In which Fiddle isn't sure if her new Ruby Slippers are magic

Look what Santa's helpers brought me this week:
A pretty set bright-red of Renegade Hoof Boots! (They don't come in purple, which is a pity).
Blog-friend Mel is a Renegade Boot sales rep, and at my request she created a boot rental program. My experiences with booting last winter were mixed, and I am reluctant to spend a bunch of money on boots again.

(I want to emphasize that my bad experiences last year with EasyBoots was not the fault of the Easy Care Company. On the contrary, I found the customer support staff at Easy Care to be helpful, knowledgeable and extremely proactive in the attempts to help me fit my mare with the right kind of boots! However, the boots just would not stay on, due in part to the shape of Fiddle's feet and her gigantic stride. I finally called the farrier and asked for steel shoes to be put back on Fiddle, and that was the best decision I could have made for the circumstances).

However, I try not to be one who expunges the infant with the cleansing fluid.

Therefore, when Mel suggested that I try the Renegades, the only thing holding me back was the money. So, she created a rental program for people like me who want to try the boots without committing to a huge expenditure. She also helped by figuring out what size boots I probably need, since I am clearly not a math major!


Fiddle got her steel shoes off today, and as soon as the farrier was finished, she ran herself into the muddiest spot on the property. Ewww.

Left front foot cleaned of mud (below)Left hind foot (below)

Right hind (above) and right front (below)The right front is Fiddle's "wonky" foot--it tends to grow at a steeper angle, and is a distinctly different size and shape from the other three. As always, the farrier grunted and groaned while removing the shoes and trimming Fiddle's feet; the foot is very strong and hard, but her soles are too tender to be a comfortable-barefoot-on-the-rocky-trails horse.
And so: ruby slippers for Fiddle!
The left front boot has a lot of strap left over when the boot is on--and it's not even snugged up really tightly. Do I need a slightly smaller size? I did lower the heel captivator after taking this picture, and that used up some of the strap, but there's still quite a lot of flapping.

The instructions emphasize that the pastern straps should NOT be tight. I've got two fingers in there, and it's still not tight.
front feet (below)See all that extra strap, especially on the left front? The right front foot is bigger than the left front, so I think that boot fit better. Maybe a smaller size for the left front? It's hard to be sure.(above) front feet + ruby slippers.

(below) rear feet + ruby slippers.
Again, a fair amount of excess strap. Am I just rigging it incorrectly?
The whole horse + ruby slippers.

The Renegade website clearly warns not to tie the horse while putting boots on for the first time, but since Fiddle and I messed around with EasyBoots for months last winter, I wasn't worried. It was not an issue.

The whole horse + silly bridle from last weekend + saddle + ruby slippers.
I didn't have the tow vehicle at home today, and didn't want to go far on our first test-ride anyhow, so Fee and I just went down the road a couple of miles. Last year , wearing the wrong-size EasyBoot Gloves, we travelled less than a quarter mile. This year (with darkness falling at 4pm!) we went about a mile out and a mile back at a walk and trot without any lost or loosened boots. Those flapping straps really bug me, though.
I noticed that Fee's stride is slightly different from her usual (shod) stride. It's a little shorter, and a little more "gaited". I think she moves more carefully on the gravel road with boots than she does with steel shoes. I'm not sure yet if that is because the boots feel different, or because they don't have such a quick breakover in front--her steel shoes are set back and her toes are rolled to allow her front feet to stay out of the way of the strong impulsion push from her hind feet. Or perhaps she's just not used to boots yet. Time will tell.
Even with new boots, the sun setting fast, the temperature dropping like a cast-iron rock, and Hana down in the pasture hollering her head off for her friend, Fiddle is clearly not stressed out.
Ruby slippers + mud. A beautiful thing?
Time will tell!


  1. I can't speak for the fit or anything else but that bright ruby color looks smashing!

    (Hmmm... Do they come in sapphire blue?)

  2. No blue, no purple. Sigh. And they're marketing to *endurance riders*???!!!!

    "black knight", "choco-latte", "jade", "burgundy blitz", "arizona copper", "yellow gold", and "dragon fire red (aka ruby slippers)"

    But h*ll, if they stay on, it could be a good thing.

  3. She looks so cute :) Love the bright red. They're probably pretty easy to find if you throw one. You aren't kidding that's her wonky foot! It is very different from her others.

  4. Those straps are definitely way long. One of the pictures looks like they might be rigged incorrectly, but I can't see the loop part of the velcro actually into the plastic eye of the boot at the side? I think that's weird, if so. Maybe they are too big? In the second boot picture I can see that the central section that comes up over the hoof wall is sitting well out, overtop of the left side section...I don't think that would be possible on Tonka's. I will try to find some pics of mine for you.

  5. Hmm... couldn't find pictures, but I can see from my straps that I need to double about 1" of the pastern strap back over on itself. No such need for the hoof strap. I think maybe they are too big. T wears a 2WW, btw.

  6. Oooh, that is quite a vivid line! ... Well I suppose if I decked everything ELSE in blue I could make the yellow gold work! ;)

    I do hope they work out for you!

  7. She will travel differently at first - I think it's a combination of the ground feeling different and the breakover changing.

    The toe straps do look long. I don't have enough experience to say if it's a hoof shape thing or a sizing thing. But here's a side view of my fronts and rears.

    I wouldn't worry about the pastern straps - leg bones are so variable in size. Dixie is such a cow that mine don't even go all the way to the end and they work fine.

    I agree, if there were purple boots I'd boot her all the time!

  8. Those have got to be the most high-tech boots I've ever seen.

  9. Love the red! easy to spot if they come off in the mud. Please update us on how you like them, I've been thinking about getting a set.

  10. Renegades look awesome. I looked hard at them when i was pondering boots for Roommate Horse. Like you, got scared off by the cost. I would have ended up with the heinous orange ones. :D

  11. They look GREAT! I would want an electric blue pair xD

  12. Hey aarene - finally got to look at the pics. You DEFINATELY need to shorten the cabels to get the toe straps shorter. It's really really easy to do. i sent you a link - give me a ring if you need additional help.

    The left front looks like it twisted after the ride which means you *might* need a size 2 instead of a 2W on that foot. *usually* the two fronts are the same size, even if there is a visual difference between them, which is why I ordered the size I did! However.....I just happen to have a RED 2 sitting at my house - which is why your rental pair is red - if we had to sub in a boot, I wanted to make sure I could do it quickkly in the same color :)

    Shorten the cables and send me the boot pics like I describe in the e-mail and I can confirm/refine the fit.

    BTW - if you ever decide to purchase, the burgandy boots look DARN CLOSE to purple. Especially once they have age on them.

  13. BTW - I heard from someone that there's something about the chemical they use to make blue plastic that is softer or *something* that makes it unsuitable for applications like this. I would totally have blue boots if they were available.

    A hint - if the pastern straps are way too long - even with 2-3 fingers underneath - double it back through the o-rings. I can make a note and next time I ship you boots, I can sub pastern straps on the boots that are a size or 2 smaller. :)

    Serena - I use the "henious" orange ones and can vouch for them being very pretty (and yes - they are heniuosly bright and stay that way). Yellow and bronze are actually my faves.

  14. Yall have way more skills than I ever will. One of the things I like about Renegades is the color choices, so I don't have to figure out which ones are front boots and which ones are rear boots every single time I put them on! Red in front, yellow in back. If I had a horse with L/R foot differences, I'd have four different color boots. (Of course, then I'd need a chart to remember which boot goes where...)

  15. Okay, I've shortened the cables (but it's dark, cold, and raining now, so I won't try them on Fiddle's feet until tomorrow).

    Fee's right-front (wonky) foot is distinctly bigger than the others. Mel sent me 2 boots size 2-W, which I put on the hind feet, and 2 boots size 2-WW, which I put on the front. It's possible that Fee's non-funky front foot will need a size 2-w like the others.

    Here's my thought about keeping backs and fronts easy to identify: sew an extra patch of velcro onto the pastern straps, and attach a colored piece of strap to each boot. That way, you could have a different color for left/right/front/back if you needed to keep those distinct.

    I think the manufacturer could do that without adding much to the cost of the boot...they could even make the colored straps in the colors we WANT but they don't currently provide, so that you could have a blue ID strap on a yellow boot.

    Just my thought.

    I plan to head out for a few hours tomorrow, and will report back!

  16. I use the same method as funder - different colors for different boots - and yes, at one point I had 3 different colors.

    I've also seen people put a different colored captivator on one pair - for example Red boots, but the hinds have a black captivator - looks very snazy and there's no extra charge.

    I think there is also an option for a different colored liner - but I'm not sure. I was told by another user, but haven't actually seen it.

  17. Well you may not be a math major, but you sure got a way with words. lol!
    "However, I try not to be one who expunges the infant with the cleansing fluid."

    I had to read that twice to realize you were using your big words to cover the phrase "Throw the baby out with the bath water" lol!

    I love those ruby red boots. So pretty! They look great on Fiddle, too.
    I can see why you're having trouble with fitting issues on Fiddle because of her asymmetrical feet. That front left foot is much wider on the one side. It's even easier to see from the top view with the boots on because of the the gap below the top strap.

    It's great that Renegade is being so helpful and generous allowing you to borrow the boots to make sure they'll work for Fiddle. Maybe in Fiddle's case she'll require different sized shoes on her two asymmetrical feet? Does Renegade sell their boots individually?


  18. But did Fiddle click her heels and say "there's no place like home"?

    Oh! I don't have to ask, that HUGE trot answered that question. That girl can move. I love her ruby slippers. Hudson better watch out. Did someone say "bronze"?

    It's wonderful you were offered a rental option to see if they will work for her, that's brilliant. I'll look forward to hearing how they hold up over time, and how she likes them.


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