Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trying New Stuff

Starlight was fitted in her new, purple hoof boots the other night.  She has never worn anything on her hooves before, so these Cavallo Simple Boots were strange to her, and not exactly welcome.   

Purple boots!
I put them on one at a time and allowed her to walk around with each new addition, and with each, she acted as though I had removed her hoof.  But I offered some words of reassurance, so she finally decided that yes, I did mean to put them there, and also that she could walk fairly normally wearing them.

I led her through the obstacle course while she was wearing them (not the tires), so she could focus on something else besides the clompy leather and rubber things on her hooves.  I also trotted her up and down the gravel driveway, so she could see that gravel doesn’t hurt when she is wearing these boots.

I chose the Cavallo Simple Boots because I have used them so successfully on Hudson.  They are easy to put on and Hudson’s have stayed on during many mucky trail rides.   They also were designed by a woman, Carole Herder, which surprised and delighted me when I learned it.

I’m not as convinced that the ones I have for Starlight will fit as well as Hudson’s do her, but I’ll check again tomorrow and take her on the trail.  Hudson’s feet are wide and very round, the perfect shape for Cavallos.  Starlight’s hooves could probably fit well in many brands of boots, but the Cavallos are so…simple.  You don’t have to struggle to get them on, and they, so far, have stayed put.

Hudson shows off the LightRider Bitless Noseband
Oh, and the purple part.  Well, our barn colors are red, black and white, but the reds were sold out and the blacks were more expensive.  And the purples were on sale.

It was a first for Hudson, too, when I tried  the LightRider Bitless Noseband on her tonight.  I had ordered this, along with one for Starlight and a good quality bareback pad, from Natural Horse World in Australia.   

Hudson’s was supposed to be black, to match her bridle, but it arrived in brown, so I will be dying it black instead of sending it back to Australia (shipping is an expensive proposition, and the owner of Natural Horse World suggested the dye as an alternative).  But tonight, I just wanted to see how my big freight train would go in it, and to give my Number One horse some overdue attention.

I led her through the obstacle course, then rode her around in it.  As with Starlight, going bitless with Hudson was as easy as riding her with a bit, but we’ll see how she does when we go for a tear on the trail.  It was way too wet to attempt that tonight. 

I like this bitless option design a great deal.  I can use the horse's existing bridle, and swap out the regular noseband with the bitless one.  The design is simple and effective, it seems, featuring a chin strap that applies gentle pressure from the reins when needed.  

Hudson is one mare who knows how to deal with tires.
Hudson seemed pleased with the attention, showing me how well she remembered her sidepass.  She backed almost on command, with just a little pressure on the noseband.   It felt so good to ask for the back without having to put pressure on a bit.

Four hooves up for the new stuff!

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