Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New People Shoes

So I noticed that my shoes have worn out - the inside support was very worn, forcing my feet to pronate a bit.... maybe that is why my back and my arches have been sore? I usually wear my Keens all day long, and I have had this pair for gosh, almost a year??? So I started doing some research on the internet, trying to figure out what brand would be best for me- maybe a pair for riding, and another for working? I was not sure. REI suggests Keens, then the shoe store in Auburn showed me New Balance, I wasn't sure about insoles, confusion! I wanted logic. I went to the Auburn Running Store, not sure if they would be able to help me, because I am not really a runner. I was blown away. First, I told him what I do and that I would prefer 1 shoe all day, no switching. He agreed that would be okay. Rather than pull out a specific brand to show me, he did a gait analysis on me!!! He first looked at my arches, then the width, then watched me walk, then took me outside to watch me trot, I mean run.... and he came back with a pair of shoes that are perfect for me based on the way my foot is designed and the way I move. I was so impressed! Hopefully my back will be less sore and I will have increased endurance with my new Vasque running shoes. I need to replace them every 6 months. Oh, insoles are needed only if these shoes don't fit me well.

I really recommend the Auburn Running Store if you are in need of a good shoe for yourself. Their information was awesome, and I have never had that kind of analysis done on me before.

During my information search, I came accross shoes called MBT - Masai Barefoot Technology. Helps your posture and less muscle fatigue. I might try these some day, but they are very expensive.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Booting and Shoe Removal Clinic

I am offering another Booting and Shoe Removal Clinic on Sunday, May 11, starting at 9:00 ending around 4:30. Please contact me if you would like to come and learn about how to properly fit and choose hoof boots for your horse.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Stumpy Meadows

Feather, Annie, Logan, myself, Stuart Porter, and Gary McFall took an interesting ride up to the Stumpy Meadows area today and rode mostly on Sierra Pacific and Forest Service land. It was another fast 20 miles. We tried to make a loop, but the snow pack on the north facing slopes kept us from crossing, so it was just a out and back along the south side of Stumpy Meadows and then the ridge line and into Pilot Creek. The trail was amazing - beautiful footing on forest roads that don't get any traffic. We were moving. The GPS said our high speed was 30 miles an hour. Wow. We followed the original Wentworth Springs Road before the dam and the lake were there, and got to cross the original bridge from the 1930s that took cars over Pilot Creek. Lots of snow, the horses loved to play, roll, and eat it. I did the ride barefoot on Feather, Logan used front Renegades, and Stuart used Bares all round. No boot problems. We parked on the side of Wentworth Springs Road because there is not a good staging area, but it was fine, the horses did fine. We got ready quickly, but we ended up having lunch on the side of the road and only saw a handful of cars. We'll have to go back in about 2-3 more weeks once the snow has melted to finish up the loop. The cool thing is that I really got a full tour of the water supply up on the Georgetown Divide - it starts in Pilot Creek, holds in Stumpy Meadows, and from there it enters an irrigation ditch (I got to see this last week out at the Donaldson area) that takes it into Georgetown via Lake Watson, and then into Greenwood Lake, right by my house, and into ALT.

Photos of the day - Click here

American River 30

Princess and I finished the American River 30. I am so, so proud of her!! She is 22 years old, but strong. She had 3 babies in the past 5 years, but she really likes trail riding! As a matter of fact, she was perfectly behaved the whole day, and I loved every second of the ride. It was the hottest day of the year, about 85 degrees, and the trail was technical - lots of boulders, rocks, gullies, and fall-off cliffs. The last 3 miles were so steep - the cardiac trail which takes you from the bottom of the American River up to Auburn in like 1 mile. I got off and tailed it. Princess had 4 Renegades on her hooves and they fit wonderfully and I never had to adjust the boots - not once - during the whole ride. Thank goodness, we have a good fit! No rubs, no twisting, they stayed in place, even up the really steep hill and through some mud bogs and over technical trail. I picked up my friend Donna and her horse Venita for the ride. Venita and Princess are best friends for life. They stayed together the whole ride. They camped well (Princess was curled up in the middle of the night on the ground), drank and ate okay throughout the ride. I don't think I have ever had a more enjoyable ride. Thank you Princess, Venita, and Donna! Oh, Venita did the ride barefoot! She is one of my trimming customers, I am so proud of her. I wish I had a photo to share, but I don't... if anyone out there does, please send it to me.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Boots Too Small

I have been checking every horse's boot fit. I have noticed quite a few horses that OUT GREW their boots!! Their heel areas have opened up, de-contracted, and the digital cushion has increased in size! This is great news for the horses. Only problem - boots are too small on these horses and their owners have to get a new set of boots. This seems to be happening in horses that are under 1 year out of shoes. Please don't try to scrunch your horse's hoof into the boots - I just saw a really bad heel bruise and rub the other day that was ugly. In some cases, I am taking back the smaller set of boots for credit towards a new set - if the boots have been used very lightly and I think I can resell them. If the tread is worn down, I am not taking them back, best to keep them for hind hooves, or sell them used on eBay. Whenever I sell boots after a shoe pull off, I will tell everyone that your horse may outgrow these boots in the next year, and be prepared for that.

Donaldson Staging Area

I rode out of the Donaldson Staging Area in Volcanoville today with Britt, Stuart, and Gary. Gorgeous parking area in the tall pine trees. We did about 15 fast miles and had a great time. Incredible views both directions - to the East, the Crystal Range, and to the West, the coastal range, Sutter Buttes, and Mt. Diablo. Views to Michigan Bluff, and the Ralston Ridge - Rubicon River and American River. No one was out there, beautiful footing, and even some snow. The drive was easy, and totally worth it. Got to see the irrigation ditch water that comes out of Stumpy Meadows, and some left over explosives from the mining days - as well as old flume pads. Highly recommended! Photos here.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Radio Interview

I'll be on the radio tomorrow morning from 8 to 9am on a segment called "Horse Talk". I'll be talking about hoof boots and the natural hoof trim. The radio station is out of Georgetown, KFOK, If you go to the web site, you can here me live over the internet anywhere you are. Cathy Rohm will be interviewing me, she has won the Tevis Cup and Haggin Cup. Call in and ask questions! 530-333-4300

Monday, April 7, 2008

Horse Coaching

I have started to coach horse owners on how to improve their "horse-human relationship". I am not calling this horse training, or "lessons", but how to strengthen the bond between you and your horse. How to increase your communication with your horse and how to build your own confidence and leadership working with your horse. We won't be talking about "heels down" or "half halts", but rather, how to get you back in the saddle in a confident manner, where you know your horse's personality, and you know how to deal with the "horse that shows up". Please contact me if you are interested - I will come to your place - I want to make sure that the horse's needs are satisfied before we demand anything of them - for example, social play (turnout with other horses) is so important for horses, otherwise, they might look to the human for rough horse-play instead of a buddy horse.

Nevada Derby

Logan and I just came back from the Nevada Derby 50 outside of Reno, NV. We both completed the 50. Logan rode Jake, Stuart Porter's mustang that finished Tevis a few years back. Annie got kicked in the barn the other day by Princess in the gaskin, and she was still sore. We had a blast - Jake and Feather were a perfect match! Same speed, same desire to eat and drink contantly on the trail. What wonderful horses we had. We saw a big horned sheep run accross the trail in front of us, and lots of stud piles from the wild horses in the area, but no sites of the horses. Jake is a perfect gentleman - we put the Freeform saddle on him for the first time for the ride and he loved it. Moved out great in it with no back issues at all. We are somehow managing to get holes at the stitching area of the new elastic gaiters on our boots unfortunately, and we are not pulling the gaiters too tight at all. It wasn't a problem during the ride, but when we pulled the boots off that had new gaiters (I am talking right out of the package), there were holes by the velcro. Can't re-use them, that is for sure. Jake had 4 Bares on, and Feather had Bare bottoms with Up buckle closures. I like the gaiters right before they put the elastic on them - those gaiters are still holding up and we are getting a lot of miles out of them. Will post photos when I get my scanner to work again.