How to Change the Air Bladder in Your Hoof Buffer

In the rare event you puncture the air bladder that comes on your Hoof Buffer Attachment, aka The Buffy, you'll need to replace it with a new one. This is a simple process and all you need is a phillips head screwdriver and your new air bladder, available from EasyCare.

First pull the sandpaper sleeve off.

Remove the four screws on either side of the business end of your Buffy. The will release the round metal plate on either end. Remove the one on the drill side of the unit.

Now you can pull the old bladder off, you will need to stretch it some to work it off of the buffy.

 

Slide your new bladder on, replace the round metal plates and screws, apply a new sleeve, and you are good to go. Remember that about 20 psi is the perfect amount of air for all your hoof buffing needs and don't forget a set of Easyboot Zips to protect your hoof prep.

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.

4 Things You Need to Know About Attaching The Easyboot Glove 2016 Gaiter

Did you know that the gaiters on the Easyboot Glove 2016 fasten in a different way than on the prior model?

One of the things we saw over the years on the old style gaiter was rubbing from pressure in the middle where the two ends of the gaiter came together at the front of the pastern. It seemed to be more happen a little more in the winter when the hair was longer, coarser, and more prone to abrasion.

We have eliminated that concern with the new design, but it's important to know that the gaiter attaches differently. Just follow these four simple steps to gaiter attachment success. 

1. Pull the side of the gaiter with the loop (fuzzy side of the hook and loop) tightly around the pastern. Notice the end is long and will not be in the center.

2. Pull the side of the gaiter with the hook (rough side of the hook and loop) tightly. This will overlap the first part of the gaiter that is now against the pastern.

3. Fasten the loop strap.

4. Pull the hook side over the loop strap. 

To see more information about this important new design update, please see Garrett Ford's announcement blog. To see more about product information, please visit the EasyCare website.

Kevin Myers

easycare-marketing-director-kevin-myers

CEO

I am responsible for the marketing and branding of the EasyCare product line. I believe there is a great deal to be gained from the strategy of using booted protection for horses, no matter what the job you have for your horse.

Continuing Ed Opportunity-PHCP's Webinar "Laminitis, Founder, Insulin Resistance & Cushing’s"

Dr. Cindy Nielsen of the Pacific Hoof Care Practitioners will be hosting a 3 Day Webinar on "Laminitis, Founder, Insulin Resistance & Cushing’s" June 14, 16, 21, 2016 at 5:30pm Pacific time. These sessions are each 3.5 hours of presentation and discussion and participants are encouraged to submit radiographs for case studies. The webinar is open to the public and is a wonderful opportunity to get in on some of the education that has made the PHCP such a phenomenal resource for hoof care practitioners.

Ready to take your knowledge to the next level? More details and suggested reading for preparation are available at the PHCP website.

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.

Stories of the Heart

Submitted by Mari Ural, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

Today I thought I'd share stories of the heart, Heart the horse that is, who is a 17 year old Arab.  He was found in a Colorado pasture that had no grass, so as you can imagine, he was pretty emaciated.  His shoes had been left on him so long that some had simply fallen off.  This was back in 2009.  Poor Mr. Heart vowed he would never go hungry again!  Eating is now his MOST favorite thing to do.

At first, he was trimmed and shod.  In 2010 he moved on to barefoot and booted.  The trick was lowering those heels so his Easyboot Gloves were comfortable.  He is not a heel first landing type of fellow.  He lands quite flat.  I'm guessing that is why it took awhile to get away from the heel contraction even after going barefoot.  Six years later, the frogs are better but not the full frog we like to see.

He is always turned out, though the ground is fairly soft, and he has always stayed sound, though trotting on a gravelly hard pack road is not comfortable for him even when in boots.  He lets you know by shortening his stride until he hits nicer footing.  This winter his front feet started to really flare.

My pictures of the "before" unfortunately didn't turn out, but believe me, the front feet were paddles.  St George trimmer, J.B. Rex, worked on them, bringing them back to the point that they looked like horse feet.  He removed a good deal of old sole that had built up.  The plan is to keep the toe rolled enough that we'll get away from the slight flare that still exists and maybe it will grow out.  He's always had a slight flare on his front feet, so boots aren't as flush at the top as desired.  Power Straps and Mueller's tape have handled that problem for Gloves and a little extra time holding down the "V" with Adhere has worked for the Glue-Ons.  It would be really nice to be able to get rid of the flare and see a better frog, so any other ideas would be great.

The pictures attached are of his current trim.

 

SOS May 2016-Stuck? Pro Tips for Removing Glue-Ons

We have quite a bit of content about how to glue like a rock star. Everything from hoof prep to using different materials to modifying glue-ons for any situation. We even address aesthetics in our quest for gluing perfection. By now, you probably have gluing down. Keeping the shoes and boots on is no issue-the trouble is getting those things off.

EasyCare Elite Gluer and all around great guy Pete Van Rossum of Ramona, CA helped us out with some pictures of a quick and simple method for removing glue-ons. Thanks for the great photos, Pete! 

Rasp through the cuffs and around the edges of the EasyShoe then rim or score the edge of the shoe with the edge of your rasp.

Using your pull-offs, start at the rear of the shoe and carefully roll it forward. Inching it along will ensure it's just the shoe that comes off. Go slowly. Better leave that hoof wall on the horse where it belongs.

Once the shoe or boot is off, all you need to do is clean up the remaining adhesive and cuff material with your rasp and hoof buffer.

So there you have it. One pro's method for getting unstuck without a fuss. Of course there is always more than one way to skin a cat. If you'd like to see more you might like Christoph Schork's blog about removing the Easyboot Glue-Ons or Garrett Ford's video showing two ways to remove EasyShoes.  

If you've come up with a different way that works for you we want to know about it!

Debbie Schwiebert 800-447-8836 ext. 2224 or dschwiebert@easycareinc.com

Rebecca Balboni 800-447-8836 ext. 2232 or rbalboni@easycareinc.com

Secrets of the Savvy

Secrets of the Savvy: your source for inside information on all things EasyCare. See you next month!

Spring Laminitis: The Not-So-Silent Killer

This year we’ve seen more horses in our area developing spring laminitis than ever before. Many apparently healthy, stable, sound horses becoming foot sore with heat and digital pulses seemingly out of the blue.

We often stop and ask why? Is it the unseasonably warm winter we’ve had causing higher carbohydrate levels in the grass? Is it the increased incidence of Lyme Disease compared to other years? Or maybe it’s the stress on the horse of extreme temperature changes in the last month, with freezing temperatures changing to sunny and 70 degrees back and forth several times over the past month?

The reality is that most times it’s not just one factor that causes a horse to tip over into active laminitis, but many different factors that unfortunately come together at the same time. And some horses are more at risk than others. Common risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • History of previous laminitis
  • History of metabolic disorders
  • Access to spring grass without restriction or management 
  • Administering multiple vaccines at one time  
  • Administering heavy duty wormers
  • Administering Corticosteroids
  • Emotional stress
  • Underlying systemic illness
  • Mechanical stresses on the feet
  • Current dietary protocols
  • Overworking or under working your horse
  • Genetic pre-disposition

Individually, the items on this list may not be too concerning. Put several of them together, though, and it can be enough to push the horse over into active laminitis.

Another factor to consider is many times laminitis is there long before we see acute symptoms. Subclinical laminitis is inflammation in the laminae without evidence of pain, heat or digital pulses. Yet we can often see evidence of laminar inflammation before active laminitis is noted.  

Signs the horse may be having subclinical laminitis:

  • The horse’s gait shortens on hard ground
  • The horse’s soles have become thinner
  • The horse’s feet have bruising in the toe/white line area
  • Your horse’s feet develop significant flares and dishing at the toe 
  • The horse’s neck gets bigger (cresty) and is hard or firm on palpation 
  • The horse exhibits post-trimming/shoeing sensitivity where there had been none in the past

This is an example of a horse who had many of the signs of sub-clinical laminitis before unfortunately rolling over into active laminitis: 

 

If you suspect a horse has laminitis:

  • Take the horse off of any pasture 
  • Put the horse somewhere they will stand quietly and provide some foot protection:
  • Call the Veterinarian:
    • The vet may do some blood work to determine risk status for metabolic disorders
    • The vet may recommend some anti-inflammatory support like Bute or Banamine
    • The vet may recommend icing the horse’s feet to reduce inflammation and ease pain
    • The vet may also want to do baseline radiographs so any further laminar changes can be assess as needed in the future.
  • Implement an emergency diet to reduce potential insulin spikes like Dr Kellon’s: ECIR Emergency Diet

To help prevent these types of laminitis:  

  • Have a dry lot  to get your horse off of grass at high risk times.  
  • Monitor your horse’s weight so they stay in an ideal range without obesity, and if you see them gaining weight take action so they lose weight. 
  • Educate yourself about diets that help horses maintain level insulin
  • Space out vaccines and worming to reduce stressing your horse during high risk times, especially spring and fall.  
  • Maintain a strict hoof care schedule all year long to keep the horse's feet healthy
     

www.DaisyHavenFarm.com

www.IntegrativeHoofSchool.com

May 2016 Read to Win Contest Winners

The May 2016 Read to Win Contest winners are:

Coreen Kisek

Robert Fink

Tom Taylor

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

My Favorite Horse Boot Just Got Better- The Launch of the New Easyboot Glove 2016

The hoof boot that redefined hoof boots.  Most people associated hoof boots with bulk and galoshes strapped to a horse's hoof before the Easyboot Glove was released in 2009.  The Easyboot Glove was the first boot that allows you to watch a horse moving down the trail and not focus on the boots.  The stretch fit hugs the hoof wall and adds a 3 mm protective cap to the hoof wall.

When the Easyboot Glove was introduced, most people were skeptical about its success.  The boot not only worked, but quickly became our best-selling boot.  I've personally done countless endurance races in the Easyboot Glove and continue to condition my endurance and track horses in the boot.  It's my boot of choice and my personal tack is packed with 100+ Easyboot Gloves of various sizes.  The stretch fit makes it the closest-fitting hoof boot in the world.

Video of the 2009 Strawberry Fields Endurance Race.  Muddy conditions, two best conditions and a first place award made me a believer in the Easyboot Glove. The Easyboot Glove redefined bulky hoof boots.

Although the form fitting design continues to sell well, the Easyboot Glove Gaiter has been the weak link for some horses.  The gaiters work well, but don't last as long as the Glove urethane base. We have been working for almost a year on a new gaiter design that will wear longer, will flex and conform to the various heel shapes and will fit on the current urethane shell.  The key to the new design is a molded cap at the rear of the gaiter that fits the contours of the heel bulb and at the same time offers large amounts of elongation and strength.  

The new Glove Gaiter has a injection molded urethane/rubber cap molded to fit the heel bulb area of a horse and offers tremendous elongation to accommodate movement.

When I look back at each boot project and think about the hours involved, I feel proud of the end result as I know the hard work of so many that made it possible.  The early drawings, SLA's,  shelves of prototypes that didn't work, the molds that didn't make the cut, the hours on airplanes and in the saddle testing.  After the designs get done, its on to photos, instructions, videos, price sheets, barcodes, brochures, and entry into our accounting system and website.  Then the product needs to be manufactured, received and shipped. It takes a whole team and a bunch of hours.  In the end and after many different designs, failures and successes, we have arrived at new gaiter design and a new Easyboot Glove 2016.  The new Easyboot Glove 2016 design has the following improvements:

1.  We have eliminated the rear elastic material of the gaiter and have replaced it with a new blended urethane that has been injection molded to conform to the horse's heel area.  The new material is very pliable and stretches to fit the contours of each hoof.  The material will elongate to 500% of its original shape and come back to form.  In addition, the blend will come back to the original shape after thousands of delegations.  

2.  The gaiter pattern has been updated and improved based on many hours of distance riding.  The center seam has been eliminated.  

3.  Improved hook and loop with a fabric layer added for strength.  

Several photos of the new design.  

 

 

 

 

 

Testing over the last year has shown great results.  The new gaiter will take the Easyboot Glove 2016 to the next level.  The close fitting boot gets as close to the bare hoof as possible.  The protection of a boot without the bulk.  

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.

Henry and Franky

First day trying out their new "sneakers"! I think they might like them. Thank you, EasyCare!

Name: Danielle 
State: New York
Country: USA
Equine Discipline: Other
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Mini

Flip Flop Suitability

The Flip Flops have been tested now in several endurance races. Absolutely no failures whatsoever! They have been working better than expected. Garrett Ford, owner and CEO of EasyCare Inc, posted on his FB page how the Flip Flops were on one of his horses hooves for over 8 weeks now and are still totally intact. On my blog from last month, Flip Flop In Action, I outlined the success I have had with them during the last few months, in training and in endurance races.  Since then, another one of Global Endurance Training Center's horses, Medinah MHF, won the Antelope Island 50 Mile Endurance event and also was awarded Best Condition, wearing the Flip Flops.

Trotting out Medinah MHF wearing Flip Flops for the BC showing.

So we now know and have proven that the Flip Flops work well. But why would we want to select a Flip Flop, and how do we choose from all the excellent EasyCare products which hoof protection to use for any particular horse? Why select a Glove over a Glue On, an EasyShoe over a boot, a Performance N/G over a Compete or a Sport, just to name a few? What criteria are we using for this selection?

To compare the suitability of all the EasyCare hoof protection products would cover too many pages to make it feasible for a single blog. So I will restrain myself to explore the suitability of the Flip Flops for today's blog.

What kind of hooves and what kind of hoof characteristics would benefit the most from the application of the Flip Flops? Before making an educated guess, let's quickly review the advantages of the Flip Flops:

- Only the dorsal part of the hoof wall will get glued. Therefore, at least half of the hoof wall is exposed to air.

- The Flip Flops come with a healthy amount of heel extension. This is supportive for the tendons.

- The Flip Flops are easier and faster to apply compared to the Glue-Ons.

Hooves that are soft and would strengthen and benefit from increased exposure to air could be good candidates. Horses with soft and long pasterns will receive additional heel support and prevent the over flexing of the pasterns and tendons.

When drawing the plum line through the center of the coffin bone, we see that the (red) plum line falls behind the heel support. Not an ideal situation. 

With the Flip Flop, the center of the canon bone is supported now. The pasterns are less likely to over flex and risk tendon injury.

Here is a different example of a hoof that could greatly benefit from a Flip Flop:

Hardly any heel growth observable here and the bulbs are almost flat with the heels. A Glue-On boot would be less favorable, while a Flip Flop will give not only support, but might also foster heel growth.

On the other side of the spectrum, let's look at this hoof and fetlock:

When drawing the plum line through the center of the canon bone, it comes out well ahead of the heel. Hooves like this, with more upright and short pasterns don't necessarily 'need' the heel support of the Flip Flops. They will do really well with Glue-Ons or Gloves or, like in this case, with EasyShoe Performance N/G.

When applying the Flip Flops, there are several options in regards to the sole. The fastest and easiest way is to just leave the sole as it is, not applying any sole glue whatsoever. I did use the Flip Flops without adding any padding, glue or other fillers to the sole. It worked very well. I never had a rock or any debris get stuck between the boot and the sole. I believe that the constant movement of the Flip Flop is helping to keep the sole clean. Furthermore, the sole is getting exposed to air and will stay hard and conditioned. Although I never had anything get stuck there, for endurance races I personally prefer to fill the bottom of the sole with some fillers, just to guard against the odd occurrence that a rock could get wedged in there and cause me some headache. I have a 'zero tolerance' policy in place for endurance rides. Nothing left to chance, I will safeguard against anything that I know could possibly happen.  I tried the Sikaflex and it worked okay, but it is a little cumbersome to deal with the Sikaflex squishing out from under the boot for a few hours and having to confine your horse for that reason. A better solution is the use of Vettec Equipak, Equipak CS or Equipak Soft. The Soft is designed for really sensitive hooves. It does not adhere quite as well to the sole compared to the other two Equipaks. For most horses, the Equipak and CS work really well. I like the Copper Sulfate added to keep the bacteria at bay. Because of the copper sulfate added,  the CS stays softer after being cured when comparing to the regular Equipak.

After the application of the Flip Flops with the Vettec Adhere, the Equipak can get injected. Most of the time you can just bend the Flip Flops back and inject the Equipak. Again, the EasyCare Educational Videos on the website show that very well. Should the space between Flip Flop and sole be too tight, one can drill a small hole into the bottom of the Flip Flop and inject the Equipak through this hole.

Below an example on how a Flip Flop will look with the Equipak CS applied to the sole.

These boots are still in place now after about four weeks of application and two endurance races.  No separation or seam breakage visible at any place. No real reason to take them off, would it not be for the fact that the hooves need trimming again soon. 

From the Bootmeister 

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center

www.globalendurance.com