Hill Work and (dry) Boot Success

I’ve been hitting the hills with Desire quite a bit lately, and this morning I hit the lake solo to do some more. Since she had a rough go of it at hot, hilly Cache Creek I have upped her electrolyte protocol–now using Quench feed through electrolytes and syringed Endura-Max for endurance rides– and added some more hill training. We are planning (hoping?) to do both days of 50s at Hat Creek Hustle next weekend  and while it’s not known for it’s hills or particularly technical trails, hills are Desire’s weakness, so hills we shall ride!

We went 10 miles in 2 hours this morning, including 3 long gradual trotted hills and a cantered short steep hill. I added more wraps of tape under her front Gloves but found that too many wraps meant the boot couldn’t slide over and just mushed the tape up her hoof. I took about one wrap off and then put the boot on and used a butter knife–hey it came to hand and worked well–to tuck the tape edges solidly under the Glove shell since it was still a little rucked up. 3 wraps of tape didn’t do it last time and 5 was too thick, so I ended up with 4 and cramming the tape in. I slid the knife under the edge of the top of the boot shell (remember it’s a butter knife and in no way sharp) to lift it slightly and then kinda levered the tape under it and then let the shell settle over it. I tell you what, we did some torque-y moves today and powered up hills and all the boots stayed on, plus the one I really wedged like that with the butter knife was actually hard to pull off at home which was reassuring.

The shorter, steep hill we cantered up:

 The only thing is, I avoided water completely. I really just wanted to ride today and not do the boot rescue thing so I cut over to the bike trails, parallel to the horse trails, to avoid the water crossings. So yeah, my boots stayed on, but I avoided my nemesis, water. Sorta ironic for an endurance rider’s nemesis to be water, but fortunately there are troughs along the trail as well as natural water crossings, and Desire drank nicely at the troughs. I did the boot gaiters up looser than last time and the rubs were minor to non existent, but the Velcro ripped open on one when we were trotting uphill; that was our only boot problem today and I did jump off and re-Velcro it of course, but man is that new gaiter Velcro cheesy.

A sweaty chick who will eat anything..kinda like me..

Still it was nice *amazing* not to have any boots off. So I guess I glue for endurance rides, Glove for non-water crossing rides, and hopefully Renegades will stay on for anything? We’ll see! I’m borrowing a set from a Renegade rider at Hat Creek next weekend, she confirmed she is going last night and her horse wears the same size as Desire. It’s nice to have endurance friends for so many reasons!

Speaking of Hat Creek, my amazing crew husband can’t make it, so we’ll be on a 4 day Girl Adventure, just Desire, Georgia the chihuahua mutt, and myself. It will be good fun and an adventure for sure, and there are some good riding buddies from near and far that will be there too. So looking forward to it!

One thought on “Hill Work and (dry) Boot Success

  1. Some days it's just good to ride and NOT worry about the dang boots, I understand completely. (It's the reason I went back to steel shoes: they stay on). I hope the renegades work for you. Have you ever talked with Mel http://www.bootsandsaddles4mel.com/Sales/Sales.html
    ? She helped me quite a bit when I was trying to make the boot-thing work. No fault of hers that I finally gave it up, she's awesome!

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