Trinity Part 2: Gear Review, Pondering Soreness, Etc

I just didn’t fit all the details into my ride-along blog, so here are a few more things that I feel are worth sharing:

Boots: With the exception of the twist on that wet/mucky boot climbing the crazy steep hill, the Renegades stayed on flawlessly. 90% of the ride was uphill or downhill and there were multiple water crossings and a few mucky spots. By the halfway vet check the straps were just sort of crusted together with mud and dirt and I wasn’t messing with em! I also find the Renegade Velcro a lot easier to clean debris out of after the fact. There were no rubs and Desire was sound sound sound. I love these boots!

Tack: While I used Blaze’s pad and splint boots, they are the exact same as Desire’s but in a different color, so my tack was all the same as it has been, with the addition of course of the cantle pack which I have used at every endurance ride and do train with on some at home, though not frequently. Everything with tack was fine except for the back soreness, of course, which I suspect was related to the cantle pack?

Diet/Gut Sounds: Desire had her usual Hay Mountain of locally grown grass hay (with a bit of grain in some bales), and big sloppy mashes of Elk Grove Milling Grass Hay/Rice Bran pellets, with her daily dose of Quench mixed in. On the trail I pulled and hand fed grass and fed her bites of carrots out of the baggie in my pommel bag, and she grazed very briefly a few times along the way. At lunch she ate another horse’s mash (same as mine plus Omolene of some sort) and alfalfa, and after the ride she ate as many carrot bites as I would throw into her fresh mash and nibbled some hay, but wanted to nap. After dinner I returned to find she had eaten the whole mash and had moved onto her hay. She pooped and farted her way along as usual and throughout the ride her gut sounds were an A where in the past they have been a B more than once. Every time I woke up last night after the ride I could hear her chewing hay. Arriving home this pm she had another big sloppy mash and plenty of hay for the night.

Hydration: Desire gets a daily dose of Quench in her mashes and I syringed her EnduraMax-Plus during and after the ride. The next water break after peeing, about 10 miles in, she started drinking and drank reliably the rest of the time. She peed 3 times on the trail and again back at the trailer after the Finish.

Back Soreness: I have never had a back sore issue with Desire before, and did not change the saddle set up. The only 3 factors I can think of are 1: extreme & prolonged uphill and downhill 2: Saddle pad “molded” to Blaze’s back and fit her differently? 3: carrying the heavier spare Renegades in the cantle pack over a long distance for the first time may have caused the saddle to bend down in the back? I felt like it wasn’t riding completely square and did adjust it a few times. This was my first endurance ride in the Renegades, I have trained in them and trained with the cantle pack carrying the boots, but never more than 20 miles with the cantle pack on. The Renegades are undeniably heavier than the Easyboots, and I’ve heard through the grapevine that a heavy cantle pack can bend the back of the saddle down and throw off the Specialized sometimes, but I don’t have experience firsthand with it until now..so if anyone has thoughts, please chime in! She was sore just to the left of her spine where the skirt of the saddle sits, it was muscular according to the vet, and it was slightly raised after the ride. 

Camping: Loved my Arabian Nights tent-under-canopy set up as usual and highly recommend anyone still suffering through an air mattress go get a firm foam mat or two instead. LOVE the firm foam and I swear sleeping on it after a ride does my body more good than my bed at home. My Olive barrel with a spigot at the bottom and about a 5 ft hose on it made it so I don’t haul water and can easily make as many sloppy mashes as Desire requires. Another cheap innovation of my husband’s that rocks my socks.

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7 thoughts on “Trinity Part 2: Gear Review, Pondering Soreness, Etc

  1. Congrats on your ride!

    I carry spare Renegade boots in the FRONT packs on my Specialized saddle. They barely fit into the pockets of a Stowaway pack, but they do fit–I have experienced sore back issues from putting boots (easyboots or renegades) in the center of my rear-pack. I also sometimes just hang a boot bag off the side (rear) of the saddle, rather than stuff it into the regular cantle pack. Maybe one of those changes will help you?

  2. Hey thanks! I'm really glad to hear this feedback. I do think that the Renegades are too heavy to be back there, but I couldn't fathom fitting in the Stowaway pommel..a friend loaned me a boot bag and I do have a another clip on boot bag I found too..have you had any issues carrying boots on the side like that??

  3. Years ago, before I even bought Dixie, I sored the hell out of my first mare's back with a cantle pack – like rubbed a quarter-size open wound in an hour trail ride. I have not ridden with one since.

    Have you thought about just dangling them off the side of the saddle, redneck style? A carabiner will fit in the heel captivator, where the velcro feeds through to make the ankle strap.

    What kind of foam pad are you sleeping on? Like a thermarest or …? I am still in minimalist mode but my little eggcrate isn't QUITE thick enough to make sleeping in the back floorboard of the truck comfortable…

  4. Well, it's 2 foam mats on top of each other, about 4″ thick each–and we bought them from the weird Army surplus store in town, no labels.

    I am now thinking about dangling Renegades off the sides, yes. Of course Desire fluctuates between 3 sizes of boot which makes carrying all the spares problematic, but if I get on the ball with this rasping maintenance I can probably keep her more consistent and only have to carry 2 at the most..

    A friend rubbed a raw horrible wound on her horse halfway through an LD last year using a cantle pack..and I have heard things about back soreness, now I am hearing more..only problem is I can't carry all my criznap in just the pommel! I'd have to carry a frickin backpack or something…and I really don't enjoy wearing Camelpaks, I've decided..meh whatevs, solution to be determined later..

  5. Pads – huh. I'm kinda thinking about ordering a cheapo twin memory foam mattress topper from amazon and sleeping on that.

    LOL, that's a lotta spare boots! Get to rasping!

  6. Awesome ride story and recap! Congrats! So glad the boots are working, different hoof shapes and boots, or maybe Desire just wanted some brighter bling on her feet. I carry my extra boots just on carbiner clip, though they flop around which can be a little annoying. I have a cantle pack but never use it. Instead I have a smaller bag (I think it is a boot bag) that I can tie way up on the saddle in back so it doesn't interfere. But I have to pick and choose what to bring with only pommel and tiny bag!

  7. On a Carabiner clip, so like just snapped onto a D ring of the saddle? Omg can you just see me with 3 different sizes flopping around?! LOL but I do like that idea! Something to try. I also am going to try out a photographer's vest with a bazillion pockets so I can put all the little crap in my pommel bag in there and see what I can then move from cantle to pommel..

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