Review: Ice Horse Evendura Boots

You may remember that last spring Dandy won me a $100 voucher at Ice Horse that I used to purchase the Evendura boots. I had them all summer and never used them (mainly because I didn’t have a place to keep the ice packs cool during my rides).

wpid-20140626_185334.jpg

But when Dandy came up with a little pasture mishap right before we were going to sign the paperwork to sell him… well, now I had a reason to use them! Because I was using them on an injury, I only used one of them but I was really happy with how it worked. I would definitely recommend these boots.

wpid-20150131_152007.jpg

What I Love:

The reason I chose the Evendura boot compared to some of their others was because it covered all the way from the coronet band up to just below the elbow. There are two layers that you need to wrap and Velcro around the leg, the first one is mesh and what actually holds the ice packs, and the second is the outside layer that you can see in the above photo. I liked this because it allows you really adjust where the ice hits and how tight you need it to be. There are also two different parts where you can adjust the ice so if you need one part tighter then the other, you can do that.

I also love that each boot is labeled with a L or an R. Sometimes I have trouble telling which boot is which when they’re all open up!

My favorite part about these boots though, are the ice packs.

wpid-20150222_143111.jpg

Each boot comes with all the ice packs you need to fill it and you can buy more if needed. Apparently you can also heat these ice packs up (they have instructions for that) but I haven’t tried it so cannot comment. These ice packs are extremely flexible even when fully frozen. You can see a close up of the gel below. They also hold their cold for a long time. I put them in the freezer at home and they were still super cold a half hour later when I got to the barn.

wpid-20150222_143119.jpgThese boots are also easy to get on and off by yourself.

Here’s a video of me taking the boot off Dandy one handed. You can see the inner mesh layer I mentioned earlier.

Also, if you’re wondering, these things clean up really well! I just closed all the Velcro and tossed them in the washer. I hung them up to dry and they looked wonderful, just like new!

What Could Have Been Better:

The only thing that I don’t love about this boot is that even when nice and tight, the top of the boot still slid down a bit more than I’d like it to. They also do take 12 hours to freeze completely, just as a warning.

Overall:

Like I said above, I really like these boots and would recommend them. I will still probably chose whirlpool boots or a bucket of ice water for deep icings but these work for a shorter term or even an every day type of thing.

Thank you Ice HorseĀ for donating this wonderful prize to Aspen Farms H.T. I’m so glad I was able to get a set of these.

*** ETA that I took out the bit about not keeping the ice packs frozen out of my review because now that I have all of my stuff out of storage and was able to look, I apparently tossed the insert that I read this on. Since I don’t want to give incorrect information, I figured it would be best to take it off.

2014 Aspen Farms Fall H.T. – Video

These are all cell phone videos so they’re not great (especially the dressage and stadium) but I wanted to post them for the complete experience.

 

XC is just the first jump.

 

 

And if you’re curious, this is a video of the complete training XC course that Dandy did. You can just see him waiting for the start at the beginning. šŸ™‚

2014 Aspen Farms Fall H.T. – Three Days, Three Ways

If you look at the official score (100.9), it probably looks like Dandy really struggled at Training level and that this was not a successful move up.Ā ButĀ that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Dressage

The biggest success from this whole weekend, was just how calm and quiet Dandy was. This was absolutely the best he has ever been and I’m so glad we kept pushing through the rough shows (aka, Whidbey) because when JLE was able to swing up and calmly get to work in a busy and crowded warm up (complete with other horses acting up) it was all worth it.

The test was calm, steady and obedient but it didn’t have the normal sparkle that Dandy is capable of and it showed in the scoring. Dandy came out of there with mostly sixes, a few sevens, a handful of fives and one (pretty harsh) four for his halt. The judge was fair but it was obvious that she didn’t really like him. There wasn’t one nice comment on the test, even in the sevens.

Still, it was an acceptable test that both JLE and I were happy with. He has all summer to work on his lengtheningsĀ and his stretchy circle.

XC

I was able to walk the course with JLE and the other training riders on Friday night and I have to admit. I was a little worried. Not about the jumps themselves, I knew Dandy had the scope and the will to do anything in that field… but the tough training level questions had me worried. Dandy has been going novice all season and that’s mostly been jumps on a big loop and Aspen in the fall is a notoriously maxed out course for all levels. Really, it was probably not the best move up place. Besides the jumps just being bigger and the speed faster, he also had a coffin, a jump in the water (as well as going into and out of the water), up and down banks with just a stride between, a corner after coming down a hill, and lots of other stuff. And he has never schooled those questions.

Unfortunately, it showed. Dandy had two run outs. The first was the ditch in the coffin and the second was the corner. Both times it wasn’t the jump that was the problem, but the steering. He’s just green. For the coffin (ditch), he had his head in the air and just didn’t see the ditch. For the corner, he had the bit in his mouth and ran right past it. The downhill to the corner in particular was a problem because JLE had to canter back up the hill and into the woods to get to the corner so Dandy also picked up 20.4 time faults.

But there were a Ā lot of good moments too. My favorite was the water jump. He was so game for it even though it rode bad and he couldn’t really figure out his distance so he just padded the ground and sprung over.Ā He also did his first trakehner without even blinking.

There’s a lot for Dandy to be working on this winter and next spring but he still came off XC with a number and a positive experience, which is all that really matters if you ask me.

Stadium

The good part about racking up 60 penalty points on XC day is that not only are you the first horse in on stadium day but you also don’t have to braid because you are completely out of the ribbons (and can thus be done as soon as you go since it’s 3:00 in 90 degree heat and everyone, including the horse, is exhausted). The bad part is, of course, that you don’t have to braid and can leave right away because there is no way you’re getting a ribbon.

Anyway, the good about stadium was that Dandy jumped every jump cleanly with room to spare.

The bad part was that, once again, we have major steering issues. There were a few moments that I was ready to cover my eyes because it looked to me like Dandy was going to go crashing into a jump. Especially in the below two stride.

You can see how far he was to the left in the first jump and then how far to the right he was in the second. It was scary. I don’t know how JLE got it done but she’s a boss so she of course did.

But even JLE came out of the ring looking a little white. She thought for sure they were going to crash into jump 4 (which was a blue and white vertical with lattice, which someone did crash through after us) and doesn’t know how they got over the two stride at all. There were also major issues with half halting. Lucky for us that Dandy has scope!

Wrap Up

To finish, I am very glad we moved Dandy up to training because this was the first real test of his actual skills, and not just his attitude. He finally had to use that brain to think about where his feet where going and he came off every jumping course mentally exhausted. I think it was good for him.

There were downsides, of course, and I won’t lie and say I’m happy with a three digit score for his first training level, but I’m not disappointed with the experience he got. His attitude was also top notch and that was really all the blue ribbon I needed.

Lots of things to think about this fall/winter. We’ll see what happens.

2014 Aspen Farms – Spoils of War

Aspen Farms had great sponsors and Dandy won a lot of cool stuff:

wpid-20140626_185334.jpg

He didn’t actually win the IceHorse Evendura boots, but he did win a $100 credit towards IceHorse which I used to purchase those boots. They came right before we left for MN so I haven’t had a chance to use them yet.

Dandy also won two tubes of Nupafeed magnesium paste. We’re going to try it before dressage at the Whidbey Island H.T. to see if it helps him focus. Might as well!

And as always, Aspen really has the best ribbons.

2014 Aspen Farms H.T. – XC

Finally, it was Sunday and that meant it was XC time! This is obviously Dandy’s favorite part of a horse trial so of course he was finally calmed down and ready to work. It was also back to raining. Lovely.

There’s not a whole lot to say about XC because at this point, I wasn’t worried about any of the individual questions. Usually Aspen is a pretty tough event but they brought it down just a hair this spring because of us losing Northwest and I thought the course looked fun and inviting. The only thing I was nervous about was the footing. Dandy did not have his shoes drilled for studs.

But JLE gave him a great ride, stayed out of his way when needed and helped him balance at other times. Dandy did slip a few times (as you will see in the video) so he is now going to be getting his shoes drilled for the show season. He just has so much body to put together!

AspenHorseTrials_43 AspenHorseTrials_44 AspenHorseTrials_45

This pirate ship was my favorite jump on the course and I’m so glad he got to go over it. Dandy wasn’t too confident about it however, and took the long spot.

AspenHorseTrials_46 AspenHorseTrials_47 AspenHorseTrials_48 AspenHorseTrials_49 AspenHorseTrials_50 AspenHorseTrials_51

It was close, but JLE took him double clear again to finish in third place. JLE was extremely happy with him, and so was I. Even though he had his moments and was pretty green, he wasn’t crazy. Dandy is well on his way to becoming an old pro.

AspenHorseTrials_52

I can’t wait until we get there.

AspenHorseTrials_53