I made the decision at the end of last year not to continue using the EasyBoots. While I loved the benefits of keeping my horse barefoot, the EasyBoots were an extra hassle I didn't need. The issues with boots breaking or coming off on track, the risk of chafing, the cost of replacing them and the additional time needed to put them on made them impractical for my situation. But rather than go straight to conventional steel shoes, I investigated a rubber-coated steel shoe called the "Ollov." The Ollov shoe is used by the mounted police and many carriage company owners because it reduces concussion and provides extra grip on slipppery surfaces. I thought I'd give the Ollovs a go to see if they were suitable for endurance. I soon found out they weren't. By the end of 40kms the rubber was completely shredded. Only bits and pieces of rubber remained, leaving Jim with a very uneven surface underneath his hoof. I was far from happy, but Jim seemed to manage okay and we set out on the second leg.
About three quarters into the second leg Jim began to shorten his stride. Something was wrong. A quick check revealed he had galled up around the girth area and was finding it very uncomfortable to stride out. I loosened the girth, slowed the pace and walked on foot whenever I could. We made it back to the ride base in a time of 7hrs and 41mins - hardly a record setting pace, but somehow it was enough to secure us 5th place in the Light Weight division. While it was nice to have placed, I was unhappy that Jim had galled up and knew I had to manage this better in future. Worse still, I'd struggled with pain from my collarbone throughout the ride and was an absolute wreck by the end of 80kms. It was obvious I needed more time to heal, so I decided to focus on my own recovery for the rest of 2010 and return to endurance in 2011.
Me and Jim setting out on the second leg at Kiwarrak