If My Horse and I Were Sisters, We'd Have a Wicked Shoe Closet

I’m not a “shoe” girl but OOOH LOOK! SHINY!!!

Just kidding.

I can wear a pair of flats until the soles have fallen off and the uppers have nearly dissolved into a pile of fabric, thread and holey seams. I don’t pick shoes to match my outfit or my mood; I pick shoes to put on my feet that will get me from point A to point B.

I used to have heels, ballet flats, strappy sandals, flip flops, slippers, mules, mary janes, Docs, Crocs, tennis shoes, deck shoes, running shoes, hiking boots and a whole load of “fun” shoes (read: they look really fun, but should be worn for only 12 minutes at a time). When you move from house to house and pack up the vital things first and the “fun” things second, you start to prioritize what you really need to unpack. Needless to say, most of those shoes have gone to die in a box labeled, “Holly’s Shoes”.

This got me thinking about shoes. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

Shoes were originally worn to protect the foot from the ground.

As the earliest shoes were made out of organic materials, they would also biodegrade. Hence, the oldest “known” shoes are dated as being 8,000 years old. There could’ve been older ones, but if the T-Rex was sporting tennies, they disappeared a long time ago.

For thousands of years, shoes were still made for the primary purpose of foot protection. Different civilizations had different terrain, weather patterns and a variety of rigors of “necessity” demanded of their design.

Before the 1850’s there were no LEFT or RIGHT shoes. They were just SHOES.

Only in the last 100 years (of all civilizations of humanity) have shoes made the jump from protection to performance. We started seeing not only a variety of activity-specific shoes, but saw revisions and adaptations of those shoes as they were further honed for their specific need.

For sprinters

For basketball players

Did you know that basketball shoes were first thought of in 1907? Converse “Chuck Taylor All Stars” were the first b-ball shoes developed specifically for the courts, in the 1920’s. They were the first to pilot a “high top” or ankle supported sneaker in the 1930’s. For over 50 years, they were THE shoe of basketball. They were the official shoe of the Olympics from 1936 until 1968.

Ask any kid now what is a basketball shoe and they think “Nike”. Nike came along in the 70’s and soon other sneaker companies were jumping on board with the advanced “style” of the modern b-ball shoe.

To this day, only the Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars have been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

For bicyclists

In fact, it doesn’t matter if you walk, hike, run, sprint, climb, bike, swim, lounge, stroll, garden or dance. There is a shoe for you.

As my closet filled to the brim, I had to ask myself: what do I have all these shoes for? What style of movement am I doing that establishes the shoes I “need” apart from the shoes I “like having”.

Usually it’s two things: What type of activity am I doing? How do those shoes fit for that activity?

When we try on shoes we are usually thinking, “Where would I use these shoes?” and then “Would they be comfortable for where I intend to use them?” Some heels are “OMG! SO, so, so, so, soooooo cute on you!” and you can walk exactly 15 feet in them before you start to question your life choices. Some shoes are so boring and ugly, but they feel like heaven. Unfortunately, my office frowns upon the wearing of bunny slippers to work.

Please keep in mind that your horse's hoof wear has advanced from protection to performance as well. Back in the day they were either unshod or shod. That's like saying you can either be barefoot or wear clogs. Your horse now has a variety of “shoes” to pick from as well. This is what my horse's shoe closet would look like.

Whether you ride bareback, saddled, professionally or for fun, you can gauge what type of “sneaker” support your athlete will prefer best.

Is your horse on a frequent trimming cycle? Does your riding style and terrain dictate a snug fit? Maybe the Easyboot Glove family of boots is right for you. The Glue On shells, the Glove and the Glove Back Country all have the same “sole” and fit.

I have a client in Switzerland who had two foundered horses. All 8 feet were booted to go on their daily walks. She was taking them on 3 walks a day. That’s a lot of booting time. Clean out 8 hooves, boot 8 hooves, walk, unboot 8 hooves and turn the horses out. Do that 3x a day. When we came out with the EasyShoes, it was a hallelujah for her. She didn’t want her horses shod in metal, but she knew the limitations of her sanity in booting and rebooting 3xs a day. That’s 24 boot applications and removals a day! The EasyShoes allowed the function of hoof while being "permanently on" so she had more time for walking.

We have quite a few boot styles and, while I could go into every one of them it's like being asked to “organize” the shoes in your closet: that could go 50 different ways. Should I do them by fashion to function? Should I do them by color? How about by comfort? What about by activity level? Maybe I’ll do them by work and fun. Just like with our boots, there are a variety of ways to “start” thinking with which boots or shoes will work best. If you want to talk to a pro, give us a jingle and they will assess which type of footwear you should be looking at.

Or, just like me, your horse might find that it wants a pair of each in its closet  ;)

Holly Jonsson

easycare-sales-director-holly-jonsson

Director of Sales

Through a lifetime of "horse crazy" and the fortunate experience of riding nearly every shape and size of horse, I got to see a wide array of hoof shapes and sizes. No Hoof, No Horse is very true to me. I want to ensure that horses on every continent have a variety of footwear to pick from, to ensure the best match is found. I want your partner to be happy from the ground up!

Cash: Daisy's Webinar Horse

At the end of June I had the honor of presenting a live demonstration webinar for EasyCare on my techniques for therapeutic application of the EasyShoe. http://easycare.yourbrandlive.com/c/therapeuticeasyshoe/.

Therapeutic application of glue on composite shoes would be appropriate for any horse whose needs cannot be met with the trim and/or basic shoe application alone. 

The webinar featured a horse named Cash, a 16 year old Saddlebred gelding who is being treated for laminitis due to insulin resistance. While he is undergoing rehabilitation through diet and environment changes with veterinary intervention, he was not improving in comfort level.  

Upon examining his feet, we determined he would be a good candidate for the webinar. He had enough foot to work with to show positive changes through the trim, but would also benefit from the added protection and mechanics provided by therapeutic application of EasyShoes.  

Upon reading Hoof Love Not War, you'll note that I strive to be objective in my work at all times. After seeing Cash and his feet, I asked for radiographs, so I could be as accurate as possible and do no harm. Shown below are the radiographs of his front feet before trimming.


While the radiographs were not ideal with the left front foot partially cut off, I am grateful to the vet who made time amongst true emergencies to take them for us last minute before the webinar. They gave me a good idea of relative coffin bone position within the hoof capsule in order to help Cash. 

I have explained my goals for trimming and shoeing from radiographs in various scenarios in What To Do With That Foot?, For The Love of the Small (Often Foundered) Pony, Rehabilitation of the Insulin Resistant Foundered Horse: DHF Style and Broken Down May Not Be So Broken.

However, in summary, the four most important criteria for me in my hoof care work is:

  • 3-8 degree palmar P3 angle: the angle of the bottom of the coffin bone in relation to the ground.
  • 50/50 base of support from toe to heel around the center of rotation of the hoof capsule.
  • Minimizing flare and distortion in the hoof capsule.
  • Hoof-pastern axis in alignment

With Cash, I felt I was going to be able to get close to my criteria, however they needed to be modified a bit due to several reasons:

  1. Cash has had the current hoof distortions for a very long time. Since I was not going to be following up on Cash's hoof care, I didn't want to make changes that would be dependent on my future work.  
  2. The purpose of the webinar was to demonstrate therapeutic application of EasyShoes.  And I only had one hour to do it in. Normally when making big changes for a horse with issues like Cash, I would do a progressive series of radiographs after trim and before shoeing, and tweak my trim and shoeing plan before shoe application. It wasn't realistic in the format of the webinar so I felt I needed to be a bit more conservative due to not having the extra radiographs to push his feet further.

Here are his feet after trimming:

 

And radiographs with his shoes on:

 

All in all, I am very pleased with how his feet turned out. I know I helped him a lot, and his caretaker reports he is moving more freely, jogging and even cantering around his dry lot. He has now lost weight and is feeling much better due in large part to the increased movement. I am grateful for the opportunity the webinar provided for me to help Cash.

www.DaisyHavenFarm.com
www.IntegrativeHoofSchool.com
 

August: Sabine Halfhill Hoof Care

August is here and the weather is not the only thing heating up as riders blaze across the country heading off to last adventures before summer's end. Hoof care professionals in much of the US are working double time in triple digits to meet the needs of our equine partners. Be it showing, racing, ranching or hitting the trails, these professionals have our backs and help keep our horses performing at their best.

Sabine with her two horses Romeo and Pumpkin.

This month we head to Simi Valley, California, to catch up with EasyCare dealer Sabine Halfhill of Sabine Halfhill Hoof Care. Sabine joined EasyCare's team of dealers in 2012 and has done smokin' well with our products from day one.

Sabine became interested in hoof care when her beloved Quarter Horse, Romeo, began to experience lameness issues. Traditional therapeutic shoeing was not working and Sabine was determined to find other options. As she began researching, she realized she knew absolutely nothing about the hoof; how it functioned or even what a healthy foot should look like. The more she read, the more she became fascinated with the subject and read everything she could get her hands on. As she began to trim her own horses, the passion took on a life of its own and Sabine decided to pursue a career in hoof care with training through Pacific Hoof Care Practitioners. Today she has a thriving business with about 120 horses in her practice.

One of the fist things Sabine did when she started her business was to become an EasyCare dealer. Having used the products herself for years on her own horses, she was very familiar with the product line. She also received excellent training in booting and fitting through her PHCP training. Sabine feels boots play a crucial role in successful barefoot transitions and will not pull shoes on a horse unless the owner is willing to buy boots to ensure the horse's comfort. The day the shoes are pulled, she fits the horse for boots. If the size she needs is not immediately available, she provides the horse with a pair of temporary loaner boots or instructs the owner to keep the horse off rocky terrain until their boots arrive.

Her stocked, go to products are the Easyboot Glove Back Country, Trail, Transition, Glove and EasyShoes. Her best seller and personal fave is the Back Country with her second best seller being the EasyShoe.

For Sabine the EasyShoe has been the missing link in her business. Preferring to keep horses barefoot whenever possible, she feels in some situations it simply may not be the best option for the horse. Today, shod horses that Sabine may have originally turned down, she now putting into EasyShoes. The shoe provides 24/7 protection that allows the horse's hoof to flex and expand with each step, absorb concussion and offers excellent support. Sabine has been impressed with the versatility of the shoe and has used them for a range of needs from thin soled horses to Navicular syndrome, chronic laminitis, ring bone and pedal osteitis.

Sabine's gluing set up. This girl doesn't fool around!

Sabine's handy work with the EasyShoe Performance

When asked what she believed to be the top three things needed to be a successful trimmer, she replied, "There is a quote from Dr. Kerry Ridgeway that really resonates with me, "The intrusion of dogma into any system creates a closing of the mind and reluctance to change in spite of new knowledge." I feel this is especially true with hoof care. One should always put the horse's well being and health first. Don't let your own ideology get in the way of that. Learn to be flexible and creative in your approach. There is no one size fits all method in hoof care. Be willing to be open to the the best solution for the horse." She goes on to say "Be prompt, organized and courteous. Show up to appointments on time, return phone calls and emails in a timely manner and try to keep your schedule on track so that horses don't fall behind schedule. Communication and follow up are huge. Keep the communication lines open with owners and follow up to see how the horse is doing or to see how the new hoof boots are working out. If there are any issues do the best you can to remedy the situation right away."

Like so many hoof care providers, handling business and growth can be challenging. Sabine works hard to pace herself as the job is both physically and mentally demanding. She strives for balance so that she will be able to give 100% to each horse while staying healthy and safe so that she can continue doing what she loves: helping horses.

Sabine is obviously passionate about horses and admits her life pretty much revolves around them. She has two horses of her own, one Quarter horse, the other a Shoshone Mustang. She is happily married to a man who is her best friend and shares her love for horses. When they are not caring for their equines, they are out on the trail together. Sabine also loves to travel, interior design, gardening and cooking. She is a member and student practitioner through Pacific Hoof Care Practitioners and has attended numerous clinics and farriers courses at her local college. Located in Simi Valley, CA, Sabine covers all of Ventura County and parts of LA County. For more about Sabine and her work please visit her website.

This gal is on fire for hoof care and a blazing success.

August 2014 Read To Win Contest Winners

The August 2014 Read to Win Contest winners are:

Rodger Pyle

Kathy Rapp

Jamie Cauthon

Congratulations! If your name appears above, you have been drawn from our e-newsletter subscriber list. Contact EasyCare within 48 hours to claim your free pair of any EasyCare hoof boots 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

Do you like free things? How do you like the idea of free hoof boots?

We will select three winners each month for a pair of free hoof boots - any hoof boots from the EasyCare lineup. All you have to do is to be registered for our monthly customer e-newsletter and you're automatically entered. If you're already a subscriber, you're already entered.

Sign up for the newsletter at http://www.easycareinc.com/newsletter_subscribe.aspx. Drawings will occur monthly and we will announce three winners in each e-newsletter. If your name is drawn, all you have to do is contact EasyCare via email within 48 hours to claim your free pair of any EasyCare hoof boots. Be sure to read the EasyCare e-newsletter for your chance to win.

What In The World Is The F Balance?

What is the difference between the length and the height of a hoof's heel? The photo below illustrates it.

The yellow arrow shows the height, the red arrow shows the length of the heel. So, why would that be of any significance, one might ask?

In last month's blog, Floating The Heel, I discussed Medial/Lateral Balance and trimming to the same heel length medially and laterally. For this blog, I took a few more photos to illustrate how to identify the correct heel length just by observing the untrimmed heels and looking for cues. The hooves in the following images had not been trimmed for over 10 weeks. They will therefore give us good examples in our discussion. 

Often we have heard the advice to trim the heels to the widest part of the frog. That is the ideal, true enough, but In reality, it is not always possible. Therefore, different and additional parameters would be helpful in heel trimming. In these photos, we are looking for certain cues, or markers, in the heel area, that tell us how much of the heel we should trim. The hoof actually gives us these hints in terms of small dents, breaks, change in direction, waves etc. Sometimes these markers are tiny and we need to train our eyes to recognize them. In the images below, though, these cues are more distinct and easier to identify.

The red arrows pointing to the visible breaks or marker points, the cues, in the heel area.

Not only can we see here the distinct mark and break in the heel, but also a direction change at the break point. Green arrows show that change in direction.

Another example below. Here, the break points are carrying over into the bars and we can also see how far the bars are asking to be trimmed back to.

The side view below shows three different cues or break points. We will trim step by step after identifying where the live sole lives. Most likely we will end up trimming to the third or highest marker, closest to the heel bulb.

In the next image, we can observe four markers on both heels. I've used yellow arrows for a change.

Another interesting specimen below. Notice the 2 markers. Most likely the second marker will be the one we end up trimming the heels to. But not before we are checking for the live sole.

A little different scenario in the next photos.

This image shows us clearly two different marker points in the heels, the left side (lateral) is shorter compared to the right side (medial). The medial side has seen more hoof growth. If we follow the markers and trim to their indicated length, we achieve even heel length, indicated by the green arrows. Remember, we measure the heel length in the direction of the heel to the coronet band, or hairline, in the bulbs. Notice also how the hairline is pushed up on the medial side, a result of M/L imbalance.

On the next image, the previous trim has been only three weeks ago. We can see a marker on the left (lateral) side of the hoof, (red arrow). For that horse, the lateral side has grown more. The medial side, in this photo the right side, does not need to get trimmed. When measuring the distance from the marker to the hairline, we see that it is the same as the presently untrimmed medial side from the heel to the hairline (green arrows).

After trimming to the marker in the photo below, both sides now have the same length. No trimming was done on the right side (medial).

Now, where is that live sole I have been talking about?

After identifying the visible break points or cues in the heel, we check for the live sole. When mapping out the sole, live sole is identified by the shiny appearance, versus the dead sole, which can be hard, cracked, flour like or whitish in appearance. When removing the dead, chalky sole in the heel area, we eventually will see the shiny, darker-looking live sole.

Under no circumstances do we want to violate live sole, but when we follow these heel cues, we will notice the following:

- We will not cut in live sole.

- Medial and lateral heel length are the same on both front hooves and on both hind hooves respectively. No matter whether you have symmetrical hooves or a high and low symptom, the heel length should always be constant. Medially and laterally as well as on the left and right hoof (not the heel height,however). And it will be if we are following the visible heel cues.

Whether you want to trim your heels and hoof walls to the level of the live sole or let it protrude 1/8th, 1/4th inch or more beyond the hoof wall, depends on your horse, the hoof, hoof wall, sole thickness, the ground surface the horse is being worked over and more factors. There is no right or wrong answer, that decision needs to be made for each and every horse individually.

These interesting cues and much more is being taught by Daniel Anz and Stephan Stich during their worldwide seminars. Both men have been studying the F Balance for many years and conducting educational and certification clinics for a number of years now. If interested, you might want to visit their website.

Daniel Anz

Stephan Stich

You will learn how to use the natural landmarks the hoof is showing us and recognizing the exact trimming lines.

I was able to convince Daniel and Stefan to come and  conduct a joint Education and Certification Clinic for the first time in the USA. In conjunction with Global Endurance Training Center the clinic will be held in the middle of November 2014. Details to follow on this website. You may also email me for more info.

From the Bootmeister

Christoph Schork

www.globalendurance.com

Bringing it Home - Hoof Mapping Applied

The EasyCare Durango customer service staff recently had the pleasure of a visit from the one and only Daisy Bicking. Daisy was here with cadaver hooves to help us gain a deeper understanding of the hoof and its internal angles. She showed us her method for hoof mapping - a simple process to reliably show where the center of rotation within the hoof actually is. Hoof mapping can show you how to visualize what the internal structures of the hoof look like by observing the outside of the hoof-handy since access to x-rays isn't always an option.

One of the fun things about Daisy is her ability to make all things hoof feel accessible and simple. Her knack for breaking technical concepts into manageable parts is second to none. I sheepishly admit that-as long as my horses were sound-in a lifetime of riding I haven’t given much thought to my horse’s feet beyond picking them out for rides, keeping regular appointments with the farrier, and making sure there was a fresh coat of shiny oil on them when it was show ring time. Needless to say, as I dive enthusiastically into the EasyCare Inc. universe, learning the ins and outs of the hoof care world has been like exploring a new world-negative or steep palmar P3 angles?, distal rotation of the coffin bone?, huh? Isn’t it one of the great beauties of the horse that they are always teaching us as long as we are willing to be students! I digress. Back to the hoof mapping!

By the time we finished Daisy’s short clinic the above language and concepts were demystified and I was fired up to get out and apply my new knowledge to my own horse, Rosie.

Daisy’s method of hoof mapping starts with keen observation. First thing is to look at the hoof as it stands on the ground noting the shape and angle of the hoof wall, any flaring, dishing, bulging, or other distortion. Then pick the hoof up and check out the bottom, again noting any irregularities or lack thereof.  

In Rosie’s case, like the rings on a tree, there is a clear line about 2/3 down from the coronet band where the angle changes. This marks her transition to barefoot. Since pulling her shoes 6 months ago, the flare that is growing out has been chipping away-her way of relieving pressure. I expect that with continued trims every four weeks she will have an entirely new hoof within another 2 to 3 months.

After observing the big picture, pick up the hoof and use a Sharpie marker to trace the white line all the way around.

Next find the heel support base - this is where the collateral grooves end, the frog turns up from ground surface to heel surface, and you will find the dimple at the back of the central sulcus. Mark it clearly.

Then find the bar swells by running your thumbs up and down the collateral grooves. You will feel smooth raised bumps located near the white line of the bar. Circle them with your Sharpie and draw a line across the hoof through the circles. They should be about an inch back from the apex of the frog (this is also the projection of the center of mass of the coffin bone). Your line through the bar swells should run across the widest part of the hoof.

 

Rosie’s bars are folded over and spreading across the sole. The collateral grooves are shallow, indicating a thin sole and a coffin bone fairly close to the surface. I hope as her new barefoot hoof grows in the rest of the way that we can address the bars as the quarter flares grow out with the old hoof.

Last you will use your ruler to measure from the heel support base (remember the dimple?) to the line you drew across the hoof. Project that measurement forward and mark it on the toe. This should you a 50/50 ratio of toe to heel support around the center of rotation. Pretty neat,huh?

I can gather from this mapping exercise that she has a “normal” palmar angle-meaning that the angle of the bottom of her coffin bone is within approximately 3-8 degrees to the ground. Rosie’s round hoof is balanced from front to back-the distal phalangeal joint is centered within the hoof. The frog has good proportion-about twice as long as wide and her heel is at the widest point of her frog. The hoof-pastern axis is straight on the ¾ of the hoof that has grown in since removing shoes. Rosie likely has equal pressure on toe and heel and that circulation is not compressed in either region. While not perfect, she is balanced. The white line is mostly tight and expected to get tighter as it continues to fully transition to barefoot.

Rebecca Balboni

easycare-customer-service-representative-rebecca-balboni

Customer Service Representative

A lifetime of riding and showing sport horses has given me a deep appreciation for the importance of soundness and comfort on performance. Let me help elevate your equine experience by finding the right boot for your horse and unique situation.

Gloves and Goals

My name is Jakob and I am twelve years old. I have two horses, Beauty and Zaza. I got Beauty four years ago and Zaza a few months ago. This month, I rode Beauty in the Weaver Basin 50. I was the only junior in the 50. It was a tough ride. I also completed Whiskeytown in April. I did the 25 on both days on Beauty, so after Weaver Basin, Beauty and I received the Shasta-Trinity Triple Crown. I was the only junior to compete for the Triple Crown. All three rides were in Easyboot Gloves.

I like Easyboots because they stay on my horse. When I rode Cache Creek two years ago, Beauty and I were overtime at the finish because her boots kept coming off; that’s when we decided to try Easyboot Gloves. The Easyboots fit her. She is 1 Wide in the front and a 0.5 Wide in the back. The Easyboots are also easy to put on. I can put them on by myself using my mom’s rubber mallet. And I like that they come in red and blue. My colors are red and blue.

My goal is to ride Tevis next year. I also want to ride more 50s next year on both Beauty and Zaza. I will keep using Easyboots year after year.

Name: Jakob
Equine Discipline: Endurance
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove
 

10 Reasons Why You Should Own an Easyboot Transition

At last: a boot for the horse that has recovered from a condition but is still in need of a squishy, comfy sole. What's up with all of the talk about the new boot? EasyCare has been shedding light on this boot style since before its introduction in November of 2013, but I've got more.

I am positioned in the front line of feedback for all the boot and shoe styles. The Easyboot Transition has become a highly recommended boot for both riding and therapy purposes. Here are some reasons why the Easyboot Transition should be in your tack room:

1. The Transition is the result of innovative structure technology never before seen in hoof boots and the proof is in the mid -sole component. See more details on the structure of the Easyboot Transition here.
2. There is no way to know when your horse may come up lame. Having the Transition on hand will relieve any stress in finding a comfortable boot that can be used for turnout or therapy.
3. It fastens around the front and back for a snug fit to prevent debris from entering, which is important for treating abscesses or superficial injuries.
4. They fit small hooves. Pictured below is a pair of Easyboot Transitions size 000.

5. The inside is seamless to prevent rubbing or chaffing against the soft tissue areas of the lower leg.
6. The bumper and outsole (or base of the boot) are bonded by a midsole that provides a unique level of support and comfort.
7. The entire boot flexes to accommodate many hoof angles and shapes.
8. The midsole presents cushioned cavities for unbounded shock absorption and support.
9. Did I mention the midsole?

This boot impersonates a sneaker. From the reflective features for added night riding visibility, down to through the flexible bumper, the pillowing midsole and shock-muffling outsole, this boot is like our running shoe. I wish EasyCare made sizes for humans.


Call EasyCare today for more information on the first hoof boot product to bridge the gap between therapy use and riding disciplines.

Oh, and #10 if you order before July 31, they’re 15% off!

Mariah Reeves

easycare-customer service-mariah

Customer Service

As one of the customer service representatives, I am happy to help get your horse into the right boots. I promote holistic methods of equine care and will assist you with finding the perfect fit for horse and rider.

Crunch with Easyboot Epics

We bought Sun Countrybumpkin at age 17 for my daughter to use in 4-h and her high school equestrian team. He was pretty well bred and had a strong performance record in our county. So many people would ask "How did you end up with Crunch?" They would then add "Oh, we looked at him but his feet are terrible."

He became foot sore five months later while he was training for jumping. He was cranky and his feet were very tender. Our farrier nailed heavier shoes on his front and declared him cured. Not at all! Luckily, our trainer was a believer in barefoot trimming and recommended a hoof care practitioner. We pulled the steel shoes and embarked on a natural foot way of life. Crunch went from unable to walk across packed dirt to full out races around our very rocky pasture. Our vet labeled him "classic navicular horse", indicating we may have a tough road ahead.

He will be 26 this summer and he's still ruling the roost! He is pictured above with his Easyboot Epics.

Name: Jaelle
City: Ellensburg, Washington, USA
Equine Discipline: Other
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Epic


 

Adventures in Easyboots

Submitted by TE2014 Member Stacey Maloney

Our accumulation of miles in our Easyboot Epics continues as the riding season goes on here in Alberta.

We've logged countless miles conditioning on the gravel roads in preparation for our Competitive Trail Riding season with my two horses, KC and Marina. Living on the prairies surrounded by crop land doesn't give us much options when it comes to quick hop-on-an-go conditioning ride. Any trails are actually just tractor access roads that quickly land us back on the gravel roads. I don't mind though; when the roads are soft we can head out barefoot which helps in creating tough, hard hooves, and when the roads are dry and hard, out come the Easyboot Epics to provide traction and protection for a comfortable ride.

In order to actually hit the trails, we have to haul for at least an hour heading west into the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The weather this year has been either really wet or really dry, without much in between. A lot of the trails are parched hard and dry with the bogs hidden in the trees. We recently headed down to Sandy McNabb Provincial Park for a day ride and the trails were exactly as described above, with scattered river rock on a lot of the dry trails as result of last year's devastating floods. 

Being that it was our first time at the park, we didn't really have any idea where we were going or what trail we were on. Each person who passed us would ask first about what trail we thought we were on and secondly about our hoof boots. "It's really muddy in here, our horses are slipping all over the place, are you having any trouble with your boots?" and our answer was always the same "No trouble at all!". 

In a more recent adventure, I had set out for a planned eight-mile ride and had some storm clouds forming what I thought was way away to the NW. About three miles into our ride I started thinking, huh, that's looking kind of dark. Another mile away from home I thought, Uh-Oh I'm going to get rained on and so began our race against the storm. Without those Epics, we never would have made it home as fast as we did. The dry, parched road was hard hard hard but KC's Easyboot Epics gave him the protection he needed to cruise home at a good clip, which I think he quite enjoyed with the cool breeze in his mane. We made it home only slightly soggy and got to hide out for the worst of it no worse for wear.