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first 50 next saturday

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  • first 50 next saturday

    before it felt like finally, now i feel like, wait, that's too soon, i need some more time to prepare

    but it looks like it's finally going to happen and we will be attempting our first 50 mile ride next saturday. i'm going to take it one loop at a time and just see how far we'll get.
    i am also planning to foam her bare boots on for this ride. we've had on and off issues with the gaiters rubbing and if i foam successfully, that would be one less thing to worry about. i will bring my hind bares as 'spares' in case the foamed on boots come off.

    so all last minute pieces of wisdom are welcome.
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

  • #2
    Now mind you, I've only foamed on boots once ...

    ... but as I recall, having them COME OFF was not the problem, but getting them off caused some grunting and expletive eruptions.


    Good luck!

    I like the one-loop-at-a-time approach. I've stuck with it myself, and it works for me, mentally and emotionally.

    We'll expect a full report, of course.



    • Original Poster


      thanks for making me laugh.
      it's been a rough week. just found out on sunday night that the BO is selling the barn.
      i normally get a little anxious the week before the ride and this week i feel a lot more on edge.
      but you just made me LAUGH!
      i will report. i'm curious about this ride, since it's their first one (Rhode Island, ESCOHEAG). the trails sound very interesting (varied).
      i think the first loop is a 20 so nice and long.
      we've been riding our local trails most of the summer so my mare should be pretty happy (exicted even) to work in a new area.
      TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


      • #4
        Oh hey!

        We were supposed to be going to that ride!

        Unfortunately hubby's horse is just NQR so we're going to stay home instead.

        Have a great time. Ride your ride. Look around at the fall colors and smile a lot.

        I heard something about a beer or wine tasting down the road from the ride camp.

        Go indulge after you finish your first 50! :-)


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by patti View Post
          Look around at the fall colors and smile a lot.

          I heard something about a beer or wine tasting down the road from the ride camp.

          Go indulge after you finish your first 50! :-)
          that sounds like a great advice


          thanks for all those tips.
          you're so right about not being able to sleep the night before. the first time we camped i slept for maybe 45 minutes total. the next time i did better, slept for good part of the night until some odd sounds coming out of the woods woke me up (couldn't decipher what animal was making its way through camp and it sounded ODD).
          so maybe this time i'll actually sleep through the night...wishful thinking. but i'm much calmer now about camping. instead i'm worrying about the ride
          TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


          • Original Poster

            so here is an update

            we didn't finish. we RO'd after the first 20 mile loop. the terrain was much harder than i anticipated. what was described as hills looked and felt like mountain to us and sand and gravel was really rocks. to make matters worse, kip pulled off her front boot maybe 4 minutes into the ride so i used a hind boot for a front spare which meant no boots to put on her hinds. i felt her discomfort and although we got through vetting just fine (we took it slow, i've never gone that slow in my life!) i felt that it would be unfair to her to try and continue especially since time was likely to become an issue at the end.

            we already planned to stay overnight until sunday, so i went out to find my lost boot, came back to camp and refoamed it on. so on sunday a.m. got up early and took her out on an hour long hack with all 4 boots on. much easier that way

            it's a beautiful location for a ride. i know this was their first year putting it on. they had some trouble with marker vandalism on the last loop of the 50 i think. but in general, the ride went very smoothly.

            we had a full moon shining on saturday as we were getting ready. we could hear turkeys and coyote in the background. it really was a beautiful weekend.

            hopefully with some more preparation we can try do finish that 50 next year. it was a learning experience for me on so many levels.

            if we feel right, we will give another 50 a shot in november (mustang). we know that area well and we can train there on the weekends, so we won't have a 'footing shocker'

            so that's my story on our first attempt at a 50.
            TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


            • #7
              Aww Marta, good for you for giving it such a great effort!! Don't worry about not finishing. There are always more rides. The horse's comfort and both your safety is more important.

              I ROd once this summer and am glad I did. It was miserably hot and I wasn't feeling good at all. My 2 horses were fine, and my friend was fine, but I don't sweat so I was having a major issue with body cooling. It's supposed to be fun, and if you're not doing well, or your horse isn't doing well, it's just not worth it.


              • Original Poster

                auventera two

                i actually felt good about my decision. it was the right thing to do. and i got a a great 20 mile ride out of it, too
                i love that mare so much and i know her well enough to know that this was not a happy ride for her. in fact, when i went back for the hack on sunday a.m. (with all 4 boots on!), we rode through a part of the trail where she lost the boot and i was amazed that she kept on going as well as she did considering how difficult the footing was.

                and the experience makes us better prepared for the next time
                TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


                • #9
                  You've almost got me talked into using the foam for Butch instead of gaiters. It would be SO much cheaper and would make him eligible for CTR's as well. I have to cobble together size 3 boots for width and size 2 heel straps and gaiters to shorten the darn boot.

                  Did you cut out the back of your boot? If so, how does that work with the foam. Heck, maybe I'll throw caution to the wind, take the gaiters off my boots and just try it. He does manage to grab the heels of his front boots often, so we'll see. I won't burn the gaiters until I know for sure.

                  I hear ya about the horse having to be able to negotiate the terrain. My OTTB is so worried about all the other horses that he doesn't watch where he is going. Luckily, he's athletic.

                  The little Arab mare I did the 30 on was much smarter about the footing. Even though she wanted to keep up with the other horses in our group, she still watched her footing. She can trot and canter down even steep, rocky hills without falling because she watches her footing. Heck, I think Butch would step into thin air if he was focused on catching up with the horse in front of us! He needs experience to substitute for the lack of brains.

                  It's neat how much closer each ride bonds us to our horse. I'm really having trouble letting Cressy get adopted out, because each time I ride her I fall more deeply in love. It's making me extra careful to place her in the best possible home. Even so, I missed my idiotic Butch on the CTR.

                  Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm glad you did the smart thing and RO'd. Think how upset you'd be if your mare had gone lame on the second loop! You did the right thing, and now you'll be that much better prepared for the second ride. We may see you at that Mustang ride if I can get Butch fit by then. We'll be doing LD, though.
                  "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


                  • #10
                    I agree with GTD about shoeing. While I have seen horses out west doing 50s and I think even 100s in ez boots, they are rare birds. Boots twist off some horses and they are bulky to carry. I can carry two - maybe - in my saddle bag at the expense of water bottles. I've lost shoes and used a boot until the next stop where there is usually a farrier and that works for me. Once when the footing was nice we did a LD bare on a rear that was pulled off in the first mile and my boot was back in the trailer at the start, but that was pretty unusual. Shoes have been used for centuries and work best overall in my opinion.

                    Sounds like the best choice for you guys was a RO, particularly when you had to go so slow. Not as fun for you or the horse. Thanks for sharing what happened and better luck next time!


                    • Original Poster

                      without getting into a debate on shod v. booted

                      a lady from nj did that ride barefoot all around. she did the 50 and i think top tenned.
                      she also did a justin morgan barefoot. so while it's not for everyone, those are doable barefoot.

                      regarding booted, i'm sure you all know the story of karen chatton from easy care and thousands of miles she logged in with boots. there are many folks like her who do it successfully as well.

                      please don't judge the success rate of competing in boots by my first attempt.
                      TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


                      • #12
                        GTD, I hear ya about the shoes, too. If my boy had better feet, I'd consider shoeing for distance rides. However, he really isn't a good candidate for shoes. If he can't do distances in boots, then shoes probably wouldn't work either--his walls are soft and he'd probably leave foot behind with a pulled shoe. My boy just might not be a good choice for distance, considering his hoof quality. However, I'm gonna try it before I call it quits with him. Same goes with shoes. If the boots don't work out, I'll probably try shoes before I admit failure in the sport. They will be a last resort, though. For now I like being able to trim him every 2-3 weeks to keep him in proper balance.

                        Use of boots certainly takes persistence and dedication (not to mention some creativity). One of the ride people at the CTR cited rubs as a reason they don't like (and probably won't allow) Epics for distance rides. She believes people using boots sore their horses. I didn't want to argue, but the number of shod horses I saw that had contracted heels...not to mention run forward toes... Those issues will cause more soundness problems down the road than sand in a boot. In fact, I can't argue this point because I haven't done any real distance riding with hoof boots yet. I'll have a more valid opinion after I can see how it goes for myself instead of just reading about it.

                        Perhaps CTR's should judge the shoeing quality along with body and leg issues so that distance riders learn what healthy feet look like, whether shod OR bare (or booted).

                        Marta, I didn't find your experience with boots to be discouraging. Far from it. I see a potential solution for me and my horse. People will do what suits them and their horse. For me, I think boots are best for Butch. I have another OTTB that I wouldn't hesitate to shoe for competition. Boots take a higher level of rider commitment than shoes, but that is okay, because I am very committed to the health of Butch's feet. It has taken me years to get his feet in their current healthy state. I had purchased the foam but chickened out of using it on ride day. Now I'm looking forward to trying it. I don't really like gaiters, but I thought they were the only viable option to keep shoes on. And while I prefer endurance to CTR, I think he'll do better to train via CTR, since the horses go out in small groups rather than en masse. That is much better for his race-horse brain to handle than the other.

                        Did you get to see any of his bucking back at the Foxcather ride? I heard it was an impressive sight, but I was too busy hanging on and gritting my teeth to look back and see how high he was kicking.
                        "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


                        • Original Poster


                          i sure did see those bucks.
                          and yes, they were impressive.

                          but to give you a perspective, last year at the canal ride (i was a volunteer) there was a woman w/ a luney arab. that horse was dragging her all over the place on the ground and under saddle. everyone was talking about her 'misfortune.'
                          i saw her at the ride this weekend and i could not believe it was the same horse. standing, tied to the trailer, grazing, like a nice good horse... hard to believe.

                          she did say that she doesn't start en masse but waits until everyone leaves and then she goes.
                          TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


                          • #14
                            It's good to know there is hope. He's usually pretty easy when he isn't fit, but yesterday he started bucking as soon as he heard other horses on the trail behind my group. Until then, he'd been content to chew the bit and roll his eyes because two of the horses were ahead of us. He's funny, but the bit chewing gets annoying after a while. He does this even when we go bitless!
                            "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


                            • #15
                              Yeah, hoof supplements make the feet grow faster but don't seem to improve the quality of the walls. I'm not really worried about whether Butch can do a 50 when we haven't even tried 25 miles yet. For all I know, he won't pulse down no matter how well I ride or how fit he is. It would be easier if his feet were shaped to fit the Easyboot sizes, or if they'd make round ones.

                              I'm hoping the foam does the trick. If he can't do 50's due to hoof issues, we'll stick to 25's. I find the training rides to be more fun than the competitions so far, but that may change if we actually get a few under our girth. I like training for the rides and having a goal in mind. Otherwise I'll just plod around and will ride less often. It won't matter to me whether we just do LD's or not, since I don't ever expect to be truly competetive in either endurance or CTR. If the foam makes it possible to do CTR's, it'll be easier to find more rides I can attend. I'm sticking with the horse, not the sport.

                              It's possible that those of us with really good reasons for sticking with boots are the ones you see out on the rides. If I didn't have compelling reasons to keep Butch barefoot, I would have put shoes on him a year or two ago. I learned to shoe in farrier class, and after a refresher (and some tools), I could do it myself. But I'd rather not shoe him.
                              Last edited by matryoshka; Oct. 2, 2007, 01:18 AM.
                              "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


                              • #16
                                Outside the shoe/boot discussion ...

                                ... I do think a first 50 on footing/terrain your horse is accustomed to is a very good thing.

                                Good luck and I'll look forward to hearing about it!

                                Good on you for knowing when to say when. BTDT, but I've never regretted it.



                                • #17
                                  Kudos on knowing when to fold em. Sometimes that is one of the hardest things to figure out.

                                  While Karen Chaton represents Easy Boots, she rode successfully in them for years and many miles before being hired by them.

                                  Have you tried the yahoo barefoot endurance group? Lots of tips on booting there.

                                  I've had better luck w/shoes & pads.
                                  Last edited by pandorasboxx; Oct. 2, 2007, 11:47 AM. Reason: addition


                                  • Original Poster


                                    yes, i'm a frequent poster and reader on the barefoot endurance group.

                                    and btw, guys, the foamed on front boots are still on.

                                    i think matryoshka is correct that those of us who stick with the boots have a good reason for wanting our horses to remain bare and we are willing to go an extra step to make it doable. i also think that there is so much new technology regarding hoof boots that it's a good thing that there are people out there testing them in real life because in the long run the improvements and changes made as a result of our feedback benefit everyone else.
                                    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


                                    • Original Poster

                                      i didn't know about kc's plans for making hoof boots.

                                      wonder what they look like... so is heraldic barefoot? i think he's on the cover of endurance news this month.

                                      i've heard that the boots can stay can stay on as long as 3 weeks to a month (i believe karen chatton posted that she took off the boots that chief had on at strawberry fields like 4 weeks later). i know others say 2 weeks. if i wanted to get them off, i could probably start poking around with a screwdriver and letting some water in there to loosen them. but i'm curious myself to see how long they stay on so i'm just watching.
                                      if they're still on this weekend (i'm giving her this week off to make up for the long hours spent on 95 trailering to and from the ride - grrrr! CT pave your road!!!!) i will take her out for a ride again.

                                      i have made a conscious decision to remove my mare's shoes b/c of alleged 'navicular' and lameness issues. that was in 2002. we are NOT going back to shoes if i can help it. and keep in mind, that whatever problems we have going barefoot right now, are related to her metabolic problems and recent (june) case of mild laminitis. the one before that was in november '06. so her hooves are nice, her frogs opened up this spring like blooming flowers (finally!!!!) but the residuals from laminitis hold us back on hard or rocky terrain
                                      TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


                                      • #20
                                        The revised Hoof Armor looks promising.

                                        I'm taking David the owner up on his offer of a discount to try it.

                                        (Now that you mention it Marta, I recognize your posts on the barefoot group.)