In the Night Farm…Your Ride is Here.

Going Guinea Pig: First Easyboot Back Country Test

I tried not to think too hard about missing the Tough Sucker endurance ride yesterday.  I gather from Facebook that it turned out to be a small ride — only about 26 entrants in the 50 — but the weather was pretty nice despite a frosty morning and some afternoon wind.  I keep reminding myself that we didn’t get to any rides last year until June, and still racked up over 500 miles.  Consolation’s new saddle should arrive this week and put us back in business.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on hoof trims and boot fitting.  You may recall the great difficulty I’ve had finding boots for Acey’s teeny-tiny feet.  In Easyboot sizes, she seems to fall somewhere between 000 and 00 (yes, I know the sizes vary by model, but you get the point).  The ooo Epics are too small, and I don’t care for Epics anyway.  The 00 Gloves, which is as small as they come, are slightly too big.  So when the Back Countries came out, I ordered some.

I looked for reviews first, but found few.  It seems like everyone is holding off until someone else tries the new boots first.  They’re a bit more expensive than Gloves, after all, and if it ain’t broke…

I’d have waited, myself, if I hadn’t been so desperate.  But I was at the point of asking around for a good farrier for Acey, as much as I’d rather avoid horseshoes, and decided to be on the guinea pig end of this one.  I ordered a pair of Back Countries for $72.95 each, with free shipping, from Valley Vet.

The Back Country boots are basically Gloves with a different gaiter system and a built-in PowerStrap.  The new features make fitting a little more flexible; that is, you can get away with a boot that is slightly too big according to the Glove fitting guide.  This is exactly what I needed for Acey, as the 00 Gloves aren’t terribly huge on her, but the “V” at the front of the boot doesn’t spread properly and she’s prone to trot out of them on the trail.

Yesterday, after a fresh trim, I put the 00 Back Countries on her for the first time.  They went on as easily as Easyboot claims — no need for a mallet, but almost, which I considered a good thing.  So far, so good.  I booted both fronts, then moved Acey around the round corral a bit.  She forged some (not unusual for her) but seemed comfortable and the boots stayed put.  I tried them on her hinds next, with similar results.  Finally, I put both boots on the same side, one in front and the other in back.  No problems.

Note:  I tweeted a photo that I can’t seem to get to post here.  You can check it out at @BarbeyGirl on Twitter.

It was a brief test.  We didn’t leave the round corral for a trail test, but I’m hopeful that this is going to work!  I’ll test this pair on her fronts on the trail next, and if it goes well, I guess I’ll pick up a second pair.

Next, I need to decide what to order for Consolation — Gloves or Back Countries?  We’ve had good luck with Gloves in the past, but have had a few issues as they got stretched out, particularly in hot weather.  Power Straps have proven quite difficult to install, and don’t necessarily solve the problem.  I think the Back Countries might be just the ticket.  What I don’t know is whether the new gaiter style will bother her or not.

There might be just one way to find out.

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7 responses

  1. I’d love to hear updates about the Back Countries boots even though I THINK I can get the Gloves to work for my horse I just haven’t trail tested them extensively at this point. My concern with them is that the “lip” at the back of the gaiter might poke the pastern and cause inflammation over long distances. I had this issue with the Cavallo boots in the past. Ideally I’m waiting till a local tack store stocks them so that I can hold them myself before purchasing!

    April 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    • I hear you, Marie. Such expensive experiments. I’ll post more about the Back Countries as I test them further.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:33 am

  2. K.C.

    Hiya – I think you and I have had this conversation before – have you tried the Renegade boots? I use them and they are awesome! They are more expensive than the Easy Boot brand but they hold up great and are custom made for your horse. Anyway, glad it looks like you’ve found something that will work for Acey. I didn’t get out this weekend with everything going on…GRRR makes it hard to get ready for a ride when we don’t get to condition.

    April 9, 2012 at 6:00 am

    • Hi K.C. 🙂 I haven’t tried Renegades, though I’d like to just out of interest. I’ve heard mixed reviews (positive re ease of use, negative re frequent breaks) but never bought any. They don’t come small enough for Acey, so that was never an option. Fingers crossed for the Back Countries…and some conditioning soon!

      April 9, 2012 at 6:32 am

  3. Glad to hear the initial test worked well. I’ll look forward to knowing if the longer conditioning ride is as successful.

    If you do chose to purchase another pair of Gloves, remember you can have the Power Straps put on by EasyCare and shipped with them already installed.

    As for Back Country Reviews, we’re accumulating a few. Here are some for your reading pleasure:

    http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/do-you-boot-share-your-hoof-boot-story/a-skeptics-review-of-the-easyboot-glove-back-country

    http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/hoofoholic/glove-back-country-love-at-first-sight

    http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/hoofoholic/fitting-the-easyboot-glove-back-country

    Carol Crisp has made a video review here: http://youtu.be/gUXhrqLZYJg

    Best of luck!

    Kevin Myers

    http://blog/easycareinc.com

    April 13, 2012 at 7:50 am

    • Thanks, Kevin — and WAY COOL about the Easycare-installed Power Straps. I may take you up on that one of these days! 🙂

      April 13, 2012 at 8:15 am

  4. Tamara,

    I live in Eagle, ID and am trying the Back Countrys as well. My horse is being trained in the steep foothills of Sweet near Emmett. I would like to talk with you about how your trial is going. We’re having a little trouble keeping them on. My e-mail is michael@bearitdesign.com. Would love to hear from you. I really would like these boots to work.

    Thank,

    Michael

    April 19, 2012 at 8:19 am

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