"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November's 10 Questions

Thanks L. Williams! :D

1. Have you ever owned a horse?
Yup. 8 so far. See my October's 10 Questions for who they are.

2. What is your favorite aspect of your discipline?
a) The welfare of the horse comes first. Vet checks before the start of the event, spread out throughout the event itself, and at the end of the event. You can cross the finish line first but you don't even get to complete if your horse doesn't look like he could go out and do another multiple-mile loop. The horse comes first.
b) All types of breeds and all types of riders in any type of tack are encouraged to try it. Endurance is the discipline that welcomes all other disciplines. Not every horse can really do it and not every rider cares to ride for that many hours, but I think it is so awesome that there is one discipline out there that tries to encompass all the others. And it's actually good for your horse if you DO do another sport with him for cross training, like hunter paces, dressage, judged trail rides, reining, jumpers, etc.

Endurance rider and horse tackling the Tevis ride's famous Cougar Rock.
Photo from here.
Can you guess why cross training would give your horse an advantage in this discipline?
3. What pet peeves do you have concerning your discipline?
The ubiquitous answer to every endurance question imaginable: "It depends." The problem is that it really does depend: on the rider, the climate, the horse, the horse's breed, what the horse is fed, horse's management, horse's conditioning, the region, the terrain, the pace, the experience level of horse and rider, etc, etc, etc....
I do wish there was more information for specific regions. Like the subject of conditioning and electrolyting in a dry climate vs a humid climate: some of the most solid sources of information out there are written by riders in the West Coast who don't have to deal with high humidity like East Coast riders do. Electrolyte needs of horses and how said horses are conditioned are going to be pretty different, if not radically different in some cases, simply because of the differences in climate. I just wish this was noted more and I wish there were more resources for East Coast riders written by East Coast riders. If you know of any, please note sources in the comments!

Typical Northeast scenery.
Photo by Danielle Hunter of the Buckingham State Forest in VA
From Endurance 101 Facebook page, the album "Northeast Region - Between the Ears"
West Coast riding. See what I mean?
Photo by Teresa Straub of Folsom Lake in CA
From Endurance 101 Facebook page, the album "West Region - Between the Ears"
4. Do you do barn chores?
Yes, I currently help out at the barn with feeding, picking manure from the fields, watering, etc. 

5. What is your least favorite barn chore?
Right now it's scrubbing water buckets and troughs when it's 30 degrees outside. 

6. What do you consider the worst vice in a horse?
Under saddle: rearing, hands down. However, gymnast horses that can do a combination of bucking/twisting/bolting are also a no-go.
On the ground: horses that don't respect personal space. Treat hounds. HATE this sort of behavior.
In the barn: cribbing. I want to take all cribbers and turn them out 24/7 on acres and acres and acres of property. :/

7. What saddle brand is your favorite?
I have to say Carly's answer is the best and I am stealing it: "Anything that I can afford and fits both me and my horse." 

8. Do you ride with a quarter sheet in the winter?
I have, but I bought the wrong size and it was a PITA to make work with the Alta Escuela, which is my saddle of choice for winter riding especially. I really want a Cashel Rump Warmer. Love that it can be rolled up from the saddle once the horse is warmed up. There is a waterproof version too.

Cashel Rump Warmer

9. Does your horse wear boots? What kind?
I use open fronts and fetlock boots on new/rocky trails. I've used SMBs when I've been concerned about mud. And since they're not specifying type of boots here, my horse also wears hoof boots! :D I have Renegades, Vipers and Easyboot Gloves. Hoof boot type used will be determined by terrain. Example: I prefer the Gloves if it's going to be muddy.

Lily's Renegades

Lily's Vipers

Lily's Gloves (after a very muddy ride. Case in point)
10. Full seat or knee patch breeches?
I love full seats. I like some Kerrits and Stickyseats because the seats aren't stiff and bulky. But full seats are expensive, so I usually end up riding in knee patch tights. Tights usually have a thinner material than breeches, which is much more comfortable when you're spending hours and hours in the saddle.


  1. Ugh, treat hounds. I hate that, too.

  2. Great answers! I look forward to seeing the comments you get. :D

    Any news on Gracie?

  3. Hmm somehow the Endurance 101 group escaped my attention- will add them to my FB feed!

    Also I'm thinking about investing in some hoof boots for Quest sometime next year- since you've got pretty much ALL the brands that I have been hearing/reading about, got any feedback about which one you'd suggest for a newbie? (:

    1. Oh boy... ;) Ok, so here is what I learned with boots:
      1. Renegades and Vipers are more durable by far. The customer service of Lander Industries is exceptional. Renegades are better for a more spade-shaped hoof, and Vipers are better for a rounder hoof. Both boots are better for horses with short toes and low heels.

      2. Renegades and Vipers have to be *loose*. Not super loose, but you will run into boot issues if they are snug. There should be some play in the boot when placed on the hoof so the boot mechanism will move with the hoof the way it's meant to.

      3. ^ This is your problem when you are first starting distance riding if you decide to purchase Renegades or Vipers to start: your horse will outgrow them. As the mileage goes up, their hooves get bigger. Not just wider, they get bigger all the way around. Lily's feet went up a full boot size in the Renegades. Which was good, because she had such tiny feet to begin with, but they had been so frustrating to fit to begin with...I had to sell the entire set and, since I had to buy new boots, I purchased the larger boots in the Vipers. I think ultimately the Renegades work better for her hoof shape, so I'm keeping my Rennie backups.

      4. Rennies and Vipers are easy to put on and take off, but when you have cable slipping/snapping issues (I am an exception with the amount of issues I've had; most people don't have these many issues, and I know it's because Lily's feet aren't *quite* the ideal shape), they can be a ginormous PITA because you have to undo the boots to fix the cables. It is easier than on the Easyboot models with cables, but it is still something that you can't really do in the middle of an endurance ride, for example. On a leisurely trail ride, if you have the tools in your saddlebags, you can of course sit down and replace the cables in 10-15 minutes tops.

      5. This is where the Gloves are your friends. You put 'em on, Velcro the gaiter, yank em off after the ride. No cables, and they are *meant* to fit tight. So if Quest goes up a hoof size, it's highly likely you'll still be able to use the same boots because they do stretch a bit over time...which is why I find myself needing *smaller* Gloves now for Lily! I didn't buy them tight enough to begin with. They should be snug enough to require a rubber mallet to put on. The gaiters are kind of flimsy but if the boot fits as snug as it is supposed to, they should hold up longer than mine have.

      6. Perks of the Easyboot Gloves: They are $60/boot (through Riding Warehouse - they have the best prices) vs $90/boot for Rennies/Vipers. So even if you decide you don't like them, you can keep them as backups for later like Liz and I have done. I find that when the Rennies or Vipers fail, the Gloves will take me the rest of the way. Riding Warehouse also supplies fit kits for the Gloves: http://www.ridingwarehouse.com/DemoProgram.html?pcode=EBG

      7. Gloves come in two models: the regular, which is for a more oval foot (longer than wide) and a wide version which is for round feet (same measurements length x width).

      8. All of this said, if you wanted to try Rennies to start with, you can often find them used on the Renegade Facebook page. If Quest were to outgrow them, you could always sell them and get a new set. They do hold their value really well and tend to go quickly used, especially in the more common sizes like size 1 and 2. (Lily takes size 1; she used to be 0)

      Hope this helps! :)

  4. Gloves should require a mallet? Oh my - I was so lied to by the Easycare site, the video showing such ease of application/removal. I use a mallet and feel grouchy about it.

    Hey, about the rump rug - I've never had a rump rug not blow to the side from wind or cantering, until I got one that had a strap under the tail. I wonder about the one you posted here - even when they put little weights in the corners, the wind usually will flip the entire thing to one side. (I haven't tried that model though.) The only solution I could find in the past was to put my crupper over the thing. The wind/cantering would still shift it, but it would settle back down into place on its own.

    Of course then you can't retract from the saddle. I feel like I'm missing an important clue in the world of rump rugs. But my priority is that it stay in place, not that I can retract, so I'm happy now with what I have.

    1. Lytha thank you for this comment because I had wondered about that! It's actually why I haven't bought a rump rug yet. My quarter sheet didn't blow sideways thanks to the tail strap, but it drove me crazy that it had to fit underneath the saddle. If I do end up with a rump rug, I will definitely be writing a review!

      And yeah: I had heard about the mallet application of Gloves and had not taken it seriously. But lately everyone that has had success with them has told me they need to be tight enough to require the mallet...so I guess I'll be downsizing again. We'll see...

  5. I spoke too soon - we had a lot of wind yesterday and my rump rug was flung to one side a few times. It did right itself, but that was annoying. It took me forever to find one that does not go under the saddle - for some reason those are more popular in Germany. Here's mine: http://www.amazon.de/PFIFF-Nierendecke-schwarz-Warmblut-100249-60/dp/B004DWUNK8 (20euros!)