If there is one thing I know in this world, it is that O is the most frustrating horse on the planet when it comes to footwear.
Her feet are SO much better than they were when I first got her. They used to be paper thin, completely flat, and had her totally crippled even just on surfaces like pavement. Now, a year later, she is SO much better, but our terrain is still covered in rocks. Her living area and our riding areas are full of rocks. Big rocks, little rocks. Gravel, boulders. Rocks.
So we need some help.
The problem is threefold:
1) She has very crooked legs/feet and is toed in
2) She is a short-backed big mover, with some side to side fling of her legs, and is full of random erratic movement
3) She is made of paper and everything in the world rubs her, even just saddle pads and girths on everyday rides
All models of Easyboots rub her raw, and she rips them off. Renegades don't fit due to her crooked feet, and they spin and come off. Cavallos stay on, but rub her until she bleeds no matter how broken in (have had some success with Elastikon tape for dry, short rides). Every single model of synthetic glue-on that I've tried, she has stepped on and ripped off within a day. EVERY model, even just a rim of Superfast she ripped off. She doesn't step on herself until you add just that tiny little bit of extra weight on the foot, and then you can hear her vigorously clack-clacking along on every ride. (She does that in boots too, but not bare.) Every ride always ends up being one ride, because they always get ripped off anyway. I'm 100% sure she'd rip off steel too, if I chose to go that route, and god knows then she would take half her foot off along with it.
I've had my eye on the EasyShoe ever since it was announced last year. I've been eagerly awaiting it's arrival, and in February I pre-ordered a few to try. I made the discovery that she had sized out of the size she used to wear (which is good!), so I ordered the next size up and tried again.
And this time, I was determined NOT to let her get the best of these extremely pricey bad boys. They were gonna STAY damnit. They were gonna stay.
I glued them on with meticulous prep. I put a layer of casting material over the finished product. And then I added bell boots. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that would be called Overkill. That was me desperately going "stay. Please stay. Damnit, you shall stay. You have GOT to stay."
Surely, she can't rip off a well-glued shoe with a cast AND bell boots, right?
She looked ridiculous, but I was not taking ANY chances that these bad boys were coming off ANY time soon.
I applied them yesterday morning.
I rode today.
You want to know how long they lasted?
EIGHT STUPID SLOW MILES, and she had ripped off both casts, torn a bell boot, and then ripped an EasyShoe off. I felt her snag up on it (we were seriously just slowly trotting along), and then a few strides later I saw the dental impression material go flying off, so I had to turn around and go find the glue. I found some strewn bits of cast as well... looks like she systematically stepped on it enough times to slowly shred it over the course of eight miles.
I hope you are proud of yourself.
"Oh, I am."
She's an efficient mover when she is bare - she never hits herself, catches herself, or does anything questionable when she is totally bare. (Most rides or workouts, I don't bother putting polos/bells/brushing boots/whatever on her, because she doesn't need them.) And it doesn't matter if I push her hind toes to the absolute limit of how far back they can go either, as soon as I put something on her fronts she is stepping on it.
But when your ho-hum not-forward trot looks like this....
.... you're pushing it to the limit when you start to add some more impulsion. The be-bopping slow trot is already cutting it prettttttttttttty darn close to the interference level.
Mares. Back to the drawing board, again, for the millionth time.