Adjusting Pie’s Hoof Boots (Part 3 of the 3 Part Series on Transitioning to Hoof Boots)

How do you adjust a pair of new hoof boots?

Nice new hoof boots. But how do you get them to fit?

In today’s post, I’ll show you how I’m adjusting a pair of hoof boots to fit my wife’s pony Pie. To get you up to speed, here are the first two parts in this three part series.

Adjusting a Pair of Renegade Hoof Boots

Last week, I measured Pie’s feet and ordered a pair of Renegade hoof boots to fit. They arrived a few days later. When we put them on Pie’s feet, the length and width of the boots fit Pie’s feet great. But the heel cup, the part that fits over the heel of her foot, was too tight. No problem. The heel cup is adjustable. In this post, I’ll show you how I adjusted it to get a perfect fit.

As in the earlier posts in this series, here’s where I’ll switch to a bunch of photos. Here goes. Let’s start with some photos of the shed where I did my hoof boot tweaking.

Julia riding Pickle and ponying mule Polly in front of our shed. That’s our barn way in the background.
Me rebuilding a batch of hoof boots in my shed. These are the ones I used on my 7 month mule ramble from North Carolina to Idaho to visit my brother and sister in-law Nick and Carolyn Parker.
The patient: the heel cup is the foam padded piece at the back of the boot. It’s attached to the boot with adjustable cables. The heel cup fit Pie’s heel too snugly. Next I’ll adjust the cables so the heel cup fits more loosely. Here goes.
This is where the cable that attaches the heel cup to the boot enters the toe of the boot. I’m going to mark it so I can see how far I loosen it. That’s what the Sharpie marker is for. Ordinarily, these cables already have a mark on them. For some reason, on this pair of boots, the mark was inside the boot where I couldn’t see it. So I decided just to make a new one. No big deal.
Marking the cable.
The marked cable. It’s pretty faint but that’s enough to let you see how much you ease the cable out of the boot.
Now you’re ready to start loosening the cables. The cables are secured under this metal button on the front of the hoof boot.
Here I’ve pried the button up. It can be a snug fit so you’ll have to be persistent. Don’t stab yourself with the screwdriver. I’ve done it before. The allen screws secure the cables. Note at this point they are tightened. If you look really carefully, you’ll see the cables at the 3’oclock position where they exit the button. Don’t pull the button all the way out. It’s a pain in the butt to get back in.
The long view. The red handled tool is the flat head screwdriver I used to pry the button up. The yellow handled tool is the allen tool I’m using to loosen the set screws that hold the cables tight.
The two set screws after they’ve been loosened. Now you can carefully tug some slack in to your cables. This will make your heel cup fit a bit more loosely. You probably don’t need to make too big an adjustment. One-quarter inch of slack (on each side) was all I needed to get bit of extra room in the heel cup I was looking for. When you’re done, just tighten the set screws and pop the button back flush with the boot.
Pie and Cracker testing out her hoof boots on our farm. Pie’s saddle is empty because Julia is taking the photo. The boots did great.

I hope you enjoyed this series on transitioning from steel shoes to hoof boots. Feel free to leave any questions or comments in the Comments section below. Or you could just email me.

Again, it you missed the first two updates in the series, they’re right here:

The Latest Book Update…

Of course I have to not-so subtly plug my new book about riding mules Cracker and Brick from North Carolina to Idaho. Today I worked on a section called “The River and San Pelligrino”. It’s about an encounter on the North Platte river that involved a cranky rancher, the bullet hole in Abe Lincoln’s top hat (no, not from that time he got shot) and how Cracker drinks like a giraffe.

A photo from the day I was writing about today. (Tank Farm Road, east of Bixby River Access outside Parkton, Wyoming)

I’d be happy to give you a heads up when the book comes out. Just sign up for the RiverEarth.com newsletter. No, the mules and I won’t sell your info or pester you with lots of updates. The last one I sent was over a year ago. Okay, that should melt away your defenses. Now you can just sign up here.

More on Renegade hoof boots right here.

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