Oct. 25th. Saddled up Saturn for a conditioning ride. The NJ Canal 25 mile CTR is November 1rst, and we are entered to go! I haven't competed in ANY rides since April. I am seriously in need of doing a RIDE. Since I've started using Easyboots over Saturn's front shoes, he seems much happier going down the trail. Putting them on him when I'm tacking up has become second nature, I don't think about it, I just put them on. I have taken my other horse, Cosmo, barefoot. Saturn will be going barefoot too, after I compete him in the Mustang rides in NJ. I don't want to change anything drastic mid-season. I usually pull shoes in the winter anyways. So we did 12 miles on the rail road bed and wooded trails around home. I LOVE the smell of the fall. When you're trotting down a trail, and you suck that wonderful fall scent deep into your lungs, mmmm! Wish I could bottle it. Anyways, it was a nice, relaxing ride. Saturn drank well several times from the puddles, and whenever he wanted to canter, I let him. With the Easyboots, I notice he wants to canter more often. Before, I usually had to ask him for it. We were almost home, when I passed two of my neighbors. They were raking leaves along the trail by their house. So I stopped to chat a few minutes. Then one of them asked me, " Are those some kind of special boots or something?". Then I explained about how they are great for absoring the shock and lessening the concussion. As I explained, his face got this look like "very interesting"....and he said " Huh. How 'bout that." I couldn't help but smile to myself as we trotted away, thinking the very same thing...... something that I am beginning to take for granted, using the boots, is something normal people, or should I say non-horsey people, look at and wonder what on earth I am using on my horse.