Mile 35 in Easyboot Epics

If you ever wondered if Easyboot Epics could withstand a hard fast endurance ride - check out this photo of my Arabian, Bling, and me at mile 35! We are flying and his boots never budged. I believe in keeping my horses barefoot, but when the conditions call for it, I boot him in Epics.

Name: Marianne
City: Tryon
State: NC
Country: USA
Equine Discipline: Endurance
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Epic

Digital Pulse - Not Just for the Disco

Taking your horse’s digital pulse can provide you with insight into what is going on with them and make you better with horse management.

It can help you assess where lameness is coming from, whether it is in the foot or higher up the leg. As most horse owners know, determining the location of lameness can be frustrating at best and seemingly impossible at worst.

In a healthy comfortable foot, the pulse will feel very faint when you check. Feeling a strong pulse is indicative of inflammation as blood flow gets backed up when inflammation is present. The deeper or stronger the pulse, the more inflammation is present. For instance, in a foundered horse you will feel a very strong bounding digital pulse.

Of course, the trick is establishing a baseline of what is normal for your horse and learning to recognize any variations. If you are diligent about checking frequently you will soon recognize a pattern and have another easy tool for keeping your horse sound and happy.  

So here is the quick and dirty guide to checking your horse’s digital pulse:

  1. Slide your hand down the out leg to the outside of the fetlock joint and feel for a cordlike bundle that rolls or snaps under your finger. This “cord” is actually a bundle of nerve, artery, and vein and is your window to the digital pulse.

rosie foot 5.jpg

  1. Apply pressure to this cord for 5 to 10 seconds until you can feel a pulse. Experiment with how much pressure you need-there is a happy balance between too much (closes the vein off and you won’t feel anything) and not enough (you won’t feel anything). Experiment and develop a feel for this!

fingers on digital pulse.jpg

  1. Follow steps 1 and 2 on the remaining 3 legs. You can now compare the legs on each other and to what is normal for your horse.

Remember, it is increasing strength, not speed that you are feeling for. Anytime that you feel throbbing you can be fairly certain that there is a health issue. Checking the digital pulse can tell you if there is a bruise, an abscess forming, or other inflammation deeper in the hoof capsule. Stronger pulses in two or more feet may be indicative of early laminitis.  If you find you need a therapy boot for these types of issues, look no further than the Easyboot Rx.

Early detection of hoof ailments can save pain, money, and heartache when it comes to treatment and get you and your horse back to your usual activities faster. I hope that you will make checking the digital pulse part of your routine and remember to use caution anytime you are working around a horse that may be in pain.

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.

Hoof Care Abroad

Just returned from my most recent Hoof Care Tour in Europe, I want to share some of my observations and learning experiences with you. 

In my blog from last month I told you of my travel and clinic schedule in Europe for this fall. How did it all turn out? 

The first workshop was held in southern Bavaria, in close proximity to the Alps. In the photo below the summit of the Wendelstein.

With the warm Foen winds prevailing we could still comfortably work and sit outside during this mid October weekend. That is not always a given in these northern latitudes. 

On site organization was performed in an outstanding fashion by Mrs. Wiebke Pohl and Bianca Schiffner, president of NHC Practioners in Germany.

12 NHC Professionals from Germany, Austria and Switzerland gathered at Rosenheim to learn more about hoof trimming and gluing applications of Easyboot and EasyShoes

Starting out with a PowerPoint presentation about the function and importance of the digital cushion and lateral cartilage, the group discussion then focused on the conformation and movement of horses and how this all relates to hoof growth and development.  Nutrition, conditioning, environmental factors, ground conditions and dental health all play a big part in hoof health and hoof care. 

This horse is on stage, being evaluated by the group.

After getting a good idea of how this horse's conformation influences the hoof development, I always check the teeth for occlusion and alignment to rule out any teeth problems that might adversely affect hoof health and growth.

Pathology can affect the stance of horses. The horse pictured below was standing under. Not quite sickle hocked, but getting close. 

A close up reveals a long toe and no heel to speak of to support the bone column. The heel bulbs are almost touching the ground.

Shortening the toes did help, but was not enough to support the bone column enough.

Because of this camped under stance, the heels are always loaded and pressured to the maximum. Therefore they will not have a chance to grow, especially if the horse is bare footed and the heels are experiencing high abrasion.

I should add that we want to rule out any hock or pelvis pathology, because then our approach outlined below would only function as a Band-Aid. We also assured ourselves that the heels were not underrun and the horn tubules in the heel area were still running in a straight line without any bends.

The soles being thin and sensitive, we applied first Vettec Soleguard to the hoof. Then we built the heels with Vettec Superfast.

After setting time of about 10 minutes, we rasp the excess material and fine tune with the Dremel.

Through this procedure we were able to change the stand enough so this horse is now standing much more comfortably and can support his body through his hind legs.

 

We were able to change the angle by 4 degrees with this method, resulting in a noticeable betterment not only in the stance, but also in the ease of movement.

Moving on after this therapeutical trim and application, the group worked in teams trimming and gluing. After my initial demonstrations, the participants all had ample opportunity to practice Hoof repairs, EasyShoe gluing and Easyboot Gluing using mainly Vettec Adhere, Soleguard and Vettec Equipak for filling. We used mostly the EasyShoes Performance and Sport.

Work Stations on two different horses: Application of EasyBoots on the Haflinger left, for the bay horse on the right, EasyShoes are being glued.

For me, it is always fun working with people who are genuinely interested in their horses welfare and contribute with their experience to the group. This was another outstanding group of professionals, who are a true asset to the community of Hoof Care Practitioners. This kind of positive attitude and dynamics make it all worthwhile for me to travel half around the world.

In next months blog, we are continuing our travel to Zurich, Switzerland. So stay tuned.

From The Bootmeister

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center

AMELIA ISLAND CARRIAGES

I was in the carriage industry for 12 years before opening my own company in 2004. I want my horses to have the best care possible. I do all the feeding, clean stalls, etc, because few people would care for my boys like I do.
I started looking for alternatives to steel shoes, I knew that the rubber shoes that are required in some cities are actually very harmful for the horses legs and hooves. The frog is over an inch off the ground so it does not have the flexion that it is designed for. Those shoes were not an option!
For years we have used Easyboots for a lost shoe so I started looking to see if any carriage companies used them on a regular basis, I found nothing! I was concerned how the boots would hold up under the weight of my 19 hand, 2300 pound draft horses! 2 of my boys wear a size 8 steel so that put them in a size 7 Easyboot. As long as the boots are put on correctly we do not have a problem with them falling off and even when the streets are wet they provide unbeatable footing. The difference in the price of shoeing averages out and I do not have to worry about lost shoes! Since my horses are with the public on a daily basis, the most common question that we get is what is on his feet?! Our answer is they are called Easyboots, they are literally tennis shoes for horses. People really appreciate the care that Amelia Island Carriages provide for our horses!

Name: Cyndi
City: Fernandina Beach
State: FL
Country: USA
Equine Discipline: Other
Favorite Boot: Original Easyboot

I'm As Steadfast As a Butterfly In a Hurricane

I would love to have tidy horse stuff, I really would. But the moment I get to the ranch my best laid plans turn into "Ooooooh!!! PONY!!!" and I'm lost in fuzz and whiskers and dirt for the next six hours.

If there is one thing I love more than horses, it’s containers. I think I can get lost in a container type store and just imagine all the ways I might better organize my precious junk into tiny, decorative boxes. Impractical? Oh yes. Do I still dream of it? Oh, oh, oh yes.

Ah, if this could be my tack room. I would use a coffee grinder to grind up fresh flax and have Red Cell dispensers with pumps that would never drip. My electrolytes would be in sealed containers and everything would have beautiful, stainless steel measuring devices from Williams Sonoma.

In fact, it’s probably my lack of organizational skills that made companies like SmartPack come into existence.

Aside from our many boots here at EasyCare, I did want to give you a heads up on the STORAGE devices we have.

First up, the DELUXE HAY GEAR BAG

Some might think this bag is only for Endurance riders and only for vet checks. I hate to break it to you, but it’s a bag with zippers and pockets. Last I checked, they aren’t reserved only for people who trail ride cross country. Oh, the places you will go!

This bag has two large compartments. One would fit a thick, downy horse blanket and the other would fit 2 flakes of hay. You don’t HAVE to put hay in the other side, but it’s what it’s designed for.

So on the “front side” you have hay and an easy access portal. Much like the easy access portal on a onesie:

In the “middle” would be the compartment large enough for a blanket, leg wraps, shipping boots or what have you.

On the flip side is a series of zipper compartments (did I mention I LOVE compartments?!) with 3 square ones running across the top and a long rectangle running across the bottom. The three top ones would fit many things: sunscreen, stethoscope, gauze, extra socks/gloves/undies, windbreaker, Desitin, Vet Wrap and more. The bottom pocket is nicely sewn to be "3D", not flat, and fits 4 boots perfectly. It will also fit a set of fleece polo wraps or your clippers and an extension cord and the charging dock.

This bag would come in handy if you were:

  • a  groom who traveled to barns to attend to clients
  • a trail rider who hitches rides in others’ trailers and needs to bring their gear in a tidy way
  • a competitive trail rider who needs gear at an out of camp check point
  • a rider with a small car who can’t lug a huge tack trunk to shows
  • someone sending a mare to a stud, who wanted all her “stuff” to go with her
  • a farrier who doesn’t bring their rig for pasture trim clients and needs a bag for just an apron, rasps, knife, hoof topicals, a sharpener and the like
  • an on-location horse trainer who brings their halters, leads, lunge lines, desensitizing materials and treats with them in a professional kit

It would also be handy as a First Aid Kit for an owner or barn manager, a poultice bag (to store all your leg wraps, mud and baggies in.

 

Here are two “deluxe grooming bags” I found online. Without unpacking the whole shebang, there is no way I could find what I wanted. Additionally, a lot of these are “open” and after a month or so, get full of barn dust and hair. Not exactly what I like tossing in and out of my car either, when they can topple over.  Additionally, there is no way could I fit all my detanglers, conditioners, shiners, hoof dressings, clippers, hair wraps, bands, needles, brushes and whatnot into there.

The bottom pocket of the Deluxe Hay Gear Bag would fit anything from Hoof dressing and Bag Balm to bottles of detangler and conditioner. The bottom compartment also is the perfect size for clippers and your extension cord or charging dock. The center compartment would be ample for putting brushes into while still being able to sort through them easily and not have them “stuffed” in there. Again, I like having the compartments able to close and be separate. You don’t need your clippers getting hoof sealant spilled on them and then being gummed up with barn dirt and sitting in the bottom of a bag, unnoticed until you need to use them.

And I hate to add: some grooming and trimming client horses DO like you bringing a nice grass hay snack so that your gear bag doubles as a happy distraction. Easier to body clip a snacking horse than a fidget. Easier to attend to yearling hooves when you've taken them out of their buddy environment. Not all of them need that, but it’s handy to have it when you do. When you don’t have an owner there to help you handle their horse, having a backup plan is nice.

Having a horse trailer with a dressing room can be a blessing and a curse. Again, you usually have shelves to put stuff on, but like anyone with a curio cabinet will tell you: stuff on a shelf gets dusty, stuff IN a glass cabinet needs almost no dusting. Not that I expect a dressing room to stay immaculate, but it IS frustrating that it looks like a tornado hit it, every time I use it.

My average boarding experience has given me the option of a single space “shed”, a group shed or NO shed.

In the single shed, whatever spilled from the top, trickled down to the bottom. I would have to clean my brush bucket once a month to get rice bran and horse hair out of it. Every time you would hang up a spent saddle pad, the sweat and gunk from today’s ride would come drifting down at some point.

In a group setting, my stuff got lost or “grew legs” too many times. Again, either it drifted off, got broken or got dirty and thrashed, but didn’t remain where I wanted it and in the condition that I wanted it.

And so I come full circle on the bags. What I needed was the Stowaway Bale Bags. They come in full bale and half bale sizes, but they are essentially waterproof rucksacks to bring whatever you want, wherever you want it.

If you’ve ever set stuff down at a crewing spot and had another riding team accidentally soak your gear while they were enthusiastically sponging their horse, then maybe you’d love a waterproof bag. If you’ve ever been at a camp that was dumping rain, then maybe you’d love a waterproof bag. If you’ve ever been camping with your friends and family and had to store every item IN your tent with you, then maybe you’d like this bag outside of the tent, to get stuff out of the way. I would have loved to store my sleeping bags and wool blankets (and inflatable bed rolls) in a half bale bag that would keep out spiders and water and then just grab my “cube” when I wanted to go camping.

Growing up, my family camping looked like this:

My sister and I were packed somewhere in the middle.

And if you’ve brought everything but the kitchen sink, along with a bunch of your friends, you know that you can’t find any of your stuff until it’s FULLY unpacked and that all of your gear (whether you used it or not) will be dirty by the time the trip is done. It’s anarchy. Blankets, pillows, hiking boots and fish pails all seem to merge together so your hiking boots are wrapped in your blankets and your pillow is folded into a fish pail. AWE.SOME. Segregate your stuff from the masses! Be the tidy packer who cares about their stuff!

If you start riding at 11, you become resigned to the fact that you will hitch rides with everyone else. Alas, I couldn't drive, much less see over a steering wheel or reach the pedals. This meant I needed my gear to be as tidy and clean as possible so I didn’t freak out my ride. It’s all fine if you can throw your gear in the bed of someone’s truck, but I would be running back and forth to get my brush bucket, grain pan, Ziplocks of feed, bridle, saddle, pad, girth, breast collar, interference boots, blankets, rain sheets and all the “just in case” items. I would bring rain sheets in July and fly masks in the Winter, because what 11 year olds seem to lack is an abundance of life experience and the resultant judgment.

You can fit a saddle, several pads, a cooler, bridle bags and gear into a Half Bale Bag. None of it is getting lost or separated and you can unload from your friend’s rig in one step and get out of their hair. Even if it’s humid, raining, snowing or someone accidentally washes their horse right next to you, you won’t get your gear soaked.

As I grew up, I also got my own car. This car was not big enough for a rigid tack trunk and having a floppy tote to contain all my stuff was still just as vital. Additionally, I was like any superhero: my alter-ego could remain hidden from the casual friend riding shotgun so long as my car remained clean.

“Um, You must have dogs or…something.”

Maybe my tote campaign should be ‘Spend more hours riding and less hours cleaning!’ but who am I fooling? I don’t clean anything.

So I'll just say, if you need to get tidy, get Stowaways.

 

Holly Jonsson

easycare-sales-director-holly-jonsson

Director of Sales

Through a lifetime of "horse crazy" and the fortunate experience of riding nearly every shape and size of horse, I got to see a wide array of hoof shapes and sizes. No Hoof, No Horse is very true to me. I want to ensure that horses on every continent have a variety of footwear to pick from, to ensure the best match is found. I want your partner to be happy from the ground up!

November 2014 Newsletter: Comfort and Movement for Horses in Distress - Pivoting Concept

In this month's newsletter:

- Comfort and Movement for Horses in Distress

- EasyCare Live Event: EasyCare's Other Equine Products

- Easycare's November Dealer of the Month: Well-Shod.com

- When Your Frog is Down: Repairing Prolapsed Frogs

 

READ MORE:

 

EasyCare Live Event: EasyShoes

Our EasyCare Live series continues with an interactive presentation on tips for success for using the EasyShoe Performance, the EasyShoe N/G, the EasyShoe Sport and the EasyShoe CompeteThis event is free to attend and is suitable for all those who wish to get an in-depth view of the EasyCare line of composite horse shoes.

When: Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 2 PM PST (5 PM EST).

Where: easycare.yourbrandlive.com/c/easyshoes

An application of the EasyShoe Compete.

The list of topics to be covered includes:

  • What model of EasyShoe will best suit my riding?
  • What style of riding will the EasyShoe product line accommodate?
  • How do I measure for the correct size EasyShoe?
  • What is the best application method for each of the EasyShoe models?

What questions do you have to add to the list?

An application of the EasyShoe Performance.

This live broadcast event is free, and will be presented via live web stream at 2 PM PST (5 PM EST) on Thursday, November 20, 2014. It's easy to sign up - just go to easycare.yourbrandlive.com/c/easyshoes. If you can't make the event, sign up anyway: a recorded version of the presentation will be available for you to come back and watch as many times as you'd like. The platform is state-of-the-art and offers an easy way to ask questions during the event.

You can ask us anything you'd like during the event, and everyone who signs up will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a free pair of EasyCare hoof boots. We will select one winner at the end of the live event.

Sign up now at easycare.yourbrandlive.com/c/easyshoes. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Kevin Myers

easycare-marketing-director-kevin-myers

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.

Freezing the Frozen Ground Follies: Ways to Make Winter Riding More Comfortable for You and Your Horse.

The lower limb of the equine is an exceptionally delicate and arguably the most important dynamic of the overall horse. Like us, the functions of the leg are movement, bear weight/provide support, and absorb shock. The hoof is the most significant source of dissipating shock. It reduces the harsh impact to the rest of the body. If the ground freezes in your region during the winter months, this function of the hoof is even more critical.

The frog, digital cushion, suspensory ligament and deep digital flexor tendon are the biggest shock absorbers of the limb. The expansion of the hoof wall when  the hoof makes contact and bears weight also accepts impact.

   


An interesting chart constructed by Hans Castelijns, DVM and certified farrier, displayed below provides measurable comparison of the impact intensity of a shod hoof in comparison to a barefoot hoof:

 


Put a thermoplastic polyurethane Easyboot on that unshod hoof and we’d really be seeing some different figures! Take it a step further and apply Shufill silicone in those Easyboots and your horse will think he’s walking on clouds. See how Garrett does it here.

3 reasons to ride in Easyboots this winter:

1. No balling up of snow under the hooves.
2. Ice studs allow you to worry less and ride more over snowy terrain.
3. Easyboots provide extra shock absorbing qualities to reduce impact over the frozen ground.

Call EasyCare to discuss boot options for the winter months. Winter may mean a mild, wet season or it may mean 18” off snow accumulation overnight. In either environment, there is sure to be a purpose for a pair of Easyboots. We look forward to hearing from you.
 

Mariah Reeves

easycare-customer service-mariah

Customer Service

As one of the customer service representatives, I am happy to help get your horse into the right boots. I promote holistic methods of equine care and will assist you with finding the perfect fit for horse and rider.

Is the Easyboot Glove the Right Boot for You and Your Horse?

As a Customer Service Representative here at EasyCare, I talk to people all the time who are new to booting and trying to figure out which boot will work best for their situation.  The Easyboot Glove is one of our best selling boots, and so it will frequently come up when you perform a Google search for "hoof boots".  It is a popular and highly rated hoof boot, but it may not always be the appropriate boot choice for all horses or circumstances.  For instance, the horse who is having a hoof condition that requires some therapy, may not be the ideal candidate for the Glove. The Glove will also not fit well on all hoof shapes.  It really does require a glove-like fit.

Above is an example of a hoof that doesn't fit well in the Glove. The height of the heel forces the gaiter to fit poorly around the pastern and creates a stress area where the gaiter meets the boot shell wall.

The video below is intended to help answer your questions about deciding if the Glove is the right boot for your needs.  It gives step-by-step examples of fitting, as well as tips to enhance your Glove use. 

  

When it comes to boot choice, I like to think of it like I think of our shoes: while your house slippers give your feet protection and comfort, you wouldn't run 50 miles in them, and they fit far differently.  At the same time, you wouldn't purchase high performance running shoes if you were only planning on walking or lounging around the house.  I look forward to helping you decide which boot is right for your individual needs.

Demystifying Glue Options for EasyShoes and Easyboot Glue-Ons

I greet you today to demystify your choices of glue for applying the EasyShoe and Easyboot Glue-On.

EasyShoe Compete Applied with EasyShoe Bond Fast Set by Derick Vaughn

1. EasyShoe Bond Fast Set

Designed for use with any of the four styles of EasyShoes, the EasyShoe Bond Fast Set adhesive allows for ample time to mix the glue (and add copper sulfate granules if required), before applying the shoe. When using the Fast Set, the user has between four and six minutes from the onset of mixing the glue in the cup before it is cured.


2. EasyShoe Bond Slow Set

Slow Set allows for ample time to prepare the shoe. The EasyShoe Slow set will take approximately six to eight minutes to cure depending on the environmental temperatures.

 


Sikaflex Adhesive

Providing that couch-full-of-puppies feeling to your horse's sole.

At EasyCare, we use Sikaflex to cushion the sole of our Glue-On boots. This added cushion to the sole has been time tested and proven by novice and expert users alike. It takes up to 12 hours to fully cure but provides added comfort to your horse in even the most arduous terrain such as the annual Tevis 100-mile event. Sika, as it is affectionately known, is always paired with the faster-setting Adhere. The slow-setting Sika is applied to the sole and reduces concussion. The faster-setting Adhere is applied to the hoof wall to keep the boot shell in place almost immediately. 

Adhere

The cheetah in set up time, Adhere sets up quickly and allows the foot to go weight-bearing almost immediately.

For those that are fashion forward and would like the hoof color to match the glue; Adhere does come in both black and tan options. Adhere has been proven in strength and adhesive durability through its use as the primary adhesive when applying the Glue On. It is also frequently used for applying the EasyShoes allowing the applicator the ability to have fully cured and set shoes or Glue-Ons in less than two minutes, depending on environmental temperatures. 

I hope that this has helped to make an educated decision on choosing the best glue for your needs. Now that you have a guide, get out their and get your glue on.

For application tips and tricks on any of the hoof protection devices in the EasyCare lineup, visit the Videos Page on our website. If you have any questions on best practices for applying glue-on EasyShoes or hoof boots, please call our customer service team at 800-447-8836.

Josh, EasyCare Customer Service Representative.