Rediscovering An Icon: The Original Easyboot

It is our nature to give most press to the newest products on the market. In the process, sometimes we overlook or forget the old and proven.

I love using the Easyboot Gloves for training and conditioning rides. But not every boot fits every hoof. Recently I had a couple of horses that just did not keep their Easyboot Gloves on their hooves at faster speeds. Power straps and athletic tape did not help much either. Just too strong a push off with their haunches coupled with a twisting motion, the Gloves just were, well, twisted off.

One of the great things about EasyCare is that they have developed hoof boots for just about all types and shapes of hooves and all kinds of equestrian disciplines. A great boot for horses with the described movements is the Original Easyboot.

This Boot was first invented in 1970 and been a solid performer ever since. First used as a "spare tire" by the horse community, it quickly graduated for general riding usage. 

I love this boot: easy and quick to apply, even when the hooves are not perfectly trimmed. Concerns for many riders in the past have been the cleats, which sometimes could cause the hoof wall to get scratched and dented a little bit. EasyCare solved that problem by providing removable cleat covers.

These covers do not provide quite the same hold as the actual cleats. But they can easily get removed exposing the actual metal cleats.

If the boots fit very tight or these cleats seem too aggressive, you can bend them down or flatten them a little with a pair of pliers. Another great method preventing any denting of the hoof walls  involves wrapping the hoof with duct tape prior to applying the Original Easyboots. Now the cleats bite into the duct tape and won't leave any marks on your horses hoof wall.

All Original Easyboots come with a woven strap.

This strap should be used to help facilitate moving the keeper strap over the heels. Care must be taken to completely have the keeper straps wrap around the heels.

The new buckle system with the mini rollers make it really easy to tighten the buckle and preventing the cables from fraying. It also gives you a few more easy size adjustments. Below you can see how to customize the cable length.

 

 

From the desk of the Bootmeister

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center

 

 

 

Team Easyboot Tackles the Wild Timber CTR

Submitted by TeamEasyboot member Stacey Maloney

The WildTimber CTR is an annual event held in the foothills of Alberta's Rocky Mountains in Western Canada. The terrain is challenging and technical with lots of hills, root and rock double track, footing changes from grass to gravel and everything in between. I had prepared by conditioning my horses three to four times a week over similar terrain and lots on the gravel roads close to home as well. I had entered two of my horses: Marina to ride the Novice division on the Saturday and KC to ride the intermediate division on the Sunday.

As mentioned in a previous post, all my conditioning miles are done in our Easyboot Epics. They have been my go-to boot for years and these boots have seen many many miles.

Before the ride I was super excited to finally be able to try out the new EasyShoe Performance. I enlisted the help of our local expert barefoot/glue guru and hauled Marina up to his place one week prior to the ride. Using the EasyShoe Bond glue, we applied the EasyShoe Performance with relative ease and we were sent on our way. I was excited to watch and learn how this is done and left feeling confident I could apply them on my own next time around. Video instruction for application can be found on the website by clicking on easycareinc.com/Our_shoes/easyshoe_performance/easyshoe_performance_fitting.aspx

Ride day with Marina in her Easyshoes went off without a hitch. The shoes gripped, flexed, provided excellent protection over the varied terrain and helped us achieve an excellent score of 296/300 and place second in our division.

Post ride, Marina's EasyShoes looked great and it was obvious they had many many more miles in them. The EasyShoes are a product I am excited about and I'm already planning my ride season for next year with them incorporated.

Sunday was day two of the WildTimber CTR and I saddled up KC and put on his trusty Easyboot Epics of his. The Intermediate class is paced faster than the Novice but KC had no issues keeping up as he roared up the gravel, over the hills and down the old logging roads. 

The Epics performed the same as they always do for us - flawlessly. They stayed put and provided traction and protection. KC moves great in his Epics and we had lots of compliments and questions about them. The gal in front of me kept looking behind all day to see if I was still there because we were so silent she said, no traditional shoes banging on the rocks. We indeed were always right there, keeping time with the best of them and finishing with a score equal to the day before even though the pace was faster. We earned 3rd place in our division! 

It is safe to say this Team Easyboot member had an awesome weekend.

I Want To Be a Champion, Epic I Choose You

I grew up on the east coast on the beach and have spent most of my adult life in the suburbs of Chicago. The point of that is that I have only ridden a horse once before moving to Colorado. I am fortunate to work with so many well-versed riders.

I have learned a lot in my time here at EasyCare as a customer service representative, and if I had to pick one equestrian pursuit that would best fit my personality and pique my interest, it would have to be the sport of Burro Racing. As I speak with more and more burro racers when they call in to purchase new boots for their events and training there is only one boot that rises to the top and that is the Easyboot Epic.

The Epic is suited to Burro racing because it was designed specifically for trail and endurance riding and was the king boot of choice for endurance riders until the Easyboot Glove emerged on the scene. The Epic is still widely used and praised in endurance riding by riders such as Kate Saunders who has professed her love affair.  The Epic is such a versatile boot that covers the largest range of hoof shapes in our line up. From the Pony to the Draft.

EasyBoot Epic Size Chart

Size

Width in inches

Length in inches

 

Size

Width in mm

Length in mm

Pony

3 3/16"- 3 3/8"

3 3/8"- 3 5/8"

 

Pony

78-85mm

85-92mm

000

3 3/8"- 3 13/16"

3 5/8"- 4 3/16"

 

000

86-97mm

93-105mm

00

3 13/16"- 4 3/8"

4 3/16"- 4 5/8"

 

00

98-110mm

106-117mm

0

4 3/8"- 4 9/16"

4 5/8"- 4 15/16"

 

0

111-116mm

118-124mm

1

4 9/16"- 4 7/8"

4 15/16"- 5 1/8"

 

1

117-123mm

125-130mm

2

4 7/8"- 5 1/8"

5 1/8"- 5 9/16"

 

2

124-130mm

131-140mm

3

5 1/8"- 5 1/2"

5 9/16"- 5 15/16"

 

3

131-139mm

141-150mm

4

5 1/2"- 5 15/16"

5 15/16"- 6 7/16"

 

4

140-150mm

151-163mm

5

5 15/16"- 6 7/16"

6 7/16"- 6 7/8"

 

5

151-163mm

164-174mm

6

6 7/16"- 6 7/8"

6 7/8"- 7 7/16"

 

6

164-175mm

175-188mm

7

6 7/8"- 7 9/16"

7 7/16"- 7 3/4"

 

7

176-192mm

189-195mm

The Epic’s ease of application and time-tested durability ensure that users of the boot needn’t worry about much other than their task at hand during events. The traction is as sure on a jeep road as it is up a rock pass or through a water crossing. As I learn more about pack burro racing, the benefits of the Epic for the sport would have to be the fact that the boot accommodates hooves that are longer than wide, as well as the ease of use. The Epic can be used for unlimited mileage per week and can be easily repaired when issues do arise.

The application and removal of the Epic can be difficult the first couple of times; the key is to work smarter not harder. The best process is to pull the wires tight with a hoof pick, select the best notch on the buckle using the hoof pick again to help you get the wire in place, and then pressing the buckle down with your foot. For removal, I recommend using a long flat head screw driver to increase your leverage. Place the head of the screw driver in one of the unused notches of the buckle and use the screw driver like a leaver. Then use your hoof pick to loosen the wires and remove the boot. This can be maneuvered by placing bell boots over the rear Epics.

The best way to measure for the Epics is to follow the instructions for how we measure all of our boots. You measure the widest point of the hoof and the length form toe to the last load bearing point or buttress line as it is referred to. This is explained in detail under our customer service tab by clicking the How To Measure link. Inches are often easier to manage for American customers, but measuring millimeters will provide the most accurate measurement to ensure you get the best fitting boot the first time around.

In my opinion the Epic is the boot that I see customers coming back to time and time again. I have spoken to customers that have been using the same boot for five years, which makes sense since we often see them getting at least 500 miles of use. I am not sure if endurance riding is in my future or not, the powers that be here make it look so effortless. I think I will start with burro racing in Epics to get my feet wet. Maybe I’ll enter the burro as the racer and I’ll be the mule and wear the weight.

Josh, Customer Service Representative

Repairing An Easyboot Epic Cable

Submitted by Stacey Maloney, Team Easyboot 2014 Member

Ahhhh that title makes it seem so dramatic and difficult, when really it's not. These Easyboot Epics have seen hundreds of miles and this one in particular is an older one that I used on Katchina's hinds over really rough terrain. I usually don't boot her hinds because she drags her toes quite a bit, but at times life demanded it, so on went the boots and after miles and miles of being drug through the gravel one of the cables frayed and broke.

A new cable was easily ordered from EasyCare and I assembled the tools I thought I would need to replace it. 

You can find the full list on instructions on replacing the cable on the EasyCare Website or by following this link: http://www.easycareinc.com/App_System/lib/Image/main_pages/downloads/CableReplace.pdf

I had to do things a little differently than the instructions stated but surely ended with the same result. I started by taking everything off my boot because I couldn't easily get the old cable removed without doing so because the frayed edges kept getting "trapped" in the nooks and crannies - so off came the gaiter and front closure buckle.

I paid close attention to how everything was put together as I was taking it apart and had confidence I could get it all back together with relative ease. The next step was stringing the new cable around the white rollers in the sides of the boot. I had a hard time feeding it around the roller so instead took the roller out for a minute, pushed a loop of the cable through the hole in the side and wiggled the white roller back into place.

Next I fed the ends of the new wire through the center of the fastener buckle and then through the crimp provided, laid it all on a hard surface and flattened the crimp tight with a hammer.

I replaced the buckle on the front of the boot with the crimp laying flat underneath and made sure the cable that came out of the bottom of the side holes went to the fastener buckle and the cable that came out the top of the side holes would be the part used to tighten the boot onto the hoof.

I reattached the gaiter and this old boot is good for another 100 miles (or likely more).

 

How Long Do Easyboot Gloves Last?

Submitted by Karen Bumgarner, Team Easyboot 2014 Member

When the new Easyboot Glove colors were introduced there was a bit of hoopla about how the colors wouldn't wear near as well as the plain old black ones. I decided I didn't care, I really wanted some blue boots. I recalled my old red ones from back in the day wore just fine. The color makes it easy to check on the horses hoof as you trot along and should you lose one, they are easier to find too. A nice bonus. 

However after we finished a day at Old Selam a couple weeks ago, I noticed the beginning of fatal wear in the toe on a hind boot.

This got me thinking about how many miles this set of boots has. I had replaced the front pair and was still running on the same old pair in the hinds. These were put into service at City of Rocks 2013 when the superboots were downgraded to training duty, where they racked up a couple hundred more miles. Hmmm how many miles did superboot have? 755 AERC miles when I wrote it and they didn't have a any holes yet.

The new blue set of 0.5 Gloves on the hind hooves had a total of 275 miles. In 2014 I used them at Tough Sucker II 50 miles, three days of Fandango 160 miles, Eagle Extreme 50, two days of Bandit Springs 100 miles, Almosta Silver City 50 miles, three days of City of Rocks (deja vu) 160 miles and Old Selam 50 miles. That all adds up to 885 miles and then we had a hole down on the toe. That's a lot of measured miles.

Look at all the tread on these left after 755 miles! And no holes in the toe yet, they didn't get a hole through the toe until about 900 miles.

So according to my scientific study, says the blue boots wear just as great as the black ones. So buy all the blue and red Easyboot Gloves boots your little heart desires and rest assured that you'll still get your money's worth and look flashy to boot! Pun intended. 

Rugged Territory Calls for Rugged Boots

We started out living in town, boarding our first horse, riding in Easyboot Trail hoof boots, but we've worn them out with the move to more rugged territory. It's time to move up to Easyboot Epics.

Name: JB
City: Creston, CA 93432
Equine Discipline: Trail Riding
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove Back Country

Glued by The Experts

Submitted by Sabrina Liska, Team Easyboot 2014 Member

I too, attended Tevis this year. I had an appointment to have my TWH mare, Jersey, to have her Glue-Ons applied on Thursday. When I showed up for my appointment, I sure was surprised when The Bootmeister and Mr. Ford themselves, were there to do the dirty work. I marveled at their techniques. I have followed blogs and publishings, as many of you have, but to see all this in person was beyond words. Garrett and Christoph used dremel tools, heat guns and other totally cool contraptions to trim, smooth and prepare the hoof for the Glue-Ons. You can see thier latest techniques on their application videos

The gluing went smoothly as predicted. I was very pleased with the accuracy, proficiency and very important to me, the cleanliness with no glue all over the place. Impressive to say the least. 

The guys did a very good job. Those boots did their job and held fast on the trail. I never had one concern about losing a boot or any footing while riding. Peace of mind. Thank you so much dear Master Gluers of the Gloves.

I am so proud to wear this shirt. 

September 2014 Consumer Newsletter: Summer Success in Endurance Events and Questions to Ponder

In this month's Newsletter:

- Summer Success in Endurance Events and Questions to Ponder

- Like A Pro - Calling Applicants for the 2015 Tevis Gluing Crew

- Hoof Resection Isn't a Dirty Word: Part 1

- EasyCare's September Dealer of the Month - Metcalfe Hay and Feed

- September's Read To Win Contest Winners

 

READ MORE:

Summer Success in Endurance Events and Questions to Ponder

A successful summer so far?

2014 Vermont 100 Endurance Ride.  Meg Sleeper and Syrocco Cadence win the Vermont 100 using the EasyShoe Performance.  "The best part about them was on the road. We had several fairly long stretches of black top road and she didn't shorten her stride at all. In fact, I generally always pulled her back to a trot when we were approaching roads (just to be safe), but after a couple strides she almost always went right back into her relaxed canter, whether I asked for it or not. I think she just felt that confident in them." 

Dave Augustine applied the EasyShoes a couple days before the event.  Do you believe horses should train in what they compete in?  Do you think horses need time to adapt to urethane forms of hoof protection?

Meg and Cadence early in the race.

2014 Tevis Cup 100 Mile Endurance Race.  First Place, Second Place, Best Condition (The Haggin Cup) and 10 of the top 15 horses in Easyboots.  The Tevis Cup is the most difficult 100 miles in the world and Easyboots continue to excel.  A couple interesting facts to note.  Both the first place and Haggin Cup horses were in steel shoes days before the event.  Steel shoes were pulled and both horses completed the difficult 100 miles in Easyboots.  Many people would argue that a horse's travel different in boots?  I have my own thoughts, what do you think?  Do you think the horses would have performed the same without Easyboots?  What would cause you to pull iron shoes and switch to Easyboots days before the biggest endurance event in the world?

Barrak Blakely and MCM Last Dance showing for the Haggin Cup.

2014 World Equestrian Games.  Three of the six horses representing the USA at the WEG will be in EasyCare hoof protection products.  Two in the Easyboot Glue-On and one in the EasyShoe. Jeremy Reynolds, Heather Reynolds and Jeremy Olson have spent hundreds of hours conditioning horses for the event and will race in flexible forms of hoof protection.  Do you think you can train harder in urethane forms of hoof protection?  Do the hours spent barefoot contribute? 

Heather and Jeremy Reynolds are two of the three USA riders using EasyCare hoof protection at the World Equestrian Games endurance event. 

The Vermont 100, the Tevis Cup and the World Equestrian Games are three of the most prestigious events on the USA endurance calendar for 2014.  Urethane forms of hoof protection are not only performing well but winning at these venues.  There are still many critics arguing against hoof boots and urethane shoes but most would say they are here to stay and will continue to grow in popularity?  What are you thoughts?

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.

EasyCare's September Dealer of the Month - Metcalfe Hay and Feed

Congratulations to Metcalfe Hay and Feed, EasyCare’s Dealer of the Month for September.

Metcalfe Hay and Feed is located at 3593 Wilson Road in Oak Harbor, Washington, and is not only one of our newest EasyCare Dealers, but they are the fastest rising star in dealers that we’ve seen in awhile. In three short months, they have built up their hoof boot business to amazing heights.

Through hard work and innovation, owner Steve Metcalfe grew Metcalfe Hay and Feed into what it is today. Steve and his friend started out bringing hay over the pass in Eastern Washington for thier own horses and soon, he found he was bringing hay over for friends as well. He went from a one ton Dodge Dully to a 98 Freightliner and came back with 19 tons of hay on the first trip. And, so Metcalfe Hay and Feed started. From there, he decided to start bringing in pet food and then tack and that's when his wife, Tatyana, stepped in and started running the store while Steve handled the feed. Two years of hard work and they are now in a new, larger facility where they can offer even more great things like EasyCare hoof boots.

Starting out at the end of May, Steve took advantage of every monthly Promo that EasyCare offered and reaped the savings so he could keep his prices competitive. Steve carries the Easyboot Trail, the Easyboot Transition, the Rx boots, the Soakers and the Old Mac G2. His personal favorite is the Easyboot Trail.

As part of his marketing strategy, Steve uses hoof boots on his own horses so his customers see that he uses them himself. He not only talks the talk, he walks the walk. Another part of his marketing strategy is his use of his own Facebook page. As soon as Steve became an EasyCare Dealer, he posted his dealership on Facebook. He then posted a picture of every hoof boot style that he carried, with a brief description and size charts.

He then posted a blog concerning measuring and fitting and told his customers that, if they needed help, to bring their horses to the store for a free fitting. Now, that’s customer service!

And still another part of Steve’s marketing strategy involves getting out into the public and attending events. His favorite is a 3-Day event on Whidbey Island. He normally rides in this event and has helped with the course itself in past years. He says that it brings a lot of joy to see people riding in this event and can’t wait to bring his young horse there when he’s ready. In hoof boots, of course.

Steve feels that the key to his success is a lot of hard work and his passion for the horse industry and his business. Steve grew up in a small townhouse, but was fortunate to be able to spend summers on the farm with his Grandfather, who bought him his first horse when he was nine years old. He learned a lot from his Grandfather and has a lot of good memories.

Steve owns five horses and they are all barefoot and in EasyCare hoof boots. He said he remembers as a child, that all horses were in steel shoes. He feels that the new, advanced hoof boot technologies have taken things to a whole new level in hoof health. In three short months, what is his most memorable experience? “Changing from steel shoes to the Easyboot Trails on my 30 year old, retired event horse. He acted like a young horse again and felt much stronger. It was just a great feeling to enjoy the freedom that riding gives you with hoof boots.”

Visit Metcalfe Hay and Feed in Oak Harbor, Washington or friend them on their Facebook Page and see what' s new.