Saturday, July 10, 2010

You're Shipping Me Where?

Bombay's new shipping boots arrived this week. Sizing them was tricky, as once you get horse hair on them, you can't return them. So, I walked out into the paddock with one front boot and one back boot and tried just holding them up to Bombay's legs. Uh uh. He wasn't letting those big black things anywhere near him. He took off.

Gabbrielle seemed interested, though, as long as I kept them in front of her face. As soon as I tried to hold them up to her legs, she took off. Well, there's always good old Lostine. She'll hold still for anything as long as it's not a halter. I was able to hold them up to her and decided they were a good fit. However, the boots were primarily for Bombay, so it was more important that they fit him. Here's a picture of how the boo boo on his hind leg looks today. They just scab over and then the scabs rub off and they bleed a little bit until they scab over again.

We had a rainstorm yesterday afternoon, so of course Bombay had to roll in the mud. I wanted to wash him before trying on the boots. However, the only way I could make room to bathe him was to move my truck and horse trailer. The horses get over-excited when I do that, because they are convinced that it means I'm going to load them in the trailer and take them somewhere. This time we weren't going anywhere, but I couldn't convince Bombay of that. He did a dance throughout his entire bath, looking nervously at the trailer.

Once he dried off and I brought out the shipping boots, he was totally convinced I was dragging him somewhere in that trailer. I'm sure he knew what they were for. I had to desensitize him to the boots, but I really didn't want to spend a lot of time on it, so I took the direct approach of ripping the Velcro closures open as I walked toward him, and then immediately fastening the boot to his front leg. He was okay until I walked away, and then he started doing a dance that caused the boot to slide down underneath his hoof.

I had to get the boot off him before he mauled it. Bombay is notorious for destroying boots, sheets, blankets, lead ropes, and even reins. I once bought a fly sheet for him and he shredded it completely within an hour of my putting it on him.

I gave him a rest and then refastened the boot, but tighter so that it wouldn't slide down. Then I put on the other front boot and walked him around. The nylon was going swish swish swish as he walked, and fortunately that noise didn't send him through the roof.

Once he was walking comfortably, I attached a hind boot.

This is where things got dicey. As soon as I walked away, he started trying to kick it off. He managed to kick it loose enough that it too slid down beneath his hoof and he was stepping on it. I had to get him to stop kicking so that I could approach and remove the boot. I timed it so that I could step in and grab the boot when he put his hind leg back on the ground. I trusted he wouldn't keep kicking and kick me in the process.

Sure enough, he kept that leg on the ground like a good boy while I removed the boot. Again, I gave him a rest and then reattached the hind boot tighter this time. Then I took him for a walk. It was more like taking him for a jump. He jumped and kicked that hind leg out repeatedly throughout the walk. I just tried to stay at his head out of kicking range.

Once he was walking normal, I removed the hind boot and attached the other hind boot on the other leg. The whole process started all over, because each side of your horse is its own horse. What to you teach on one side, you must teach on the other. I was going to walk him in all four boots, but saw that the boots had rubbed the scabs off his boo boos and they were bleeding. I called it a day and Bombay thanked me.

Here's the link to where I bought the boots if anyone is interested: These are very easy to get on and off quickly. They are the most durable ones I could find.


Leah Fry said...

He is so, so beautiful. I love his freckles. I wish my Jaz could grow a mane like that and not destroy it.

I've never tried shipping boots, but when Jaz had his abscess and had to wear a medicine boot, we had a lots of that jumping around, trying to kick it off. Then I was worried about him injuring himself trying to get the boot off.

Alex said...

I have tall velcro shipping boots similar to those and I love them. They are such a cinch to get on and off but I agree, the noise they make takes a few wearings to get used to! Bombay looks smashing in black by the way!

Crystal said...

they look like they fit him quite well, and im sure once he knows he will be sfer in the trailer with them he will appreciate them more.
I agree he does look pretty good in black.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I've not tried shipping boots on Apache yet. I bought a pair for Baby Doll, but never used them on her because I only trailered her three times in the two years that I owned her. And once I got her in the trailer, she was calm and quiet.

Apache's also very calm in the trailer but I considered putting shipping boots on her for the long 3 hour trip up to Northern New Mexico, with Colleen's 3 other horses, but since her horses weren't velcroed up, I didn't do Apache either.

Apache did fine, as expected, though.
I hope Bombay's boo boos heal up soon. Will you have to wait for the wounds to be completely healed before you can ride him?

Bombay sure looks handsome. His mane and tale look gleamingly white. Wow!