This past summer three members of Team Easyboot went to the Ride Between the Rivers endurance ride in Ellamore, West Virginia to offer any help we could with EasyCare hoof boots. We also went to help crew for a few of my mom’s friends and clients. (My mom is a barefoot trimmer.) Friday afternoon was all about getting ready. We helped check hoof boot fit, add pads as needed, make adjustments, etc. As this was going to be our first time crewing, we also learned how an endurance ride works, what our jobs were, and what to expect. We helped carry supplies to staging tents to be sure all would run smoothly the next day.
The next morning we got up at 4:30 to go see the 50-milers leave at 6:30. It was cool to see all the riders take off when it was still a bit dark outside. We had one rider in that group, Patti Jo and her trusty Appaloosa Cherokee. Then the 30-milers left at 7:00. We had three riders in that group, Paulita on Thomas, Jaclyn on Smokey, both Arabians, and Lynn on her Morgan, Rio.
Patti Jo and Cherokee, Easyboot Gloves all around, ready to head out at 6:30 for the 50-mile ride.
Jaclyn on Smoke and Paulita on Thomas, Epics on hinds, waiting for their start time.
Lynn and Rio, Epics on all around, getting ready to head out.
After everyone had left it was time for the waiting game. Paulita and Jaclyn were the first to return. When they arrived we had to hurry and get their horses’ heart rates down, sponging their horses with cold water and then scraping to get to the vet check quickly. Both Thomas and Smokey passed and we returned to the tent for the 45 minute hold. We fed both very wet feed full of electrolytes. We wished them good luck and went to help Patty Jo who had just come in from her first loop.
We repeated the sponging and scraping process and then Cherokee was off to the vet check. A little bit later Lynn came in. We then completed the same process until her horse could go in to see the vet. We ended up pretty wet ourselves after four horses! But we got all our horses’ heart rates down, safely through the vet check, and on to their next loops, last for the 30-milers, middle for the 50-milers, Patti Jo and Cherokee.
When Paulita and Jaclyn came in after their second loop, it was a lot calmer going through the sponging and vet check. They were done and they were in good time. Patti Jo came in next, and it was the same frenzy to get heart rate down and to the vet check to begin the 45 minute hold before heading out on her last loop. We took a little break and walked Thomas and Smokey, allowing them to graze peacefully after a job well done.
The joy of well-deserved watermelon for Thomas and Smokey!
When Lynn arrived she was very happy since she was also done, but it was a bit frantic as she had very little time left. She made it with just a few minutes to spare and Rio vetted in no problem. After that, Lynn announced “I won!” to everyone, meaning that she had finished successfully. “To complete is to win”, she said. That evening, Lynn won the “turtle” award. We were very proud of her!
Checking Rio’s heart rate before rushing to the Vet Check, no time to spare.
Patti Jo was our last rider in for the day, completing her 50 miles in good form. She and Cherokee looked like they could have kept going! Even though we were tired after such a long day, we still stayed and helped serve dinner. It was our local endurance ride, and we wanted to represent Team Easyboot 2013 well!
Nonee and me serving dessert.
I love horses, and I love helping people with horses. I don’t necessarily want to compete myself, but I sure had a great time helping these riders and horses, with hoof boots and with caretaking during the ride. I had so much FUN, and I can’t wait to do it again. Crewing is a great job for me!
My name is Nicole Vinson and I was born in Texas originally and then moved to Colorado in '99, so now it is home to me. I grew up with horses and can't imagine life without them. From the time I could walk I would grab my good old' baby sitter Buck, climb up on the fence and then was content just sitting on his back while he calmly swished the flies with his tail. Now I am raising three horses of my own. I still have not grown out of that horse loving phase.
I have trained and performed on several horses in many disciplines. I was lucky enough to meet my mentor in 2004 and worked on her ranch until 2010. She raised paints and quarter horses and had trained under several well known clinicians throughout her years and was kind enough to share her knowledge with me. I would assist with foaling, imprinting, and training. Once the horses were ready I had the opportunity to show many of them in Halter, Western Pleasure, Equitation, and Trail classes. I also had the privilege to wrangle five day pack trips up the Wemminuche on very hard terrain and most of the time, very novice riders. This is where I had my first experiences with Easyboots. When a horse would lose a shoe, we would use Easyboots until we got off the mountain to replace the shoe. In 2008, I started taking English riding lessons and started showing in all of those classes as well. The horses as well as myself have benefited so much from this. My foundation could not have been more solid when it comes to training and dealing with problems down the road.
While my show life was very successful, I now enjoy barrel racing, trail riding, and cattle work with my quarter horse mare Lady. I have a three year old Thoroughbred cross that I am having a wonderful time with trail riding and getting her foundation solid. Throughout the years I have realized how good the hooves of barefoot horses are. While my mentor’s horses were all very healthy, they always had pretty nasty feet with huge cracks and extreme flares. They were also shod six months of the year. I never understood why but now that I have my own horses, that have always been barefoot, and have never had any issues with cracking or flaring, I really see why a barefoot hoof is the best option. They wear their feet naturally and now with some guidance from a barefoot trimmer I am confident I can do maintenance on them myself. My horses have never had shoes, and I intend to keep it that way. Barefoot and booted is the way to go for us!
I am so excited to be able to help others realize how great a barefoot horse really is. I feel confident with my skills and knowledge I will be able to help make the right choices when it comes to boots and making sure they are right for both horse and rider.
Nicole Vinson, EasyCare Customer Service Representative
We are very pleased to announce that Midwest Trail Ride is our EasyCare Dealer of the Month for December.
Midwest Trail Ride is located at 1264 Hunter’s Creek Road in Norman, Indiana, and their campground is located in the Hoosier National Forest in beautiful southern Indiana with access to over 100 miles of well marked trails. These trails will take you through some of the most beautiful scenery that Indiana has to offer. They have 108 electric and water campsites, 13 cabins and 385 horse stalls and are open everyday from April through November for open camping and/or organized rides.
Midwest Trail Outpost Store specializes in “trail rider’s” gear and many unique things you don’t find at other tack stores. Kim, the owner, is a trail rider and is constantly looking for quality products to share with customers and friends.
Midwest Trail Ride Outpost is a trail rider's headquarters. They stock English & Western trail saddles, gaited horse saddles, Western & English bridles & halter bridles. They also stock outback dusters, winter liners & hats, art work, jewelry and hard to find, unique gifts for the equestrian. And, of course, they stock many styles of EasyCare Hoof Boots.
Midwest Trail Ride Outpost has carried Easyboot styles since 2007. They carry the Easyboot Glove, Trail, and Back Country. Kim says that their best selling boot is the Easyboot Trail, but her personal favorites are the Glove and the Trail.
Kim's horse wearing Easyboot Gloves.
Kim says that they custom fit hoof boots to the horse and educate riders about them. She told us that they don’t really advertise for hoof boots, folks just come there to ride and realize that they need hoof boots for their horses. Kim and her staff offer to fit the boots for each customer.
Kim states, “When we decided to carry the hoof boots, I went shoe-less and used only boots on my own horses for a couple of summers to check out the pros and cons of boots…so I could honestly tell customers my opinions. We are successful because we let the customers try the boots on and we make sure the boots are a good fit before they leave with them. I decided when we went into this business that I wasn’t carrying things in my store that I don’t like or believe in."
Kim has ridden horses for over 30 years, trail riding, showing and some endurance. She has a degree in Equine Science at St. Mary of the Woods College and a business degree from Oakland City University. Kim owns seven horses, some of which have been booted for about four years. Kim feels that more people are using boots as an option then ever before. She says that folks are really exploring this option, once they are educated.
Lisa and Kim in front of the EasyCare display.
Midwest Trail Ride Outpost also has a farrier that works with them. Matt is educated in farrier science and goes to school for continuing education every year. Matt helps to educate customers and, if their horse can’t be reset because of a damaged or unhealthy hoof wall, he will suggest hoof boots to the customer so they can continue to trail ride and enjoy their horse while the hoof wall is heeling…some folks don’t go back to shoes.
Midwest Trail Ride was also featured on "Best of America" trail riding:
Visit Midwest Trail Ride Outpost at their store, on their website or "Like" them on their Faceboot Page.
Retail Account Rep
I am the Retail and New Dealer Account Rep for EasyCare. I will be happy to help you with ordering, selecting the most popular styles and sizes of EasyCare hoof boots to stock. Let me help you with suggestions on merchandising and provide training for you and your staff, at your convenience.
I had the honor of attending the Glu-Tech seminar on November 14 & 15, 2013 at the Ocala Breeder's Sales Center in Florida. The event was hosted by International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame inductee, Tom Curl, who has 38 years of hoof care experience.
Tom Curl with Big Brown, 2008 Kentucky Derby Winner.
The list of speakers was impressive, and after Tom welcomed the attendees, it was clear that the finest gluing practitioners in the world had been assembled to share information and techniques publicly. It was even more clear that EasyCare's role as a thought leader in the application of hoof protection devices is well established. Each of five speakers had one hour to make a PowerPoint presentation and to apply their hoof protection device gluing protocol on one foot of a live horse.
Ian McKinlay of Tenderhoof Solutions presented case studies of hoof rehabilitation using Yasha Glue-On Shoes. He spoke at some length about the importance of allowing the hoof to expand and contract to remain healthy and vascular. As a farrier who has been working in alternative hoof protection device applications since the 1970s, his presentation was both fascinating and inspiring.
Leah Clarke applies the Sticky Shoe.
Leah Clarke, whose early years were connected to the world of endurance from her home in California, presented a gluing application of the Sticky Shoe, manufactured by the Thoro'bred Race Plate Company. I was particularly fascinated by the user kit the shoes come in: they contain everything you need for the gluing application, even a set of latex gloves. Leah later presented some case studies of quarter crack repair and lacing techniques to repair hooves.
Tab Pigg from Vettec presented application of steel shoes using Vettec Adhere. If you have ever used the Easyboot Glue-On, you will know that Adhere is one of the recommended glues for applying the boot.
Curtis presents at the auditorium in the OBS facility.
Curtis Burns of No Anvil LLC was the next to present the application of the Burns Polyflex Shoe. Curtis and Garrett Ford have worked in close partnership for more than two years as the design of the EasyShoe evolved. Curtis' application technique was characteristically meticulous. And as the hoof care practitioner responsible for Mucho Macho Man, Curtis has to know the best application methods on earth. And they appear to work: Mucho Macho Man won first place at the Breeder's Cup last month, bringing home an astonishing $5,000,000 purse for the win.
Garrett applies an Easyboot Glue-On. The entire event was filmed, with close-ups projected in real time onto a giant screen.
The first day closed with a presentation by Garrett Ford on how to glue on the Easyboot Glue-On. Garrett's application is almost as meticulous as Curtis'. His current application technique can be seen on the videos section of the EasyCare website.
One of the Glu-Tech Seminar attendees works with Garrett Ford to apply an EasyShoe to a Blacksmith Buddy.
On day two, each of the attendees worked in a hands-on setting with the presenters. Attendees picked who they worked with and applied the various forms of hoof devices using their preferred glue. Rather than using live horses, each presenter worked with a Blacksmith Buddy - essentially a life-sized prosthetic horse leg attached to a stand. The hooves are interchangeable, so the opportunities for teaching application methods using the Blacksmith Buddy are limitless.
There were four key takeaway points for me:
Gluing techniques vary dramatically. The key to successful application of the Easyboot Glue-On and the upcoming EasyShoe models rely upon careful and meticulous application methods.
Glue provides the bridge between steel shod and barefoot protocols. If you've felt like barefoot/booted and shod worlds are in a different universe; think again. Gluing applications of hoof protection devices have been around since the 1970s. Many of the hoof flexion benefits of barefoot/booted principles are alive and well in the glue-on shoe world.
The EasyShoe is eagerly anticipated across all sections of the hoof care world - the ease of application and the flexion properties will be key in its broad mass appeal as compared to all other glued hoof protection devices on the market today.
As Garrett Ford put it; "we're not selling horse shoes - we're selling what our shoes can do for the horse."
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.
As soon as I saw John Parke’s Sesenta Anos ride posted on the AERC calendar for Nov. 16-17, I knew it would be a must-do event. The ride was being held in celebration of John’s 60th birthday. Many riders in the AERC Southwest Region know John as the quirky guy in the Hawaiian shirt on the old Icelandic horse Remington (who is now 22). John is quite tall; Remington is not; you get the picture. John and Remington have more than 11,000 AERC miles together. John is known more widely as AERC’s attorney—a position he has held for numerous years and which he does voluntarily. AERC members should be thankful for John’s dedication. He has no doubt saved the AERC hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years and gotten the organization out of a few pickles, as well.
Back to Sesenta Anos. The reason for my excitement was the location. The ride was held on the historic Rancho San Fernando Rey in upper Santa Ynez Valley. This valley is located north and inland from Santa Barbara. It is dotted with stunning horse farms and vineyards. It is a prominent wine region made famous by the movie “Sideways.” That’s all great, but this ranch is something truly special. It is an original Spanish land grant rancho that comprises 37,000 acres. I don’t know how to eyeball 37,000 acres, but I can tell you that the rancho stretches in all directions for as far as I can see. It rolls down valley to Lake Cachuma and up valley to the Las Padres National Forest. The Santa Ynez River runs through the ranch and there are 150 miles of jeep roads through the property that are used by the ranch staff. The rancho looks much as it must have some 200 years ago. The landscape is rugged, rocky and challenging. The mountainous terrain delivered numerous heart-pounding climbs. The rewards at the top of every hill were unbelievable views.
The 2-day ride drew about 70 entries. I brought four horses (that’s 16 hoof boots!), including Jenni Smith’s mare Toska. My friend Catherine Gallegos would be riding with us in her first endurance ride. She was excited beyond words, as it was her dream to be able to “ride like the wind.” I mounted her on my mare Stella, who I knew would give Catherine an easy ride, which she did.
On Friday afternoon, we booted everyone up for a pre-ride. I finally got smart and reorganized my hoof boots in separate bags by size. Jenni and Barry helped and so the booting process went much more quickly. We were only riding the limited distance so I didn’t use Easyboot Glue-Ons. The pre-ride proved to be just a glimpse of how spectacular the next day would be.
On Saturday, much to Catherine’s delight, we flew around the course. The horses loved it. We finished 1-2-3-4, and I’ve never seen someone with such a big grin on her face as Catherine had that day. I convinced her to ride again the next day and she and I again flew around the course. Most of the trail was pretty rocky, but because of our Easyboot Gloves we were able to maintain a good steady pace over the rocks. She was thrilled!
Jenni Smith, Catherine Gallegos, Jennifer Waitte and Barry Waitte.
I really enjoy introducing friends to endurance riding and getting to share all the things I love about it. Catherine is no average rider; she is a highly skilled Grand Prix level dressage rider. As we went down the trail I could see Catherine burst out of her constraints and revel in the freedom of galloping down the road. Add to this that we were being given this rare opportunity to ride at Rancho San Fernando Rey, and the days couldn’t have been better.
After the ride, John bent my ear for new ideas about how AERC could increase its membership. I suggested he encourage members to do what I did. If an AERC member knows someone who is interested in trying endurance, then make it possible for that friend to do so. Rather than telling him/her what she needs in order to ride in the sport (a suitable horse, suitable tack, transportation and training), invite the friend to participate in a ride on a finished horse. That’s what I did with Catherine. I invited her to ride with me on one of my horses. I made it easy for her to try the sport. Now she’s hooked and she will likely start looking for an endurance horse to add to her dressage barn. I've already invited her to another ride with us-this time a 50-miler. We elected to do the LD as her first ride. She rode almost 60 miles in two days with no trouble and is definitely ready for the next level.
Footnote: Remember Alyssa Radtke and her Mustang Dixie? Well, I finally got to ride Dixie at the Lake Sonoma 50 in early November. This was my first ride on a Mustang. She definitely has a mind of her own and the day confirmed for me that she is an excellent endurance horse. I've noticed a lot more Mustangs in endurance lately. It's great to see people giving these horses a new life.
I often hear people suggesting hoof boots based upon the boot that works for their horse, however what worked for their horse might not work for another horse. Not all horses' feet are the same shape. Not every rider rides in the same environment and/or conditions, thus the reason why it's so awesome EasyCare has created such a variety of boots.
These three feet each have a story, and they each have worn a different boot when they were in different stages of transition.
The hoof on the far left belongs to Chamaco (pictured above). He was in shoes for years and had a founder incident, he also tested positive for IR. He was rehabbed in the Easyboot Rx, then was ridden in the Easyboot Glove. Because of the shape of his feet he was having some boot twisting issues on his hinds. That was solved by putting him in the Easyboot Back Country. His owner loves to blaze the trails, go through creeks and mud, and as you can see Chamaco just floats in his boots. The Back County is the boot that works well for Chamaco and his owner.
The hoof in the middle belongs Geo (pictured above). He was also in shoes and had very deep painful thrush. His owner needed a boot that was easy to get on and off, and Geo needed a boot for protection. The low mileage Easyboot Trail was the perfect boot during his transition. Geo has progressed and is now being ridden on the beautiful Pacific Northwest trails. He needed a different boot to handle the change of riding style (more aggressive and challenging conditions) but one that was still easy for his owner to use. The Easyboot Back Country fit his situation and they are now blazing the trails for hours with no worries about losing a boot.
The hoof on the far right belongs to a pretty mare named Cheyanne (pictured above). She had a bad laminitic incident this past spring and the Easyboot Rxs were used for her rehab. Her owner is now happily riding her lightly in the Easyboot Gloves, with no hint of lameness.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, riding a variety of horses (Stitch, pictured above, wears the Easyboot Glove on rocky trails), and servicing a variety of clients, I no longer have one favorite Easyboot. My favorite is the boot that works for the horse and the rider. EasyCare has met the challenge, they have the boot that fits your horse and your needs. To find the boot that works best for you, shop EasyCare, or find hands on help from your nearest EasyCare dealer. Happy riding!
I bought my first horse last April 2012. The first month he lost one of his front shoes. Three months later he lost another and six months later the same thing happened again. I decided to try to let my horse be barefoot but I needed a good hoof boot. My friend recommended the Easyboot Epics. And the rest is history. I love my Epics and would like to try the Easyboot Glove.
Name: C. Carver City: Front Royal, VA USA Equine Discipline: Pleasure Riding Favorite Boot:Easyboot Epic
This past June, I had a hip replaced. For three months the horses had a total holiday, though their trims were kept up to date. When I was allowed to start riding again, their Easyboot Gloves didn't seem to fit...I had a sneaking suspicion that they had inched up to a new size boot! Sure enough, after their next trim, I reassessed their sizes. When first going booted instead of shod, he started with 0's on the hinds and 0.5's on the fronts. They quickly became 0.5's and one 1. Now my main man's 1 is a 1W and two of his 0.5's are now 1's. Only one foot still fit into a 0.5. How interesting that after four years of having bare hooves, they changed again.
Photo by Nipper Noble
So onto the beautiful Moab Canyons Ride. My friend Dana and I decided to use Easyboot Glue-Ons on the fronts and started bare on the hinds. I chose to have Christoph Schork (aka The Bootmeister) add quick studs to my Glue-Ons for better traction on the slick rock; they worked great. Dana's horse, Miles, moves differently than Quest and does fine without the studs. Everything was perfect for a wonderful three day ride. By the last day we decided to add Gloves on the back feet since there were some stonier sections. It was a good choice and the horses were quite happy. We did remove them on the very last stretch, heading down “Wipe-Out Hill”, just to make sure we didn't slide down the steep slick rock. The rest of the way home was sandy so we simply scooted home. It was a very exciting time for me, to be back in the saddle and rolling down the road!
I have used Easyboots for years, then I tried your Easyboot Epics and loved the addition of the gaiters. Although I liked those boots, it wasn't until Nancy Fedrick fitted by mare with the Easyboot Gloves that she has truly been happy. Janie is an Arabian who is 25 years young. She loved her new boots from the first day at EasyCare and she is happy when I get them out and put them on her. We can run at top speed, jump logs, climb the Santa Catalina Mountains and traverse muddy water filled washes - I have not lost a boot yet. This photo doesn't show your boots very well, but we just came down from the hills and the dog hitched a ride home.
Name: Tracie City: Oracle, AZ USA Equine Discipline: Pleasure Riding Favorite Boot:Easyboot Glove