More Tricks to Repairing Hoof Boots

Submitted by Martha Nicholas, Team Easyboot 2014 Member

After many years of use, I am surprised that I am still not done learning about EasyCare's bootsHere are a few more odd boot repairs I have had to solve lately.

Easyboot Gloves

Over time, the wear on the front of the Gloves makes the size of the boot difficult if not impossible to read. This may be the time to replace them, or maybe not. But when I am booting up for a ride, I want to know what the boot sizes are at a glance. My husband solved this problem with a small pencil type soldering iron and a white metal marking paint pen. The thickness of the Gloves in the toe area means they don't wear as much there. Mike found that a small soldering iron worked better and was easier to read than the old hot nail method. This could be done on the left or right sides of the boot to indicate which foot you would like it to be on as well or even inside the boot on the sole. The main thing is to go slow and light so as not to overdo it.

 

Easyboot Grip - Also Applicable to Easyboot Epic and Original Easyboot

I also had an issue with the buckle/cable system on an old pair of Grips. The cable has been getting stuck between the boot rubber and the white washer/wheel that the cable wraps around and slides on when adjusting the tightness on the boots. Upon taking the screws out and inspecting the white washer, I found I needed to replace it since it was worn down on one side. But the boot rubber was bent over so the problem was not yet solved. I used a thin metal washer with the inside hole big enough to fit over the gold knurled nut that EasyCare uses. I also went to a longer screw to allow for the added thickness. The washer acts as a guide to keep the cable in place on the wheel. I applied some WD-40 onto the area and I think I have solved yet another unusual boot problem.

 

It was fun solving these odd boot repair issues. Plus, I just know that someday I will get a call from a boot user needing boot repair advice. 

 

Tanya and Artistry: A Downunder EasyShoe Success Story

Artistry, Tanya’s beloved 17 year old thoroughbred gelding, was diagnosed with pedal osteitis and navicular changes last July. In order to recover and return back to dressage, the vets recommended metal shoes to provide the necessary support, but Tanya believed that Artistry’s hoof problems were the result of traditional steel shoeing and she was averse to their suggestions.

Tanya developed her own rehabilitation regime and started with the Old Mac’s G2 boots with EasyCare Comfort Pads to provide comfort and protection while Arty was on turn out for 12 hours of the day. It wasn’t long before Tanya watched Artistry become paddock sound.

Tanya connected with Duncan McLaughlin, a very skilled hoof care and equine massage practitioner near Bodalla, Australia. He provided the EasyShoe Performance N/G to Tanya. She then located an adept nearby farrier to apply them. The farrier was impressed, Tanya was pleased, and Arty was comfortable.

The next day, Artistry and Tanya attended a local dressage clinic. Following the clinic, Tanya and Artistry achieved two 3rd placings in their preliminary dressage event, even though they had compromised a significant amount of training time during recovery. The following week, Tanya and Artistry snagged a 1st and 2nd placing to take home.

At home, Arty charges around the paddock like a young thoroughbred in his EasyShoe Performances.. Please contact EasyCare at 1 (800) 447-8836 or email admin@easycareinc.com for more information on the new EasyShoes.

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.

Traction for Parades with the Easyboot Trail

I usually have keep my horse shod on the front so when our Sheriff's Mounted Posse is in a parade, I appreciate a little extra traction on the concrete. I use the Easyboot Trail to provide that added grip. They are simple to apply, do not detract from the horse's presentation and eliminate any sliding.

I'm going to transition from steel shoes to Easyboot Gloves this year for the trail. I'm looking forward to long, comfortable rides for both my horse and myself. Great quality, great products.

Name: Donna
City: Crestview, Florida, USA
Equine Discipline: Trail Riding
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect: Gluing on Stuff

While there are some things in life that can be done spur of the moment, gluing stuff on our horses feet is not one of them. One of my favorite quotes is from Olympic eventer Denny Emerson, who states; "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." If you're looking for success, this is a worthwhile sentiment to live by. There are few things that make less sense to me than attempting to glue on boots or shoes in less than ideal circumstances, with less than ideal tools, products or procedures. EasyCare has developed protocols for a reason- they work I will never understand why people don't use them. 

Majik in his Easyboot Glue-Ons in front and Easyboot Gloves behind at the 2014 Seneca Stampede 50. Steve Bradley Photography. 

Recently, with the advent and availability of the awesome EasyShoe, I've seen applications that literally make me cringe. While the instruction videos are pretty dang straightforward, it seems that people are quick to come up with their own protocol, often skipping important steps and then vocally proclaiming the failure of the product. While I've seen the same shortcomings in gluing the Easyboot Glue-On, the EasyShoe is a bit less forgiving to less-than-ideal applications. Because there are awesome instructional videos outlining the application of both the Easyboot Glue-On and EasyShoe, there is no reason to come up with a DIY. Throughout the last several years of gluing on boots, and now gluing on shoes, I've utilized these to tailor the process to work for me, my horses and my place. 

Step One: Glue Station- A set of DIY cross-ties and a stall mat close to an outlet for my heat gun works for me! Clean, quiet, flat and accessible are things you should consider when making your "glue station." I like to hang a hay net and keep another horse close by. Having a comfortable area for your horse is one of the most important aspects of successful gluing. A wiggly, herd-bound pony is going to squirm and twist before the glue is set. Try to mitigate this for successful gluing. 

Greta Grenade patiently standing in our "glue stall" after her second set of EasyShoes.

Step Two: Trim n' Prep- A proper trim is imperative for not only glue-on success but plain old booting success as well. Knowing your horse and when he should be trimmed before an important event is key. I've found that my new pasture situation has changed things as far as how soon before an event I can trim and how aggressively I can do so. But key for any successful glue is preparation. You must prep the hoof wall. You must scrape off the weird skin stuff at the heels and you must utilize your wire brush (seriously, peeps, they are like $4) and your heat gun. For my EasyShoes, I use the heat gun three or four times throughout my prep process as I don't use a torch. I have no doubt the torch is a better tool but I have had great luck using my heat gun. Your mileage may vary. 

Greta's feet after prep and before gluing. Note the very roughed up hoof wall. A new rasp makes a world of difference in this step of preparation. 

Majik's hooves awaiting boots.

Step Three: All the Things- Have your stuff out, peeps. Before you even bring your horse up, gather everything you might need. I keep all my gluing supplies in a box which includes a box of gloves, a new rasp, wire brush, glue tips, glue gun, screwdrivers, nippers, etc. There is nothing worse than getting ready to put a boot on your horse and realizing you've forgotten something imperative. Double checking this this step will pay twofold. Don't skip it!

Step Four: Patience- This is not the time to realize you should have been in the shower 15 minutes ago to get ready for your dinner date. While I find the actual gluing goes quicker than the prep, this is not the time to skimp on patience. While your glue setting up depends on things like temperature, amount of glue and the Glue Gods, this is a step you take as long as necessary. It just is. 

Doesn't have to be fancy, just complete.

Step Five: The After- I tend to be over it by this point, as are my horses, and it's hard for me to commit to the standing still portion which really is important. I like to keep them standing stillish for about an hour, of which I eat about 15 minutes cleaning up, another 15 grooming the horse, the next five fussing over the Sikaflex still coming out of the back of my boots and the next five arguing with myself about whether or not I can just put the horse up. I generally last about 45 minutes before caving and putting the horse in their paddock all the while sure that they have somehow compromised the glue bond and are going to lose their boots/shoes before the vet check on the first loop. I am surely jinxing myself now by saying I haven't lost a boot in years, but obviously it's coming now. 

Step Six: The Ride- Enjoy it! If you've prepped properly, used the recommended products and equipment, hopefully you can enjoy a worry-free event with your Easyboot Glue-Ons or EasyShoes. If your boots or shoes pop off within days or even weeks, you likely need to revisit your application. If you find yourself under your horse sweating and swearing while truing to pry the suckers off, you've done well! Don't waste your time, money, effort or sanity by not following the protocol exactly. This is one instance where perfect practice really is worth it.

Easyboot Trail Repairs and Maintenance

Submitted by Natalie Herman, Team Easyboot 2014 Member

I love to ride in my high performance Easyboots. The Easyboot Epics make for easy adjustments and allow for all manor of padding when needed. The Easyboot Gloves are awesome for their simplicity and streamlined fit and super light weight. The Easyboot Glove Back Country boots offer the same benefits of the Glove, sacrificing only a tiny bit of streamlined simplicity for superb retention abilities in all terrain and at all speeds.

Photo by Christie B Photography at the Whiskeytown Chaser.

Some of my clients prefer to just mosey around at a walk for half an hour a week, if that. Some of them also have dexterity or strength issues with their hands, so having a simple boot is great. This is where the Easyboot Trail comes in. Easy on and off for even the most arthritic or otherwise challenged hands, it also accommodates pretty odd hoof shapes when the horse is not being ridden too aggressively. When the uppers rip, you either have to get creative, or buy a whole new boot. I tend to be a creative repairer instead of boot buyer myself. Here is one of the latest repairs I did.

For all horse people: the Speedysticher (comes in several brand names) is your best friend. From saddles, to winter blankets, to hoof boots - just about anything that can be repaired with sewing.

This boot still looked pretty good on the outside, and there was lots of life still left in the tread.

 

It just was torn where the elastic is attached in the back corner of the boot.

So I trimmed up the torn parts where needed, lined things back up, and proceeded to stitch away.

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It worked like a charm. 10 minutes later, the boot was fully functional again. I may never win awards at perfect stitches or seams, but usually when I repair things, they stay repaired.

Now my friend was able to pop on this pair of boots again, and go trotting down her gravel road without a worry. So before you toss out those boots you think are broken and worthless, see if some sewing, gluing, riveting, or other repair may make them last a while longer.

Treating an Abscess Using the Easyboot Rx

My horse Lutin (Imp in English), was barely able to walk for several days and on June 30th, my vet discovered a huge abscess under the hoof wall of his left hoof. After the treatment she recommended shoeing Lutin to protect the sole of his hoof but I didn’t agree with the idea.

Since Lutin normally wears Easyboot Epics while we ride outdoors I locally ordered a pair of Easyboot Rx boots. Unfortunately my usual supplier in Switzerland was out of stock so I contacted EasyCare, Inc. in Tucson, Arizona, directly. The boots were shipped from the local facilities; I was able to track the shipment that flew from Tucson AZ to Memphis TN, Paris Roissy France, then Basel Switzerland. They were delivered two days later, which was the very same day the hoofs were trimmed. Lutin has been wearing his new "slippers" since then.

From the beginning, one could see that he felt comfortable in his Easyboot Rx boots. Today the boots are a little worn, but still in one piece and still useable. Considering they’ve been intensely used for more than five weeks, they are remarkably sturdy.

At first I was afraid the hoofs would sweat and would develop bacteria in the boots. It never occurred, the hooves are perfectly healthy and the abscess hole reduced. Provided that I had time to spare, it was worth making the effort to look after the hoof that had to be disinfected and cleaned every day, along with the boots.

When we are riding outdoors, Lutin wears his usual Easyboot Epics boot and the Easyboot Rx boots are left to dry after complete cleaning.

I’m glad my horse is well again.

Name: Caroline
Country: Switzerland
Equine Discipline: Trail
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Rx

 

Gaiters (And I Don't Mean The Ones in the Swamps)

I wanted to take a moment to talk about sizing and fit of boots.

In my own shoes, I have hiking boots, riding boots, flip flops, flats and running shoes. I wouldn’t wear my hiking boots running and I wouldn’t wear flip flops hiking. My flats are ok for dancing and everyday stuff, but aren’t that great for any distance of running. You get the idea. There are fit and purpose issues here.

Let’s look at a family of boots that have the same sole: the Glue On, Glove and Glove Back Country.

As a simple Glue On, this boot reminds me of flats.

If you slid a Glue On onto a hoof, with no glue, you would have as much security of that boot staying on during riding as I would have in keeping a flat on while jogging trails. If there was mud, rocks, twists and angles, my flat would slip off of my foot. For the record, I am not volunteering to glue on my flats and see how they manage.

But the first fit of the Glue On, Glove and Back Country have something in common with my flats, so I will keep the comparison.

A hoof is measured in 2 dimensions: length and width. Yet there is a third dimension that gives the hoof its overall shape and height. Same with my feet. This is why I can’t buy shoes on ebay! I can’t tell if a size 9 will actually fit me or not. For our boots, we offer a fit-kit so that you can start with the L & W, but also  get the “fit” from the shape of the hoof and its height.

Back to my flats. The more contact with my foot, the better that puppy is staying on. If the flat is too “short” compared to my foot, it will fall off readily.

You can see the ratio between skin contact and non-contact in the heels image. What I’ve marked in green shows only a sliver of skin connection. The red shows how much of her foot is “out” of her heel. When I have less contact, I get gaps when the shoe flexes and if I am doing anything faster than walking, that causes the heel to slide off. You have to work your toes to keep barely-there flats on.

Horses don’t have toes. They can’t “work” to keep their boots on either. So you have to ensure that you have enough hoof-to-boot contact to start with. Let’s see how my horse’s boots are fitting.

First step, when we are looking at our third dimension: how tall is your hoof, when in the shell? On the left we can see possibly a ½” to ¾” gap between the top of the shell and the hairline. That’s a great ratio of covered hoof to uncovered hoof. You have “most” of the hoof in contact with the inside of that shell. On the right, we can see a horse with a hoof that is too long to fit into the shell (regardless of his length and width measurements being right). We can clearly see an inch of hoof above the shell and it looks more like 1/3 of the hoof is “out” of the boot and 2/3s of it is “in”. Additionally, just like my flats that pucker and don’t fit right, you can see the shell was waves in it, where it is puckering and gapping and not clinging to the hoof.

Here we can see a shell that has the right “height” but the one on the left, the slit has almost no gap showing  no tension between the walls of the shell and the hoof. The one on the right has a “V” in the gap, showing that the hoofwall is sufficiently snug up against the inside of the boot. You want to see a spread in that cut-out so that it looks more like a “V”.

Another part we want to look at is, is the shell too small?

Ooohh baby, you and I got the same issue. Our shoes are too small and our foot “runneth over”. When you get a “muffin top” look to your shell, the hoof is clearly too wide for the size you selected. We can also see a gap between the hoofwall and the shell and clearly, there is more hoofwall OUT of the shell than IN.

Once we get the right size shell and glue it on, we’re good to go.

What if you don’t want to glue? How do they get flats to stay on? They add gaiters.

Don’t think horse people have the exclusivity on gaiter use. Humans know their little shoes can’t stay on and they add straps to them too! They do add an additional point of fit though. If your horse’s heels are quite tall, the gaiter height won’t reach the anatomical position it was designed for.

You can see the height of the shell in relation to the hairline. At the toe, it’s relatively close. But this horse has taller heels. You can see the shell’s topline falling away from the hairline as it heads back towards the heels. This leaves our gaiter “reaching” to be velcroed.

If you put the stress on the gaiter alone, it will strain and likely pull off of the boot. This gal isn’t going to last long in her strappy sandals either. Her gaiter is also running “uphill” and showing the tension she is putting on it. With a correct fit, her strap wouldn’t be the primary pressure point on her shoe.

So if we have Glue On shell fit, and Glove gaiter fit, we just have to look at the Back Country Upper and see how IT fits.

If the Back Country were a shoe, it would be the most secure gaiter they could design.

Or possibly more like a Tom’s, because they are flats that are pretty hard to “accidentally” have coming off.

Just like the Glove gaiter, you want the heel height of the horse to mimic the shape of the boot. If your toes are a good height and the boot gets further away from the hairline as it hits the heels, your horse’s hoof shape is not ideal for this shell family.

Two things that don’t fit in this photo: Although the angle IS parallel to the shell’s topline, there is almost a 50-50 between hoofwall that is in the boot and hoofwall that is above the boot. Not a lot of hoofwall contact in that ratio. We can also see a bulge (muffin top) to the boot at the heel. This horse would go up a size.

 

Just like the gaiter of the Glove, the upper of the Glove Back Country should be as level with the boot as possible. We don’t want it pulling “up”. If you can feel around the bottom of the gaiter and touch Velcro, your gaiter is not wrapped parallel to the shell. Try again!

The Back Country has a Comfort Cup Gaiter inside the wrapping flaps of the upper. In the green example on the left, the upper is wrapped parallel to the shell. You can see the symmetry of the wrap and that the Comfort Cup Gaiter is situated in the center of the back of the boot. When the upper is wrapped incorrectly, it raises too high for the Comfort Cup Gaiter. You can see it’s off-center and listing. The harsh Velcro of the upper is now exposed and can come in contact with the pastern. NO GOOD!

If you are wrapping the upper and it “won’t reach” it’s a sizing issue. Don’t try and wrap it uphill just to get it to reach. Not only will it be too tight, but you will also be exposing the Velcro to your horse’s pastern. Tight, rough Velcro on pasterns is no fun!

Lastly, when you wrap “uphill” the anatomically designed opening of the boot gets distorted. It leaves less room for the pastern, front to back. It widens the boot into pokey corners. This leaves less range of moment in the stride for the boot to contact the pastern and can introduce rubbing.

I hate when my heels get rubbed.

Ultimately, we want the Back Country to fit well and we want to run our hands along them to ensure the upper was wrapped levelly. We want to see that the upper isn’t pinching the pastern or bunching or pulling. We will want to introduce our buddies to their boots over several rides. Like a hiking boot, the rigid upper needs to soften and break in.

All of these have the same sole, but the fit is 3 dimensional and very exact. Get a fit kit so you can try them out on the flesh.

  • Be mindful of the shape of your horse’s hoof so you can see if there is more hoof IN the boot than OUT. Consider that if you want to add comfort pads, it will lift your hoof even higher and cause less hoofwall contact. Stick to thinner or no pads.
  • See if it “V”s at the front. You need that hoofwall contact and tension there for a good fit.
  • Check your hair line and see if it mimics the topline of the shell. Are your heels too tall for this boot? If the shell of the fit kit shows less and less contact as it goes back near the heels, then you KNOW once you put the Glove gaiter on, it will pull “up” and not level around the pastern and will likely wear out faster than the boot. You will also know that the Back Country upper will not wrap levelly around that high heeled horse and will rub or not fasten all the way around.

See our website and blogs for more tips on using Glue Ons, Gloves and Glove Back Country boots.

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!

The Hardest 100 Mile Race in the World: The Greatest Testing Grounds for Easyboots

The 59th running of the 100-mile Western States Endurance Ride, aka the Tevis Cup, took place on Saturday, August 9, 2014. It was the biggest field of entries in many years, and the largest representation of Easyboot products ever to be seen at the event.

Barrak Blakely and his family at the presentation of the Haggin Cup award. Photo by Lynne Glazer.

186 horse and rider teams started the event at 5:15 AM at Robie Park, just a few miles from North Lake Tahoe. Weather conditions were perfect, and the completion rate was the highest ever.

Tevis 2014 Statistics

  1. The 2014 Tevis Cup (first place) was won in Easyboot Glue-Ons by Heather Reynolds and Hadeia in 14h17.
  2. This is the fourth year in a row for the first place Tevis horse to be wearing Easyboots.
  3. The Haggin Cup (Best Condition) was won by Barrak Blakely on MCM Last Dance.
  4. At 15, Barrak is the youngest rider to win the Haggin Cup. At 17, his horse is the oldest horse to win Haggin Cup. 
  5. Five of the top ten horses to finish were in Easyboots.
  6. Ten of the top 15 finishers were in Easyboots.
  7. 25% of all finishing horses were in Easyboots.

Heather Reynolds and Hadeia accept the Tevis Cup. Photo by Lynne Glazer.

Kevin Myers

easycare-marketing-director-kevin-myers

Director of Marketing

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 equine partner.

August 2014 Customer Newsletter: If My Horse and I Were Sisters, We'd Have a Wicked Shoe Closet.

This Month:

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

- 10 Reasons Why You Should Own an Easyboot Transition.

- Cash: Daisy's Webinar Horse, a 16 Year Old Saddlebred Gelding.

- Sabine Halfhill Hoof Care - EasyCare's Dealer of the Month for August.

READ MORE...

 

Help Us Help You

Have you seen the survey?


EasyCare has expanded the Durango, Colorado location in recent months and added new team members to keep up with the flow of riding season demands.It is important to us to provide the highest level of service to our valued Easybooters and Easyshoers. Please help us help you by dedicating five minutes to answer a few questions regarding your experiences with the EasyCare staff.


The Customer Satisfaction Survey requests your evaluation of the ability of representatives to listen to your specific boot problems and respond with solutions accordingly. It also requests your level of confidence that EasyCare is able to deliver service to meet your expectations. There is a brief fill-in-the-blank portion where you may offer suggestions as to how we may be more satisfying to our customers, what would please you most from EasyCare, and a miscellaneous comment section.

The results are broken down into percentages and margins for improvement are identified. They are discussed at weekly staff meetings and any problem areas are addressed with solutions. It is our priority to be available to you and efficiently address your concerns or questions with positive resolutions. Please follow this link to contribute your ideas, thoughts, and feedback: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/easycarecs2014 . Thank you for your participation.

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.