So sorry its taken me so long get this post up...We'v been busy with grandkids birthdays, puppy sitting etc.
My friend Elizabeth and I took our horses up to Elbe Hills for a ride to test out how Durango would do with his "hiking boots."
Well, I'm happy to report that he did GREAT!
Here is Beth and Teddy....
It had rained a
few days before this, so some of the places had muddy areas (not bad, but deep) so when we came to those places I made him go through them (as he was going to choose the "around" route) but, I wanted to see if they could be sucked off his hooves, but they stayed on!
We climbed steep hills, went through water and over bridges.
Now, I WILL say, when we came to the bridge, Teddy freaked out and said "No, Im not going there, turned around and came back to us. Well, I KNEW Durango had been on this many times, so I offered to lead across. We started for it, he got to the SAME spot Teddy turned on.....and WTH? He turned around on me saying "Nope, not doing it." For a moment, I thought maybe they both saw or smelled something like a bear or cougar? But, as it happened, another couple was coming up behind us, so I asked if we could just follow them across? So, thats what we did, and they were fine. And then coming home, Durango never even hesitated to go across it.
Later, when we came to the water (3rd one of the day!) only this one has "rushing" water....... he did the same thing! I thought, "What is his problem?" So, I let him drink, then, when done drinking, he tried to turn around on me again (refusing to cross.) So, I said "No ya don't. We are going through this." And I gave him a little smack on the butt with reins and we went right through it. I think he was looking to me for the confidence at those times. I'm glad I made him do it.
But then, Teddy didn't want to cross! So, Elizabeth decided to get off, let him drink and was going to try it again....only Teddy decided, once done drinking, he was crossing, AND NOW! So, as you will see in this video, she threw the reins up on him and just let him go...We were blocking the trail, so she felt he would stop when he got to us. And, he did....but you will see that I hurriedly put away my camera so as to catch him and make SURE he stopped. I sure wish I had the video of Beth crawling across the logs to avoid getting her feet wet! LOL
We had a great ride. Teddy is the little palomino that Rose wanted me to buy when I first was looking. He's had more recent training, and doing well, but he is young, and came from a neglected place and so, he does have some issues, but we were very proud of him that day, he did really well! I also think it helped him and Durango become friends. At first, he REALLY didn't like Durango at all, and would try to bite him every time he passed. We even had to put Teddy in a different stall to keep him from being upset with his new neighbor. Well, on this trip, he never acted out towards him at all, matter of fact he seemed to be willing to do things, once Durango would. Funny to see them growing closer.
But, Teddy has even begun nickering at me when he sees me. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I go over and feed them occasionally (when Rose has doctor appts.) and for that week she was gone, I did their stalls and fed them?
So...back to the boots. They stayed on the entire ride, (3 hours) and when we got back, they were a bit hard to get off because of the great fit and suction they'd created, but I'm sure that's due to my hands being weak with this darned RA I've been dealing with. However, his feet were in great shape, no rub marks, nothing caught in them (no way anything could get in there!) and when we got them back to the barn, I put him in arena to roll etc. and he trotted off happily (where'd he get that "extra" energy? I thought we'd worked them pretty hard.) rolled and seemed just fine! Guess he gets a longer ride YET next time!
Talking with my vet, she says he "should" be able to do down south with these, but it's one of those things we just have to try him out on and see. I can't wait for the cousins to all get up here and ride so we can do a longer ride and really see if he has any soreness after a say....5-6 hour ride.
I just don't have anyone to ride with whose horses can go that long yet. They all work and haven't been able to get their horses in that kind of shape yet. I would have guessed Durango would have been worn out too, but he obviously had energy to burn. That's good, cuz I think Auntie Jane will be putting him to the test this summer to see if I've kept him in shape!