Riding a 160km (100 Mile) Endurance Race in Scoot Boots!
Do you ride endurance and find you’re needing some extra protection on those long rides? Scoot Boots will be the perfect solution for you and your horse.
Zoe and her endurance palomino, Hadley, live in the Australian state WA and are surrounded by everything horse!
They fell in love with endurance after trying other disciplines, but nothing clicked like endurance riding. Since then, Zoe and Hadley have been addicted and have recently tackled a 160km (100 mile) ride!
Thanks to Scoots, Zoe has been able to keep Hadley and all her other horses all barefoot, whilst still obtaining fantastic results each ride. Read on to discover her achievements and how you can follow along for upcoming rides.
Can you Tell us a Little bit About Yourself and your Horse, Hadley?
I live in Dardanup, Western Australia, with my partner, Ben. We have a few horses and pets and we generally love our little life. I am 28 years old, a vet nurse and eat/sleep everything horse! And I am lucky to have a partner who just smiles and comes along for the ride.
Hadley just turned 10! He is a palomino Australian Stock Horse, by Springdale Solitaire. He is my absolute pride and joy, nicknamed ‘The Golden Child’. I have had Hadley since he was 3 years old and over the years, we have tried a little bit of everything; jumping, eventing, games/gymkhanas and polocrosse, but we didn’t find OUR sport, until we found endurance.
Zoe & Hadley
Between my partner and I, we have 4 other horses. My partner has a Standardbred called Nash, who has also taken a shine to endurance as well. He started just by being the extra horse we took out whilst we were training Hadley. We then realised he was keeping up and doing really well! So he is attempting his first 80km race in October 2020, as shown in the photo below.
Zoe & Nash with friend Ricci Adlam (just look at that heel-first landing!)
We very recently, just got Hadley’s little sister, Shiloh. We hope she can live up to her big brother’s standards and will be training over the 2020/2021 Australian summer (December-February) to try her first endurance rides at the start of the 2021 season.
You Ride Endurance, how did you get Into This?
My friend, Ricci Adlam, convinced me to try endurance riding about 4 years ago. We trained a bit over 15km (10 miles)/20km (12.5 miles) and Hadley wasn’t particularly convincing, so I was so blown away at even the thought of a 40km (25 miles) endurance ride when we started.
We took it nice and slow, doing 20km (12.5 miles), 40km (25 miles) and 60km (37 miles) rides for the first 2 years. I was terrified of the longer distances, I thought we would hurt ourselves or just not make it, so it took Ricci two years of training and convincing us to get me to even try an 80km (50 miles) ride. We started riding 80km (50 miles) rides consistently in 2019 and have been addicted ever since!
Why did you Choose to Have Hadley Barefoot and Booted?
Honestly, I am so bad at organising my life. Trying to keep to a farrier schedule every 6 weeks to re-do shoes and then having them on speed dial for everytime my horse loses a shoe, would just be impossible, and also expensive.
Zoe & Nash recently at the W.A. State Championships
I have learnt how to trim my own horse’s hooves. I was able to monitor the wear and tear on their hooves, and their performance and alter their hoof care as needed.
I realised as we were training more and more, over more varied terrain, we needed something to ensure extra protection from the excess wear and bruising, protection from concussion and also more traction. We do a fair bit of road riding and wanted something to also help with the concussion he would have been dealing with, especially as a young horse.
I like the flexibility of hoof boots, if he goes out on a spell or I go on holiday, I don’t need to unnecessarily keep him shod or need to suddenly change up the hoof care plan to account for it and then deal with how the change has affected him after. I can just take his Scoots off and keep him up to date with his trims. It was also much cheaper to be barefoot. I go through a full set of Scoot Boots each year, roughly equating to $550.00 AUD ($390.00 USD / €330,00 EUR) each year, which is significantly cheaper than a years’ worth of metal shoes.
How do Scoot Boots Help you and Hadley Achieve Your Potential Whilst Riding Endurance?
Scoot Boots are the perfect fit for Hadley’s shaped hooves. I have had very few losses whilst riding and he has done his entire endurance career in Scoot Boots. We can go through all terrains, water, mud, sand and over rocks with confidence and I barely even check them throughout an endurance ride because I know they fit him so well!
We have experimented with the additional Endurance Gaiters, Pads and other accessories. We have found that we can do an entire year of training and endurance rides (totaling about 1,000km (700 miles) a year) in a set of 4 Scoot Boots and have replaced the Endurance Gaiters a few times a year to keep them perfect. Only now, in October 2020, have my 2019 Scoot Boots begun to wear the tread off of the sole.
The bright coloured straps are great as they are not only fabulous (particularly the pink!) but they make it really easy to glance down, even when travelling at speed, just to check that everything is still in place.
Also, the ease of the hardware means that should we kick a large rock and snap off a metal keeper, it can be replaced between vet checks at competitions or because the boots fit so well, I just continue riding with one keeper. They allow us to just travel confidently and do what we need to do!
Why did you Choose to use Scoot Boots Rather Than Other Types of Hoof Boots on the Market?
I have found that the Scoot Boots have such a simple design, there is a minimal chance that something can go wrong with them. There are no wires, pulleys or velcro. If other hoof boots with these features fail on a ride, you’re stuffed! I have ridden a few endurance rides with only one keeper on the front of the boot because we have kit a rock and they still haven’t come off!
They have the least amount of surface touching the leg, in comparison to other hoof boots, so there is less chance of rubbing. They also don’t get any sand, mud or water inside of the boot that can’t escape as you move. You don’t need to constantly stop to check and tip them out, you just keep going. They are pretty much foolproof!
They are so lightweight and do not change the physics of Hadley’s gait as we go. He doesn’t have to adjust to the boots, which for over 80km (50 miles), can change the outcome of your ride drastically!
You Also use Scoot Skins, how do These Compare to Scoot Boots?
I used Scoot Skins for the first time at the Western Australia State Championships 160km (100 miles) ride. They had the same great sizing, same drainage capabilities, same traction and same concussive protection as the Scoot Boots, but didn’t even have to give a thought about potential rubbing.
I found that because Hadley had them applied a week prior to the ride and was wearing them 24/7, it improved his confidence and cadence whilst moving around the paddock. In general, they made him look and feel much better about getting around. It showed as he pretty much pranced into and out of the 160km (100 mile) ride.
He is still wearing the same boots 2 weeks after the event, as I will try to keep them on for the 6 week trim cycle. I think they improved his recovery as he is stepping out well and has less soreness post-ride as he normally would.
When Would you Choose to use Scoot Skins Rather Than Scoot Boots?
For longer distance rides. I know we can do up to an 80km (50 miles) endurance ride in Scoot Boots, but anything further, that much contact time, even with a great product, will eventually result in some sort of pressure rub on the back of the heel.
I am also very confident in the gluing process we have used. It gave me much more confidence knowing there was no way they were coming off and trying to do 160km (100 miles) for the first time was stressful enough without having boots to worry about.
When you are starting an endurance ride at 6:00am or at midnight and you have a pretty athletic horse that is just wanting to get going, not having to get underneath him to put on his boots makes my morning so much smoother!
Have you Been Competing in any Rides Recently?
2020 has been an absolutely amazing blur (even with the COVID-19 shortened season)! We have taken on several 80km (50 miles) rides and at every ride we have attended, we have been in the placings. When we began doing so well consistently, suddenly riding in the 2021 Quilty seemed like a goal we could aim for, but we weren’t quite qualified for the event yet.
We'd had our 100% completion year, so with a 160km (100 miles) ride coming up, Hadley had felt amazing all season, I knew we had to go for it. Starting at midnight, we rode for 17 hours and 15 minutes through the night, day and evening. Hadley soldiered on the whole ride!
In the end, we topped off our best season EVER, with a 160km (100 miles) completion and a 2nd place Heavy Height State Championship Trophy! We are now qualified to attempt the 2021 Quilty Gold Cup and hope to have a little team of horses ready to take it on.
What are Some of Your Highlights Throughout Your Time Riding Endurance?
The midnight start of the 160km ride has to be up there. Also trotting along at 2:00am, turning off my headlight for a little and just taking in the enormity of what we were trying to do, it was the best feeling ever.
Another highlight is how so many people I have convinced to give endurance a go. Friends I have had for years, that as you become older and see less of, started to come to endurance events to have a go. Now some of my oldest friends are completely addicted to the sport and we can ride like we used to when we were teenagers. Endurance is the best childhood flashback sport ever! We are a bunch of big kids, riding through beautiful scenery and looking after our horses the best we can.
Of course one of the best things is watching Hadley grow up. Endurance is the best sport for horses, young and old. It makes them strong, willing and they get to use their bodies in the way they are supposed to. Long distance! Before we started endurance, he was a weedy, nervous and uneven little guy and he didn’t even know what his job was. Now he has muscled up, smartened up and absolutely shines wherever he goes. Getting to see his full potential is definitely a highlight.
What are Your Future Plans for Riding Endurance with Hadley?
Hadley has now finished for the 2020 season, I promised him if we tried a 160km (100 miles) ride, he was done for the year. He will come back into work in 2021 and hopefully work our way through some 80km (50 miles) rides mid-year, but the big goal is getting to try the Scoot Boots, which is being held in our home state of Western Australia.
Whilst he is spelling, Nash and Hadley’s sister, Shiloh, will be taking his place in training over summer and in early 2021. The aim is to get them qualified before September so we can have our little team of horses ready to go for the !
How can we Follow Along with your Future Rides?
I post all of our ride results on my Facebook page. I am not sure if anyone reads it, but I love to show off my boy, Hadley. He deserves it!
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About the Author
Blog writer, Macy Wallis has been a member of the Scoot Boot team for 5 years. She has always had a passion for animal welfare and is currently studying to become a Veterinarian at James Cook University based in Northern Queensland. Through her time at Scoot Boot, Macy has gained extensive knowledge about the benefits of being barefoot and loves to share this with other horse owners. Her family owns four horses; Booza, Star, Chevy and Kudos, all of which are barefoot and love using Scoots!