Saturday, February 7, 2009

saddle and boot photos

Here's some photos. Arabee's boots after the ride. One thought I had was about how last week she had the bruises on her lower heels from punching through the ice and snow - I would think it would be easy for any kind of boot that covers that area to be sorta painful there. I'll still double check the renegade site and see what I can see about adjusting fit, but otherwise perhaps some time off (hand walking w/out not a total waste) to let her heels heal would be good.

I feel the saddle fits well. But, I'll need a shorter girth (this one is just snug enough at the shortest billet hole!), and a better saddle pad. This one scares me - it seems to like to bunch up. It didn't do it yet, but I can see the potential and I don't like it.

Friday I rode for probably only 15 minutes, but just back and forth on the driveway (too much crunch ice and snow everywhere else). We walk for about 5 minutes, then trot for about 100-150 ft on the flat, then walk for about the same distance or longer, then trot a little again and so on - whatever feels right. Then I make sure to walk again the last 5 minutes, so Friday wasn't much of a workout.
This morning Arabee and I took a short walk down the road just halter and lead rope to "scout" how well the ice had melted (it hadn't....) But, this afternoon I saddled up anyway around 2:30 and had to force myself to keep going for 30 minutes. Going back and forth, back and forth gets pretty tomorrow though if it isn't raining I'll be able to ride out more places, but I may try leaving the boots off since the ground will be soft too. I really need to avoid getting her sore!


Endurance Granny said...


Your gear looks really nice on her! I really like that saddle, and the green pad with pockets will come in handy.

I'm trying to think what might possibly be the issue...? When did you last trim her hooves? I bring this up only because we have one of our horses that if the heel is lowered even a little bit, he suddenly has lameness issues. I just wanted to "throw this out there" in case you are micro trimming her hooves. Some hooves it doesn't take much to throw things out of balance. If you are trimming her hooves and it seems like one area just constantly needs a trim vs. the rest of the hoof remaining static, then the hoof is trying to tell you that it "needs" that structure left alone. The hoof will continue to rebuild, rebuild, rebuild what it needs. An example: Phebes has a slight pigeon toe on her LF. The hoof flares on the inside outer wall. This could be rasped down and made to look "right". However, the hoof will immediately start rebuilding that structure to support the extra torque placed on that hoof because of how she moves. So Doug micro trims, leaving that structure, following the natural shape of her particular hoof. Does that make sense?

Also, if she has a bruised heel bulb it can really lame them up. Cree bruised his, and he was limping so bad in the paddock that we thought he was done for. We slapped a boot on his hoof to determine if it was hoof related or higher up, and the lameness disappeared by 95%.

Since this suddenly started with changes in equipment, my inclination is to think that something may need tweaking. I'd rule out one thing at a time. Halter her, and trot her out barefoot in a straight line, and in a circle. Note what happens. If all checks out there, add the boots. Repeat the process until you see the behavior. The smallest things sometimes can create an issue. My saddle fits Phebes really well, but if I get it even an inch to far foward she will have a dry spot.

One last thought. Michelle was having a similar behavior from her horse a while back. You might ask her if she figured out why she was lowering her head.

Just chip away at it.

Endurance Granny said...

OFF TOPIC: Nicole I wanted to give you the link to the rule book. You can download or print these out. You will want to look for the section specific to Limited Distance. The primary difference I "think" is your time. You get time when your horse pulses down to criteria. So someone else could come in ahead of you, and have a later finishing time if their horse did not pulse down to criteria before your's did.

Heres the link:

Most of the rule changes since then have to do with prohibited substances. I do have a copy of the 2009 rule book if you would like to see it for comparison.

I posted up Phebe's bare hooves for you to look at on Endurance Granny. ~E.G.

Nicole said...

Oh - another fun fact about the saddle is that the UPS label on the box it was shipped in said 13 lbs. - how's that for light weight!! :-)

I'm going to go out and ride this afternoon when Matt gets back in - Cora's sleeping but the monitor doesn't go forever....

Anyway, I'm planning on tacking up this afternoon without the boots, and I fully expect that to remove the problem.

1 - she was fine Friday when I rode
2 - Saturday AM I took Arabee on a short walk, but I did take her into some places where I thought the snow was melted enough, but it wasn't, and she broke through the ice (which probably re-bruised her heels).
3 - Saturday afternoon/evening when I rode was when she was showing the problem w/ the neck lowering/tossing and the relunctance to move out, but when I longed her w/out the saddle afterward, it was identical to how she was behaving - but the boots were still on. I'd bet it was the boots rubbing those bruised spots on her heel/coronet area.

I think she'll be fine without the boots because the ice is GONE! YAY! and so I'll have plenty of SOFT easy places to ride so her feet shouldn't be ouchy.

I'll proceed carefully and keep a close watch for any behavior/ouchiness though, and you can be sure I'll post about it here. I've read somewhere and believe it to be true "the slow way is the fast way"

Thanks for the rules link!

Anonymous said...

One fairly long ride that Laura and I did on the gravel roads by my house, gave me a little concern. Stormy would lower her head. She wasn't really slowing down but would push her head down very low. I really couldn't find anything wrong with her. The next time I rode her she did it again but just a few times. Again, she just lowered her head, but she still wanted to move forward. She hasn't done it since then. It was wierd but it's over, at least for now. The first time I had boots on her fronts because of the gravel roads. But the second time no boots.

I would say when it's soft like this, to go without your boots and see what the deal is.

We took Jazz, my husband's horse, to Spook Run last fall. Laura and I got up super early. Put boots on the horses fronts and then trailered the 2 hours over to Clark State forest. We vetted in about 45 minutes before the start of the ride and Jazz was lame on her right front. We tried trotting her out without that boot on and she was MUCH better but we still didn't start her. Upon better examination later that day by the vet she said she had scratches. So we probably made the pain even worse by putting the boots on 2 hours before the ride and it showed up at the vet-in. But I"m glad we did or else she probably would have been pulled at the first vet check, since the scratches were already there. But the gaiter around the boots just made it worse.

I'm so glad Stormy has 4 dark hooves. Less likely to get scratches. Actually, Sasha does too.

I would get a better pad as soon as you can. One made for endurance riding. The pad is more important than you might think.

Hope you get to ride tomorrow. The weather looks like it's going to be near perfect here. But I won't be riding.

Michelle Detmer