EasyShoe Sport Maxed Out

Submitted by Tennessee Lane, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

"The only way to know how strong you are, is to keep testing your limits." - Man of Steel

Back in the lab, we would always do a failure test. It's not that we wanted something to fail, it's just that there was no way of knowing what the absolute maximum was until we reached it. Of course, a lot of mice died, but hey, a lot of people lived. Those people lived without fear because they knew what the maximum limit was, and how to avoid it, and so they survived - and thrived, even while being treated with deadly chemicals for horrible illnesses.

Sure, that's an extreme comparison but that's how my brain works. I was reluctant to slap a set of EasyShoe Sports on for more than 100 miles because I didn't know how long they would last. Then, I figured, I probably wasn't the only one wondering what they were capable of.

Just for fun, I tested the EasyShoe Sport to failure. Now we all know the Sport's limits.

Test Subject:  "Bluff," a compact, heavily-muscled Arab gelding.

Product:  EasyShoe Sport applied with EasyShoe Bond, all 4.)

Duration: Well over 200 rugged miles at speed, and nearly 4 weeks of wear (3 weeks and 4 days.)

Summary:  The Sports were glued on (using bond) the day before the first event, a very rocky, two-day 100-miler at Antelope Island near Salt Lake City in Utah. That mileage was completed without a hitch. The shoes remained in exceptionally good shape; very functional, and well adhered to the hoof. They continued to protect Bluff's hooves for the next two weeks at pasture, where it rained nearly every day. Those Sports protected Bluff's hooves through an additional 100 miles of rugged, technical terrain at the Mt Carmel XP, but failed on the last day at a total mileage of approximately 230 miles, most of which was covered at a trot or canter, in rugged, mountainous terrain.

Observations: The point of failure was along the edge of the wing, where it connects to the "sole" of the shoe. That area may have been 'buffied' a little bit thin when we put the shoes on and prettied-up the glue job. Although there was considerable wear, the shoe itself could have endured another day, and the wings were still firmly glued to the hoof wall, all except for the very back of the heel which is always the first to break away. The sole simply sheared off from the wings that were holding it on the hoof, on both fronts, and the backs were not far behind. Bluff had absolutely zero hoof tenderness. It should also be noted that, in milder conditions like turf or sand, the wear will be greatly reduced and the shoes will likely last much longer, all the while providing the benefit of extra grip. The conditions I tested these in were truly arduous.

Conclusions: Time, distance, and trail conditions, among other factors, all play a role in how long a product will last. The EasyShoe Sports are an awesome weapon in my arsenal. They can take just about anything a trail can dish out, I absolutely love them, and will be using them a lot in the future.  However, if you really want to go ham on mega-miles of rugged trails, you should consider the original EasyBoot Glue-On, my choice for rides like the 100-mile Tevis Cup. 

Smoof.

After 100 miles.

After 100 miles - solar view.

 

Miles...

Cantering at 200 miles.

Point of Failure.

Happy Trails!

Mile After Mile in EasyCare Boots

Submitted by Sue Basham, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

Easyboot Gloves and Glue-On shells have taken the worry out of one aspect of competitive riding for me. I like that my mare has bare hooves most of the time yet I don't have to worry about hoof bruising no matter what terrain we cover when training or competing. Gloves are my go-to for everyday rides and training. Glue-On shells are my go-to for most competitions. Fortunately, I cross paths with Christoph Schork (Global Endurance Training Center) at many of my endurance competions and I always make arraignments ahead of time for him to glue on my mare's boots. 

Sometimes people complain that they lose boots (of all brands) but I have yet to lose a Glue-On boot. Meticulous hoof preparation and boot application are key to successful Glue-On boot use. Christoph and the EasyCare Elite Gluing Team at Tevis are very particular in following the EasyCare protocol. I learn a lot watching them apply KC's boots!

Early in June KC and I traveled to the City of Rocks ride in Idaho. Christoph glued her boots on Thursday and we rode the next three days through some pretty spectacular country. KC won and BC'd the overall 155 mile Pioneer! I credit her Easyboot Glue-Ons with protecting her hooves as she traveled all those miles.

Our next ride was the Strawberry Fields Forever Pioneer in Utah just 2 weeks later. KC's boots were still firmly glued on and we did all three days through lots of rocks, bogs and mountainous terrain. Once again KC had the fastest time over 3 days/160 miles and received the Pioneer BC. Her boots did a great job and provided superior protection for her hooves in tough conditions. Its so nice to not worry about hoof bruising or losing a boot. 

I was curious how KC's boots would look after more than 360 miles through the mountains. When I got home I was pleased to find all of them still firmly attached although a bit worn. The bead of Adhere at the top was a little ragged but after all the miles, mud, rocks and downfall, I thought they looked pretty good! You can see how much her hoof grew during those 3 weeks so it was definitely time to take them off (EasyCare protocol recommends removing the boots after 10 days at most).

The bottoms of the boots, although worn, still had adaquate tread and I never felt any slipping on the trail. 

She did wear through the left front toe so it looks like I have a trimming issue to address. All in all I am very happy with how the Easyboot Glue-Ons performed!

 

 

Easyboot Glove Trials

Submitted by Leah Cain, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

Having a gelding that is hard on his boots makes me do some crazy and sometimes stupid things to keep the boots on. As we planned on riding at least two days at Strawberry Fields Endurance ride, I started to think of options and ideas to keep the boots on my horse Monte. I did not want to glue on because I plan on riding Tevis in Glue-Ons and want a perfect hoof environment for that. Strawberry Fields has lots of water crossings and climbing, the perfect environment for him to spin or push out of his Easyboot Gloves.  I have tried Power Straps, Mueller Athletic Tape and 3M Elasticon tape with some success but still having some boot loss in this type of trail. ‚Äč

I read somewhere that someone had glued on Gloves with Sikaflex. I had to try it for myself. No, I am not smart enough to try it at home first! I proceeded to glue on the Gloves with Sikaflex the night before the ride in camp. It was much easier than Adhere because of it's slow set up time. I glued two different horses this way. One was my stallion, TAR Pistol Pete, who  is pretty mellow and will stand quietly. The other is my eight year old gelding OT Dyamonte Santo who is a busybody. Both horses spun out of the boot before they firmed up. Pete on one front and Monte on three.

Lesson number one learned: the horse must stand still for hours if this application is to work. I was thinking that gluing on before the trailer ride over to the event could work. The morning of the first day, I felt good about Pete's boots but wasn't so sure about Monte's. Pete did not have any boot loss all day. Monte,had more challenges. At lunch, I was able to use Mueller tape on the hooves that I lost boots and did not lose another for the rest of the day. Many things came into play this day. Pete is a perfect candidate for boots: he travels straight, has nice hoof conformation and does not fool around. He also stood very still most of the night. Monte, on the other hand, did not stand still and is still a wild one at rides. He paddles a little in his movement and has a high heel. 

All in all, this method of gluing is something I would do again. I would ensure that the horse stood still for many hours by having him in the trailer or something more confining. 

Easyboot Epic Love

My mule, JP, loves his Easyboot Epics. No worries, never a lost boot. EZ breezy. Thanks so much for great products and awesome customer service.
 

Name: Cindy
City: New Iberia, Louisiana
Equine Discipline: Trail Riding
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Epic

Repairing My Easyboot Glove

Submitted by Stacey Maloney, Team Easyboot 2015 Member 

Recently we had a boot failure caused by a few different factors - but this was the end result...

We were long trotting through a freshly turned but yet to be planted crop field that has just been rained on and was quite slick. My mare who can be a bit unorganized with her legs let out a full body dog-shake while at the trot, got her legs tangled, slipped slightly in the mud and knocked the glove loose of her hoof in one stride. In the next stride stepped on the shell which was still attached by the gaiter to her ankle and tore it clean off. 

On top of the slick footing and my mare interfering, I had also just trimmed her so the boot wasn't quite as snug of a fit as usual. I could have done a lot of things differently to prevent this from happening. But I didn't so now to fix it!

I started by removing what was left of the gaiter from the shell - I removed the 3 screws and put them and their washers away neatly so I would know where to find them when I was ready to put it all back together. 

Next I drove my pieces needing to be repaired into town to the local cobbler and explained what I needed done and left them in his capable hands to be put back together. If you don't have someone capable of stitching things back together for you, EasyCare carries all the replacement part you may need and everything is easily ordered off their website. 

When I returned, I handed him my payment and he handed me this - good as new!

I got all my screws and washers back out and set to work piecing the whole things back together. 

It really couldn't get much easier than this! Replace the screws and washers as you found them and you're back in business. 

Next collected your trusty steed, mallet those boots on their hooves and re-evaluate fit before you ride off into the sunset.

Now they still don't look as tight as they could be - especially the hoof on the right hand side of the picture. So make a plan to ensure a tighter fit and better boot retention so we're not fixing gaiters ever again. 

I plan to start using athletic tape on my horse's hooves underneath the glove shells as is documented in this EasyCare Video - "Applying Athletic Tape to an Easyboot Glove"

I also ordered some power straps for my gloves for an even tighter fit and I learned about how to properly install them in this other EasyCare Video - "Applying a Power Strap to an Easyboot Glove".

And now we ride! Happy trails and happy booting!

EasyCare Sponsors the Santa Fe Summer Series

Have you seen the new Easyboot Cloud? Its role in every equine lifestyle has inspired EasyCare to provide them as prizes for a number of equestrian events this year. The first affair on the roster takes the Cloud to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The Santa Fe Summer Series is a brand new show to take place at the Equicentre de Santa Fe; the venue will host three weeks of A-rated hunter/jumper competition. The winners of the USHJA hunter derby classes will receive a pair of Easyboot Clouds as part of their award package.

The Easyboot Cloud is ideal for recovery after a workout or course and also is a necessity for horses traveling long distances. Applying the boot before a trailer ride will reduce the fatigue on soft tissue and joints of the horse and contribute to the overall wellbeing of your trail warrior or course contender, shod or barefoot. After a long ride or exerting run, the Cloud aids in recovery by providing relief to the DDFT and navicular bone. The Easyboot Cloud is rightly named so because it’s been designed to help your ever-giving horse experience the alleviation of “walking on clouds”.

The Cloud is ready to take you higher. Coming to an equestrian event near you.

Mariah Reeves

easycare-customer service-mariah

Customer Service

My focus is on educating myself relating to all things hoof and horse care to customize your EasyCare product experience. Each customer interaction is an opportunity to enhance another equestrian lifestyle.

Play Them Again?

Horses are pricey if you want to do them justice, and hoof care is just one part of the horse budget. If you are using EasyCare products for your riding like Easyboot Gloves, Trail or Back Country Gloves, you know when the thread is gone and you need to replace them. Not quite as straight forward with Glue-Ons and EasyShoes. Besides the profile and wear of the boots, you also have to consider the removal of the residual glue in the shells. Not always an easy task to get that job done. But with the right tools, it can save you some $$.

Not enough profile left on this boot to reuse. Discard or use as a traveling dog bowl.

These two specimen could be converted to Easyboot Gloves, judging from the sole profile. Plenty of tread left.

Most of the time the boots or shoes will outlast the shoeing cycle and the decision has to be made whether  to clean them up and reuse them or forget about it and use new products.

Let's look at the Glue-On boots first. After removal, they probably look something like this:

For reasons unknown to me, with colored shells the Sikaflex often stays with the hoof sole and does not stay inside the boot.

If the gluing job was done according to the gluing protocol, chances are that the glue connected seamlessly with the shell. The only way to remove excess glue is by mechanical means. No solvents will dissolve that bond from polyurethane to polyurethane.

Removal of the Sikaflex is easily accomplished by using a nipper and pulling it off.

Next comes the more difficult removal of the wall glue inside the boot.Most effective device for that purpose is a bench press with a wire wheel attachment.

The shell should get firmly held with two hands to avoid catching the border and flying off. Can happen easily.

Lacking a bench press, a hand held drill device will do the job as well, but it is a little more tricky with having to hold the shell as well as the drill. Very easy to catch an edge and fling the boot.

After successfully removing as much of the old glue as possible, the boot can now be converted to a Glove.

EasyShoes are not as easy to remove the glue from. I typically discard them. Too much time will be spend on glue removal and the fit will never be like with new ones.  When they had been nailed, then it is again simply a judgment call if there is enough tread left. 

After 6 weeks of riding over mixed footing, these EasyShoes Performance N/G have plenty of tread left to be easily reset and nailed again.

Looking good overall. Even the spacers are still intact and well attached to the shoe.

 The clips did not suffer through the reset either.

It can pay to reset, re-nail or convert to Gloves. In the long run it will save you some money. I might add that I always use new boots and shoes for any competition, but for training purposes the "played again" hoof protection will often work great.

From the Bootmeister, Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

Utilize, Improvise, and Git 'er Dun!

Sometimes when we want to do something, we get hung up because we think we don’t have the right equipment to successfully complete the task. Learning to think outside the box can free us up and help us to move forward.

The same holds true when treating a hoof problem. Don’t wait just because you don’t think you have "all the right stuff". Improvise with what you’ve got.

One of my friends was having an on-going battle with thrush, so I suggested an initial high-powered White Lightning soak, and follow-up with daily, or as needed topical application of her choice. I explained how to do the White Lightning soak using the EasySoaker and some special heavy-duty plastic bags, sold at a local farrier supply store. Since we did not have time to run out to the farrier store for the special bags, we improvised, and found some giant heavy-duty plastic freezer bags.

 

The owner then indicated that she had every other boot imaginable, but did not have EasySoakers.

I took a look at her boot collection and selected a couple of Easyboot RX’s that were one size too big. After carefully smoothing any rough edges on the hooves with the fine side of my rasp, we slid the gallon size freezer bag onto the hoof like a sock, then slipped on the RX boot.

To save time, we worked on both front hooves first. We fastened the hook and loop straps, added the White Lightning mixture, and sealed the top of the bag with duct tape.

The extra big plastic bag took up some room in the boot, providing a secure fit for the duration of the soak. The horse was put up with hay, and allowed to move freely around the stall.

The soak mixture did it's work, and after 45 minutes we removed the boots and bags, dried the hooves, and re-booted him in a pair of original Easyboots to allow the hooves further drying and hardening time while protecting the sole, frog, and collateral grooves from dirt. (In the future, the new ZIP might also work well for this purpose!) Then we set to work on the hinds. Miraculously, the freezer bags survived the first round with no holes. We used them for the hinds as well with great success. I recommended daily hoof-picking and application of No Thrush powder as needed. The horse continues to improve every day.

Moral of the story, address the problem, don’t stress about what you don’t have, and get creative with what you do have. Your horse will thank you!

 

Jean Welch

Jean Welch, EasyCare CSR

Customer Service

Originally from New England, I finally heeded the advice of my "Inner Cowgirl", packed up my horses and moved west to Arizona. Here I learned the finer points of hoofcare and successful booting techniques. I can help you select the right EasyCare product for your specific needs.

Stowaway Packs for Orienteering Rides

Submitted by Pascale Winckler, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

I am a French orienteering competition rider (TREC). In competition, the required equipment is:

  • Medical list: strips, antibacterial, scissors, compresses.
  • Security list: reflective band (for the horse), yellow safety vest, headlamp (with spare  batteries), red lamp.
  • For booted horses, the rider has to have a spare boot.
  • Papers for the horse and rider.

 

Required (and useful) accessories for orienteering competition.

To transport all these items on the trail, I love my EasyCare Stowaway.

  • It doesn't bounce because it is tightly attached to the saddle.
  • It is versatile, I can adapt it to the two saddles I use.
  • It is roomy, with a lot of compartments, so each item of my obligatory equipment has its place.

I use the Pommel Stowaway and the English Stowaway.

Stowaway Pommel. Blue arrows show where it is tightly attached to the saddle so it doesn’t lean on the withers. There is two lower additional strap for “no bounce” fixation.

In the Stowaway Pommel, I carry the following items:

  • Truck keys
  • Phone in the special pocket
  • Lipstick and sunblock (important if you want to smile without pain the day after competition)
  • Hoof pick
  • Knife,
  • Headlamp,
  • Thin merino wool sweater (in spring/summer if required by the weather)
  • Spare boots (sometime I store it in the rear Stowaway)
  • Second map holder and compass (I use two small double face waterproof map holders to avoid needing to manipulate maps during the ride, a compass is attached to each holder)
  • Pen and ruler, small calculator (equipment for orienteering work)
  • Transparent holder with time/distance table and number of strides of my horse to do 100 meters (a good evaluation of distances is required for a precise orienteering work)

I use a snap hook with the additional strap on the front stowaway to prevent fall of my reins when I am focused on the map during a pause. Small lamps are attached on my front stowaway in case of night riding.

In the rear (English) Stowaway I store:

  • Emergency list items
  • Security list items
  • Water bottles
  • Spare boots if not in the stowaway pommel
  • Rain skirt and rain coat if the forecast calls for it
  • Red lamp

Rear stowaway with bottle holder.

In the past, I was reluctant to transport a lot of water for my personal use. But as my trails became longer and in harder conditions, I realized the necessity of good hydration to avoid muscle cramps and fatigue. The water bottle compartments are just perfect for an easy access to water and allow to save room in the other compartments.

Clips allow a quick access to rain equipment.

To transport all that stuff in my truck, I use the EasyCare Gear Bag, that is a wide bag with mesh side, very useful after ride when the Stowaway could be a bit wet.

See you on the trail!

A Little POP Quiz

Submitted by Karen Bumgarner   

There are some basic hoof care principles that I often take for granted that people know. Yet I get surprised and find out that people really don’t know. So here is a little quiz just for fun and savage amusement as you test your basic knowledge.

 Q: What is the varnish-like layer of the hoof called?

 A: Periople, an often shiny protective covering for the area of newly formed hoof wall just below the coronary band.

This photo shows the periople outer layer of the hoof wall

Q: How much does a healthy hoof grow per month?

A: 1/4 to 1/2 inch, this can be influenced by many things with the most common factors being that of age, exercise, seasons and quality of feed.

I trimmed off a ¼ inch of hoof and it had been 4 weeks since the last trim.

Q: Approximately how often should a horse's foot be trimmed?

A: 4-8 weeks depending upon growth, although I think us endurance riders, especially those who use Gloves and or Glue On’s tend to trim at least every 4 weeks. I have a few customers who go 8 weeks and sometimes the hoof is really too long. I suggest to most owners to do a light maintenance rasping after 4 weeks if they prefer to have me out every 8 weeks.

 

Q: Why should you pick out your horse’s hoof regularly?

A: Check for injuries or bruises, check for loose shoes (if you shoe), check for rocks, check for thrush. This task takes less than 5 minutes a day. In fact it takes me longer to find the hoof pick and halter the horse than it does to pick out their hooves. Yet I know riders and horse owners who do not pick out hooves on a regular basis. How do I know? Because their horses are not well behaved when it comes to hoof handling. Yeah – a tattle tale!

Picking the hoof out should be a part of daily hoof care. This hoof is 4 weeks since the last trim.

Q: How do you pick up a front foot safely?

A: Stand beside shoulder, facing rear. Run your hand down the back of the leg to just above fetlock, many people grasp fetlock area and pick up the foot (you can lightly pinch tendon or push shoulder away to help). I find a lot of horses do not like it when you grasp the leg and they want to pull away. You can pinch or turn that horse chestnut slightly and as they pick up their leg just cradle the hoof in your hand. Few horses feel threatened by this manner.

This is your horse’s “chestnut”, give it a mild squeeze and he will quickly pick up his foot.

Q: How do you pick up a hind foot safely?

A: Stand to the side facing tail. Stand well out of kicking range. Lean forward and put hand on hindquarters and run down the leg to the fetlock. Ask horse to pick up foot (can pinch tendon/fetlock to help). Some horses are quite compliant and just a tap on the hock and they lift up the hoof. Again I prefer to cradle it in my hand, I find some horses feel threatened if you grasp the fetlock or pastern. 

Hold the hoof lightly with your hand rather than grasping the fetlock or pastern joint. Horses will just let their hoof cradle in your hand.

Q: Name an important point in the care of a horse's foot.

A: Keep it clean and not standing in manure and filth, prevent it from drying out, trim properly and regularly, trim to keep proper shape/length.

 

Q: Why might a horse’s hoof need protection?

A: To protect the hoof from excessive wear, protect from concussion and/or bruising, provide traction, help correct defects in stance or gait, help cure disease or defective hoof, ease pain of injured hoof. There are many choices available within Easy Care products to help with all of these.

 

Q: If the hoof is not trimmed & grows too long, what may happen?

A: Hoof wall cracks, quarter cracks, the hoof chips or breaks off, it may wear or grow unevenly causing stress to the joints and that’s just for starters.

 

Q: What do you know about a horse’s toe?

A: It is often the greatest point of wear, it usually has the thickest wall and on many horses it is the fastest growing part of the hoof.

 

Q: Two part question: When holding a horse for the trimmer, on which side should you stand & why?

A: Same side as your trimmer -- if horse acts up, you can pull his head toward you & horse's body will move away from your trimmer.

 

Q: What is the most elastic part of the hoof?

A: Frog, it should never be over trimmed as this can lead to bruising.

 

Q: What is the least elastic part of the hoof?

A: Wall, its toughness creates the horse’s base of strength.

 

I hope that you got them all correct. If not, go out and clean some hooves and marvel at the amazing structure of your horse’s hoof!