As you all have concluded via my previous posts about Finn and his delicate footsies (linked here), I am still searching to find the best boot for his narrow, thin-walled hooves.
Previously, I had him in red Cavallo Simple boots that rubbed his heel bulb. I wasn’t sure if they were too small or if he just needed socks.
So, I tried the boots with a set of my black socks. That worked except he looked like a grandpa at the beach with socks and sandals. Bad idea.
I decided to exchange that pair for a larger pair.
In the meantime, a friend said she would lend me her Old Mac boots to try. She swears by them. Sure, why not?!
My friends boots looked like they had been worn hard and put away wet – literally. They were caked with cement-like mud and stuck spread open as if they were in full bloom.
Normally, you would think that anything in this condition would be done for. But, to me, it was a challenge as I had heard the stories of Old Mac durability. I figured if I could clean them up and they worked, it would be a tribute to those tough Down Under horsemen (Old Macs came from Australia originally).
So, I got out the bucket of warm water and soaked them. After that, I used a brush to knock off the sledge. The mudpack on the soles was still rock solid so I ended up getting my pointiest hoof pick and working it like a miner.
Finally, they were clean.
Time to ride! So, I put Finn in the trailer and we left, sparkly Old Macs in the tack room.
I’ve got to say, the application of the Old Macs was really easy and it made total sense. They had a ‘flush to the hoof’ strap that you tie around the foot to keep the shoe tight, and then the velcro is wrapped around the entire shoe, plus keepers. It felt good.
Also, I knew they would wik moisture since I had already hosed them down profusely.
The ankle part seemed nice and round. It didn’t rub on him. However, I had to keep in mind that these boots were fully broken in, so I didn’t know the stiffness factor in a new pair.
Finn seemed fine with them…
We did the usual short test ride.
Halfway out, I heard the ‘clomp clomp’ sound of a kid walking around in Dad’s shoes.
Yup, they had stretched out or loosened up. So, I tightened them.
A few steps later, Clomp.
OK, well, these were too big, obviously. But, he continued to wear them anyway since we were in the rocks. And, I guess we were giving bikers and bears fair warning with the continual clomp clomping. We had that going for us…
A NEW TRIAL
Luckily when I returned home, a new Cavallo box was waiting for me with the larger boots inside. But this time, instead of the red, Simple style, I chose a black Sport boot.
These sleek “sport” boots look really… sleek. But, gotta say, I miss the simple velcro and double straps of the Simple boot. The hook and eye idea of the Sport boot is not working as well for me.
However, I read a bunch of reviews and just about everybody else LOVES the Sport Boot over the Simple Boot. Who am I to judge, right? I guess I’m the minority here.
Anyway, the reason I switched to the Sport Boot was not because of its sleek design, but more because it is crafted slightly more narrow than the Simple Boot. Finn has narrow feet.
OK, after a few tries to meet the hook with the eye, the boots were on. It was fairly easy and they felt like a good fit. Finn was fine with them.
When I got back to my trailer, Finn’s boots looked fine. The held up, didn’t loosen and he wasn’t upset. All good things.
Except, I did notice that Finn tends to pronate. His ankle on the inside was right up against the leather.
I still felt, looking at his hooves in the boots after that ride, that a nice protective barrier would be good. I mean, besides the potential of his ankle rubbing on the leather (I hate that) there were burrs stuck in his hair and I imagine if some fell inside and rubbed anywhere, it would be annoying.
I decided to do Equine Sock research.
CAVALLO SELLS SOCKS! (They call them ‘pastern wraps’…)
Lo and Behold, upon research, I’m not the only one who felt they needed socks with their horses’ boots.
Cavallo has ‘wraps’ for this purpose. The wraps are reasonably priced so I bought a pair for Finn. The socks are on their way… I’ll let you know how it goes!
DEALS (no affiliation)
First off, even though the pastern wraps (socks) are Cavallo, if you want them, purchase them from State Line Tack and save bundles on shipping.
Secondly, it never ceases to amaze me how people will sell items on Ebay for MORE than what the manufacturer is selling them.
After searching Ebay for the Cavallo boots I wanted to try, I finally decided to order them from Cavallo themselves because they had a ‘special’ happening… $30 OFF!! Love that. And, you can exchange or return any boots that are pristine. All you have to do to try on the boots and keep them pristine is put a plastic bag over your horse’s hoof. I also put a bag on the outside of the boot. Try to fit them on a mat or a clean surface. Easier…
I was able to exchange two sets of boots this way through Cavallo. No hassle.
Anyway, here is the page with the Cavallo boot sale. I saw red and purple Simple Boots and black Sport Boots on ‘special’. AND FREE SHIPPING for boots!
I noticed on the Cavallo sale page that there is a screamin’ deal on one red, white and blue boot (size 6) for you patriotic draft horse types! ;)
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