TN Tuxedo at Farm Days

My Grand Daughter was invited to bring her horse to our county's annual Farm Days. Over 400 2nd graders met "Tux" and Jaden. The question of the day was, "What is he wearing on his feet?".  Jaden was proud to show and tell all about his Easyboot Gloves!

Name: Melanie 
State: Tennessee
Country: US
Equine Discipline: Trail
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove


Battle River CTR and Easyshoe Success

Submitted by Stacey Maloney, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

I wrote in a previous blog about getting my unfit mare fit for a 25 mile Competitive Trail Ride Competition and some of the challenges we were overcoming in regards to being overfed. CTR's are not new to us, we've been competing successfully for a few years now, but we've been really slow getting going this year as we added new young family member early in 2016. 

Well we dieted, we conditioned, we trimmed, we booted, and finally the competition was near so we glued! I had been taught by a local barefoot trimmer how to apply EasyShoes last year and I gave it a shot on my own as well in 2015 but hadn't picked up my Adhesive applicator in about 12 months. I had ordered some Easyshoe Performance earlier in the year and re-watched the instructional video's on how to apply them to jog my memory. Away I went and I made a MESS!

But messes were meant to be made and are easily cleaned up. Here's another messy foot!

You can see I don't have the ideal gluing environment. Gluing in the grass is not recommended but I make it work for us. I had much more confidence in myself this year; I felt really good about my process and I trusted that they would stay on. I am certain my confidence came from my practice last year, but as an extra precaution this year I made sure to have extra everything on hand in case I really messed something up. One of those old wives tales, as long as you have it you won't need it but the minute you don't have it..... well I had more than I needed and still do because all went according to plan.

The EasyShoes got a week of turn out, one road ride and one foothills ride before we headed out to our competition. 

We arrived at the Battle River CTR in Ponoka, AB when it was already in full swing as we had planned to ride on Day 2 of the competition. We did a leg stretching warm up ride that evening to work out some silliness, had our initial vet check which went great and tucked ourselves in for a chilly night of coyote and elk song. 

With a 7:15 am start time, I was up by 5 am and started prepping my horse and myself for the day. Food in for both of us, jammies off, competition gear on, warm up and off to the start line. We were first out and off we went into the sleet. We got to ride with a few other riders who caught up and passed us momentarily but my riding buddy's mount as well as mine had other plans about being left behind. We all cantered the first 7-8 miles to the vet check over the wet grass, through the creek and over some slippery mud. The first vet check was hidden but we pulsed down no problem and were off again in the lead. 

It wasn't long before we were over taken again and spent the rest of the day leap frogging with the other front runners. The ride seemed to be just flying by and we had such a great time with great company. The horses had excellent momentum all day and the scenery was lovely. 

Both the second and final vet check came much too fast and my first and last competition of the year was already over with. The vet out was uneventful and I felt really good about how my horse did that day. We got lots of compliments and questions about our hoof protection as it is still an uncommon choice up here but I hope I am leading by example and we will soon see more and more riders choosing options that let the hoof function more naturally than traditional hoof wear. 

We started and ended our CTR season with a solid second place finish and I couldn't be happier with my mare and our choice of hoof protection. She truly felt great all day, confident and stable in her way of going. Our riding buddy commented that she looked like she was floating. I know I sure was as this mare is my wings and those Easyshoes are her little jet packs!

The AERC Nationals

Last weekend the AERC National Championships were held at Antelope Island in Utah. Every year, endurance riders compete for national honors in 50 and 100 mile endurance events. The locations rotate from the eastern half of the USA to the western half. So during odd calendar years the Nationals are held in the East, during even years in the West.

Antelope Island, a Utah State Park within the Great Salt Lake, had the honors to be the host of this years Nationals. Some riders prepare all year for this event. It might not draw the numbers that Biltmore or Tevis can showcase, but it is a prestigious event, no doubt. 

Jeff Stuart was the Ride Manager and with a wonderful support group, he put on a first class event. Top notch veterinarians helped horses and riders to get through. As a result the completion rate was high and there were absolutely no treatments necessary.

At the vet in: Suzy Hayes and Atlas and Christoph with GE Pistol Annie.*

The trails were a mix of flat and rocky stretches with some substantial climbs. A lot of riders chose hoof protection to safe guard against stone bruises. As always at important events, EasyCare boots were seen on many horses. And among the various EasyCare hoof protection, the Glue-Ons were the most used boot among the riders.

Some of the more rocky uphill sections of the trail.*

Antelope Island is a relatively small island, but home to 600 buffalo and hundreds of antelopes.* 

When the buffalo came to close to the Vet check to snatch some hay or feed, the ride managers job included keeping them at a safe distance from the horses.

Team Easyboot member, Kevin Waters giving his horse Rio a break during one of the uphill sections.*

Kevin and I leaving vet check two during the 100 Mile race. Both horses wearing Easyboot Glue-Ons.*

For the readers who keep stats, here are the numbers of the finishing riders wearing Easyboots:

  • Top 3 Finishers and BC horse of the 50 Mile race all wearing EasyCare Glue-On boots
  • 5 of the top 10 wearing the Easyboot Glue-Ons
  • Top 3 Finishers and BC horse of the 100 Mile race wearing EasyCare Glue-Ons
  • 6 of the top 10 horses were equipped with Easyboot Glue-Ons

Now these are stats that no one can argue with. Numbers speak!

If you are interested in more stats, you can read up on Garrett Fords blog about Tevis finishers wearing boots a couple of months ago.

The jewel award, the National 100 Mile Champion title, was earned by Team Easyboot Member Leah Cain, riding OT Dyamonte Santo.

Leah Cain with the National Championship trophy and her crew. Congratulations to an awesome job done. 

Jill Haunold accepting her winning trophy from AERC president Michael Campell and RM Jeff Stuart (left).

Kevin Waters won the Heavy Weight Championship title in the 100 miler, myself the Middle Weight, Anya Leverman the Junior title; all wearing the Easyboot Glue-Ons. In the 50, similar picture: Jill Haunold was the overall and Featherweight champion, Barry Waitte the Heavy Weight champion, myself the Middle Weight Champion, so all the weight division winners were also wearing Easyboot Glue-Ons.

Any more questions?

 

From the desk of the Bootmeister

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center

*Photo credit for photos 1,2,3,4,6,7,8 goes to Merri Melde from endurance.net

 

Adventures of Team Easyboot Alberta

Submitted by Stacey Maloney, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

This ride season has been a huge challenge for me. With a new baby hanging around it's been difficult finding enough time for me and my horses. Thankfully I have a lot of help and support from family, friends and a great selection of gear from EasyCare to keep us on the trail. 

My main concern has been keeping my mare in the best shape possible with our limited amount of time. We are blessed with lots of space for the horses and great weather this year and as a result our pasture has been lush, to say the least! Daisy Bicking has written some great articles on weight management and the incidence of laminitis and founder in overweight (and in some cases not) horses. This article on body condition and this more recent one regarding laminitis were some of the material I took into consideration when assessing my own mare, her risk, and ramping up our arsenal in the battle of the bulge. 

My competitive trail horse, Marina in the middle of July. 

Oh. My. Goodness. At this point, I have a competition I would like to attend 6 weeks from when this photo was taken. Over feeding your animal can be just as damaging as underfeeding them so it was at this point I decided to take more focused action. My management of her when this picture was taken was to turn her out to pasture for half the day, turned into a dry lot the other half of the day and we were riding 10 miles or so twice a week. Clearly that was not enough to keep her fit and healthy. 

Lucky for me, weight loss for this horse is uncomplicated; less calories in and/or more exercise. I knew I wouldn't be able to drastically increase the amount of exercise she was getting so pasture turn out decreased to 8 hours a day and she spent half of that in a grazing muzzle which she tolerated very well. The grazing muzzle decreases their intake by 70-80% while still allowing them to get some nibbles here and there. As a bonus it also made her walk around more looking for the perfect length of grass to fit through the muzzle.

We increased our exercise to three times a week when possible and made a more concerted effort to hit the hills in the west with friends and make the workouts harder for our flat land prairie ponies. 

In this picture you can see Marina is in her red Easyboot Gloves and my friend Trisha is riding her mare, Atalanta, in borrowed Easyboot Epics

We put in several weeks of hard work, all the while our Easyboots were underfoot, ensuring comfort and security in the Alberta foothills. I usually use a combination of Gloves and Epics based on what usually works best for Marina and I.

As you can see, our trails are rocky in spots and muddy in others. We travel up and down lots of hills, cross rivers and bogs and travel at all gaits. I don't think anyone would call us slow and our Easyboots keep us eating up the trail miles. 

On the days I'm not able to trailer out, we spend all our time on gravel roads which has the possibility of being hard on my horses feet in terms of wear and discomfort. To ensure neither of those happen, of course we head out in our Easyboots. 

It's nice to look back on my photos which have documented the last 6 weeks in our ongoing fitness journey.

There are so many great things about getting to ride frequently: your horse gets fit, you get fit and we get to work on our relationship all the while! Thanks to EasyCare for having an awesome selection of products to keep us eating up the trail miles!

 

What's Important?

2016 has been a tough year filled with a few bumps in the road and unexpected challenges.  It's been a year of reflection, a year that makes you look at what's important and a year that has helped separate the small stuff from the things that matter.  

Alyxx and Cyclone in 2007

One of the things I've always wanted to do was get our daughter engaged with horses. I want her to develop a relationship with a special horse, I've wanted her to have an outlet during her life, I've wanted her to be able to turn to her horse after a tough day at school, frustrating day at work or during a tough year.  I've wanted it for her but didn't want to push her toward the decision.  I've wanted so bad for her to want it.  I've wanted to share the passion and not push the passion.  

Alyxx and Toaster 2012

So here I am with too much to do at work, I'm behind trimming the horses, I'm behind at home, I feel like I've been playing catch up all year.  More than ever I need a couple weeks at home catching up and getting my head above water.  Then the moment I've been wanting, Alyxx called me on the way to school today and asked me if we could do her first endurance ride together this weekend on the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  She knows I'm busy, knows Mom has a broken hip but said she really wanted to go.  

Alyxx and Tambre 2016

The answer is yes!  It's what I've wanted for her, it's what I've dreamed about for her.  Catching up at home and some of the items at work will need to wait.

It was a good lesson and time to ask myself some pointed questions.  Why are we doing this?  What is important?   

 

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President & CEO

I have been President and CEO of EasyCare since 1993. My first area of focus for the company is in product development, and my goal is to design the perfect hoof boot for the barefoot horse.

DHF Case Study: Laminitis and Canker

This is one of those cases that stays with you; that you think about even when you're not with the horse.  The initial description from the veterinarian was "Every time the owner picked out her feet she would bleed.  When I saw her feet I thought, OH MY".  I get called in by veterinarians typically for one of two reasons: either the horse doesn't have enough foot to nail to and they need performance glue work, or like in this case, the horse's feet are significantly distorted with pathology and they need help with rehabilitation.  It's never good when the vet says "Oh my!" when they see the horse's feet.  So I was expecting a train wreck.

When I met this mare I thought helping her would be pretty straight forward.  It ended up being a little more complicated than I was expecting.  She had some significant hoof capsule distortion typically found with chronic laminitis complicated by contracted heels.  All of that is pretty easy to address.  My biggest concern was the description of "bleeding when her feet were picked out", and was thinking about the coffin bone penetrating her sole or a deep abscess track in that area. Here are her feet when we first saw her:

The veterinarian met us at the appointment and took radiographs for us.  

The veterinarian diagnosed the pony with chronic laminitis with rotation and sinking.  Our plan was to pull the shoes, apply a de-rotation trim to re-align her hoof capsule with the internal structures, addressing the phalangeal and capsular rotation.  Oh, and to figure out what the bleeding when the hoof was picked was about. 

After pulling the shoes, CAREFULLY cleaning out her frogs, and applying the de-rotation trim, the bleeding was not coming from where we expected. 

We were looking at canker.  This poor mare, foundered, with contracted heels, chronic thrush, AND canker.  We determined she was going to need daily attention to her feet to eliminate the canker, and help her regain soundness.  We brought her to our Daisy Haven Farm Rehabilitation Center to facilitate her care.  Of course with the additional benefit of addressing her underlying metabolic problems through diet and environmental management.  

There are many different ideas on how to treat canker.  We see a fair bit of it in our area with so many draft horses going though auction, as it seems most prevalent in draft breeds although occurs in all breeds.  I also saw a lot of canker in Nigeria during my trips helping horses there.

Canker is generally thought of as an infectious process that leads to a proliferation of abnormal tissue originating in the frog.  Why it happens and why only to certain horses is not known, however, it is generally associated with excessively wet conditions, poor hoof management, and possibly a poor immune system.  It's described as having a cauliflower appearance, typically highly sensitive, bleeds profusely when trimmed, and often has an associated putrid smell.(1)

In this case we worked with veterinarian Dr. James Holt of Brandywine Veterinary Services in Glenmoore, PA.  His go-to method of treatment for canker consists of debridement as needed, followed by topical application of oxytetracycline (oxytet) on cotton padding against the affected tissue with pressure, changing daily, then weekly Clean Trax soaks.  When it looks like the canker has been eliminated, continue treatment for an additional two weeks to help prevent regrowth.  We applied the oxytet to the cotton padding, wrapped the foot in a diaper with vet wrap to hold it in place.  Then applied a Cloud Boot with antimicrobial powder to prevent any sweating inside the boot in our humid environment.  

This worked quite successfully for this mare:

We were also able to get her metabolic problems controlled during her stay with us, and returned her to her owner at a new boarding barn, quite comfortable, and with a management plan in place to prevent future recurrence of either the laminitis or the canker.

www.DaisyHavenFarm.com

www.IntegrativeHoofSchool.com

References:

1: O'Grady, Stephen E., BVSc, MRCVS, and John B. Madison, VMD, Diplomate ACVS. "How to Treat Equine Canker." Equine Podiatry. Northern Virginia Equine, 1 Jan. 2004. Web. 02 Sept. 2016. <http://www.equipodiatry.com/canker1.htm>.

September 2016 Read To Win Contest Winners

The September 2016 Read to Win Contest winners are:

Mp Meekins

Stephen Kirkpatrick

Tara Leroy

Congratulations! If your name appears above, you have been drawn from our e-newsletter subscriber list. Please contact EasyCare within 48 hours to claim your free pair of any EasyCare hoofboots or EasyShoes.

Be sure to read the EasyCare e-newsletter for your chance to win next month. Sign up at easycareinc.com/newsletter_subscribe.aspx.

 

 

Sound or Insensitive?

Submitted by David Landreville, Guest HCP

When I first started trimming I thought the goal was to have horses that could travel barefoot all day over rocks.  Since then I've realized that this is where ego comes in, and compassion goes out.

Another problem is that horse's hooves are adaptable to their environment, however, this can get them into trouble if they don't get enough daily movement and the environment they are in is not conducive to good feet.

Something that should be constantly considered about horses is that their feet grow at a rapid rate (roughly 1/16 inch every 4-5 days).  This isn't just the walls. The sole, bars (which are just continuations of the wall), and frog try to keep up with the rate of the wall.  Just like human fingernails and toenails, hoof walls are only live tissue until they grow past the peripheral edge of the sole (the specialized equivalent of human skin) where they lose moisture and feeling.  Rock hard hooves aren't necessarily a good sign.  A healthy sole is at least a half inch thick and relies on constant movement or simulated natural wear (proper trimming) to keep the wall and frog very close to the live sole plane.  A thick, healthy, live sole  can be identified by it's quality and appearance.  There will be concavity that measures at least a half inch deep from the peripheral edge of the sole at the quarters to the bottom of the collateral groves at the tip of a well defined frog.  The surface of the sole will be smooth like leather but not necessarily shiny like stone.  It will be void of lumps and bumps.  There may be a crackly texture directly under the coffin bone forward of the bars and surrounding the frog.  This is retained sole and can be between 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick.  This is a good thing that adds comfort when it's managed properly.  It should feather out to nothing about half way from the bottom of the collateral grooves to the peripheral edge of the sole.  This should be a result of high mileage, proper trimming, or a combination of the two.  

Because of the conical shape of the hoof capsule, when the walls are are allowed to grow past the peripheral edge of the sole for long periods of time, the sole tries to migrate with it.  The problem is that the sole has a border and the wall doesn't.  This causes the sole to stretch and flatten under the horses weight.  This would draw more attention if the horse would just go lame every time this happened so we could all recognize a pattern and agree on the cause.  Horses have adapted to this problem over millions of years of evolution by accumulating, retaining, and producing an excess of the retained insensitive sole that I mentioned earlier.   In nature this would happen during the wet season when grass is abundant and the ground is softer.  It quickly gets worn away as it dries out and horses have to move more miles over more abrasive terrain in search of grass and water as it become more scarce.  This accumulation of retained sole keeps them sound enough to survive until it's worn back down.  If over-growth persists and is not managed naturally through wear or mechanically through proper trimming then the retained sole gets thicker as the live sole gets thinner.  Eventually there will be nothing but thick retained sole that the horse becomes reliant upon for soundness.  At this point if an attempt is made to rectify the hooves, the retained sole can exfoliate all at once exposing the true, thin, live sole.  Exfoliation is a natural response to growth equilibrium of the hoof structures...out with the old, in with the new.  It's just not meant to happen all at once after an extended period of overgrowth. 

Miles of daily wear, frequent proper trimming, or a combination can develop any foot to its true potential.  I believe that the horse's true potential hasn't even been seen yet.  I do know that with the recent advancements in rubber boots and shoes the standard has been raised considerably.  Rubber hoof wear not only protects, but it helps build the horse (and saves the legs) and the highly regenerative structures of their hooves.

When people see photos of the feet that I've developed over years of simulated wear,  they often ask, "yeah, but is she sound all day on rocks?" My answer is, " I ride in boots so they are improving with every step."

Grasping the New Glove Gaiters

Submitted by Karen Bumgarner, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

Some of us have been using Gloves for several years now. I have used them since they became available in 2008 or 2009? Can't recall which. I've had good success with them and now they are on the third new gaiter style. Each change comes with a bit of a learning curve because we know what we know, and relearning what we know is sometimes a bit tough. I knew how to train my old gaiters to fold down and stay out of the way when I put the boot on the hoof. I could just wet the old gaiters and fold them down to dry and voila! But not the new style.

The new ones are quite rubbery and actually very flexible and soft. Fold them out of the way and they bounce right back. I rolled them down and pinched with clothespins but that didn't last long. I seriously thought about putting them in the freezer that way but then figured the boot would be too hard to get on. Hmmmmmm.............

My next thought was to fold the flap of the gaiter backwards and Velcro around the boot to hold it out of the way.

It's still a bit awkward but it does keep most of it out of the way. As I positioned the boot, I pushed the gator back then tapped with the mallet. Pushed the gaiter back again, then finished tapping the boot on.

The tricky little gaiter did stay out of the way to put the boot on.  Always learning.

EasyCare Dealer: Teskey's Saddle Shop

Dyana, at Teskey's Saddle Shop in Weatherford, Texas, not only "talks the talk" (at Teskey's) but she also "walks the walk" (notice her horse is wearing the new Trails).

Dyana decided to try boots on her horse and, for her particular style of riding, decided on the new Trails.

Dyana had some problems with sizing and we worked together to try to find the best fit; however, in the end, she did have the right size and just needed a little boost from a firm Comfort Pad that raised the hoof up enough in the boot to have a snug fit.

As you can see from the pictures, her horse is happy in his boots and so is Dyana!

When EasyCare Dealers use and like the product, they can talk more intelligently to the customers, tell them of their experiences, help them with fitting and this causes their sales to soar, just as Teskey's has done. If you haven't used boots, then you just don't know.

If you are ever in Weatherford, Texas, look them up and talk to Dyana! Or call her at 817.599.3400 or go on line at www.teskeys.com.

 

Dee Reiter

easycare-customer-service-dee-reiter

Retail Account Rep

I am the Retail and New Dealer Account Rep for EasyCare. I will be happy to help you with ordering, selecting the most popular styles and sizes of EasyCare hoof boots to stock. Let me help you with suggestions on merchandising and provide training for you and your staff, at your convenience.