Disclaimer: I work for Renegade Hoof Boots as of January 2012. My original review of Renegades was written in August 2008 and can be found here. Everything I wrote then still stands today. Four years later, I’m offering some updated tidbits and feedback garnered from putting thousands of miles in with these boots, as well as a few “things I’ve learned” both in using the boots for an extended period of time as well as working for the company.
|Moving well for 19: Despite her fused hocks, Mimi still moves
well. Letting her go barefoot and booting to ride has allowed her
to stay sound. An easy-to-use, worry-free boot means booting
for just about every ride is no big deal.
I personally started using Renegades five years ago: “sometime” in the summer of 2007, after watching Dad use them for about a year (and waiting for him to wear through enough boots that I could snag a pair of the worn ones to test out).
IIRC, I think I tested them for about a month or so, then ordered my own pair…the same week as the upcoming ride I intended to use them at.
Blind faith, sheer stupidity, or desperation?
Nah…more like a way-too-intimate understanding of all the things that can go wrong using boots, and a rather fatalistic “How much worse could it be?” perspective, based on using and losing boots for the past four years of Mimi being barefoot.
I was a paranoid bundle of nerves at that ride, prone to either calling to Dad or leaning over to check whether my boots were still on every time we:
-Went up a hill
-Went down a hill
-Went through rocks
-Went through sand
which meant I was doing a boot check every 5-10 minutes. Probably good we were doing the LD. But I finished the ride very impressed…and doing a 50-miler 3 months later with absolutely no problems sealed the deal.
In the course of five years, I’ve had very few problems with the boots. The few issues I’ve had have been related to user error, and with a better understanding of the mechanics of the boot and better trimming, I’ve had absolutely no problems for the last two-and-half years.
It’s taken a bit of experimenting, but I’ve finally found Mimi’s ideal sizes and I’m really happy with how they’re fitting her.
In no particular order, things I love about the Renegades:
– The design on the heel captivator and the way it moves with the horse means no rubbing or interference: the horse’s pasterns are allowed to flex and move comfortably. I’ve not encountered any kind of rubbing or pressure spots, even with riding in all the sand around here, plus some wet, rainy rides.
– The tread design provides great traction (excellent peace of mind for the times I ride the paved streets around the barn). As mentioned, I’ve done several rides that have involved wet stuff falling from the sky. Not all of them were in the fast-draining desert, either. One involved slick, slimy mud, wet leaves, narrow, technical trail, and an uphill climb. On that particular occasion, I credit the boots for keeping a minor slip from turning into a major wipeout.
– I also feel that the tread design is such that it provides excellent protection over rocks and rough terrain. Mimi is very surefooted and doesn’t take “ouchy” steps in her boots.
– The colors! Maybe that makes me a shallow airhead…but I’ve always said if I can’t ride fast, I gotta ride pretty. I’m particularly attached to the orange: It’s bright, it’s visible, and it’s instantly recognizable. The copper is also very pretty (matches surprisingly well with a multitude of colors), and black is always a classic for a reason.
– Still super easy to apply and remove. I can boot my pony in two minutes. Removing them is even faster.
– Made in the USA. Support small business, independence, and entrepreneurial minds. Buying within the US supports a local economy as well as our national economy. Every part of the Renegade is made and assembled here in the USA. Doing so enables the company to provide closely-monitored quality control, catch and resolve any potential problems very quickly, provide local jobs, and give fast, reliable service.
To address some of the previously-mentioned potential ‘cons’:
– “The velcro is the weak spot” It was: until the material was updated as of the spring of 2012. The hook-and-loop (Velcro) material is much stronger and grippier, and has been holding up well to mud, water, and sand.
– “Attaching to the saddle is more difficult”
This can still be true…factory recommendation is to not leave them clipped off to the saddle, as the bouncing can stress the cables. Instead, check out the boot bags that SnugPax has made specifically to fit the Renegades
. The bags easily attach to the saddle, and unless your boots are huge and take up the whole bag, I can fit a boot + stuff like horse snacks and e’lyte syringes in there as well.
– “Cost” No, at first blush, they’re not the least expensive option out there. But sit down for a moment and price out all of the other options out there, both shoes and other boots. How often will you have to bring a farrier out? Do you do your own trimming, or do you have to bring a trimmer out? How frequently? Are there any other add-ons to contribute to the base price? Can you replace parts if they break or wear out? What do they cost? Renegades are $169/pair. Each part is individually replaceable.
Four years later, I am even more excited about these boots. I can’t even begin to describe how thrilled I am to be working for the company, doing something I love, being able to share the passion I have for these boots, and I’m eagerly looking forward to things to come!
If you’re curious, or would like to discuss boots with me, leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.