My old Easy Boot Bares with brand spanking new gaiters installed!
Red was wearing these boots on his hind hooves when he lost them in a deep section of mud last year on a trail ride. Both gaiters ripped off the boots - one completely & one partially. I was able to find one boot immediately (this would be SO much easier if they were some other color than black!) but couldn't find the 2nd. Some weeks later, a friend rode that trail again & found the boot - I think she said it was sitting on a rock so someone must have found it & set it out (did they know what it was?). Yea!
I have been debating about how to proceed with my boot collection all winter. Red has been in boots for the past few years, as I haven't been competing him very much (or at all last year). Rhio has been in steel shoes for ride season (April through November typically) and barefoot in the winter. His feet don't measure for any of the Easy Boot styles very well - they are too wide / too round - and when I have tried using Red's boots on him in the past, they have caused him to start interfering (banging his legs with the opposite leg). Last year he lost a shoe in front & wore a single Easy Boot Epic as a "spare tire" for one conditioning ride and we had no interfering. So this spring, I started using the Epics on both fronts and got a few gravel road rides done that way with no apparent issues! Also, due to his mid-winter coronary band injury & subsequent hoof defect that is starting to grow out, my farrier & I are not hopeful about being able to maintain him in shoes this year.
Easy Care, the boot company, offers a trade-in program, where you can send in up to 2 old boots to get 50% off up to 2 new boots, but you have to change styles of boot. For example, if I had sent in these Bares instead of purchasing new gaiters for them, I would have to order a different style - such as the Gloves. I have been very interested in trying the Gloves, so I had planned to do this. Then, Rhio managed to step on the gaiter of one of the Epics while I was tacking him up & rip it off the boot. It was completely my fault, and conveniently it was the Epic with the broken clasp, too. But now I was down to 1 functional boot! So, I sent in that broken Epic and an old Old Mac boot I still had and ordered a pair of Gloves that should fit both horses' hind hooves. And I ordered the new gaiters for the Bares, which I hope will work for both horses' front hooves. Of course, this leaves me with just 1 full set of boots and 2 horses - although I can only ride one of them at a time, so hopefully this will be ok to start.
What was left of the old gaiters
Required supplies: boot, new gaiter, screwdriver, and toothpicks
The new gaiters came with detailed & easy to follow instructions, although they forgot a step.
Step 1: pick caked mud out of screw heads with toothpicks!
Boot with old piece of gaiter attached - all three visible screws have to be taken out
New gaiter attached at top screw - it now needs to be tucked down into place & secured by the 2 lower screws.
Both boots done! Now to break in those new stiff gaiters...
Back view of new gaiters