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View Full Version : Extreme Trailriding - I can't believe we survived!



StefffiC
May. 3, 2010, 07:38 PM
I think after this weekend my horse is looking to trade me in on a new owner; the feeling is not mutual and I hope he’ll reconsider. :D All 3 of my rides this weekend were troublesome.

Friday my horse and I rode alone; he was extremely balky the entire ride. I know it’s a phase and this too shall pass. My boy is pretty athletic and can go from forward trot or canter to running backwards. It’s really helping me to remember to keep my eyes up, shoulders back, and *not* hunch forward. When I finally got him forward someone had cut a 2’ deep and 2’ wide ditch in my galloping lane. :lol: He cleared it beautifully! It looked like a coffin jump, and it was on a slight up hill. Very nice setting, I plan to go clean the footing up a bit so we can jump it more safely in the future.

Saturday my horse lost both his boots at the furthest point from the barn. I had to hoof it out there on foot, was late for a derby party, eventually found them, got eaten up by bugs. I hate hoof boots. Seriously hate them. My horse is going to get shod next month.

Sunday… Well, Sunday was quite a ride. A friend and fellow boarder and I went to South Mountain State Park. http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&ll=35.613623,-81.645606&spn=0.06587,0.109005&t=f&z=13&ecpose=35.61362302,-81.64560604,8563.41,-0.007,0,0&msid=106694602453784573088.000485b5619c588a1ce43 – For those of y’all not familiar with this park there’s a good bit of elevation change, but the horse trails are nice, wide, some hills (okay, lots of hills!), but not a bad place to ride. I’m conditioning my boy to go to Leatherwood at the end of the month, and a good ride at South Mtn is good for that! The trails are tough, but not extreme – or so I thought!

My friend is older and a good, sensible, but not crazy rider who is willing to go most anywhere, though he hates single track trail. His horse is a good match with mine – both are hot, fast, and get along well. My guy is older and while he’s hot and fast, he’s really a sane, good, safe horse and he really saved my tail.

We started out with a plan that would put us doing around 15 miles in 4 hours – a nice pace since my guy is coming back from some stifle issues. And, in the beginning things went well. We went up, up, up, and up more hills. My horse’s boots would *not* stay on. I tried everything and finally came to the conclusion I couldn’t long trot or extend his canter without loosing boots. So, I stuck with collected and slow trot and canter. He was starting to really get tired by the time we got up on top of the ridge – about 6 or 8 miles into itand it was raining and really windy. So, my friend and I consulted the map and the trail signs and decided we could take the ‘Possum’ trail and it would cut off about 5 miles for us.

The trail was marked with a sign that said ‘Equestrian Parking 3.0 miles’ and there were no ‘No Horse’ signs to clue us into this being a *hiking* trail. At first the trail was nice, then it got narrower. Then it got to be a single track. Then it got narrower. And, narrower. It might have been 18” wide, with sheer drop on the left and mountain on the right. I was behind my friend and my horse was tired, but he was still doing pretty good. Along the way we met some hikers who were unfamiliar with the trail, they managed to let us pass. About 100’ later we came to a rock outcropping that was like really steep, tiny steps, with a 90 degree right at the bottom to keep from falling off the cliff with a tree growing over the trail immeadiately after you made the turn.

My friend went through the rocks and his horse struggled with it, sliding, almost wiping him off on the tree. I decided to dismount and walk down, but my horse had a different idea – he leaped off the top as I was dismounting and I knew, just knew, there was no way we would make the turn at the bottom. It was one of the few times in my riding career that I have ever been truly terrified. I managed to get back on, no stirrups, no reins, nothing, just a handful of mane. Dave said I screamed like a little girl, :lol: I think that’s a fair statement. Somehow my horse made the turn and I survived that little section of trail. We decided that this was not a horse trail, and after more map consultation realized it was a hiking trail.

I lost a boot somewhere in the mad leaping down the mountain, so I dismounted and climbed back up to find it. When I went through the rock cliff I had a WTF feeling and a huge feeling of thanks that I had survived with my horse intact. Never found my boot, hiked back down to the horses, and decided to finish the trail on foot. I hadn’t taught my horse to tail, but being the good boy he is, he picked it up pretty quick. The trail was so narrow and so steep I didn’t want him behind me. I’ve ridden Leatherwood, Old Dominion, Big South Fork, and I’m no wimp about terrain and extreme trails. I have never taken a horse through anything like this, and I never will again. Hiking that trail I don’t see how we made it through.

Finally got to the bottom and take a left towards ‘Equestrian Center Parking’ only to find a ONE TIMBER BRIDGE as the only way to ford the creek. :roll: There was no way into the creek. My friend wanted to go back up the trail we had just come down, but I couldn’t do it. Just could not do it. So, we turned around and went on another hiking trail. Thankfully the bridges were a little wider, maybe 18”? one or two were 2’ wide. And, then we started climbing. Sometimes over big boulders that my horse had to kind of rear and lunge over. The trees were so narrow I had little to no clearance at times. Almost to the top of the first ridge my horse lost his footing and slammed my left knee into a tree. It started swelling immeadiately and was extremely painful.

We made it to the top of the ridge and started climbing down the ridge, only to have to climb up another ridge. At times the trees were so close together I had to sidepass and do turn on the forehand and haunches to get my horse through them. The entire ride he was listening to me. I tied my reins up to my breastcollar so he could have his head and I held onto his mane at his withers and rode with my legs. Several times on the uphills he would just stop. And stand, panting. Poor boy, this terrain was something else. As close as I can figure from Google Earth we did about 7000 ft of altitude changes!

Finally the trail leveled off a bit and about a mile later we got back to the horse trail. At this point my tender footed horse had one boot and I couldn’t post. He’s 5 gaited, but doesn’t gait well in 2 boots, much less one. I got off to fix my saddle pad and barely managed to get back on with my knee. So, about a half a mile later when we picked up the pace to a trot I couldn’t take it anymore and dug a Vicodin out of my pack and took it on an empty stomach. Made me sick as a dog and slightly loopy, but I managed not to puke. Loosened my left stirrup a little bit to make it more springy – I’ve got flexion stirrups on the saddle with adjustments for how much the rider weighs. Those saved me a lot of pain. My normally hot horse didn’t pull, he kept right up with my friend. I still had his reins tied up and when we were trotting I was holding onto his mane or the breastcollar to hold myself up in two point. My left knee was useless at this point and I was so weak that I couldn’t post or two point without holding mane.

A little while later his boot came off and my friend picked it up. Once he was barefoot and the footing was nice he started racking and cantering a bit more, maybe out of self defense for his back? :D We finally made it back to the asphalt road, and despite the big “NO HORSES” I rode the asphalt road back to the trailer. At that point I couldn’t walk, my cell phone was dead so I couldn’t call someone to get me out of the woods, my horse had done almost 18 miles with most of it uphill, in a very humid hot day – if park services said something to me I was going to politely request a ride to the truck!

My friend who’s over 60 fared well and both the horses seemed okay once they cooled down. My guy looked tired last night. My knee is purple and swollen, my hands are cut from holding onto his mane. My left hand got caught in a tree and tore it up.

I called park services this morning to file a lost and found for my boot and asked to speak to a ranger. I told him what happened and he said he was going to go check the signs at the possum trail and make sure there were “NO HORSE” signs on it and maybe add a sign with a little stronger wording. Had our horses not been surefooted, pretty fit, and experienced and had the riders not been experienced horsemen/women I don’t think we would have survived. I have never been as terrified as I was coming down that little stretch of rock – the drop off the trail at that point was over 500’ into the gorge. One misstep on those rocks, one stumble, and my horse and I would probably have died – or at least been seriously injured.

And, THAT’s my story for the weekend! I believe I’m going to scratch Leatherwood until fall, I’ve had my fill of extreme trail for a while!

pnalley
May. 3, 2010, 08:29 PM
I'm glad you made it out safe, but remind me not to ride with you!

Have you ever had problems with the boots staying on before?

StefffiC
May. 3, 2010, 08:33 PM
I'm glad you made it out safe, but remind me not to ride with you!

Have you ever had problems with the boots staying on before?

I haven't had them that long - until Saturday I hadn't had any issues with them.

We're going back to shoes and pads, his traction is better, his gait is better, and I don't have to worry as much about losing them.

If you ride with me I promise not to take you down any hiking trails. :lol:

Cindyg
May. 3, 2010, 11:53 PM
It truly made my heart pound to read about your ride! I can't even imagine being caught in this situation.

My horse is not a trooper, and I would have been in serious danger had I stumbled on to this situation. (Which is why we don't go out much. You really never know what's going to come up.)

Thank you for calling the ranger and informing him of the dangerous situation you encountered! It might prevent the next person from being seriously injured.

Bank of Dad
May. 4, 2010, 12:08 AM
You really are lucky to be alive.

I'm too chicken to go on new trails that I don't see hoofprints or horse poop on.

twofatponies
May. 4, 2010, 12:08 AM
I'll stick to my rolling farmland and tractor roads, thank you very much! :eek:

Hope you feel better soon!

trailpal
May. 4, 2010, 12:45 AM
Great story, glad I wasn't anywhere around! I have a "thing" about drop-offs!

I sure hope you heal up soon.

I don't know if will help with your particular situation but until you get shoes, you could try a layer or two of tape on his foot before you boot. Just to take up the room so they are more snug.

Simbalism
May. 4, 2010, 01:11 AM
I also hate drop offs(fear of heights). Sounds like you have a great horse. Glad you didn't suffer any greater injury.

Painted Horse
May. 4, 2010, 01:27 AM
I'm glad you had a great experience and a safe ride.

I've tried the boots. But I just can't get them to stay on either. Mainy because thats the kind of stuff I ride too often. Boots stay on at awalk or trot, But not a big trot or a canter. And they don't do well in the rough stuff. Especially where they horses are twisting or turning their feet. I've come to the decision they will either survive totally barefoot or I will go to shoes. Boots just are not the solution for rough country.

Do this a few more times and your horses will become naturals at rough trails. And you will be looking for the adrenalin high.

Narrow
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/2010/Chute/WildHorse1.gif

Rocky
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/2010/Chute/WildHorse6.gif

Steep drops offs
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/San-Rafael-Narrowneck.jpg

Ledges
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/San-Rafel-ledges.jpg

ellebeaux
May. 4, 2010, 06:40 AM
Wow, my heart was pounding, too! Give your horse an extra apple ;)

Sithly
May. 4, 2010, 08:03 AM
Narrow
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/2010/Chute/WildHorse1.gif

Rocky
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/2010/Chute/WildHorse6.gif

Steep drops offs
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/San-Rafael-Narrowneck.jpg

Ledges
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/San-Rafel-ledges.jpg

Dang! I want to go riding with you! :eek: :lol:

ChocoMare
May. 4, 2010, 08:13 AM
Holy crap! :eek: Glad you're mostly ok. Sore No More on that knee will feel good. :yes:

pj
May. 4, 2010, 09:17 AM
Sounds like a great memory to enjoy and tell in your older years.
:)
I've never been one for manicured trails, love single tracks and hills
but does sound as if that might have been a bit much.
Hug your horse, he's a good boy and hope you heal quickly.
Thanks for sharing the story, I really enjoyed it!

Auventera Two
May. 4, 2010, 10:36 AM
If boots aren't staying on, THEN THEY DON'T FIT! Regardless of the footing and terrain, you should not be losing boots and you definitely shouldn't be having to ride slow so the boots don't fly off. They must be way way too big for your horse. Please get a professional boot dealer to help you with your boots and get ones that fit your horse! :)

Your story reminded me of an endurance ride where we took a wrong turn and the same deal - trail kept getting skinnier and skinnier. There were 4 of us all together, and we ended up climbing this tiny little 18" wide ledge/sheer cliff kind of deal, only to find out there was no room to turn around at the top. We had a stack of horses standing on each other's feet, trying to get turned around and get back down. Also did one with a skinny ledge and a sheer drop down into a gravel quary. Got stuck in a super soft creek bed - horse sunk up to her belly before we could get out (but she never lost a boot!). But your ordeal sounds WAY worse than anything I've experienced, wow!

Man it's amazing trail riders live as long as they do :) I'm so glad you made it out safe! Your story was giving me the chills.

Painted Horse
May. 4, 2010, 02:40 PM
If boots aren't staying on, THEN THEY DON'T FIT!

That's not neccessarilly true. My boots were fit by an authorized EasyCare professional. It's never been mud that pulled them off. It's just extreme riding. It usually has to do with the horses putting lateral forces on the boots. As long as they just move straight forward, I have no problem But quick turns, changing directions at speed, and of course, just traversing extremely rough terrain, seem to snag and pull the boots.

When we go through very rocky areas, the boots get wedged between boulders and Pop off. When we go through blown timber, the seem to catch the boots as the horses lift their legs over the blow downs Stuff like that. And when ever they come off it tears the gaiters and I'm done. I just got tired of having to spend $20 every time I went for a ride to fix a gaiter or buckle or cable. Or even worse $50 to replace a lost boot. Understand that when I go riding, I'm usually taking 4 horses. So I am loosing/destroying one boot off of four horses.

If you ride down easy trails, ride in an arena, even down gravel roads. I think the boots do great. They just don't handle getting off the trail and chasing cows through the rough stuff.

Here is what a set of boots looked like after 10 miles, I've since changed out to all Gloves or BARES, at least with those, I don't have any buckles or cables to break and fix.
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/boots.gif

Rocky trails like these used to destroy the old Easyboot Epics. But the gloves do much better on these rough trails
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/Rocky-Trail-4.gif

ReSomething
May. 4, 2010, 03:19 PM
There's nothng worse than a trail ride where you are dealing with equipment failures, and then to top it off that trail sounds like a story to save for the grandkids. I'm glad you made it back alive, even if you aren't quite in one piece.
You might consider going to the doctor for that knee.

BaroquePony
May. 4, 2010, 04:22 PM
Wow. You're lucky those danged boots didn't get you or your pony killed :yes:


Your story was great. It definately was a 'cliff-hanger' :lol:

Sounds like your horse really stepped up to the plate for you. Good pony. Glad you made it back. Where is that photo on the rocks taken - in NC? I have heard about some of the terrain in NC. Like don't just ride (or walk) off into a rhodedendron forest.

Cindyg
May. 4, 2010, 05:24 PM
[QUOTE=Painted Horse;4844773]Narrow
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/2010/Chute/WildHorse1.gif

I can't even look at this picture without feeling fear. I can't imagine being there with a horse!

Huntertwo
May. 4, 2010, 05:43 PM
[quote=Painted Horse;4844773]Narrow
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/2010/Chute/WildHorse1.gif

I can't even look at this picture without feeling fear. I can't imagine being there with a horse!

Thats the pic that scared me the most! Talk about claustrophobia!!:eek:

Gorgeous country though...

Huntertwo
May. 4, 2010, 05:46 PM
Wow SteffiC, What an experience to say the least! Glad you made it out of there safely.

What boots were you using?

Please don't tell me they were Cavallo simple boots...;)

StefffiC
May. 4, 2010, 05:53 PM
Yes, they were Cavallos. I have one size 3 that is in need of a good home. :D

Painted Horse - that terrain is nothing like what I went through! I've ridden Leatherwood and Old Dominion, both reputed to be as bad or worse than Tevis by people who have ridden all of them. Sundays trail ride was worse terrain than that.

The whole slick rock into sharp right hand on a semi bolting not listening horse just freaked me out.

I don't have health insurance and am waiting 2 and a half weeks to get in at the health department. :(

INoMrEd
May. 4, 2010, 06:00 PM
[quote=Painted Horse;4844773]Narrow
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/2010/Chute/WildHorse1.gif

I can't even look at this picture without feeling fear. I can't imagine being there with a horse!

I can feel my claustrophobia kicking in just looking at that photo. I'll take the fire roads via heavy street traffic anyday!

pnalley
May. 4, 2010, 08:11 PM
I have got to say I have NEVER seen a gaited horse move "right" with boots on. I ride with quite a few people that use them. When properly fitted the trotting horses don't appear to be too severely effected, but most boots are too "clunky" for a gaited horse to stay right. The ones I have seen in action are the Cavello's, Old Macs and an older style Easyboot.

The only ones that look like a possibility to me are the Renegades

How are you today? And your horse, is he sore?

StefffiC
May. 4, 2010, 08:18 PM
My guy is 5 gaited - we routinely trot, canter, gait, walk, jump, he's done 1st level and back when I got him we jumped 2'6 courses and did some XC. The Cavallos didn't work real well for him.

My BO said he's fine, I haven't hobbled out to see him. My knee is bruised on the inside at the ends of my MCL and the outside at the top of my knee cap. I think I've just bruised it badly, but I'm not sure. I tore my MCL, LCL, and damaged the cartilage in the right knee two years ago - this doesn't feel as unstable, but it hurts worse. Going to take a while to get a doctors appointment, and honestly I am thinking about waiting because if I get it checked now it'll be a preexisting condition when I start my new job and get insurance next month. Being uninsured sucks!

Thanks for asking. I love my boy, he's such a good horse! And, my GPG irons, they rock, too. I've never really gotten okay with them, but I really don't think I could have ridden out without them - they have the swivel eye and the shock absorbing thingy at the top.

JackSprats Mom
May. 4, 2010, 11:38 PM
Crazy story!! But doesn't it bring you to a whole new level of appreciation for your horse :yes:

I've been in some situations on trails where I doubt my horse can get out and lo and behold he's a star...! Also been in others (like climbing up out of a small canyon) which should have been easy till he decided to should JUMP up the rocks instead of climb!

AlfalfaGirl
May. 5, 2010, 12:45 AM
Wow wee...that was a cliffhanger. I am such a sissy - my hair would have turned WHITE!

The pictures were gorgeous but again - Denise is a Sissy.

I hope your knee is better soon - take care of yourself and I can't wait to hear about your next ride.

AnotherRound
May. 5, 2010, 08:29 AM
I've had some crazy situations where my horse saved me (an old horse, not this one) and I know how grateful you are to your horse, and how amazing it is that your horse found withing himself the wherewithall not only to keep going, but to make difficult choices for the two of you and trust you to hang onto him, and to suspend his "hot" attitude and stay safely with the other horse, etc. That is the wonderful amazing thing about our horses and their personalities which make them such exceptional animals and endearl them to us. This will be a story to tell forever, long after he is gone, even, and as you recover, Hah hah, you will probably see even more specail moments about it.

Thanks for sharing that. And keep on rocking on the trails, I think its fantastic.

Auventera Two
May. 5, 2010, 10:01 AM
I have got to say I have NEVER seen a gaited horse move "right" with boots on. I ride with quite a few people that use them. When properly fitted the trotting horses don't appear to be too severely effected, but most boots are too "clunky" for a gaited horse to stay right. The ones I have seen in action are the Cavello's, Old Macs and an older style Easyboot.

The only ones that look like a possibility to me are the Renegades

How are you today? And your horse, is he sore?

I do tend to agree that boots can have more of a negative effect on gaited horses than on trotting breeds. My new Paso Fino gelding is coming home in a few weeks and I will see how he does in the Gloves, since they are the lightest and most close fitting. If he doesn't gait well in them, I'll have to put the Eponas on him if he needs shoes. His feet are beautiful though and he's never needed anything, so I'm hoping he can go barefoot fine.

And just FWIW, I've always been under the impression that Cavallos were only for light, flat riding. I haven't heard much good about them when riding on anything more than flat, smooth surfaces. If you're doing really tough riding, do please look at the boots that were developed specifically for that kind of riding. People complete the Old Dominion and Tevis in hoof boots but they sure aren't Cavallos.

jeano
May. 5, 2010, 11:29 AM
Friend of mine's foxtrotter did fine in easyboot bares before his feet toughened up enough to go completely barefoot. A 5 gaited horse has the three normal gaits in addition to the stepping pace or slow gait and the rack. The sheer weight of hoof boots, which I believe are heavier than iron shoes, are they not, could certainly effect timing and setdown but since weights are used to ENHANCE gaits not sure why boots would have a necessarily negative impact on gaits per se. Its an interesting question, though...which hoofboots are best for which gait and why.

Auventera Two
May. 5, 2010, 11:34 AM
I've weighed typical steel shoes against Easyboot Bares and the shoes are heavier than the boots. Can't recall the exact ounces right now but the Size 1 steel shoe outweighed the Size 2 Easyboot by several ounces. And that did include with the gaiter attached and a 6mm pad inside.

And the weight of the shoe didn't include the nails or sole packing and pad that would also go on the foot - that was just the shoe.

*Note* Boot and shoe sizes aren't the same, so my horse wearing a Size 2 boot would wear a Size 1 eventer shoe. Also note that I always have removed that big protective clip from the toe of the Bares, as it really isn't needed and adds another ounce or so in weight.

And I don't really think the gait being affected has to do with weight so much as interference. Some types of gaited horses usually have a bigger step, and larger overstride. I think sometimes the boots just plain get in the way. I trim some Walkers with those big loose limbs and gaits and I don't think they'd do so well in boots. Their feet are just in a different place at a different time than a trotting horse and the extra boot mass might be in the way.

SmartAlex
May. 5, 2010, 11:50 AM
Boots or shoes will change the timing of the stride, so yes, they will affect the gait. Anytime you make a change, you will get some affect. Adding weight or activity to the front feet will generally bring out the trot in a horse. Adding weight or activity to the back will generally bring out the rack. It all has to do with how long the hoof stays in the air and how that affects the timing of the stride. In gaiting an ASB, we usually add weight to the hind feet, while adding it to the front can often kill the lateral tendancy completely. There are several different types of front over reach boots that ASB gaited horses use to show in, and some have to be shown without if they want to keep their rack. Just shoeing a gaited horse is a tricky business, and requires a good farrier.

In reference to using something like Cavallos on a gaited horse, a trainer I know is now using the hoof boots to gait his youngsters. Video here (Tranier's Tips #12):
http://www.sunsetfarmsaddlebreds.com/trainer%20tips.htm

Chardavej
May. 5, 2010, 12:25 PM
In reference to using something like Cavallos on a gaited horse, a trainer I know is now using the hoof boots to gait his youngsters. Video here (Tranier's Tips #12):
http://www.sunsetfarmsaddlebreds.com/trainer%20tips.htm


Great website!

And BTW, I am SO glad I didn't go with you! What am I gonna do with you? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

I emailed Marie to see if she can order just one boot. That's what I hate about Cavello's is they're sold in pairs!

slbose61
May. 5, 2010, 07:54 PM
[QUOTE=Painted Horse;4844773]Narrow
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p259/Painted-Horse/2010/Chute/WildHorse1.gif

I can't even look at this picture without feeling fear. I can't imagine being there with a horse!

OMG! My horse wouldn't even be able to fit through that!

StefffiC
May. 5, 2010, 07:59 PM
Great website!

And BTW, I am SO glad I didn't go with you! What am I gonna do with you? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

I emailed Marie to see if she can order just one boot. That's what I hate about Cavello's is they're sold in pairs!

I emailed Cavallo.

Repeat after me - Don't ever let Stefffic control the map. Don't ever let stefffic control the map.

I'm glad it was just Dave and I, having more people along would have increased my stress level, the chance for injury, and wouldn't have been good.

G followed me out to see Runner last night - he's such a pocket pony.

Steph (who's friend's should know by now not to let her control the map...)

StefffiC
May. 5, 2010, 08:02 PM
I've had some crazy situations where my horse saved me (an old horse, not this one) and I know how grateful you are to your horse, and how amazing it is that your horse found withing himself the wherewithall not only to keep going, but to make difficult choices for the two of you and trust you to hang onto him, and to suspend his "hot" attitude and stay safely with the other horse, etc. That is the wonderful amazing thing about our horses and their personalities which make them such exceptional animals and endearl them to us. This will be a story to tell forever, long after he is gone, even, and as you recover, Hah hah, you will probably see even more specail moments about it.

Thanks for sharing that. And keep on rocking on the trails, I think its fantastic.

My old mare, who's now leased out, had total veto power on the trail, made a lot of decisions for us, and took care of me. She was very trail savvy and dominant. I hadn't developed that amount of trust in this guy, but I think he's earned it now.

Love my boy!

I did wish a couple of times that I had my mare - she's smaller, more manuverable, and far more sure footed being a mustang. I would've enjoyed the ride more on her instead of being worried we were going to fall off the trail at times!

Amymcree
May. 16, 2010, 11:29 AM
I agree with the boots. I have Easyboot Epics that were fitted by a professional too. I upgraded the clips to the ones designed to be ridden in Rocks. The boots are fine for w/t/c on nice groomed trails and even through streams and sucking mud.

But when you start rock climbing and the horses are stepping on their own feet trying to balance the clips pop. Yesterday we went on our first challenging trail ride of the season and my boots stayed on but occasionally I had to get off and re-clip.

I also notice with the easyboots there is a build up of mud after we go through water and that tends to weight the boot down, making it easy to pop off.

We are headed to Mammoth, CA in a few weeks and I will put shoes on for that ride because the boots will never survive. At least if I lose a shoe I can use a boot!


SteffiC I am glad you and your horse survived the trail ride. It definately sounds extreme. A round of Bute for everyone!

Amy

racknabout
May. 20, 2010, 09:14 PM
We train at South Mountain almost every weekend. Possum Trail is definitely a hiking trail. I read your thread and checked when we were there and there is a small "no horse" sign but we had to look for it! I'm glad you made it through. I know the mountain like the back of my hand and I'm sorry that you got lost. :)

Kellyaw
May. 22, 2010, 10:19 PM
What an incredible story! Thanks for taking the time to write about your extreme riding adventure. Glad you and your trusty steed are safe. He sounds like a Tevis prospect. Many of my endurance buddies use boots, but my horse has over 3000 competitive miles and at least that many conditioning miles, all in shoes that reliably stay on, which is especially important in extreme conditions. Hope your knee heals quickly.