It’s Not Susie’s First Rodeo with Cavallo Boots
Keeping Barrel and Pole Horses as Comfy as Possible
Cavallo Hoof Boots are a big help to rodeo and barrel horses who need to travel in comfort to this summer’s top events. Barrel racer Susie Busse (of Troy, Missouri) outfits her string of shod competition horses with Trek Boots to ensure that they don’t slip in her trailer–and to ensure they have cushioning to help them feel great once they arrive at events.
I caught up with Susie to talk to her about life on the barrel racing roads and how she uses her Cavallos for better travel. She says she trusts her Treks to keep her horses comfortable and protect them if the stalls have concrete floors. So many questions came to mind to ask Susie! She took the time out of her busy schedule to tell me more about why booting her horses is so important:
Q: Where do you compete?
A: “I travel to Barrel Racing and Pole Bending events all over the Midwest and some Southern states–Georgia being the main one for the National Barrel Horse Association Open World competition.”
Q: Please tell us about your lovely horses…
“We own six Quarter Horses. Leo (Blue Moon Blazing) is 22. This year he’s the grandson’s ride. He is goofy, cow-bred, and is still very competitive for Tristan. He runs poles probably better than barrels, but he loves his kid and job.
Howdy (Howdy and Adios) is 18. Howdy is Bruce’s (my other half’s) special one. Stoli (Streak N Stoli) is 15. He has a past life story that wasn’t great while on the track as a youngster. It took quite a bit for him to trust, but he is such a love bug now. Stoli will give everything he has when racing.
Bo (Second Arrangement) is six. Nothing bothers him—except a spray bottle. He’s a quick learner and is obsessed with Bruce. A consistent horse, he’s also breaking into the pole-bending world with me. There is a spot above his hoof that we have to monitor and he is one of the horses I wanted the hoof boots for. The boots have helped him so much. Skeeter (Oklahoma Bug) is why I wanted to try the boots with pads. There are no words for this boy. He is Dennis the Menace wrapped up in a horse’s body. He has more personality than all of the horses in the barn put together. He was diagnosed with a couple of foot issues back in January of 2022. Skeeter has become so much better between the vet, farrier, and the Cavallo Hoof Boots. Snoopy ( Six Famous Lies), a four-year-old sorrel, is the baby of the group! He has taken to the barrel and pole pattern like he was born to do it. We have some high hopes for him this year during his futurity year.”
Q: How did you find out about using Cavallo boots?
“I saw a post on Facebook and liked how the Cavallo Boots fit and closely stay on the horses’ hooves and could be ridden in. If you could ride in them, they would stay on the hoof. Other brands are so clunky, and I just didn’t want to have anything flopping around on my horse. Then I did some research. I checked out the website, videos, and reviews online, and I saw the different therapeutic boot pads that could be placed inside the boots. That led me to the “Get in Touch” page on the Cavallo website. I used the online form to ask a ton of questions about stalling, hauling, riding and, in general, would they make my horse more comfortable. We have two (Skeeter and Bo) that were diagnosed with some front foot issues. While the outlook is good, I wanted to keep them feeling their best in any way I could.”
Q: What made you feel like you wanted to use boots?
“First, I received an email back almost immediately, so customer service was crazy amazing! That was impressive in itself, and the way the Cavallo team believes in their product is addicting. The answers I received on the boots and boot pads made me want to try them to make Skeeter and Bo as comfortable as possible to keep them performing at the top of their game. The different pads gave me so many options. Then if they were beneficial to these two, I wanted the other boys to benefit as well when we travel. Skeeter also had to be barefoot in the front for a while until his feet expanded and grew out. He is VERY sensitive, and we worried about bruising, abscesses etc.”
Q: Are you using the boots only in the trailer or around the showgrounds?
“We mainly use them on the showgrounds and in their stalls, especially when stalled on concrete floor stalls. The difference when used on the concrete is absolutely awesome compared to the mats we used to lug around. The horses would stock up, get sore, and you could tell–even with a mat–they were just super tired by the end of the event. We used these on Howdy, Skeeter, and Bo at a three-day event recently and those three boys never stocked up. They were always chipper and ran some of their better runs ever on Sunday.”
Q: What did you do to get a good fit over the metal shoes?
“Our horses are shod for competition. I waited until they were freshly shod, got the simple measurements needed (length and width of the metal shoe) and sent them in to be evaluated. I did try to ‘guess’ the sizes and was very close. Knowing that they would get the 10MM Cushion Pads, and the Protection Pads (Kelvar-like pads that protect the boot soles from the edges of metal horseshoes), we did make sure they had a touch more room because the pads do help tighten things up. Also, I love the ‘socks’ (Comfort Sleeves) as they help prevent any rubbing while the boots are worn for long periods. I haven’t had any rubbing issues, but I do have them handy just in case!”
Q: What have you noticed with your horses after they have been wearing the boots?
“Since using the boots, I worry less about how they are going to feel in the mornings after wearing them overnight at a race. When I see them in the morning, they always seem happy and comfortable. They come out of a stall fresh and ready to do their jobs. There is no stocking up on their hinds (a HUGE deal for me), and warming up seems quicker because their muscles aren’t stiff. They are comfortable walking all over the grounds when we take them out for a walk to eat some grass or roll.
Q: What’s the chatter around the barrel scene— are you seeing more boots on horses’ hooves out of the trailer, around the grounds?
A lot more riders are using them for stalling than hauling, but I have a few clients who haul in them. One client bought a pair to use when stalling or standing at the trailer. Recently that same horse sustained a puncture wound through his frog area, and she is now using those same boots to help hold medicines in place and keep the wound clean and protected. The university he was at loved the boots and how they kept the hoof dry, medicated and provided padding on the affected foot to make the horse more comfortable.”
Q: Tell us why you decided to become a Cavallo Associate Seller…
“I’m a Cavallo Associate Seller and have been sizing and selling boots since 2022. I sell more ‘sets of four’ than just pairs for the front (which is a lot of what people tend to buy in my ‘world’). This shows me that people notice that both the front and back hooves need support when stalling and hauling at the show. Most boots–whether sets or pairs–are used more for stalling or when the horse is tied to the trailer for a day show. Riders want their horses to be comfortable standing wherever they are parked–on gravel, black top, or even in a field. Some use them at home to ride in or for turnout because they live in a rockier area. I am glad I can help these horses be even more comfortable and ready to go out and run their best races!.”
Become a Cavallo Associate Seller!
If you are a Trimmer or Farrier, Veterinarian or hoof care professional and you would like to know more about the Cavallo Associate Sellers Program, please send us a message at email@example.com for more info!
Wishing you many happy trails and trips to the rodeo
The Cavallo website contains research, testimonials, and FAQs to help guide you as you transition to barefoot and prepare to ride in any sport. Check out the Cavallo Hoof Boots Facebook page – it’s a great community of horse owners who boot their horses. Join the discussion on Facebook HERE.
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