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20MT, pads, sand, easyboots

>A number of horses got pulled at 20 Mule Team for lameness caused by ??
>Easyboot-ed horses were also pulled.

Actually the 60 had a pull rate of only 12 or 13% which is below the average
for AERC.  The 100 had a pull rate of 51% which is only slightly higher than
the AERC average.  We finished all 4 horses we started, a new horse in the
30 and 3 more veteran horses in the 100. We rode with steel shoes, no pads
or easyboots.  The rocks are bad in spots but not so much you can't walk
through them or slow trot.  If speed is your thing then easyboots or pads
would be nice. Our horses had just been shod and they were a little ouchy on
the rocks.
   I have had trouble on other sandy rides with sand build up in under the
soles with easyboots on.  I just have to empty them at all the vet checks.
Karens foam method or whatever works well too. But it isn't that hard to
keep emptying them.  However I did not feel this was a sandy ride. The sand
wash of years past has been replaced by trails.
   I think the pulls had more to do with speed and horses than rocks and
sand.  We were picking teams for the 100 and judging on past experience,
with the riders and horses I know (mostly slow since that is where we ride)
I could pick the likely finishers of the 100. And these were the members
sought out for teams since if you didn't finish you couldn't win the team
award.  And since the pull rate exceeded 50% the others wouldn't finish???
Anyway I gave the odds to our group of 3 (Alicia, Jamie and myself),  Karen
Chaton, Jane McGrath and John Parke to finish. And guess what, we all
finished.   The team award was won by a fast team that finished all 4
riders. Obviously that group knows the good horses that ride fast. A group I
don't know.  Congratulations to them.

Jim Mitchell

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