View Full Version : Barefoot Spinoff: Jumping in Old Mac or Easy Boots

Dec. 16, 2009, 04:54 PM
Has anybody done this? Is it safe?

The TB I was riding this summer showed some lameness after the trot warmup portion of my lesson. He was barefoot at the time, but is known to be susceptible to stone bruises (spent 9 years of his life on the track, probably shod the whole time). Another lady in the lesson had a pair of Old Mac boots on hand that she uses on her rope horses, so we put them on the TB and VOILA, no lameness! TB's owner (my coach) determined the lameness was caused by an ouchy bruised foot, and so I rode him in the Old Mac boots all weekend.

We were doing trot poles and jumping cross-rails, verticals, and oxers no higher than 2'3" in a sand ring. This was my first experience using them, and I have been wondering if you get away with using them over bigger fences/full courses occasionally as an alternative to shoes.

They seemed to be fine for the low stuff I was doing, although they were a bit noisy - very entertaining for everybody else in the lesson, including the coach!


Meredith Clark
Dec. 16, 2009, 05:06 PM
I got Old Macs for Juice this summer because I could NOT keep shoes on him. He was turned out 24/7 and with the dew and the stream that ran through his field his feet were just too wet.

The Old Macs are sort of weird at first and you have to let the horse get used to them but he can w/t/c and jump in them just fine. We only jump 2'3ish but he doesn't jump any differently than he used to.

Actually.. he's WAY happier trail riding in them, he's not as tender-footed as he used to be.

My sister got the Caviallo (sp?) "Simple Boots" for her horse and they are WAY easier to put on and off than the Old Macs but aren't for as "serious" riding as the Old Macs.

Dec. 16, 2009, 11:01 PM
I have the Old Mac's G2 boots for my mare's fronts. We don't use them too often, mostly just when we're riding down the road to my friend's barn. Here's a video of us jumping after a 2 mile canter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWWwuWIwWxo (Please don't critique me, I hadn't jumped much in a while.) The middle one is 2', and as you can see she couldn't have cared less about what was on her feet. I imagine it's a pretty individual thing. I haven't tried jumping 3' in boots, so who knows how it'll go. Just take it slow and see how the horse reacts.

Dec. 16, 2009, 11:27 PM
I'm on the fence on this topic.

I bought the easy boot gloves, and was thrilled with them. They never twisted, slipped or made noise. Stayed on great through water.

However, when I went to jump in them (~2'6), my horse started bracing on landing and humping his back. I was jumping on grass (not wet) that we normally had no traction issues with, but he seemed to feel like his front feet were slipping, or were going to. He's not the most graceful creature in the world, so maybe it would be different for another horse, or in a ring with footing. Unrelated issues made me go back to shoes, so I only jumped in them once or twice.

Dec. 17, 2009, 12:08 PM
I rode BN/Novice with my former Paint gelding with Easyboot Epics. I drilled the hind ones for studs (you have to use the studs that they sell for them, or else they aren't long enough to go through the boot) and had no issues with them whatsoever. Without the studs, however, they were slick as snot on grass. I thought I was saving money by using them instead of drilling and tapping behind, but I was wrong. It was such a pain in the arse to put them on and off (they have to be a TIGHT fit or else they won't stay on) that they just weren't worth the trouble.

Btw, one day I was attempting to pull them off by leveraging them with a metal hoofpick, when the clasp gave with such force that I socked myself in the nose and almost broke it (the nose, not the boot). Blood everywhere - not fun.

Dec. 17, 2009, 01:11 PM
I am not sure. I have 2 pairs of the easycare boa boots for when mine get sore from too much time riding over rocks or right after getting trimmed. So far I haven't had any problem with them and traction while trail riding and creek crossing, but I haven't tried jumping in them. I would think that they may be ok for jumping as long as the footing is really good. I might try them on the dirt cross country courses we have out here in California, but there is no way I would try them on the grass courses I rode in Maryland. I would definitely go slowly with whatever you end up trying and see how the horse reacts.

Meredith Clark
Dec. 17, 2009, 03:30 PM
Btw, one day I was attempting to pull them off by leveraging them with a metal hoofpick, when the clasp gave with such force that I socked myself in the nose and almost broke it (the nose, not the boot). Blood everywhere - not fun.

My sister tried the Easy Boots before we got the Caviallos and we HATED them. That clasp was awful and the metal wire thing that holds them together started to fray after the first ride and cut her. I hope they were a defected pair otherwise that's redic.

Dec. 17, 2009, 04:02 PM
Thanks for the replys. I had wondered what they'd be like on wet grass - I don't think I'll try it!

Dec. 17, 2009, 04:43 PM
Yes, you certainly can -- I evented BN in Easyboot Epics several times and was very happy with them. And no, it is not advisable to put one's nose in the path of the hoofpick loosener (ouchie!). I have never had any problems with getting them on/off or the cables/clips aside from cables stretching with age, which is to be expected. I would stand on the clip to snap them on, then get them off with the hoofpick under the clasp. You do, like any piece of equipment, have to get used to using them, they are certainly not "plug and play" like some expect.

They are definitely not good for wet footing though without studs -- anything you put on your horse's foot reduces traction over a bare foot. The tread on the regular ones gets very slippy in mud. However, there is a boot with a grippier tread or you can install the studs.