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

 

My First Easyboot Blog: You Gotta Start Somewhere

Submitted by Lesley Dewar, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

Since being selected to join Team Easyboot over a month ago, procrastination set in.  Procrastination about writing this blog.  Not because I don't love the product, and not because I'm not an extroverted person, but procrastination because I'm officially declaring to the world that yes, I don't nail metal shoes on my horse and yes, I'm risking getting labeled with the label of “one of those barefoot weirdos”.  I've booted for many years, just secretly.  I've never told any of my farriers over the years that I secretly boot my horses and rarely ride in an arena, hence the reason for no metal shoes.  The reason being that very little people in my area boot their horses. In fact, very little people in our local horse community know what a horse boot is, let alone that it can literally make sore horses ride-able.  
I decided that it was the time to take action, if I was going to do this, be labeled as a weird person who puts boots on her horses, then I had best recruit support. One of my good friends had been curious about the boots for quite some time, so I decided to ask her if this was something she would be interested in trying.  To my relief, she was very excited about the endeavor and gladly brought her horse over to have me measure and look at different options for her.  I decided to pull out some boots in my collection, it is quite easy to see what my favorites are from the picture!  

We tied her horse, Romeo, up and got to work measuring. Now I'm no expert, but I like to save a little money here and there, especially when one of my horses just goes out on trails the odd time. Thankfully Romeo was just about to be trimmed, so we were able to measure him with his feet at his biggest.  The next day the farrier trimmed his feet and I stopped in to remeasure.  With both measurements, we were able to pick a boot that would fit him through his trim cycle, without having to buy two sets.  We ordered some pads to go with his new boots for use when he is just newly trimmed to make it a little comfier for him and if his hooves grow too much before the next trim they can be removed from the boot for a little extra room. Lastly, I taught Romeo how to help me pull off the boots.  I teach all my horses to pull against my pressure when removing the boots as it makes it easier for me to get off when they help.  I also find it makes them more comfortable with the booting process.  

 

So there you have it, I've broken my silence, and feel a lot happier for it.  You never know who is looking at your boots with questions but for whatever reason never asks about them.  I hope you too can help me break the taboo around these boots and get more people enjoying their horses!  
I look forward to my next blog installment next month, where I'm taking my super fun highland pony with giant feet (size #9) on a big overnight camping trail ride.  I'm hoping that her new snazzy New Macs will be here in time and I'll give them the swimming test as she loves to swim.  Keep your fingers crossed for Canada Post! 

A Tool for Everything

Submitted by Rusty Toth 

Meet Delilah, she is a 16.1 h former race horse I was introduced to to help her become sound again. She is a sweet and kind mare with some issues from less than stellar shoeing practices in her past. She has a low heel, long toe and very flat thin soles.

After a discussion with the owner, we decided to try the EasyShoe Performance. The frog stimulation, I believe, will help grow sole while getting her off the rough hard decomposed granite that is our ground in the Phoenix area. She was so tender standing on a mat she could not load one foot long enough to either directly or indirectly glue on the shoes. Poor girl gave it an honest try, but she just couldn't do it. Now what?

In trying to problem solve the situation, I remembered a blog from Christoph some time ago about modifying a shell into a shoe. Bingo! With the Adhere being so quick to set, the shell encompassing her hoof wall, she could set the bugger down quickly and with gusto, and I knew the boot would remain in place.

We truly have an excellent group of people collected with EasyCare. A quick call to Christoph to ascertain the size of hole required for the size of shell and we were off and running. I used a three and a half inch hole in a size #2 Glue-On shell. She needed the support of the base and frog.

Knowing how sore she was, I did not apply any glue to the sole surface, and applied Adhere to the wall of the shell only. Using a duct tape damn, I applied Vettec Soft to make her immediately comfortable. Knowing this product has zero sticking quality we will remove the packing in two weeks time to allow the sole to breath.

The owner reported the next day that Delilah was walking sound, landing flat and even heel first for the first time in a long time.  Problem solving at its best. I am grateful to be part of such an incredible team of people collected, using amazing products with an infinite ability to be used to solve any problem. Thank you EasyCare.

 

The New Easyboot Back Country, Like a Fine Wine

The Easyboot Glove Back Country has been refined, improved, and is being re-released as the Easyboot Back Country. The rear comfort cup gaiter is now made of a softer and thicker material. The front shield has been refined for a sleeker fit.  All sizes now come with a rear sung strap that  is removable and can be reversed for either left or right hooves. The modifications allow the boot to excel in the pleasure riding category and double as a performance boot.   

The new Easyboot Back Country. New front shield, new comfort cup gaiter and snug strap come standard.  

The new design comes in both wide and standard sizes. It's quick and easy to fit and stays on through the most challenging terrain.  

Rear snug strap comes standard on each boot.

The comfort cup gaiter folds out of the way making the boot easy to apply.

In place and ready to ride. Easy to fit and close-fitting.  

Ready to hit the trail!

Wide and standard shell patterns. #2 standard and #2 wide pictured.  

We will continue to sell the old style Easyboot Glove Back Country while supplies last.  The first order of the new style Easyboot Back Country will contain sizes #1.5, #2, #2.5, #3, #3.5 and #4.  The first order will also contain wide sizes #0W, #0.5W, #1W, #1.5W, #2W, #2.5W and #3W.  

We are excited about taking this boot to the next level and believe you and your horse will have great results. 

 

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.

AppleJack Loves his New Easyboot Minis!

AppleJack is currently in training to be a therapy horse. He has his own website at AppleJacktherapy.org.
He is only eight months old and has a gentle and fun personality. He will be using these boots when going to events, hospitals and nursing homes with slick floors. They fit perfectly and look great! Thanks EasyCare!

Name: Anna 
State: MO
Country: United States
Equine Discipline: Other
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Mini

Baby's First Boots

Submitted by Karen Bumgarner, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

It was a case of love at first sight. He was just two days old when I picked him out. Rearing, running and showing off. I dubbed him Peanut because he was such a little guy.

Now four years later, the Peanut is closing in on 15 hands and getting some light miles.

Peanut and I on our first trail ride. It's a bit rocky. So I fitted him for boots. The size #0 Easyboot Glove that I thought would fit wouldn't even go on. The #0.5 was pooched out on the sides so his hoof was too wide and it is very round. The size #1 slid on too easy so it was too big. But the #0W was a nice fit. It needed more "V" in the front but that gives him a bit of growing room. I decided with Power Straps they'd be just fine. I called Debbie Schwiebert at EasyCare and placed my order.

Just a couple days later, here is my "boot kit". One pair of #0W Gloves and a set of Power Straps.

Installing Power Straps is a breeze and they come with great directions. The only thing I do different is I use a small drill to make the holes. It's easier than a hole punch - sorry but the drill shots were blurry.

The circle shows how the Power Strap brings the gap together to make the boot fit tighter.

The Power Strap is a little stretchy so once in place, it'll give just a bit to create a nice snug fit for the hoof.

Same boot but without the Power Strap installed. The "V" should be stretched out but it isn't so that is why I used the power straps. You can also see how it is a bit loose around the top,  the Power Strap can really be beneficial in improving fit.

Voila! We are ready to travel the rocky trails!

Get a Leg Up with EasyCare's Ultimate Stirrups

We spend a lot of time making sure our horses are as comfortable as they can be. Most of us know that providing well fitted hoof wear goes beyond just protecting the feet. The benefits extend from the feet all the way up the bony column and keep the skeletal and soft tissue systems protected from excess shock, and wear and tear. My older horse consistently moves better and stays sound with boots and firm comfort pads; especially on unforgiving surfaces and long, hard rides.

That's great. But what about us?

I know I'm not the only one who feels a little beaten up after a long ride.

That same concussion that we are so concerned with protecting our horses from travels right up through the saddle to us too! Ankles, knees, hips, back, shoulders, and neck. Every footfall.  We avoid excess bounce by getting out of the saddle and off our horse's backs. We lessen the concussion by sinking our weight into our heels in the stirrups and allowing our ankles and knees to flex like shock absorbers. Despite our best instinctual efforts to absorb that concussion it still adds up. Even the smoothest, most balanced riders feel the cumulative effect using their joints to dissipate of all that energy.

If you have any past injuries like me, this phenomenon is magnified. Those are my legs in the x-rays below. You can bet your bottom dollar that I am always looking for a way to make the ride more comfortable.

Enter EasyCare's new aluminum stirrups. Now you can enjoy the same reduction in concussive forces and comfort your horse does with the EasyCare Ultimate and Ultimate Ultra stirrups. These machined aluminum stirrups come equipped with a closed cell EVA foam pad installed on the wide foot bed. The wide foot bed distributes weight across a larger surface area to reduce fatigue and provides an extremely stable base of support. The pads absorb shock and concussion; they take the beating so your joints don't have to!

Take it from this battle scar veteran. These stirrups are game-changing comfortable. Maybe you'll be the next one to trade in that bottle of ibuprofen for some new stirrups!

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.

EasyCare Boots Bring Us Together

Submitted by Leah Cain, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

Have you ever thought about how boots have brought us all closer together?  I am talking about the human and the equine kind. Getting hands on with your horses hooves and the protection of them can make for a whole other level of intimacy.  From their exercise programs to their diet, to their trims and watching them move every time you are with them.  It is so exciting to see horses change for the better and see their owners take great pride in being a part of the positive change.  I have had the pleasure of helping many navigate the world of booting but the most recent boot inductees have been especially exciting.  

The most recent was a gelding whom had been neglected for quite some time.  The horse rescue never thought he would be able to be put to any real work.  He had hooves that didn't grow much, with thin hoof walls and every kind of distortion you could think of.  He was very short-strided and looked ouchy just about everywhere.  With a good trim, good fitting boots and an exercise program in place, he was making progress.  I was able to get a real, normal trim done on him today and his hooves are growing and coming back to what they should be.  His owner has high hopes of getting out to do some endurance and I am positive she will get them there!  They did the Intro Ride at the Antelope Island Endurance ride and with just a little more conditioning time, they will be out there!

The next new booter came with trepidation about being able to do boots on her own and if she was protecting them enough.  She has learned how to apply the boots in no time flat and has got down the taping technique too.  She has been able to get out in all types of terrain and conditions and learn as we go.  She too has taken charge of her horses whole body health which includes hooves.  She did the Intro ride as well and then went on to do the LD at Antelope Island.   Next we play with glue-on boots, glue-on hybrids and shoes!

Oh yeah, and they want me to mention that they are old and could be my Mother, so no excuses!  Get out there and make a difference in your horses life for the better!