Friday, February 29, 2008

The Soul of a Horse

I just got finished reading the pre-release copy of A Soul of a Horse: Life Lessons from the Herd by Joe Camp. Excellent. Joe approaches the subject of horse ownership from a logical standpoint, rather than following tradition. He questions the norm, always looks at everything from the horse's perspective. This is so refreshing, I found myself agreeing with so much of this book and it was great to see how questioning tradition and following logical arguments with horse care leads you to opposite ends of the spectrum as compared to traditional horse care. Barefoot horse trimming and natural horsemanship techniques were covered at lenght, but presented from the horse's point of view. Every owner, new and experienced, of a horse should be sent a copy of this book. I plan on purchasing quite a few of these books and loaning them out to all my horse acquaintances. The book will be released on April 29th, but you can pre-order it now from for a discounted amount. Joe Camp was the man who created Benji. He knew a lot about dogs, but nothing about horses. He got his first horse a couple years ago, and this is a story about his journey to find sense in caring for horses.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Eastern Mojave - 155 miles

Feather and I completed our first multiday - 3 days in a row, 155 miles total. She did fantastic! Her back was great in her Freeform! For boots, we started out with 4 foamed on Bares/Easyboots with no gaiters, but we lost a front boot on day 1 and day 3, so we ended up with Epics on the fronts, foamed on Bares in the back. Next ride, I'll just start with the Epics in the front, not sure about the back hooves. The terrain was sand and rock, single track and roads through the desert. There was every type of cactus you can imagine.. Feather got a few needles in her hind legs and I had to pull them out - they were big! I learned that she needs interference boots on her hind ankles, so I bought those at the ride from Horses Dacor. I had the opportunity to ride with Les and Jill Carr and Tulip. Tulip has over 19,000 endurance miles, and Les over 40,000. I learned so much about pacing and taking care of the horses. They let their horses eat a lot on the trail, just how Feather likes. Also, they trotted for about 3 or 4 minutes, then walked for about 30 seconds. They kept up this pace throughout the whole ride, Feather totally dug it! Just as your heart rate elevates, come down to a walk and eat. I love it - I will practice it and get more confident with it. It won't win me any races, but I really just want to finish and see the terrain.

On Day 2, the trail was longer, 55 miles, and we finished after dark, so I got to ride in the desert in the moonlight. So cool! My body was very tired after day 2, but on day 3, I woke up feeling great. I felt even better after I took my electrolyte tablets. I will have to remember to electrolyte myself more often. Should help with the aches and pains.

I met Robin Hood and Vicky Giles. Hood is a mustang that has LOTS of endurance miles. He won Day 3 and got best condition! Go mustangs. He is a big boy, with lots of go.

Kirt and Gina Lander with Renegade Boots was there, we got to meet them and they helped us at the vet check. They also showed me how to correctly fit their boots. I really like their new wider captivator, it is very nice for the horses. They emphasized not tightening down the top velcro too much on the heel captivator, make sure their is a finger in the velcro when you tighten it down. Also, they stressed having a long enough foot bed for the hoof. I will double check everyone's boots to make sure the fit is correct.

Feather looks fantastic, and our next ride will be a 3 day at the Cuyama Oaks ride over Easter weekend.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mustang Adoption

The Warm Springs Correctional Facility in Carson City, NV held an adoption yesterday for prisoner trained mustangs and Logan and I attended. The program takes wild horses and matches them with a prisoner for 4 months. The prisoners work with the horses 5 days a week, 6 hours a day. These mustangs get a fantastic foundation - they are broke and trustworthy. The horses were so well trained - sidepass, back up, walk trot canter, flags, double riding, bareback, bridleless, riders standing in the saddle, crawling under their bodies. The horses were awesome with all the people and commotion.... I was so impressed and I highly recommend them for any type of rider. There were big horses, little horses, quarter horse type, hunter type, endurance horses, colored and plain horses, a horse for everyone. The sad part was that there were not enough buyers, some horses went for $200!!! The highest horse (a black quarter horse type) went for $2300. The average price was about $1000, but a lot were around $600. You can't get a month of training for what a new horse with 4 months of training went for. To read more about this program, The next adoption is in June, and if you are at all considering adding a horse to your collection, go to this adoption and just see what kinds of horses are there. A lady from LA came with her trailer to get an endurance horse. She got a really nice one for $800. I hope to see her at the Tejon ride in September with him. Great hooves on all the mustangs, and ready to hit the trail.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Eastern Mojave Scenic Ride Next Week

Logan and I are heading down to the Eastern Mojave ride next week between Barstow and Las Vegas. It is a 3 day ride over President's Day weekend. Annie and Feather look great, hope to do at least 2 days of it, the girls will tell us how they feel. Not sure what we are doing for boots yet, Logan is leaning towards his Renegades, and I may try out the new gaitors on Epics.

New Gaitors

There is a new gaitor design from Easycare that is ready and in production - the gaitors do not have any stitching on the inside neoprene so less chances of rubbing. Also, the leather patch on the back has been replaced with elastic, so they go on a whole lot easier and conform to the horse's heel bulbs better. I can't wait to get them and try them out.

Here is a video clip showing the improvements of the new gaitor

Renegade Updates

The Renegades Boots can now be upgraded to a larger heel captivator for bigger boned horses. If your heel captivator is very tight to pull up, you may want to send your boots back to have a wider captivator installed.

In January, about 30 riders used Renegades at the Land of the Sun ride. The winner and the second place horse were riding in Renegades - click here for more info -

Also, when you are putting on your Renegades, make sure you pull up the captivator high enough so that is sits perfectly around the heel bulbs. If it is too tight to do this, you may need longer cables or the wider captivator, or both. The company has a very fast turn- around time on upgrading boots.

The new 00s are adorable and work great on hind hooves.