I am in love with the boots. Yes, there is a little tweaking that needs to be done yet to make them a perfect fit, but all in all I am very pleased. I just have to wait and see how well they hold up to the miles. If I can get 500 miles out of them I will be very happy.
The new 13s for her fronts came Friday and I got the chance to try them out on her Sunday at the barn. I lacked motivation to trailer far away for just an hour trail ride and the hubs wanted a chance to jump on Pete for the first time in 3 months and start getting him back into shape as well. Plus there are some hills, some gravel and a creek at the barn to see how well the boots can do.
The new larger fronts fit her perfectly in both length and width and snugged down super well. The owner had sent me a new video on getting them snug using a hoof pick and it worked really well.
We went through the trails trying to keep a nice pace going and even cantered a bit in them. Another barn lady joined me who supposedly knew where these elusive power lines are and so after we did the entire barn section we headed down the gravel driveway, across the road and down a second gravel road. Apparently you can catch the power lines off this gravel road somewhere, but we never found them. Bummer.
But...I got about 1 mile on gravel roads and we flew. I asked for a trot and Gem was at first a little hesitant, but then once she realized what the boots were doing, she just flew. She even offered up a canter on the rocks! I was grinning from ear to ear.
When we got back to the barn, Gem looked around like "is that all?" That mare is FIT. She didn't even had a single sweat mark.
I noticed right away that the back right boot was twisted about 45 degrees, maybe a little less. That bothers me a little. It didn't twist at all on the first ride and I think we went farther, but this ride had a little more mud. There was no rubbing, but we didn't ride that far and if it twists early into a long loop without me knowing it could be a big problem.
I was worried about the hinds from the get go with how narrow her feet are back there. I will try them Tuesday night again and watch for it. I was a little rushed getting them on her with the other lady waiting for me, so hopefully it was just my error in placement. Maybe I didn't get it snug enough. If it happens again, I have some neoprene and I am thinking of putting a strip inside the boot to make it fit a bit tighter against the hoof wall. Should solve the issue.
My other issue is the stupid dampening pads. I know they help with shock absorption and increase the longevity of the boots, but every time I take them off the are all twisted about 90 degrees in the boot. The owner said it isn't unusual for them to twist when you remove the boot, but how can I be sure they aren't doing that when I put them on?
I am debating on just glueing the pads into the boot, but we will see.
So I am keeping all 4 boots and letting the learning curve settle down with each ride. I loved the way she moved out, they are still showing no wear at all even on a lot of gravel riding and haven't rubbed her yet even when twisted. This coming weekend I plan on getting a 15+ mile ride in the mountains in so that will be the real test for the boots.