In this month's newsletter:
- Bargain Bin is Online and Live!
- Rounding the Corner pt. 2
- Tevis Glue Ons
- Throwback: The Easyboot Epic History
Are you looking for hoof boots at 50% off?
EasyCare is the first company in the world to produce a commercially available hoof boot. We have been at it for 46 years and the majority of the terminology, technology and business systems in our market place have been established by EasyCare. Measuring charts, materials, boot terminology, fit kits and warranty procedures are a few of the many things that EasyCare has developed and are now being used by other boot makers.
Bargain Bin boots. Only the best are cleaned up and sold at 50%
EasyCare's warranty procedures are some of the most aggressive in the business. We strive to make horses comfortable and their owners happy. The result of the warranty system is lightly used boots that can't be sold as new sit in the warehouse. These slightly used boots need a home and a hoof to protect. The Bargain Bin has been set up to list these high quality but slightly used boots at a 50% discount. All Bargain Boots are heat stamped with "BB" and are not covered by warranty. All sales are final. In addition to the slightly used boots, we will be also offering older boot models and discontinued models at 50% off.
The Bargain Bin has been set up to help our loyal customers and place our slightly used product. Quantities will be limited and will be updated weekly.
I have been President 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.
Submitted by Sossity Gargiulo of Wild Hearts Hoof Care.
The Western States Trail Ride, more popularly known as the Tevis Cup, probably needs no introduction. Being one of the top endurance competitions in the world, where 100 punishingly rugged miles are completed by qualified horses and their riders in a single 24 hour period.
For mere mortals such as myself, I can really only imagine the time, effort, money, blood, sweat and tears that go into preparing and qualifying a horse for an event like this.
However this year, as a hoof care practitioner, we were able to do Tevis Easyboot Glue-On shells for the first time! In the last few years since we began working with endurance rider Kristine Hartman, we have glued on for many 50’s, a couple 100’s and even a few back to back rides where our skills were tested for 150 miles in a set! But when it came to gluing for Tevis, in previous years we happily handed off our freshly trimmed, barefoot clients to the amazing skills of Easy Care’s Team Elite. This year the task fell to us and I would be lying if I said it didn’t add a bit of pressure to our application!
Cruising through, photo by Dominique Cognee
EasyCare has an impressive record with the Tevis Cup. (To read the stats check out “Easyboot Success at the 2016 Tevis Cup- Statistics the Haters Won't Like!”) The Glue-On shell has served the horses well, providing cushion, traction and protection for 100 truly grueling miles of rocks, water crossings, roads, steep climbs, descents and MORE rocks!
For Kristine Hartman and her Arabian mare Tess (Count on Tessie Flyin’) we wanted to be certain her mare’s footwear helped her continue her streak of completions and excellent placings. As luck would have it, the day we were scheduled to apply our Glue-On’s for Tess, we got a visit from none other than farrier Daisy Bicking. Daisy was a member of the 2016 Tevis Team Elite. It was a group affair as farrier Chris Beggs from Australia and Sarah and Jon Smedley of Trim & Trainwas were also in attendance!
For endurance Glue-On prep, one of the steps we never miss is using the Hoof Buffy sand paper on the entire outer wall. This removes surface dirt and oils and the scratchy dry finish really helps grip the glue. We also put in shallow horizontal grooves into the wall with the side of the rasp, to provide additional grip – making the hoof wall groovy helps with glue traction as well.
We like to heat fit all of our Glue-On’s, and our Tevis-bound Tess was no exception. Heating the boot and helping it shape to the hoof wall allows excellent surface contact with no gapping, which helps with overall retention. For more information about heat fitting take a look at Pete Van Rossum's blog, "Applying Easyboots Using the Heat Fitting Method." We additionally recommend holding the heated boot against the hoof wall as it cools, feeling for any small gaps and pressing the shell into them - this really assists the boot shaping process.
An extra step we do is to drill in small “glue grommets”, little circles around the wall area of the boot, into all 4 shells. These allow the glue to ooze through and over the shell upon its application to the hoof, adding several other anchor points for our best chances at retention.
Daisy assisted us with the Sikaflex 227 application, Team Elite style! The Sikaflex adhesive has an amazing 600% elongation memory, making it a wonderful stretchy soft cushion for use on the sole with the added benefit of it being adhesive. It is messy, slow setting business, so you use the much harder, quick setting Vettec Adhere for shoe retention on the walls, while the Sikaflex sole/frog application cures over about 24 hrs. Daisy’s application went perfectly, with Sikaflex oozing out the heel area in just the right amount that we knew the sole and frog were well cushioned.
A bead of Adhere along the top lip of the shoe helps form a strong seal to the boot, and finishing that with the Hoof Buffer really blends it so that there is no hard edge to snap of. It blends the material together for a smooth transition that looks nice but most importantly resists removal. We also use the buffer all around the toes to soften the breakover point.
Cantering into the finish, photo by Dominique Cognee
This year’s Tevis included a new and difficult canyon, not to mention high humidity, hot temperatures, and even some rain! Kristine reports that it was her hardest Tevis of her nine so far! That is impressive in itself, but some of you may recall a rider that broke her arm at a fall during Tevis last year. A woman who actually went on to complete the race in an amazing 25th place, that was none other than our own brave, (and yes, crazy) duo Kristine and Tess! Despite the sweltering, steamy weather and extra challenging canyons this year, Kristine and Tess rode a great ride, and finished safely and soundly in 24th place!
We are grateful for the opportunity to do Glue-On’s for Tevis and are so proud to have been a part of this team and their success!
Submitted by David Landreville of Landreville Hoof Care
This article is a continuation of my previous article, Rounding The Corner. The following photo collage is a good example of how I encourage a lower heel on a high heeled horse. These are two slightly different views of a before and after trim on a small pony with very tall heels. He grows this much heel in 3-4 weeks. I've been trimming Rio for over two years now. He used to have tall hoof capsules with a lot of retained dead and woody tissue. The owner and I have worked as a team to make the following changes:
~diet (Bermuda grass hay only)
~increased movement (owner designed and built a small track system for Rio and two other herd mates)
~footing (track system is in a desert area with sandy loam footing and the owner mucks regularly)
~frequent meticulous trimming (owner calls me at 3 weeks like clock work.)
The heels may still be too tall for this pony or they may come down some more, however, they are fully alive and supple (dead woody tissue gets removed at each trim interval leaving thick, supple, healthy tissue. This is an important distinction between a hoof that is unhealthy due to the heels being too high, depriving the regenerative caudal structures of the stimulation that is needed for continual development, and a hoof that is healthy and normal for the horse's individual conformation. I refer to this as "bringing the life into a foot."
Here are my personal heel trimming parameters as illustrated (fairly well) in these photos:
(In other words, I'm not telling anyone how to trim, I'm just showing how I trim.)
~lower and bevel the heel wall very close to the seat of corn around its entirety, being careful not to take them lower than LIVE frog tissue. This step can be confusing when there is an excess of dead retained sole at the seat of corn. In my experience, dead sole is retained where there is thin live sole. In these cases, I gauge the depth of each collateral groove and carefully try to achieve the same measurement on each heel without invading live sole or causing unbalanced pressure to the frog bulbs. For more information read Chapter 19, in "Heel Height: The Deciding Factor, Care and Rehabilitation, of the Equine Foot."
~remove dead frog tissue
~smooth and round all surfaces to simulate wear for comfort and precise weight distribution.
In the before trim photos, there is a noticeable "re-curve" in the transition from soft heel bulbs to hard heel horn. I refer to this in the above mentioned blog. My immediate heel trimming goal is to get as much of the re-curve out so there is a single curve from the heel bulbs to the heels without compromising comfort or movement, which would be counter productive. To me, this only makes functional, anatomical, and humane sense. I try to never invade LIVE sole or LIVE frog because my long range trimming goal is to build these structures. I do come as close as I can though, depending on the footing that the horse lives on and the stage of development of the foot.
This pony rockets around his track system constantly developing better feet. He used to be edgy, timid, and bracey when being handled. In my experience, these are all signs of constant stress from the following CHRONIC conditions:
~tendon/ligament strain (throughout the entire body)
~joint misalignment (throughout the entire body)
~muscle strain (throughout the entire body)
~crushing of the hoove's solar and coronary coriums
~tearing of the hoove's dorsal lamellar connection
(Above) White arrow points to the apex of the recurve from Rounding the Corner (part 1)
Heels can be trimmed with the intention of achieving preconceived, desired angles which only last for a short time due to the hoof wall's rapid growth rate (1/16" every 4-5 days). Or heels can be trimmed with the intention of enhancing stimulation in order to increase blood flow and subsequent soft tissue development. The latter method is regenerative and requires frequent attention, and allows each horse the ability to evolve their individual true angles over time.
Get more information and keep up with what David is doing through the following links:
Blog originally posted November 29, 2009
Easyboot Epic is one of the most successful protective horse boots in the equine industry. Unlike a horses shoe, a hoof boot can be applied to the barefoot hoof by a horse owner and used as a spare or can used when a barefoot horse needs additional hoof protection.
How did the Epic become one of the best natural horse products? The Easyboot Epic evolved from the original Easyboot invented in 1970. After the invention of the first hoof boot in 1970, the Easyboot quickly improved and continued to change under the direction of Dr. Neel Glass. Horse hoof problems are a problem today and were more prevalent in the 70's. Barefoot trimming techniques have helped improve many of the problems.
Take a look at the Easyboot photos and look back at the history of Easyboots for horses.
The first prototype Easyboot. Roofing material and ski buckles were used on the first prototype.
The first Easyboot production model. Neel Glass and his staff hand poured the material into molds. This was the first of the protective horse boots to ever hit the equine market. Neel first made them in what he called "Natural" color.
Neel soon added black to his natural horse products.
Hardware on the side of the Easyboot was soon moved inside the hoof boot. The backstrap on this old boot has since rotted away.
Easyboot buckles improved and became more sturdy over time.
The back of the boots were high and needed to be cut down by the consumer.
All Easyboot molds were later changed to lower profile in the back.
Once a year EasyCare did a small run of red Easyboots.
The current production Easyboot.
The Easyboot then evolved into the Easyboot Epic.
The Epic is the same boot as the Easyboot but adds a gaiter to the back of the Easyboot Shell. The gaiter helps keep the boot in place by locking down the heel of the horse. The Epic was the answer to the barefoot hoof and barefoot trimming. Easy boots for horses were now staying in place much better and were easy to apply.
Blog originally posted November 27, 2009. Updates to this product have occured since that date and are not listed in this content. For more information, please contact us.
The September 2017 Read to Win Contest winners are:
Be sure to read the EasyCare e-newsletter for your chance to win next month. Sign up at easycareinc.com/newsletter_subscribe.aspx.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 Easyboots or EasyShoes.
Tucker is an off the track Thoroughbred whom we rescued. He came to us with poor body condition, lots of bones visible, rain rot covering his body, and his feet literally falling a part. Tucker has a club foot that resulted from a broken leg. With the help of knowledgeable people, we have watched Tucker heal from the inside out! He is a beautiful, kindhearted animal who loves all of the people who visit our farm! In spite of all of his progress, the club foot does not hold up to bug-stomping summers. Thanks to our farrier and Kelsey Lobato, EasyCare Product Specialist, Tucker now has a new pair of Easyboot Back Country boots to protect his hooves! Thanks EasyCare for your help in this process!
Name: Jen Leyes
Equine Discipline: Dressage
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove Back Country
The Belgian mare I drive has always had soft, tender feet that couldn't keep a shoe on. During the year she was on Farrier's Formula 2x and she wore the Original Easyboot on her front feet when in use with great success and comfort to her. They allowed her hooves to toughen up and grow out perfectly. I still use them on her when I know we will encounter rocky ground because I prefer to keep her barefoot instead of shoes. We love Easyboots!
Name: Elizabeth Bridges
State: New Hampshire
Equine Discipline: Trail
Favorite Boot: Original Easyboot
Submitted by Philip Himanka, Not Only Barefoot LLC
The preparation before the application of a Glue-On is what makes a difference in longevity and strength of bond between product and the hoof. Contained in this blog are some things to take in consideration.
I will start with at the end with the removal process: If you are not thinking about how difficult it is going to be to remove the Glue-On shells, then you will do a better job gluing. I've found that the best way to pull them off is with a pair of dull nippers. If you take your time and your horse does not wiggle then the shell might peel off intact enough to reuse it. Usually, when you are ready to pull/peel them off, there will be a small separation towards the heels.
First, get the corner of your nippers and wedge it in. If its not cracked like in this picture you might need to rasp the edge a bit.
Second, close your nippers and use the leverage outwardly in a peeling motion.
Third, the edge of the shell will start to separate so work your way forward until you get to the center. Go back and keep peeling deeper until the rim at the lower edge of the shell pops. You will usually hear a sound. Move yourself to the other side of the limb and repeat the process.
The shell has more flexibility than the glue so if you peel it off instead of prying it will leave the glue adhered to the hoof wall and then you can just buffer out the glue gently.
I think this process is very important in order to conserve the integrity of the hoof wall. I find that if you buffer/sand instead of rasping you can do consecutive gluing applications without taking a significant layer of thickness of the hoof wall. Note: This process will work also for the gluing of shoes like the EasyShoe Performance.
Now I will discuss the application process. It is important for you to consider, regardless of the kind of riding you will be doing, the length of time you are planning to leave them on.
If you are planning to leave them on for less than one week you can use either glue types such as acrylics, EasyShoe Bond and urethanes, Vettec Adhere. For sole protection and comfort a silicon base or dental impression material, such as Shufill dental impression, is a good idea. Note: For short periods of time, the Sikaflex has proven to be the best in any kind of condition because of its sticky, flexible and sealing properties.
If you are going to leave them glued for 6 weeks or so, the process I recommend is more specific (leaving the shells/shoes glued more than 7-8 weeks can be detrimental to the angles of the hoof). My experience has been that the acrylic works best for longer applications due to the following properties:
- It's more flexible and is less likely to crack or become brittle over time, so it moves with the hoof. This is great because you want the heels to expand and move independently from each other (that is what I love about the Love Child).
- Seals better from water and moisture.
- You can add copper sulfate when you are mixing the glue in order to prevent thrush.
I've also found very important when you are going to leave them glued for a longer time to consider this:
- Leave the back of the foot open so the softer caudal tissue can be in contact with air.
- If you are applying any kind of sole support including pads, it is important to apply thrush prevention products. What I do is after the glue is set, I sprinkle some copper sulfate powder or granules in the heel, then I pack in a clay based anti-thrush product, Artimud is a good option.
You really want to use clay based products regarding thrush not only because they have a better prevention effect but they also keep their properties longer. Note: If you want to be successful regarding thrush and your horse lives in a wet environment it will be very helpful to pack anti-thrush clay at least once a week from the heel into the collateral groves of the frog and central sulcus.