested in trying out the barefoot ideology. Tempesta is shod and normally it works well.
But his holiday plans got a bit changed thanks to the loss of 3 horse shoes. We normally have to wait a while for the farrier to arrive. I know a man that got so frustrated of loosing horse shoes that he threw them away!
After some kilometers I realized that one shoe was a bit twisted. But I could easily move it back into the correct position and then they both stayed on correctly the rest of the ride. It probably happened because of the muddy water inside.
My thoughts about the boots
I must say that they look really comfortable on the horse. We also did some trotting and galloping without any problems, even in the long grass. When I came back it was easy to take them off, but of course I needed to clean off all the mud. A bit more work than having a shod horse, but remember that these shoes are not meant to be used all the time.
My goal now is to make her go barefoot as much as possible. Sometimes I´ll use the boots as hoof protection when needed. My main problem is the experience of the inflamed hoof. This has made me extra nervous about hitting another stone. It will be hard to leave the boots behind!
But if you don´t make your horse walk directly on the hoof, it will never develop a healthy and resistant hoof. I´ve been really unlucky with her inflamed hoof probably caused by a stone, and that might happen again. We have a lot of rocks lying around in the terrain. The important thing is to walk beside the horse in the most challenging parts, and never run on rocks.