Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Duds: Interference Boots for a Barefoot Endurance Horse

It started with the hind legs during Aaruba's second ride in four Easyboot Bares. An interference wound in the shape of a shallow slash along the bottom of his fetlock toward the rear.

Then, it progressed to the front legs. More shallow dings and minor skin tears where the Easyboots bumped him mid-fetlock.

Finally, it happened during a completely barefoot ride in the packed farm roads in the valley below In the Night Farm. Another wound inside his off front fetlock. This has to stop!

In the three years I've owned him, I've never known Aaruba to have interference problems. At first, I thought the problem was the extra width of the Easyboots...but when it happened on a barefoot ride, I realized that one other factor has changed: we've sped up. I still think the Easyboots are a factor, as he interferes much more often when wearing them, but it seems that his "James Brown" trot, canter, and/or hand gallop are likewise culpable.

So, I logged on to Running Bear, my new favorite endurance tack store, to receive both excellent customer service and some new duds for Aaruba.

In front, Aaruba now sports these heavy duty ankle protection boots. He's not hitting himself as hard as the blows these boots are designed to absorb, but I chose them because I think the tough material will hold up well against the scraping of screws near the coronet band on Aaruba's Easyboot Bares. You can see that, during their first 40 miles of use, the boots have already taken the brunt of several bumps. They stayed in place well, though one of them did spin around to the outside of his leg during one of several hand gallops, and caused no rubs. The bump higher up his cannon is unrelated to the interference issue; that's an old, cold splint he gave himself while fence pacing long ago.

Here are his hind boots. Tolkat offers these "more protection" ankle interference boots, which I selected despite their significantly higher pricetag because the suede wraps around the backs of Aaruba's fetlocks, which is exactly where he's been catching himself with the Easyboots. These, too, stayed in place and didn't rub on either of two long, sweaty rides that included uphills, downhills, uneven terrian, and all gaits.

All in all, I'm hopeful that this latest problem is overcome.


Shana said...

Sinwaan, too has had some interference issues. The one thing I didn't like about having to use the boots was on these sandier rides in the PNW they would really start to bother him and I would have to dismount to knock them out. They also aren't great after a water crossing and then into more sand (double whammy). But they prevent injury which is important.

Tamara of In the Night Farm said...

Yes, I'm worried about that, too. My hope is that I can remove the interference boots at the first vet check, when the early excitement has worn off. I might carry them along in my saddle bags just in case...will have to play it by ear, I supposed.

Anonymous said...

Since I've been using the easyboot bares, I have read all sorts of nasty things about what those screws do to the coronary band. They scare me.
The interference boots look great--good for you! I"m going to that site you linked to now.

James Brown?

Tamara of In the Night Farm said...

Interesting -- I've not had any trouble with the screws damaging the coronary band. In fact, on Aaruba's, the top of the Easyboot Bare (screws included) is below the cornary band and there's a tiny gap between boot and hoof.

I have heard that the Easyboot Epics have little "teeth" that dig into the hoof a bit for added security; apparently, a lot of people bend down the teeth so they don't tear up the hoof.

One of James Brown's most famous songs was "I Feel Good!" I can almost hear Aaruba singing it on his way down the trail sometimes. :-)