I am a videographer in Portland, Oregon with a love for all things horses. Originally from Minnesota, my childhood was spent on racetracks across the Midwest. I am currently training my dream horse with hopes of excelling at dressage and Parelli. I have a Cairn Terrier, Ellie, and an old cat named Winston. I am fortunate to have a pretty nice boyfriend who understands and supports my love of horses. My blog helps keep a record of my successes and failures and helps friends and family enjoy the journey with me.
I saw the movie "Avatar" this weekend in 3-D. It is an epic film made better by sporting those funny glasses. Things seemed to float right in front of your face and you almost get woozy from the rides on the backs of Banshee dragons. The premise...a paralyzed former Marine is sent into the forest in the body of an avatar to make friends with the Na'vi tribe. The information collected will help the government learn more about them so better able to fight, destroy, and steal their land. Think futuristic "Dances with Wolves." The Marine comes to admire the tribe, enjoys walking again, and manages to fall in love with the chief's daughter. Again, very reminiscent of Kevin Costner's role...the whole Lakota fascination, the near leg amputation, and his love affair with "Stands with a Fist." His loyalties are put to the test as the government is on the brink of invasion. The ending...well...I guess you will just have to go see it.
So what does this post have to do with horses? On the planet of Pandora, there are some equine like creatures called "Dire" and some "Banshee" (dragon) wrangling. But more importantly the characters in the movie have to build relationships with these creatures. They don't just hop on and ride away into the sunset. The Na'vi woman explains to the Marine that in order to ride a Dire, you have to connect with it. To become one, "every breath is your breath, every stride your stride." The Na'vi have a long braids that entwine with the Dire mane and it is what helps form the bond. Watching the first encounter with the Dire is good fun for people with horses. We can laugh as the Marine soon realizes it is a lot harder than it looks.
He eventually figures it out, but eventually the Marine wants to fly...he wants a Banshee. The Na'vi woman explains, "a Banshee has to pick you." He asks "how will I know I've been picked?" She says "it will try to kill you." Yep, another smile from the horse people. Reminds me of the day Maddy roared off the trailer, her first day in Oregon. She picked me alright:-). Fun aside, I like that the movie understood the deep bond between horse and human. You understood the empowerment, the freedom, and the grace that riding offers and that it is indeed a privilege to be allowed onto their backs. As the Marine comes to understand his bond with his animals and the forest, he grows and is compelled to be a better person. He is riding between worlds and there is something spiritual in that. Only horses can take us there and this movie understands that.
Great idea for all you out there that want to get in a little holiday baking and make something yummy for your horse. I found this recipe a couple years ago and it sat and sat and sat and this year I slipped on my apron and fired up the oven. It is a pretty easy recipe for Apple Carrot Horse Cookies.
Here is the recipe: 1 cup of grated carrots 1 cup of grated apples 2 Tbsp. corn oil 1/4 cup molasses 1 tsp. salt 1 cup rolled oats 1 cup flour
Combine the ingredients and blend well. Drop the dough by spoonfuls two inches apart on an baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.I am delivering them to the barn tomorrow as gifts from Maddy to all her stablemates. They smell good and look good, but I will have to see if the horses enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.
This unassuming little red building out in the Gorge holds some of the most coveted apparel for the equestrian, Kerrits brand clothing. To our delight, once a year they have a WAREHOUSE SALE!!!I went with two friends, Tammy and Nicole. We made the trek out to Hood River, visions of breeches, jackets, and fleeces dancing in our heads. The strategy...get there early and you are more likely to find samples and irregulars and cheap, cheap, cheap prices. We got there so early, we had to kill some time with coffee. We finally headed over and started our power shopping. Walking into that warehouse...you almost hear angels sing! My stack contained 2 jackets, 2 fleece, 4 breeches, 6 shirts, two hats, and two socks. My bargain of the day...my "Coach's Coat" normally $229 retail for a mere $39. That was the one things I really wanted and they had an irregular in my size sitting right on the table waiting for me to plop it in my bag.
For Tammy and Nicole, it was their first time at the sale. I was thrilled that they enjoyed it as much as I and both had comparable stacks. For Nicole, she was excited about her half chap find and some Christmas gifts she found for her mom. Tammy found some awesome breeches samples ($29!) made from fabrics that were soft and looked like denim and a really cool belted black pair that were really hip. Tammy is the sample size (medium) so she scored some killer deals on coats as well. Tammy brought her SUV...we filled it and headed off to lunch at the aptly named "Big Horse Brewery" to refuel after our exciting morning of bargains.
There was an open artist studio in Portland today that I went to check out. Near the back I spotted them....a whole herd of beautiful sculpted stoneware horses. The artist is Jan Rentenaar. You can see more examples of her work here. She says, "What you see here is myth made reality by the hand of a sculptor." My IPhone pics don't do them justice. These horses are stunning and as you stand back and look, you see characteristics in each one that resemble the horses we know. I ended up getting a beautiful green one that reminded me of Maddy. It had a floppy mane and big cheeks. It would seem I handed Jan a photo of Maddy and said "Make this horse!"
I just got my December issue of Equus Magazine. I have been getting it for years because I enjoy the fresh information. I think even on the web, you can google horse related topics and it is very limited. Especially if you want to learn about equine science. Equus is always forward thinking in their publishing of studies and research on horse health and advancements in care. Sometimes the content available online seems as arcane as some of the training methods that are out there. Just in this issue, an article about a new strangles vaccine and a study about gender affecting trainability. I am not writing this to sell subscriptions, but instead to mourn the loss of pages over the last couple months. My favorite magazine is shrinking. I set a nickel down next to it and it is the same thickness, a mere 72 pages. Coming from someone who works in news, I have watched the steadily decline in print over the last couple years and now I am seeing the bottom drop out. Print is gasping for breath and I think within the next two years we will witness its death. That means newspapers, magazines, and eventually books. Yes books. Have you seen the Kindle or the app on the IPhone that just lets you download books? Everything will be online, electronic information. So today I am going to kick back and enjoy turning my pages...even if it is only 72.
I promised a story from "The Mane Event" about survival, well here it is. This is a story about luck on this Friday the 13th. On December 4, 2008, the SPCA in Frasier Valley received a call about a pack of abandoned dogs. Upon arriving on the scene of the abandoned property, they heard a noise coming from a dilapidated shed. They entered and saw a shape huddled in the corner. It was an abandoned horse, surviving in this barn for possibly 5 months. He ate wood and his own feces and licked the condensation off stacks of tin. They suspected he was a yearling, his growth stunted from starvation. As they led him outside into the sun, he shook violently and was little more than a walking skeleton. It was a long road of rehab and recovery. A year later his adopter brought him to "The Mane Event" to participate in some of the Jonathan Field demonstrations. This little guy seemed to be in good hands, a caring owner that hopefully made this pact. "In exchange for your trust, I promise to never allow anything like that to happen to you again."
Isn't this a beautiful painting? I love it. I saw it on a first Thursday Artwalk in Portland, Oregon a couple weeks ago. For a mere $600, it could be mine. (Gasp!) It is big, like 5x5. I have always been drawn to circus books, pictures, and paintings. Maybe in another life, I ran off and joined one. I don't enjoy going to them. I find myself feeling sorry for the animals, but the images and the lifestyle have always been intriguing. Maybe I just love those beautiful white horses. Oh, I love this painting...a girl can dream right? The artist can be found at www.bantampainter.com
I realize he is not wearing a helmet and lots of people will be upset by that...but I had to post this pic anyway. My brother just sent me this photo. It is my little nephew Weston sitting on "Jessie". I love seeing him up on a horse. My brother and I grew up on the backs of ponies, so I hope Weston has the same kind of childhood. My sister-in-law doesn't like horses, so I think his only opportunity for riding will be when he comes to visit his aunt Julie or visits grandpa.
"I head out to Maddy's run and think to myself, "she is not too muddy today."She turns to head my way, looking good, showing off her new trace clip. I love that Maddy is always curious. If I go out to her pasture, she can't resist coming over to check out what I am doingAs she gets closer...I start to see her left side. Yep, I knew it was too good to be true. She is muddy, caked, my little pig trapped in a horse's body. The great thing about my new barn is that the mud is very minimal, even when it is raining hard. They do pasture rotation and the runs have great drainage. No matter, if there is a bit of mud, Maddy will find it. Let the grooming begin!
The Trainer's Challenge is something we have all come to enjoy at most expos. If you haven't seen one, the premise is simple. Selected trainers take unbroke horses and see what they can produce after 3 days of training. The challenge usually has a judging criteria, 10% horse, 60% trainer's ability to train the horse, and 30% the trainer's ability to translate to the public. The three contestants at The Mane Event this year were, Ken McNabb of RFD fame, Martin Black out of Idaho, and Bruce Logan out of Texas.
They all did a good job, but one really, really impressed me, Bruce Logan. This cowboy was so soft and he took everything the horse offered, allowing it to figure out how to do things correctly. It was amazing to watch and so different from the other two. It is no wonder; he trained under Ronnie Willis. For Bruce, the horse was checked in the whole time and there was language developing between the two. As the horse worked around the arena, you could see his confidence building and he was willing to let Bruce guild him over obstacles. That horse was becoming "solid." What a great foundation for that horse to start with. Way to go Bruce...I like what you are doing for the horse world!
Ken did a good job, but he seemed more concerned about the clock and talking to the judges...it almost seemed like he was bored with the whole thing. I know he does good work and I appreciate that he plugs People Helping Horses, but it just didn't seem like his heart was in it.
Martin Black, was the one I liked the least and yes, he won. He seemed like a decent guy, his methods just aren't in line with the way I like to see people work with horses. I know these guys have three days to get the horses as far as they can, and it is a competition. Everything they did was impressive, but just because a horse does something, doesn't mean it was done right. Martin's horse whinnied the whole time, raced around the arena, sweated out, and it seemed that he had a death grip on the reins. The horse did everything he wanted, but it felt forced. He was a bit more of a showman and won over the crowd.
At this point in my life, I just prefer watching the building of a relationship between horse and human over force and acceptance. I was bummed the judges didn't see what I saw, but the crowd was happy. They got their hero, but it made me sad to see yet another equine competition won by quantity not quality. I hope you all read up on Bruce..he really impressed me. Bruce Logan has a new fan and I wish him much success in the future. Go check out his website and learn more about him.
This weekend was "The Mane Event" up in Chilliwack, British Columbia. It is a three day horse expo offering plenty of vendors, training seminars, and a trainer's challenge. The cool thing about going to a Canadian horse expo is that you see many exciting and different products, mostly European. I fell in love with a few items and managed to scrape up enough cash to come home with a few of them. Move over Oprah...here is a list of Photogchic's Favorite Things from the expo. Oh my gosh! These boots, Tuffa Suffolks...I couldn't pass up. They are lined with sheepskin, waterproof, and so comfortable. The leather is so soft, and when I put them on, they already felt broke in and ready to go. They also are available in "broad" for the larger calf. The velcro strapping seems to further fine tune the fitting. They were spendy, I splurged $285. Today as the rain came down and I trudged through the muddy pasture to get my horse, I knew they would be worth every penny. Love, love, love them.
I own two Horsedream products, a dressage pad and a sheepskin girth. For three years they have been used extensively and endured hours of sweat and miles on the trail. A gentle wash and they look exactly like the day I bought them. So imagine my excitement over a Horsedream bareback pad....YES! I sat in it...wonderful. It even has pocketing for Skito shims. They retail for $375 in the States, Canada they are much more, so I restrained myself and will watch and wait for a good deal.
Finally...I love these. Shire Equestrian stirrups. This particular pair is so new to the market, they aren't even on their website yet. They just got them in time for "The Mane Event." They feel "crafted" not just formed. The shape allows your heels to touch the horse, not the stirrup and they have a wide foot bed with amazing grip. They even have the 90 degree stirrup leather attachment for greater comfort. I came home with a pair of these. I am so excited to try them.
I have more stories to tell from the weekend; a neglected horse finds a happy home and I want to introduce you all to a trainer that really was inspiring.
I find this article interesting, the horse involved was aptly named "You Reap what you Sow." In no way do I think this jockey deserved his fate, in fact I am saddened by his death. He probably went to work every day; starving, injured, uninsured, and under payed. The name is ironic and directed at the failure of racing commissions across the country to better regulate the industry. In most cases, jockeys ride without health insurance. If they are injured, they continue to ride because they need the money. I personally know some that have ridden with broken feet and fractured vertebrae. I have always felt the jockey weights, 105 for TB and 110 for Quarters, promotes sanctioned starvation. When you watch the big races, the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont, the Preakness; remember the jockeys not finishing in the money walk away with $50 in their pockets. Most of the time it is $25. It is sad what the industry does to it's heroes, the horses and the jockeys. In the end, both seem to end up injured, crippled, or dead.
Here is the story about what happened on Sunday.
The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission is investigating the death of a Texas jockey, Mark Pace, who was thrown from his horse during race at Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw over the weekend.
Racetrack general manager Blaine Storey said Mark Pace, 58, died Sunday after falling off his horse, Reep What You Sow, during the first race. The horse, a 60-1 long shot, hit the rail on the backstretch, lost its jockey and did not finish.
The track ran a second race, but after other jockeys learned of Pace's death, they asked that the rest of the card be canceled.
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, which owns the eastern Oklahoma track, said more information would be available later Monday.
According to Darrell Haire, the western region manager for The Jockeys' Guild, Pace is the fourth rider to die in an Oklahoma race since 1940, when the guild began keeping records. Three of the deaths have come at Blue Ribbon Downs.
Haire said 150 jockeys have died in riding accidents in North America since 1940.
The race in which Pace was riding was a 5½-furlong maiden claiming race for fillies and mares 3 years and older with a purse of $5,000.
"I didn't actually know the guy, but nonetheless, he was a jock who was a part of the colony and anytime anything happens to one of them, it strikes close to home and it gets you thinking," said longtime jockey G.R. Carter. "This profession, it's not a matter of if you get hurt, it's when and how bad. We all know the chances are there."
I asked a good friend who hunts a lot, "How much orange do I need for hunters to see me?" He said "Truthfully.....I would paint your whole horse." So I started thinking about safety ideas and then I started googling. There is a company in Maine called Protectavest that makes all sorts of orange horse safety gear. I went to Ebay and they had one of their bandanas up for bid...I got it for $9.95. I emailed them and asked if they would throw in an orange helmet cover at good price and they did so. I won the item on Thursday and it was on my porch Saturday morning. I had such a good experience working with this company, Mac Mountain Tack makers of Protectavest products...I wanted to pass it on. I think they have developed a really functional, smart product line for trail riders dealing with hunting season. We hit the trail today with my new helmet cover, my orange vest, and her bandana. I felt much more visible and bit more safe out in the woods. If you are curious about how the bandana works, it has a velcro strap that attaches to the headstall. It mesh rests on the neck and another velcro strap goes under the neck. There are two elastic clips that attach to your d-rings on your saddle.
The government wants to deal with the booming number of wild horses crowding the western range by sending the animals east.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar today unveiled his plan to control the rising environmental and monetary costs associated with wild horses and burros by moving tens of thousands of them onto new preserves in the Midwest and East.
"We must consider siting these preserves in areas outside of Western States because water and forage are extremely limited in the West, and drought and wildfire threaten both rangeland and animal health," Salazar said in a letter today to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The government estimates there are 37,000 wild horses roaming the range in ten western states including Oregon, and the Bureau of Land Management keeps another 32,000 of the animals in enclosed pastures or small corrals.
The agency tries to adopt these horses out, but it said the recession has slowed adoptions, and holding and caring for those horses now costs the agency nearly $30 million a year.
In a conference call with reporters today, Salazar and BLM Director Bob Abbey said they think the BLM should own and operate two new wild horse preserves created by Congress.
Those would cost about $92 million to buy and build, Salazar said, but they would reduce the cost to taxpayers from wild horses in the long term.
"It also will be better for the horses," Salazar said.
The secretary said he also hoped to partner with private organizations to form five more preserves. In all, the seven preserves would hold about 25,000 horses.
The other part of the secretary's plan is to limit the reproduction rates of western herds.
"This will require the aggressive use of fertility control, active management of sex ratios on the range, and possibly the introduction of non-reproducing herds in some existing herd-management areas," Salazar wrote.
The agency has been under pressure from Congress and other quarters to control the escalating costs of managing the West's population of wild horses and burros.
Some lawmakers have proposed reversing a decades-old ban on selling the wild horses for slaughter, but Salazar said today Interior's plan did not include the slaughter of any horses or burros.
"The fact is that the American public has shown that it does not want to have slaughtering of these animals," he said.
The department's attention to wild horses has already won praise from some in Congress, including House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall (D-WV) and chairman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) of the subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands .
"Years of attempts by BLM to shoehorn these magnificent animals into ever-shrinking territory has manufactured an overcrowding problem. Restoring horses and burros to the acreage from which they have been needlessly removed is critical," Rahall said in a statement. "However, if the agency wants to work with the Congress to find the acreage and the funding needed to relocate these animals to land east of the Mississippi River, I will work with my colleagues to explore these options."
Ladies, time to get out your blaze orange, hunting season is upon us. My barn owner Tammy and I hit the trails today and we both wore our loud orange jackets. At times, the gun fire sounded close and we wondered if that was enough for hunters to see us. Tammy rode "Willow", a lovely paint, I was thankful for her bright white color. We came up this hill and found this hunting camp. A glance to the right and we noticed a rather large blind (see it in those trees)....gulp. We chose our route carefully, and still we came close to hunters. I went to the fabric store and am working on a hunting vest for Maddy. It will be simple, almost like a drape around her neck. I am thinking of making a velcro wrap for her browband and and maybe some sort of clip with orange streamers for her tail. I will have to make sure my riding partners have horses willing to ride next to all that gaudy stuff! Safety is important to me and the easier it is to see us, the better off we will be.
I know I have taken forever to update people on my Parelli job interview. In ways, I am still processing my experience. It was a whirlwind of emotions for me. I flew in to Pagosa Springs, Colorado and met with Mark Weiler, CEO of Parelli and Sue Shoemark, VP of Parelli. We talked about everything "horse." Mark is very personable and I liked his energy. He made me feel so welcome and important. I think Sue is a kindred spirit, I liked her right away. On of my highlights is slipping away with her to get coffee. I felt I was out with a good girlfriend, not a potential boss. The morning flew by quickly and they had arranged for me to go visit Pat and Linda for lunch. I can't talk about specifics of our meeting just to preserve the confidentially of the interview, but I can tell a little bit about my experience. This is a story I will cherish and feel is fun to share for people who enjoy and practice Parelli. Mr. Weiler and I arrived at Pat and Linda's house and we went in. There was Linda, making lunch and Pat was just wrapping up on a video shoot. I put my nerves in check. They are important people to me, having been my inspiration for the past 3 years to become a better person for my horse. Not to mention, in my business, television news, I have been hired over the phone 4 times. Interviews are a new thing for me. I reminded myself to breathe, relax, and enjoy the opportunity. I think many would be surprised to know what an amazing cook Linda is. She started chopping things and whisking them into bowls. Within minutes, she had prepared a wonderful tuna salad and a cabbage salad with seemingly little effort. We sat down and talked horses and social media. We looked at many of your blogs. In particular, Mustang Diaries and Grey Horse Matters, I pulled you both up to show Pat. I enjoyed sharing with them the horse blogging experience and what our cyber community means to us. It was very enjoyable, but also very business oriented. I stepped out and they talked amongst themselves. I stood outside and took in the beautiful scenery of Pagosa Springs. The mountains surround you on all sides. It is a beautiful place. In that moment, I panicked a little. Could I be the right person for the job? Would they like me enough to offer me the job? Could I leave my life in Oregon? How would Maddy (my horse) deal with a move? Could I survive on half my salary to experience my dream job? Mark came out and we continued our tour of the ranch and then the rest of corporate. I ran into Ann Kiser, my mentor and teacher from Oregon. She is there on a trial position. It felt so good to see her. The Parelli Ranch is an amazing place. The corporate headquarters are stunning. I think they have revolutionized horsemanship around the world and they make a conscience effort to make this a better place for horses. So why didn't I take the job? Some days I ask myself that same question. For me, it was all about timing. It just felt "off." Things felt too perfect back in Oregon to disrupt and fears about the economy and a change in pay scared me. At the time, my decision loomed over me and kept me up at night. I quickly decided one day to just not take it. And as I hit the "send" in my email to Mark, I wondered "what have I done?" There is no way to know if I made the right choice. But I do know I will work for the Parellis one day in some capacity. Maybe I will become an Parelli instructor or a Parelli ambassador. The one thing I do know, I feel more confident than ever that I have chosen my mentors wisely and will continue to pattern my horsemanship after the two people, Linda and Pat, that have changed my relationship with horses for the better.
Scappoose woman injured in fall from horse on Pacific Crest Trail
The Oregonian September 28, 2009, 11:00AM
A Scappoose woman was injured Sunday on the Pacific Crest Trail after a swarm of bees spooked the horse she was riding.
Donna Tewksbury, 70, had been riding with four other women when her horse fell to the ground, knocking her off. When the animal, which was not injured, tried to stand, it stepped on Tewksbury's abdomen.
Tewksbury sustained injuries to her wrist and stomach.
Because Tewksbury couldn't move after the incident, a fellow rider, Alicia Smith, began searching for help around the Frog Lake parking lot. Smith, of Gresham, found a group of hikers who allowed her to use her cellular phone to call 911.
The victim was airlifted by LifeFlight to Legacy Emanuel Hospital & Health Center in Portland about 8:40 p.m. after emergency personnel, including Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue, reached the victim on the trail.
Life has been a bit busy. My mom visited for a week. I love when she comes out and hate when she flies away. Riding eases my sadness. Sometimes I miss my family so much, I wonder what the heck I am doing way out in Oregon. Then I ride and it takes my breath away. I live in the most beautiful place. If I could just get them to move out west. They are happy in Minnesota and Oregon seems to have captured my heart, so for now, we book lots of flights. The clip above shows one of the reasons I love Oregon..."hairy" trees. I also posted a picture of my mom. For some reason we are both fascinated with old mills. We found a amazing one next to a covered bridge up in Woodland, Washington. It is called the Cedar Creek Grist Mill. Wonderful place and they still mill flour and cornmeal to take home. Yummy hotcakes!
I spent Labor Day weekend in a little town called Springdale, Washington. It is just a bit north of Spokane near the reservation. It was my boyfriend's 38th birthday and we went to celebrate with his family and take part in the Spokane Indian tribe's annual pow-wow. Derek's mom works for the tribe and it is a good opportunity to meet her friends, visit, and enjoy the celebration. Every year, the tribe decorates tee-pees, they hold an Indian art auction, they make tons of fry bread, drum, and dance each night away. The video post is of one of my favorite dances, the Prairie Chicken Dance. Some of these guys are so amazing...the video doesn't do it justice. I shopped all the vendors and saw lots of little horse things, a few are pictured below. I wanted so many things, but right now I am in the midst of saving for a pickup for my horse trailer, so that kept me strong. I love turquoise and silver and there was an amazing necklace for $140 I was drooling all over. I left with some fry bread and honey and lots of good memories of the weekend. Sometimes that is enough.
A California jury has awarded Magnum P.I. star Tom Selleck $187,000 after he was duped into buying a lame horse.
Seller Dolores Cuenca was accused of selling Selleck a horse named Zorro with a medical condition without disclosing its history. Selleck paid $120,00 for the horse, which was intended for his 20-year old daughter to ride in competitions but the horse's medical condition made that impossible. The defense argued that Selleck should have checked the medical records himself, but the jury disagreed. The $187,000 award covers the cost of the horse plus boarding costs. That means $67,000 in board. Where was this horse staying? The Royal Penthouse Suite? A second trial will be held next week to determine punitive damages -- it is not known how much Mr. Selleck is seeking.
There is no word yet on whether Mr. Selleck will be offering refunds on all the lame movies people were duped into buying tickets for -- Perhaps Tom Selleck can use whatever punitive damages he receives to set up a college fund to support the children of anyone who actually bought tickets to see Christopher Columbus: The Discovery.
I think we all know, if you're thinking about buying a horse -- even if it isn't a $120,00 horse -- don't fall into the same trap Selleck fell into. Look at the horse's medical records, have it looked at by an unbiased veterinarian, and take your time.
We had a woman, Kay Stowers, come to the barn on Saturday to do some fittings for hoof boots. Kay is an accomplished bare foot trimmer and a distributor for Renegade and Easyboots. In the above picture, Kay is putting on a pair of red Renegades on Willow. Willow couldn't decide between red or black so she went with some Easyboots:-) (The Renegades didn't come small enough to fit Willow.) Kay usually spends about an hour with each horse, examining hooves, movement, and measurements. She had a lot of good information about the boots and was very honest about which ones people like and don't like. I own a pair of Boas and a pair of Epics. The Boas, a bit clunky, but not bad. They are about the only boots tall enough for her front because she has shoes. I do extra protection because of her previous coffin bone fracture. Someday, I hope to feel confident in her healing, but for now, I choose to put them on if I know I am going to be on rocky terrain. The Epics fit like a glove, but a pain in butt to get on. Even with practice, they can be difficult. I was excited to see the Renegades. I saw them last year at an endurance clinic, but at $189 a pair, I had put off trying them. We put them on Maddy, we watched her move in them, and I learned about why they are so great. They move with the horses' hoof and they are super easy to put on. Best of all, Kay had a used pair in Maddy's size that I got at a great discount. I rode today with them and put them to the test. We did lots of trot/canter transitions and the boots stayed on with zero impact on her movement. They took seconds to put on and take off. I am thrilled. I wish they worked for her front, but Kay advised that I stay with what I have been doing...the Renegades just won't work with shoes. If you have any questions about hoof boots, Kay would be more than happy to talk with you via email. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org . Maddy is pictured below after our ride with her new-used rear boots. Very nice.