Product Reviews & Other News

Cavallo Simple Boots: An Initial Review

First and foremost, I am in no way, shape, or form paid by or affiliated with this company, nor did anyone give me any incentives to review these boots.  I did my own research, and decided on this purchase due to the good price of these in comparison to other brands, plus the reviews I read on the internet (which, lets be honest, you can’t always trust).

Short version:

Cavallo Simple Boot is well constructed, easy to apply, and immediately helped Fizzy walk across rocks like he still had shoes on 10 days after having them removed.  They stayed on at a walk, trot, canter, and gallop, and did not twist or turn.  I look forward to using them a while and writing another review!

Long version:

Let’s backtrack for a minute and let me explain what led us to the decision of purchasing hoof boots to begin with.  If you read our blog, you read about the shoe throwing incident on the day from hell a few weeks ago.  If not, that story:  Just Stay Home!  Well, the farrier could not get out to reapply the shoe, and Fizzy managed to destroy that hoof in the two weeks it was off.  We had planned on one more show this year, but did not want to put the shoe back on a shorter hoof, just to pull all 4 shoes less than a month later.  We decided to go ahead and pull all 4 shoes, and let him go barefoot until spring.  However, he is very uncomfortable walking on rocks, as we also shared, and seems not as comfortable even in the arena as he was with shoes on.  It’s now 10 days after the shoe removal, and it’s obvious it will be a long process to get him comfortable being barefoot.  To aid in this and allow us to keep working him lightly and maybe even go on a few more trail rides, we decided to try the boots because, well, we will do anything to make our horse happy and comfortable.  That plus the cost of them is less than one shoeing for 4 hooves!  Since our plan is to keep him barefoot until April, we’ve got 7 months ahead of us.

So, I ordered the Cavallo Simple Boot via Amazon Prime (sold by Cavallo Inc) in a size 2 Friday night after measuring using the tool they had provided on their website www.cavallo-inc.com.  First of all, it was VERY easy to measure using this tool, and if you know even the slightest teeny tiny little bit about horses you can use this tool.  The boots and also the pastern wraps (purchased separately) had come by Sunday.  Oh the joys of amazon prime and 2 day shipping especially as a horse owner, but that’s another conversation.

Anyway, I was excited as a kid on Christmas morning opening up my (Fizzy’s) new boots! They even sent me a free hoofpick and another free gift (some digital info on barefoot trimming that is very informative). From here on out, I will probably refer to these boots as his “Nikes” because they are indeed comparable to a tennis shoe for horses. They came in a box very similar to a shoe box human shoes come in, too!  Upon initial inspection, I can tell in their new state that the boots are well constructed, sturdy, and to me very interesting looking contraptions! They appear easy to apply, so I head on over to the barn to give them a go. I wish I had taken photos and video of him actually wearing them, but I was a little bit pressed for time and wanted to pay him the attention he needed while I was there.  I promise I will provide more photos at a later date, and also intend on doing a follow up review after using them for a while.

Putting them on was not hard, once I figured it out. I’ll admit,  I might be slightly slow with new things I’ve never seen before.  I proceeded to put on the pastern wraps first. Of course I read the directions! (Those of you who don’t know me, understand this is the first thing I normally throw away). Yes, I will admit I tried to put them on upside down, then felt really dumb after I actually DID read the instructions. I felt dumb again after I put the first boot on the wrong hoof and didn’t realize it until I went to latch it.  I share these mishaps with you all because it does us all good to be able to laugh at ourselves at times.  Anyway, once I got them on the correct hooves, and all latched up, I took Fizzy to the arena (across the rocky driveway at the barn) and could immediately tell a difference in his level of comfort vs. having nothing on his feet.  Praise Jesus! Because watching him walk on rocks barefoot as it is right now makes me want to cry.

We did some free lunging at a walk, trot, canter, and Fizzy’s personal favorite, the uncontrolled gallop.  They stayed on at all speeds!  They stayed latched and didn’t twist or turn.  So far, so good and I am impressed!  I look forward to using them to work and hopefully trail ride him some this fall, and then I will update with another review of how they performed doing those things.  So far, I love them for what we purchased them for and would recommend them to a friend. I feel like if Fizzy could speak, he’d recommend them to a friend too, because he seems to feel like a million bucks wearing them on rough ground vs not wearing them.

Check out the video of Fizzy wearing the boots!

Cavallo Simple Boots Video

 

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Scratches, AGAIN

Every year, without fail and without warning, this crap pops up on Fizzy’s leg(s).  The first time, we had no idea what it was as we had never seen anything like it before.  So, to try and help any readers we may get from the frustration of this crazy stuff, here’s an explanation of what it is and how to get rid of it.

Scratches is also called greasy heel, mud fever, dew poisoning, or in more technical terms, pastern dermatitis or pastern folliculitis. Anyway, it’s some sort of nasty fungus that happens when the conditions a horse lives in are muddy, wet, etc. It seems to be worse when there is repeated wetting/drying of the legs.  Horses that live in fields are prone to it since overnight can get dewy (dew poisoning) and then during the daytime the field dries out. Even more prone to it are white legs.  Lucky Fizzy, he has 3 white legs!!

Early on, it might just look like some kind of liquid/gel on your horses leg(s) and if detected early, will be no big deal.  The earlier you begin treatment, the easier it is to treat.  As it progresses, it will look like scabbing, and it can be very sensitive to the touch and in bad cases even cause lameness.  Avoid picking at it, trust me on this one.  I tried to “wash” it off the first time Fizzy had it, and that did not turn out very well and he was very uncomfortable.  I feel like a bad mommy because I didn’t know any better.

Some recommend you have it diagnosed by a veterinarian and receive anything from antibiotics, antifungals, to steroids… I know, I can see the dollar signs too.  However, THERE IS HOPE!!  I’m here to tell you (and save you some major money) that you don’t necessarily need that for this junk to go away.  However, if you try my method and it’s just not working, then by all means, you need to call a vet.

Anyway, I remembered to get a few photos this time since the last few years I did not.  I was at the barn Wednesday morning, did not go Thursday morning, and showed up Friday morning to picture #1, below.  This tells you how fast this stuff can pop up. I always groom Fizzy’s legs (and use polo wraps/splint boots) so there’s no way I would not have noticed this Wednesday.

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I immediately knew what it was as we had dealt with it before, so I began to treat it with what I am going to call my miracle mix.  Yes, you will get funny looks buying these items together at the department store or pharmacy.  Yes, your horse is worth any humiliation you might experience.  #1, Bordreaux’s Butt Paste, I buy the larger tube size in maximum strength, with 40% zinc as this is the active ingredient. I assume generic diaper rash cream might work, but I like using the best of the best with the 40% zinc. #2. Jock Itch Cream. These are usually in small tubes like .5oz, I buy 3 or 4 of them in a generic brand because they all basically have the same ingredients.  #3. Triple Antibiotic, again, small tubes in 1 oz, I’ll buy one or two in the generic store brand.  Mix it all up, and there you have it: Miracle Mix. I keep it in tupperware at the barn, and it’s held up and kept well til I need it.  I always have it on hand so I can begin treating this immediately when I notice it.  That way, it doesn’t spread.

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Put it on the affected area, and leave it alone.  Because we really have no other option, we have to turn Fiz back out, so he goes into the field with this on.  Apply it daily (or as much as you can) and the scabs will start falling off.  Keep applying until the scabs are gone and the area starts growing hair back.  If after seeral days to a week, the scabs persist, please call a vet and get some more serious treatment for your horse.  However, this is the treatment that has worked without fail for us on Fizzy every time for the last 3 years.

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I didn’t take a photo after the first day, this is after the 3rd day of treatment.  As you can see, the scabbing is going away but still present.

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Below is after a week, and not treating every single day.  Only a small amount of scabbing remains.  I keep putting it over the entire area anyway, just as a precaution.

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His first case was VERY bad.  I only have a photo of the spot after it had begun healing. As you can see, this area is much more largely affected than the above, because we didn’t know how to treat it and it spread.  Once we began treating it with the cream I talked about above, it looked like the below photo within 2 weeks.

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