It's Back! EasyCare Re-launches the HCP Referral Program

Exciting news! 2015 kicks off the re-launch of the EasyCare Dealer Referral Program. Do you know a hoof care professional that is currently not an EasyCare dealer? Now's the time to get them fired up about adding another dimension to their business. There is nothing like a good referral and we greatly appreciate and value the ones that come in from our dealer network. When you encourage other hoof care professionals to ramp up their business opportunities with an EasyCare dealership we will thank you with a little love on your next order or Fill Your Truck order.

As an EasyCare dealer you already recognize the awesome advantages of dealership but in case you need to relay a few of the finer points to your cohorts you can remind them of the following:

1. EasyCare is the leader in hoof protection technology. Having EasyCare products on board your vehicle instantly gives you added creditability, value and service capabilities to your client.

2. Options: as a dealer you have a tremendous amount of tools at your disposal. With all the products EasyCare has available to practitioners there isn't much you won't be able to tackle.

3. Increased Revenue: Last but certainly not least. EasyCare's line of products are an additional income generating avenue. Why not provide a more complete service and harness some additional income? 

Customers are looking for outcomes and solutions. Becoming knowledgeable and proficient in all the tools EasyCare has to offer, be it hoof boots or EasyShoes, will give you an unequivocal advantage setting you apart as a professional. A professional who is truly on the cutting edge of hoof care.

For your convenience: dealership requirements and application

Do you have additional questions or want more details? Please give me a call, Debbie Schwiebert at 800-447-8836 X2224 or dschwiebert@easycareinc.com.

 

March 2015 Read to Win Contest Winners

The March 2015 Read to Win Contest winners are:

Amber Driscoll

Aaron Rodriquez

Christian Monks

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

 

I'm Not Big-Boned

We see hooves of all makes and models. Some have tall heels, some have short heels, some have long toes, some have short toes. Do these all reflect trim? Are their bones just that different in shapes and sizes?

Since domesticating horses we have to balance their growth of hoof with their wear of hoof. The less we let them wear it, the more we step in to “help” them. No doubt some of you have seen trims (then left barefoot or shod, but we’re talking about the hoof treatment by the person cutting it back, prior to any other steps taken on the hoof) that made you cringe. More often than not, we see a hoof that looks pleasing to “us” and as long as the horse is sound, we consider it a job well done.

Let’s look at BONES.

And to remove my subject matter from the flame wars of trimming methods, let’s go to a really tame, safe corollary: peoples’ weight. Because if one’s thing’s for certain, nothing is more exciting than telling someone they could stand to lose a few pounds. It’s right up there with telling someone their trim is awful. What’s funny is, slight deviations in trimming style and slight deviations in “ideal weight” don’t faze us. It’s the larger deviations that bother us. It’s the obese or the bony that catch our eye, likewise, it’s the really scary trims that attract negative attention.

I used to weigh more than I did now. Happens to all of us. I gained weight and luckily lost it. During that process I met people who sympathized with my weight gain. Comments ranged from, “Every decade of life, a woman’s body changes” to “You just like eating ice cream, don’t you?” Not too surprisingly, the protagonists were overweight like I was and the antagonists were fitter people than I was. Which brings me to the “I’m not fat, I’m just big boned” argument.

While we may look greatly different on the outside, frankly, our skeletons are not that different. Yes, I will have a different skeleton than a person who is 6’10” but if you lined me up in an airport scanner with 20 other people that were 5’9”, TSA wouldn’t be able to pick my bones out of the line-up. Except that I would probably be the one doing this:

What about our horse’s coffin bones? If I take a Thoroughbred hoof and an Arabian Hoof and a Standardbed hoof and a Warmblood hoof; how different are their coffin bones?

Photo courtesy of Daisy Bicking. Can you tell which one is a Quarter Horse?

Yes, they are slightly different, but every horse is slightly different. Their ages, what they are fed, what ground they live on, their level of hoof care over their life can dictate variations to the coffin bone. But at first glance: they ain’t that different. I can’t look at these and spot which horse weighed 700lbs and which weight 1,700lbs. Just so you know, that little guy in the front row with the least amount of palmar process (sticky-outy-bits) was a baby.

Photo courtesy of Daisy Bicking.

But if the variety of horse, their intended function, their height and weight can be grossly different, how come their coffin bones aren’t grossly different?

Photo courtesy of Daisy Bicking.

There are two points I am trying to make:

1) No two coffin bones are the SAME.

2) These coffin bones aren’t grossly DIFFERENT.

To draw out my obvious conclusion, no two trims will be the “same” and should suit every horse. It is custom to that horse and how IT moves, on the terrain IT covers and with regard to the hoof IT grows from the diet and exercise IT is on. Conversely, there isn’t room for the scary trims to exist by reason of, “His bone structure is just different”.

Is there room in logic for this variety of hoof trims?

How about for this variety of solar prints?

And there are exceptions. A horse that is growing out a new hoof capsule after an acute case of laminitis, a chronic case of laminitis, a hoof injury, a metabolic crash or a horse that has a modified coffin bone due to a hoof pathology would have hooves that looked different than the norm. But I get my panties in a twist when I see a horse (that has no past or present health issues) not moving freely and soundly who has scary-bad feet.

Each owner should understand the basics of hoof anatomy and have a heart-to-heart discussion with their trimmer or farrier if they think they are too far off the path. Especially if your horse is not sound. In my next blog, we’re going to look at suspension and how the trim can adversely affect the suspending structures of the lower limb.

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!

How To Develop A Healthy Foot: Circulation Is It

In previous blogs I've written about my basic hoof guidelines:

  • 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.
  • Capsular and phalangeal alignment, with a straight hoof-pastern axis.
  • Minimizing flare and distortion in the hoof capsule.

http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/hoof-love-not-war/when-your-frog-is-down3a-repairing-prolapsed-frogs

And I've even touched upon some of the reasons why those guidelines have become central for me:

http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/hoof-love-not-war/is-your-horse-really-a-goat

However, at the heart of those guidelines and the work I do with each horse's foot, is the consideration of circulation. The circulation of the horse's foot is critical to nourishing the tissues as well as being an integral part of the energy, shock and heat management system of the foot.

The circulation of the horse's foot is just fascinating. This is a platinate corrosion cast of the blood vessels of the horse's foot by Dr Christoph von Horst of HC Biovision. Note how intricate the vessels appear:  

Dr. Bob Bowker is one of the first researchers I heard years ago discuss the importance of specific trimming ideas designed  to support healthy circulation. He referenced a 3-5 degree Palmar P3 Angle would allow for appropriate load on the back of the foot, facilitating good circulation and the growth of healthy soft tissue.  

Before Dr Bowker’s latest research, recently presented at the 2015 International Hoof-Care Summit, the smallest vessels we could see were 500 microns. Now because of his work we can appreciate the blood vessels down to 1 micron in diameter.

To give you an idea of how small a micron is:  1 micron = .00004 inches or .001mm. A human hair is 50-80 microns, and 10 microns is the smallest size visible to the human eye.

So these blood vessels are very small and highly influenced by load and pressure.  

We can experience how these blood vessels can be influenced by pressure by pressing and removing our thumb on our forearm and watching the color (blood) come back to the area, similar to checking capillary refill on the gums of a horse. Therefore the arrangement of internal and external anatomy of the foot and how the horse loads it's feet similarly influences the circulation of the foot. Through our hoof care work, we also greatly influence how the horse loads it's foot.  

One of the most impactful ways I experience this dynamic was in 2008 when I was asked to help a horse who had been chronically foundered for quite a while. While he had been receiving excellent farrier care, he was quite painful: 

His situation was complicated by lack of any growth at the dorsal wall despite a controlled metabolic situation with an excellent diet. With the previous farrier's blessing I went to work on this horse and found that no matter how much I tried to realign the hoof capsule with the internal anatomy, I ran into the same struggles: lack of growth at the coronary band at the toe, and an inability to load his heel if I trimmed his heel down. In addition to those problems, he had a thin, convex sole.

Then I read an article in The Horse which summarized the work of Lorenzo D'Arpe, DVM, PhD regarding venograms and how different hoof angles applied to the same foot affect blood flow: http://www.thehorse.com/articles/18491/laminitis-coming-out-of-the-dark-bluegrass-laminitis-symposium

The part that really stood out to me was:  "...changing the palmar angle modifies the valscularization (blood supply) of the foot." I hypothesized that the reason this horse was stuck was in large part due to how little improvement could be made to his phalangeal and capsular alignment over time. For more information about these alignment problems, see: http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/hoof-love-not-war/rehabilitation-of-the-insulin-resistant-foundered-horse-dhf-style

The veterinarian helping us with this horse, Dr. Mark Donaldson of Unionville Equine in Oxford, PA, performed a venogram so we could observe the circulation of his foot. Here is the venogram showing the compromised blood flow of this foot at that time.  

So far my hypothesis was correct. This venogram showed lack of perfusion of the blood supply past the coronary band and along the dorsal surface of P3. We decided more drastic intervention was necessary to try to make a positive change for this horse. Dr. Donaldson and horse owner elected to do a deep digital flexor tenotomy in an effort to allow me to realign the hoof capsule and internal structures. We weren't sure how much of the circulation to the front of the foot could be re-established, however we believed was the best chance we had.  

After the tenotomy we saw immediate improvement in the horse's comfort, and finally some growth of wall at the coronary band at the toe. On the follow-up venogram we saw significant improvement in the circulation. Here is a venogram 10 weeks after the tenotomy:

We had significantly better circulation. The new growth wasn't pretty but at least we were getting something. And the best part was horse's comfort level continued to improve. Here is his foot and the growth nine months post tenotomy:

Even his sole was no longer convex: 

Working on this horse and thinking about load and circulation pushed me to get creative and develop a strategy with the horse's team that led to his soundness and a much healthier foot. When you think about the horse's foot, I encourage you to consider circulation as well.

www.DaisyHavenFarm.com
www.IntegrativeHoofSchool.com

Introducing the Slim, Lightweight, Form Fitting Therapy Boot with Mechanics. The Easyboot Cloud

I did a quick blog on the introduction of several new products last month but didn't go into much detail on the Easyboot Cloud.  The equine industry has some great therapy boots on the market but we believe the introduction of the Easyboot Cloud brings therapy to a whole new level. Yes there are other therapy/shipping boots on the market so why the Cloud?  Because we believe the Cloud fits better, is less likely to rub, is lighter weight, has a better pad system, is more adaptable and is more affordable. 

As we continue to work with the Cloud I'm more and more impressed with the boot and believe it will be a very useful tool for the equine industry.  The form fitting therapy boot gives horses suffering from laminits and founder relief without adding a clunky, heavy boot.  These horses are already suffering and don't need an extra ball and chain that compromises movement.  Movement is often the deciding factor and we have placed our focus on making the Cloud lightweight, form fitting and athletic.  Although the Cloud has been designed as a therapy, shipping and comfort boot many of the testing hours have been done on horses in motion. 

The Easyboot Cloud in motion.  No it's not a riding boot but the Cloud doesn't compromise motion. 

The back of the boot folds completely out of the way for easy application. The inside of the boot is soft and smooth like lingerie.

Low profile high strength hook and loop straps lock the boot in place and offer adjustability.

Form fitting design. 

The pad system is as important as the boot design.  There are many types of padding and process for manufacturing.  Our goal was to find a material that would conform to the foot, offer comfort, have a price point that allow pads to be replaced with time and be lightweight.  Although the mold cost was 3+ times more expensive than other methods or materials we decided to invest in the molds because the end product was much better. The Cloud comes with an injection molded EVA pad that weighs in at 2 ounces.  The lightweight injection molded pad helps the system (boot and pad) weigh in at less than 18 ounces and very close to most riding boots. 

The EVA Cloud pad conforms to the foot, is lightweight and the price point allows users to change as needed. 

The Easyboot Cloud base has been revised to accept the EasyCare Therapy Click System.  The series of Therapy Click plates will snap on to the Easyboot Cloud, giving an owner, veterinarian or hoof care professional the versatility of offering the right therapeutic angle or break-over for their recovery process. They simply snap into place and are then secured with four screws. Therapy Click bases can be interchanged throughout the recovery process for the ease of the owner and benefit of the equine as it recovers.  The brilliance of the system is in the simplicity and versatility. Quickly add mechanics to your therapy boot. 


The Cloud with a 10 degree Click base.  Add a Click base in less than a minute.  Add or remove while the boot is fitted to a horse.  Grind the base for custom break over. 

The Cloud will be introduced in a large size range.  It will fit feet from 3 1/2 inches wide to 7 1/2 inches wide.

The Cloud walking.  The boot on the right fore has been intentionally fit a size large to see if it stays in place.  A size large and still doesn't look awkward.  The Cloud on the left fore is fit with the correct size. 

The Easyboot Cloud is in production now and will be available through the EasyCare dealer network and distributors in May of 2015. EasyCare is excited to get the Cloud launched as we believe it will be the best therapy boot on the market. 

1.  A therapy boot that is lightweight, formfitting and athletic.

2.  Because the back of the boot folds backward and out of the way it is extremely easy to apply.

3.  The EVA pad is lightweight and affordable.  It's important for the pad to conform to the foot and keep mechanics. 

4.  The mechanics of the Cloud can easily be changed with the addition of the EasyCare Therapy Click system.  Quickly add 5 degrees, 10 degrees or speed break over. 

5.  Price point.  The Easyboot Cloud will be introduced at a SRP of less that $100.00. 

Your horses are gonna enjoy this one. 

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 protection for the barefoot horse.

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold... Keep Your Adhesives Just Right

Everyone continues to rave about the results they are having with EasyCare's glue on products.The EasyShoes are rocking everything from rehab to flat track racing and virtually everything in between. The Easyboot Glue-Ons continue to work outstanding for rehab as well as established as the hoof protection of choice for the toughest of endurance races. However when it comes to their applications the biggest learning curve seems to lie with the adhesives. I know some of you are rolling your eyes and saying, "Duhhh, tell us something we don't already know!". After meticulously prepping the hoof and shoe applied the last thing you need is for your glue bond to fail. An often overlooked element of any glue-on application is managing these sometimes fussy adhesives. Managing temperature extremes in the summer and winter can prove to be very challenging yet essential, but what can you do? 

Most jockey adhesives in the summer with some sort of soft side cooler or ice chest. In the winter, on the truck dash, setting it in the sun, bundled up in a heating pad or bathed in heat from a heat gun. All these can work but what about the temp of your application tips, your shoes or shells? Is your glue truly warm or cool or does it just feel that way from the outside of the cartridge? 

EasyCare dealer, Dick Teachout owner of Preventive Hoof Care Services shares with us his secret weapon to help aid in perfect applications no matter what Mother Nature throws at you. Dick resides in Leonardtown, MD where the summers are hot and humid and the winters can be bitter cold. Dick manages the temperature extremes with ease with his amazing little tool. Behold, its beauty!

Here are the details. The unit will either heat or cool depending on how you have it programmed. The cost is around $120  dollars and you can keep your adhesives, other gluing products and shoes all at a stable temperature as you determine. Dick likes to keep his temp at 80 degrees in the winter and runs it in the house overnight before moving to the truck for his workday. He keeps it running all day ensuring that everything that he is using is at a known temperature and is warmed all the way through. The unit will not run down your vehicle's battery as it cycles on only when the temperature drops. In Dick's case about 78 degrees and turns off when it reaches 80 degrees. He keeps his shoes, mixing tips, adhesive and super glue etc. in the unit so that all materials are the same temperature. Genius!

How you say?  Dick selected the cooler based on the capacity.This unit can hold 4 pair of shoes (size 0 through 2), 2 tubes of adhere and 2 tubes of Vettec CS and a handful of mixing tips in it. The exterior size fits easily behind the seat of a truck. It is also the correct size to hold a large tube (420cc) of EasyShoe Bond. He also says that you could use any cooler/heater that runs on 12vdc.The only thing that needs to be done is to drill a hole into the interior of the cooler/heater to insert the temperature sensor probe and then plug the hole after the sensor is passed through it. You can plug the hole with anything that is pliable – chewing gum, caulking, adhere etc. A wiring diagram is included when you purchase the controller as are the programing instructions.The first one Dick made he used Velcro to attach the controller to the outside of the cooler/heater case. His current unit he found a place in the case to cut a hole and mounted it in the case of the unit. He said the Velcro worked just fine and easier to install. 

This unit fits perfectly in the backseat of Dick's vehicle

Dick stresses that it is very important to load the cooler/heater the night before and let it run in the house overnight so that everything is heated or cooled all the way through. He uses this power converter to run the system from a 115VAC household outlet. He knows that every time he does a glue on application everything will be the same temperature and takes that often frustrating factor completely out of the equation. He further expressed that in his experience the unit has been essential for quality work especially when the temps are below freezing. He likes the results so well he has resolved to use the unit all the time regardless of temperature.Taking this additional step has been a game changer for Dick and makes the process consistent resulting in consistently excellent results! 

Ready to roll at the job site.

 

Want one too? Here's were you can get the goods.

1. Cooler - http://www.amazon.com/RoadPro-RPSF5235-SnackMaster-Deluxe-Family/dp/B004H4ALIQ 

2. Temperature controler - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C4TEEF2/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

3. Power Converter - http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-AC-DC-Power-Converter/dp/B000FIY08U/ref=pd_sim_auto_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0YCHNJDG694N3ZC2NPXA

 

Debbie Schwiebert

easycare-vet-hcp-deaaler-accounts-manager-debbie-schwiebert

Vet Dealer & Hoof Care Practitioner Accounts

I manage the hoof care practitioner and veterinarian dealer accounts at EasyCare. An integral part of my job is to stay current in all areas of barefoot hoof care, which enables me to serve this vital group of EasyCare dealers at the next level.

Team Easyboot 2015 Members Announced

We would like to thank all of the applicants for Team Easyboot 2015.  It is not an easy task for our EasyCare staff panel to select the team members, as all of our applicants contribute to the success of EasyCare in so many ways.  In the end, our selections are based on the goal of creating a team that is filled with engaging members who are enthusiastic about sharing their booting knowledge and experiences with the EasyCare community. The 2015 Team Easyboot members are listed below.

  • Sue Basham
  • Daisy Bicking
  • Karen Bumgarner
  • Leah Cain
  • Fabrice Creignou
  • Carol Crisp
  • Linda Fullmer
  • Ashley Gasky
  • Jodie Jurgeneit
  • Tennessee Lane
  • Gene Limlaw
  • Patricia Longworth
  • Stacey Maloney
  • Megan Masarsky
  • Duncan McLaughlin
  • Elaine McPherson
  • Lisa Morris
  • Karen Neuenschwander
  • Heather & Jeremy Reynolds
  • Renee Robinson
  • Tami Rougeau
  • Christoph Schork
  • Deanna Stoppler
  • Susan Summers
  • Sally Tarbet
  • Amanda Washington
  • Kevin Waters
  • Pascale Winckler

Congratulations to our 2015 Team!  This year's applicants were asked "What is your greatest success using Easyboots?"  Lisa Morris shows the ability our team members have to act as support and subject matter experts to our community: "I have enjoyed helping horses and their owners to figure out which boots will work for their horses' unique conformation and discipline. The hands-on help is essential for people to have the confidence that they have the right boots, that they know how to use them and maintain them correctly. There is a learning curve with using hoof boots, and I like to share some of the "tricks" I have learned to maximize their experience and minimize frustration."  Team Easyboot members are ambassadors to EasyCare and are here to provide access to support, information about EasyCare products and boot fitting.  Keep your eyes out for them at your next event.

Taking a Look Back: Horse Hoof Ingenuities From 1891

Our American-English is a dialect that is ever-changing. I love picking up old books and reading each sentence carefully and looking up words that I am certain couldn’t be real. An example is “aquabib” which describes those of us who like to drink lots of water.

Garrett Ford came across a mystery photo on his computer. It was a snapshot of a page in a book. It is evident that this literature has some antiquity based on the run-on but well-structured sentences and peculiar word choices.
He thought it would be a good investigation to pursue and share the findings of. I initiated my research venture and found the full document with the help of Google Books. You can find the entire piece here. This script was an article included in a print called the Wallace Monthly by John Hankins Wallace in the April of 1891 publication.

Photo credit: NEPLAINS Postcards and Collectibles

The most fascinating part of this activity was seeing how parallel so many of the writer’s theories are in respect to today’s barefoot movement supporters. It’s interesting to see that this author had the ability to imagine a future with horses much like the one we are experiencing today. This may make you scratch your head and think “why are metal shoes still in existence?"

I’ve recorded the most intriguing sentences from the literature for your amusement and listed them below. Not all of the opinions found in the following words represent EasyCare’s values. The intention of sharing this work is to highlight the history of horse care and inspire some philosophy. Enjoy.

“That the ordinary iron shoe is the best and least hurtful means that could be devised, I am reluctant to admit; but so far, even American ingenuity has failed to develop anything better suited to the purpose.”

“The frog is nature’s cushion and hoof-expander, placed there by an All-Wise hand; by its elasticity it wards off concussion from the less elastic portions of the structure, and by its resilience assists in maintaining the natural expansion of its horny ambit;”

“It might even be possibly (I do not mean necessarily in this particular way) in the course of generations to develop a horse whose feet should be so improved that he could do all sorts of work on all sorts of going barefoot with impunity; but this would imply an amount of self-sacrifice in the present for the benefit of remote prosperity which is hardly to be looked for in this practical age, and the contention of enthusiasts that all horses could and should, under all circumstances, go unshod is, I fear, Utopian and impracticable.”

“When contracted feet have to be expanded there is a far more simple, safe and at the same time effective means of attaining that end to be found within the foot itself. By lowering the walls at the heels, so as to restore frog pressure, the latter speedily recovers its lost characteristics, and in a healthy condition gradually and naturally accomplishes one of the very purposes for which the Great Architect placed it there.”

“If we could dispense with nails altogether our horses’ feet would be immeasurably better off. This, unfortunately, we apparently cannot do, but we have it in our power to minimize an evil which, at present, at all events, we cannot entirely avoid.”

And the best of all of the briefs:

“In this age of marvelous ingenuity, is it visionary to hope that it is within the power of chemistry to develop some preparation which, applied to our horses’ hoofs in a liquid or pultaceous form, will quickly harden into a substance closely resembling the natural horn, which will enable us to dispense altogether with the heavy, unyielding iron, and while it affords the necessary protection to the foot will permit it to retain to the full its wondrous combination of lightness, strength and elasticity, and enable it to perform its varied functions under the most exacting conditions which advanced civilization can impose, with that marvelous trinity of apparently incompatible characteristics unhampered as they left the workshop of the Creator, all acting together in perfect harmony and absolute efficiency?

I sent the last quotation from the literature to Garrett, the owner and inventor of EasyCare, because of the excitement that woke inside of me. What a great turning point we are at in the history of horse care and what a great experience it is to work for the leading innovator of alternative and holistic hoof care products.

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.

Long Distance Success With Easyboot Gloves

Submitted by Sue Basham, Team Easyboot Member

Late winter in Wyoming teases us with temperate days and little snowfall. Just as we become accustomed to the nice days winter returns with a vengeance. Single digit & below zero temperatures, accompanied by wind driven snow, do little to encourage me to ride. Instead its time to clean tack, go through gear to see what needs to be replaced or replenished and make plans for the upcoming ride session.

In early 2012, my good mare Tayyara showed some lameness which was diagnosed as heel pain with navicular changes in her front hooves. Tayyara is a 1000+ mile horse with two Tevis completions so this news was devastating.

I immediately pulled her shoes and began researching navicular syndrome. My farrier and veterinarian both told me her feet did not look like typical navicular hooves and they were uncertain why it occurred. All my research pointed to giving her an easier break over and encouraging a heel first landing. I used Gloves to protect her soles as she transitioned back to barefoot on my gritty ground. Frequent trimming maintained her hoof angles so keeping her barefoot made sense. She spent most of 2012 turned out on pasture and has only been ridden lightly the past couple of years. Although her hooves have really toughened up on my decomposed granite ground, I use Easyboot Gloves with great success when the trails are rocky. I plan to bring her back into condition and competition this spring. Easyboot Gloves will be the mainstay of my hoof protection for her but I also plan on trying the EasyShoe. I'm hoping the EasyShoe will give her the most optimal break over, a more cushioned impact and help return her to her previous performance level.

My other mare, Kismet Cognac, came to me in shoes shortly after Tayyara's diagnosis. I took her to the Shamrock ride, a wonderful ride just north of my home in Cheyenne, with the intention of riding all three days. Shamrock is notoriously hard on steel shoes but I couldn't find a farrier on short notice to replace her shoes with new ones. At the end of the second day, with no farrier onsite, it was obvious we were done unless we pulled the shoes and went with boots.

Luckily, I had four Easyboot Gloves in her size from an early venture into boots with Tayyara. With help from knowledgeable friends we got KC trimmed and booted up that night and we went on to complete the 3rd day. Although I'd recommend training in boots so the horse gets used to them, in this case they performed flawlessly and  KC was awarded Overall Champion & Best Condition. Since that day she has competed exclusively in Gloves or Glue-ons. The Gloves are great for our training miles and some of our 50s but I love the Glue-ons for 100 milers and multi-day rides.

Like I said earlier, this wintery weather is a good time to check through my gear and see what's needed. I've had such good success with my Gloves and Glue-on shells that its easy to get complacent and just go with what works, but there are lots of options to try with the EasyCare product lineup. I ordered new Gloves, shells, power straps, pads, packing material, etc. All kinds of cool stuff to try this summer. Now if spring will just hurry and get here, I'll get out on the trail and try my new stuff.

 

Using the Easyboot Rx for Founder

Submitted by Christina Krueger, From Hoof To Heart

Pippi is a middle-aged Morab who had been chronically foundered for about two years before I met her in January of 2013. The first pictures show what her owners sent to me before I came to trim her. There was way too much hoof left on at each trim and her trims were six weeks apart. She was living in soft ride boots all the way around and was barely able to walk at all. 

The very first thing I did was take the toe back to relieve the pressure on at the toe from the lamellar wedge and I beveled the heel a bit.  Her feet were rock hard from being in boots for so long so I had her owner start using Kaeco Epsom Salt Poultice to start softening the sole before I came to trim. I also put her on a ten-day trimming cycle to start and we moved it out a few days at a time so that I could make the drastic changes that were needed slowly.  

A huge help in her progress has been switching to the Easyboot Rx. They are lightweight, and the soft bottoms of the boots made her more comfortable right away once we got her in those all the way around. After a few months we were able to take the hind boots off and not long after she was completely out of boots and standing on her own four feet. That summer, her owner was able to ride her in Easyboot Gloves for the first time in years. The pictures are about four months apart, so you can see the gradual widening of her heels as we took off inches of hoof material and her foot regained some blood flow. 

She has since had some highs and lows. She has been diagnosed with insulin resistance and has had a tough time when we have suffered our "polar vortexes" and had extreme heat. Most times, she will have to go back into her Rx boots in front again for a few weeks and then will recover. She as had an abscess which was able to be poulticed easily with her boots. She did have a rough patch recently when we started getting sub-zero temps here in Illinois and I had to put her trim off for a week or so. She was better once I trimmed her, but the Rx boots have been so helpful for the owner to have in times like that. 

Pippi has a fighting spirit and her owners are willing to do whatever it takes to make her comfortable.  Those two things have made me so grateful to work on her and see her thrive when it looked like they were out of options. I'm looking forward to the release of the Cloud Boots because I think they will be a great boot for her owners to have on hand.