Equine Therapy Boots: Why Leather?

EasyCare has been working on robust version of an equine therapy boot. A boot that will last much longer and hold up to the daily punishment that a therapy boot may go through when on a laminitic horse: the constant use, the twisting, the horse getting up and down, the routine washing. After testing many materials we found that a high grade leather tested the best.

The Easyboot Stratus will have a leather upper.

Why did we choose leather? One of the tests that brought us to leather was a horse named "Chubby". Chubby was a tough founder case that Curtis Burns helped with over a 18 month period. Chubby was in boots 24/7 and needed the support and comfort therapy boots offered. Boots were worn for a day and then removed, washed and set out to dry. Another pair was used for a day while the first pair dried. Boots were used everyday for 6 months.  

One of the boots Chubby used was leather up front and tough Cordura in the back. We quickly saw a difference in the leather. The leather formed to the hoof, held up and didn't fray. Take a look at the photos below and see why we chose leather for the new Easyboot Stratus. 

Front is leather. Back is high end Cordura Fabric.  

Leather held up very well and took on pleats to form to the hoof.

The Cordura was no match for the leather. Same boot, same wear, different results.

We are excited about the new Easyboot Stratus: a better equine therapy boot, leather upper, TheraPad, TheraRods and an internal heel sling to prevent twisting and heel lift. The Stratus will be ready to ship on March 1st.

 

 

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President 

I have been President 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.

 

 

EasyCare at the 2018 International Hoof-Care Summit

The International Hoof-Care Summit is one of our favorite events of the year. The 2018 IHCS continued the tradition and helped EasyCare introduce two new products for 2018. The Easyboot Stratus and the EasyShoe Flex.

EasyCare and PolyFlex Horseshoes partner in a booth and we try and focus on activities that give hoof care professionals the ability to see product demonstrations in person or participate in person. In 2018 we decided to hold a contest that would focus on the application of the new EasyShoe Flex.  

Aussie Christopher Beggs giving it a go.  

It's just another shoe so why is a contest needed? The EasyShoe Flex is different. The shoe is flexible, has a spring steel core, and can't be shaped like a traditional shoe. The contest was designed to draw attention to what makes the shoe different. We feel these differences will benefit horses.

 

1. Spring steel core: The spring steel core provides yielding stability. The core will deflect in the toe, quarters and heels. Heels can independently flex up and down. Spring steel returns to shape and therefore can't be shaped by hammer and anvil. Shaping is done by removing material with a grinder. 

Contest winner Robbie Schuler removes material with a belt sander.  

2.  Secure clinching: The spring steel core allows nails to be set and clinched tight. Many urethane shoes without a steel core have a tendency to have clinches loosen with time. 

Spring steel core holds nails tightly and allows for a solid clinch.

3.  Urethane: The urethane ground surface allows for traction and reduced concussion on hard ground.

Urethane provides traction and concussion reduction. Clear urethane allows the installer to see the while line before driving nails.  

4. Wide web design: The wide web design comes in an open heel and heart bar design. Both versions come in toe or quarter clip models.  

Open heel, heart bar, toe clip and quarter clips.  

5.  Sole-packing versatility: The wide web design holds packing extremely well without mesh.  

The 2018 contest was a huge success. We ended giving four prizes as we had two competitors very close for third. Rather than disappoint, we added another $200 to the payout. 

Robbie Schuler takes first and $500.00

Doug Workman takes 2nd and $300.00. Doug later donated his winnings to the Disabled Farrier Fund!

Luke Farmer takes 3rd and $200.  

 Ollie Middlefield takes 3rd and $200. Ollie is 15 years old. All the contestants were very supportive of Ollie and blown away by his talent. Watch for this young man!

Great week! Great people! Lots of folks and products that help horses do what they do best.  

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President 

I have been President 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.

 

 

Foreign Field Notes

Submitted by Christoph Schork of Global Endurance Training Center

Visiting new countries is always such a treat for me; meeting new people, new cultures and tasting local food never loses its fascination. Although my travels over the years have led me to several of the Scandinavian countries, I had not set foot in Norway til last November. Alright, November in Norway does not seem to be that inviting, knowing that the days in the northern latitudes are rather short. And skies are known to be mostly grey during these short days on top of it. 

But so be it. I was invited by Christina Bruhn to come and share some of my hoof knowledge with a group of Norwegian endurance riders, hoof care practitioners and equine professionals. The schedule was set to trim various hooves on day one, share my trimming thoughts and experience, and follow up on day two with a workshop on the proven and also newest hoof protections developed by EasyCare Inc. As luck had it, I actually arrived in Oslo on a blue bird day.

Brummundal with Lake Mjosa. Norway's largest lake.

For the following clinic days, though, late fall grey skies prevailed again. Well, not being tempted to take in the magnificent scenery hidden behind low level clouds and fog banks, we could all focus on the task what we all came for. About 20 of us gathered for indoor PowerPoint presentations which I had prepared for the event. During these indoor presentations, we looked at slides detailing the conformation of horses and the resulting hoof development because of it. We also spend a lot of time discussing the role of the caudal hoof on horses performance potential. Afterwards we all went to work in the barn, evaluating various cadaver hooves, followed by trimming. Each participant had opportunity for hands on work. 

Discussions regarding bar trimming rounded out the afternoon:

-How long should bars be left?

-How do the seasons and the substrates influence length and growth of the bars?

-Benefit and harm of long and short bars.

November daylight is waning around 4pm in the northern latitudes and temperatures are dropping by then as well, so we moved back to the warmer rooms inside to watch slides of Mongolian horse shoeing, which, I might add, is quite different from our 21st century hoof care in the West. You be the judge.

Comfortable at the fire, discussing horses, hooves and life.

The next day we started with an indoor presentation on EasyCare Inc. hoof boots and EasyShoes. Of particular interest was the new EasyShoe Flex. I did bring a few with me to show and discuss their advantages.

Riders in Norway are always concerned about snow, ice and muddy trails. So traction is of utmost importance for them. For icy roads and thin snow cover, the EasyCare Quick Studs work very well. 

Here, one of the Norwegian endurance riders discusses with me advantages and placement of the Quick Studs in the EasyShoe Performance N/G.

Practicing Quick Studs application is shown below.

For the real mud and deep snow conditions, the Norwegian riders prefer heavier armour. 

These heavy duty studs can get easily placed into the EasyCare Glue-Ons, Gloves or any other type of EasyCare hoof boots. 

Shown above are a pair of Easyboot Glue-Ons after we placed the snow and mud studs on during the workshop. These boots were then glued on some front hooves with Vettec Adhere and Sikaflex 227. 

I also demonstrated  the new EasyShoe Flex during the clinic. In a blog last June, The EasyShoe Flex in Action I elaborated on the benefits of the EasyShoe Flex. Garrett Ford also explained the EasyShoe Flex here in a blog last year. Again, I believe that the EasyShoe Flex will be a big and valuable addition to the line of EasyCare products.

Several of the Norwegian National Endurance Team riders joined the clinic.

When visiting Norway, one should take the opportunity to visit Lillehammer, if at all possible. Site of the 1994 Olympic Winter Games, Lillehammer has a special place in Norway. Arguably, these Games were one of the best in the history of the Olympic Games. Here the view from the top of the iconic Ski Jump in Lillehammer, with a great view of the town and Lake Mjosa. 

From Norway, my travels led me through England, where I had the opportunity to participate in a traditional English Fox Hunt.

Somewhat unusual outfit for an endurance rider!

From England my travels brought me to Austria and Germany and finally to the Elsass, nowadays a part of France. Here, Mireille Housencroft organized another Hoof Care Clinic for me, geared towards professional Hoof Care Providers and Farriers, as well as the interested equestrians of all disciplines from Switzerland, France and Germany.

Together in a group setting we trimmed, glued and nailed EasyCare Glue-Ons and EasyShoes. For gluing we used mainly Vettec Superfast and Adhere, with Vettec Equipak CS for packing. The whole palette of Vettec glues was introduced and practiced. Here again a big "thank you" to the Vettec Company for helping me setting up the clinics.

These yearly workshops and clinics help to spread the word about the superior EasyCare products throughout the world. I love doing these clinics. Meeting wonderful people and learning at the same time while helping horses and riders. More trips like that are planned for this coming year.

Christoph Schork

The Bootmeister

Global Endurance Training Center

EasyCare Products are Multipurpose!

Submitted by EasyCare Product Specialist and Hoof Care Practitioner, Jean Welch.

As the saying goes, "When life gives you lemons make lemonade." That is exactly what I did with the EasyCare Pastern Wraps.

As most people who work outdoors, I wear work boots about 95% of the time. My work boots are my favorite footwear, providing me with comfort, protection and support. I guess I must be narrow based, because my feet "interfered" or brushed against each other as I was walking to the car and the double-knot bow of my laces somehow hooked into my other boot’s speed lacing hook causing me to trip and fall.

As a result of this fall, I broke the 5th metacarpal in my left hand.

Being left-handed, this set me back considerably, as I work with my hands every day. It was frustrating as anyone who has ever injured their dominant hand can attest. Simply brushing one’s teeth with their weak hand can be challenging. I swore I would never let this happen again, so I came up with a way to prevent it and I’d like to share this handy tip so the same thing doesn’t happen to you. I dug out an old pair of EasyCare Pastern Wraps and snipped off the velcro at the bottom.

I slid them onto my "pasterns" (ankles). I then put my boots on, tied up the laces, and folded the pastern wraps down over the laces.

Viola! They stay in place, are comfortable, and I personally think they look kinda cool.

What creative ideas can YOU think of to use EasyCare products?

Jean Welch

Jean Welch, EasyCare CSR

Customer Service

Originally from New England, I finally heeded the advice of my inner cowgirl, packed up my horses and moved west to Arizona. Here I learned the finer points of hoofcare and successful booting techniques. I can help you select the right EasyCare product for your specific needs. 

Barrel Racing and the Easyboot Cloud

Submitted by EasyCare fan, Reed Dale.

I wanted to start off by saying, "Thank you so much to EasyCare Inc. and the Easyboot Cloud."

I have an upcoming 17-year-old barrel horse that has extremely sensitive hooves. I purchased her Cloud boots for traveling and stalling on hard surfaces. My mare has continued to stay sound since we added Cloud boots to our program. I'm a firm believer in that the Cloud boots help keep down inflammation in the legs from lowering the impact from hard surfaces and long road trips allowing them to perform at their very best. 

After much success using Cloud boots on her we purchased the boots for all of my horses which is helpful since we can haul up to 10+ hours to get to a rodeo and most times when they get off the trailer they only have about 1 hour to rest, run and then move on to the next one. The Cloud boots support my horse’s hooves and reduce the impact and stress that traveling can cause on their legs and feet. Not to mention that most shows we go to that have stalling arrangements now are on concrete covered with shavings. I know personally my back and entire body hurts when I stand on concrete all day and I'm sure it has the same effect on my horses.

The Clouds keeps my horses on the top of their game and ready to perform even in adverse situations. My goals for 2018 are to run for Rookie of the Year and All Around Cowgirl for Barrel Racing and Breakaway Roping for IPRA, SRA, and SEBRA Associations. Cloud boots makes these goals achievable for my horses! 

February 2018 Read To Win Contest Winners

The February 2018 Read to Win Contest winners are:

April Cantrell

Petra Riley

Mike Veatch

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

 

 

Easyboot Original Equals Endless Possibilities!

For all of those who do their own barefoot trims, I have discovered that putting on Easyboot Originals have helped with making the trimming process much easier. I put a thin layer of sponge, add warm water and wait for an hour. This makes trimming the hoof like cutting through butter.

I am a 67 year old female with arthritic hands and using the Easyboot to presoak has made a challenging job easy to the extreme, even with my draft horses. I will also carry them with me on the trail, of course, as I always have, just in case of a sore foot.

I ordered the Easyboot Original size 5 for my Gypsy Vanners from the Bargain Bin. They look brand new. If you do your own trims, try this, you will be amazed!

Name: Karen
State: New Mexico
Equine Discipline: Other
Favorite Boot: Original Easyboot

Share Your Adventure!

Submitted by: Jordan Junkermann, EasyCare Product Specialist

At the beginning of every year is a clean slate. We get to make new goals, new plans for the riding season, and carry over things that didn't get done the previous year. It has been a long few months of holidays, cooking, planning, shopping, and giving those horses an extra treat or two. Now, it is time to relax for a while before another major event. 

During this time in the "off" season it is good to reflect about the past season. Reminiscing about great trail rides, successful shows, countless beautiful days out in the back country, and so much more. It is also good to recall the bad times, briefly of course. There are lessons that were learned through mistakes that were made. Hopefully a lot of new knowledge is in your head about what to do and what not to do! 

I personally have some great stories of how boots helped my horse through a rocky trail, how they kept her sound, and how through trial and error, I was able to figure out which boots worked best for us as a team. My guess is that you are like me and have had some great adventure stories with boots in the last year. 

If anyone is interested in writing about their adventures of this past year and throughout this new year, EasyCare would love to hear it. We have offered the "Hoof Boot Story" for a few years now and that is a great way to tell a little bit about your horse, EasyCare boots, and get a free magnetic hoof pick out of the deal. This year we are still doing that but taking it up a notch. This year we are doing a monthly blog contest called "Share Your Adventure." This is an opportunity for three people to win prizes monthly! We will accept submissions throughout the month and at the end of each month we will pick a winner for the best blog that month. There will be prizes for second and third as well. Having a well written, in-depth adventure story could win you a free pair of boots! 

This is a great opportunity to tell us about your booting experiences, your riding adventures or therapy success stories. There are so many things to celebrate. Let's do it together!

Please email your submissions to marketing@easycareinc.com

The Most Amazing Journey of My Life and Now the Next Chapter

Submitted by Nancy Fredrick

I will be retiring from EasyCare as of December 31, 2017 with 16 years, 6 months and 6 days of the most incredible journey in this equine industry that one could ask for in life! I am blessed….for sure!!

My equine journey of love began when I was just a youngster. My best pals growing up in northern Wisconsin were farm kids that I went to school with. They had horses! Every year going to the county fair, my folks could park me with the ring ponies and they could go enjoy the fair with friends and family as they knew, "Nancy will not leave those ponies and we do not have to worry about her!" Saturday mornings, I would watch all the westerns on the TV. This was the mid 1950’s, so you could find me watching Gungmoke, The Roy Rogers Show, Fury, My Friend Flicka, Sky King, etc. Once again, my parents knew where I was and did not worry. I always told my mother, "I am going to go west and be involved with horses when I grow up”. So I did just that in 1972... on to Arizona in a car, not horseback or covered wagon like I would have totally enjoyed!

Life takes us all on various journey’s throughout our years and after many years of different career choices. My life long dream was to work for an equine business. Well, when you put your dreams out to the universe so many times, she answers back and connects you with something so great that you need to pinch yourself to make sure you are still awake!

In 2001, my good friend, Nina Knight, told me to check out a position opening at EasyCare Inc, the home of the Easyboot right here in Tucson. So I heard about our County Line Riders Club having a hoof boot presentation featuring Garrett Ford, owner of EasyCare and I knew I needed to go to this. After the presentation, I went over to him, introduced myself and said, “Hi Mr. Ford, my name is Nancy Fredrick and I would like to put my application in with your company and work for you.” He said, "Put the application in and we will look at it.” The universe was at work and I became part of the team.

           At my desk hard at work.

I started in customer service and used my knowledge and talents to eventually become the Office Manager for EasyCare. I wanted to take on all that I could to learn this business and give it my all.

At this time, we only had the Easyboot and the Medicator boot. We also had several items for the sport of endurance riding. I felt like a kid in a candy store with all of this equine “stuff” and knew I would become a sponge and learn about it all so I could share that knowledge with every customer I came in contact with. As the new boot styles and product that Garrett created came to life, I was so impressed and knew this is where I wanted to be. His love of equines and creating products to make equine lives better has been so inspirational and is very infectious to anyone who has a connection to EasyCare.

More learning in Durango at the research ranch.

From the very beginning of my EasyCare life, I have been inspired and learned more about equine hooves and different products than I ever thought was possible. To work for and be associated with the world leader of hoof boot technology is so mind blowing. This has made me smile every day and be excited about coming to my job each day to give more than 100 percent.

Private clinic in Durango for the EasyCare peeps.

Throughout my time here, I have been very blessed to have met and become great friends with some dynamic people in this industry, met and helped awesome customers, worked with really great fellow team members, gone to equine events, put on events to promote our product, and helped to get great businesses connected with EasyCare to help us be better at our jobs. I have learned so many things to better myself and be able to perform my duties with the best interest of EasyCare in mind.

I am sad to leave, but it is time to journey on to my next chapter in life. I am forever thankful and grateul to Garrett for taking the chance on hiring me and trusting me with everything EasyCare. I have always told him with much gusto, ”I fight de bull for you, Boss”, and I mean this with all my heart and soul.  You have made a difference in my life’s journey with my passion…horses.

And to my EasyCare family, I will always be connected with all of you. I am one of your HCP dealers now and will promote all things equine that you put out there. I also want to do hoof boot fittings in my little business to help teach horse owners that boots are great and horses deserve the best from all of us. I use EasyCare products for my horses and will continue because I believe in them completely.

I send humble thanks and love to each and everyone that I have been blessed to cross paths with in this equine journey…..Happy trails.

 

Nancy Fredrick

Easycare President-ceo-garrett-ford

EasyCare Customer Care

I have been on the EasyCare team since 2001, have been the Office Manager and done everything from A to Z. I have first hand product knowledge as my horses are barefoot, booted and I do their trimming. I can assist you with all of your booting needs. .

Easyboot Glove Soft- Compiling Customer Suggestions

One of the biggest things I've learned about the hoof boot business in the last 25 years is that it doesn't matter what works for me.  What matters is what works for the customer. I personally love the 2016 Easyboot Glove and the robust gaiter. I've done 99% of my riding in the 2016 Glove and think it's the best boot in the EasyCare hoof boot line. Although I love the 2016 Easyboot Glove, many of our customers have requested we bring back features of past Easyboot Glove models. Based on these requests, we have brought back many of the requested features in the Easyboot Glove Soft.

Easyboot Glove Soft in testing

Orders have been placed and we are expecting our first shipment in mid February. The Easyboot Glove Soft will be available in both regular and wide versions. The difference between the 2016 Easyboot Glove and the Easyboot Glove Soft is all in the gaiter. The requested features include:

1.  "Bring back the elastic support". Many of our customers found the elastic support at the back easier to fit. 

The rear support of the Easyboot Glove Soft gaiter is elastic.

2.  "Bring back the wider hook and loop closure". Many of our customers found the wider hook and loop more secure. The Easyboot Glove Soft has 1 1/2 wide hook and loop.  

1 1/2 inch hook and loop closure.

3.  "Introduce a gaiter that can fit large and small circumference pasterns". The gaiter features a great deal more flexibility in fit. The gaiter should overlap even on a large boned horse.  

Gaiters should overlap!

The Easyboot Glove Soft incorporates the feedback of many and continues to use the standard and wide shells that everyone loves. Between the 2016 Easyboot Glove and the Easyboot Glove Soft, we feel confident more performance horse owners will be happy and have more options.  

We hope you will like the new requested features.  

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President 

I have been President 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.