This is how my mind works. Scary, I know.
I had three big ticket items on my wish list pre-Biltmore. A S-hackamore, boots of some sort, and my new Advantage saddle.
The S-Hackamore costs roughly $200 for the set up I wanted. Part one begins with my last ride with S when I tried one on Gem and couldn't make it fit for the life of me. It was huge on her. But there was a smaller version available on line as well and my heart was still set on getting the bit out of Gem's mouth.
But after this ride, I threw that idea out the window. Some claim a hackamore has more stopping power than a snaffle, but given her mind set of galloping the entire thing I would not be comfortable or feel safe without that bit. So given the size issue and the training issues, the hackamore idea has been tossed out the window. Maybe we will revisit it later on down the road, but why fix something that isn't really broken?
Boots for Gemmie have been on my brain for the last year. Up north she didn't need them, but there are enough rocky and gravel roads during rides down here that I think they would be a benefit. I still want her bare out in pasture and for all conditioning rides, so shoes are not an option. Anyway.... Renengades were my favorite and they cost roughly $400 for a complete set. EZ boot gloves or epics were a close second. Having no idea how to choose I put out a plea on Facebook for anyone going to Biltmore who would be willing to swing by my camp and look at Gem. A wonderful lady (who rides Mustangs by the way :) stopped by Friday night and brought along both Renegades and Easyboot gloves. Long story short....they don't fit. At all. The shape of her hoof does not match the shape of the boot and even using her wide boots her toe does not reach the end of the boot. Her feet are too vertical. I probably could shove her foot into the boot and hope they stay on, but I am not shelling out that much money just to lose them on the trail.
Advantage saddle. So this requires an entire post on its own. But....the end of the story is why re invent the wheel? The demo saddle that I have been riding in for the last 7 months has performed beautifully, so why not just buy it and scrap the new saddle idea?
See...doing endurance is not expensive. In fact it saves you money!!!