Backcountry Bootin'

SML
I am Sabrina Liska. My blogs cover trail and pleasure riding. Follow me as I uncover stories of boots and their adventures from people who do things other than endurance.







A Soldier's Boots

Thank you to my friend Cathy for sharing her story with us all.

There were a few firsts at Arizona's latest competition, Lead, Follow or Get Out of My Way Endurance Ride in McDowell Mountain Park this past November 19th. Mules are notoriously difficult to correctly fit boots.  Their feet are narrower than a horse and trying to find a boot that is long enough, yet not too wide is difficult. 

Bare mule hoof.

My Mule, Soldier, uses Easyboot Epics and Easyboot Bares size 00 successfully with gaiters, however he needed something a bit different for his first 75 mile endurance ride. This ride had great footing with decomposed granite and some sand washes. The Original Easyboots work great on the trails when traveling at speed, but when you get in the sand washes, you get sand in the boots. Under normal conditions this is not a big deal, but when you are trying to make time in an endurance ride you don't want to fool around with taking the boots on and off to empty out the sand. I decided he needed to be fitted to a pair of Easyboot Glue-Ons.

The EasyBoot care team, consisting of Kevin Myers, Rusty Toth and Kevin Waters, came over to Soldier's trailer the Friday before the ride and fitted and glued boots. Kevin prepared the hooves and Rusty glued the boots. Soldier is the first mule this team has glued before and it was the owners first use of glue on boots.  Soldier was a good customer and the boots went on without a hitch.

rusty applying the boot.
Rusty applying the boots.

Throughout the ride Soldier moved along flawlessly and actually seemed to enjoy the added protection.  For me, it was a joy to not even have to think about the boots or worry about the footing of the ride. 

The Easyboot Glue-Ons performed flawlessly.

75 miles and the next day... 

Submitted for Cathy Peterson.

An Epic Fitting Solution

Submitted by Sabrina Liska, Team Easyboot 2011 Member

As many of us know, there is always that one horse that has beautiful tootsies, but is in that 'almost but not quite' fit zone. I have a such said horse. Trimmed and measured a few times by a professional trimmer but my beloved Epics were just a smidge too big.

What to do? My mare has a pair of size 3 Epics. She also has and wears successfully Gloves, size 2.5. On training rides and just trail rides, I like to use the Epics. Her feet are trimmed properly, and being of the gaited variety, I like her toes kept back for maximum breakover. The Epics fit with the athletic tape wrapped around twice, and the boots stay on, but I can hear a "space" in the toe area when we walk. It reminds me of someone wearing a clown shoe. That last statement is an over-exaggeration, but you get the point, and I'm not ready to give up my Epics.

A while back, I read the blog regarding an Goober Apron created by using Goober Glue around the edges of a boot prior to gluing the Glove on. The light bulb went off in the ol'e brain. What if I took some Goober Glue and did a bead of 10 to 2 in the toe of my Epics? The glue does not harden like plastic, its pliable, and once it dries, would stick nicely to the inside of the boot. 

My fingers showing 10 to 2 on the boot.

My fingers showing 10 to 2 on the boot.

Applying the bead of Goober Glue

I then put a bead of the Goober Glue inside the boot.

I only applied a small bead of Goober Glue as I could always add more if I wanted to. It is more complicated to take away, so better safe than sorry. I left my boots out in the sun for the afternoon to make sure the glue was dry. I then rode my mare with the Epics and the Goober Glue. I liked the results. How easy was that?

Epic after ride.

Here's a picture of one of the boots after the ride. Waddya think?

Sabrina Liska
Boot after ride.

Easyboots A'plenty in Moab

I recently attended the Moab Canyons Endurance Ride in Moab, Utah. The landscapes were picturesque to say the least.

Moab

There were many riders, as one would expect at a fabulous ride, but it wasn't the footing that had my full attention it was the plethora of boots.

I saw many of the favorite Glove on numerous horses, even my own. I saw one horse wearing the Original Easyboots on all fours and I saw another 50-miler with the Easyboot Bares on all fours. There were boots everywhere. Our very own Bootmeister, Christoph Schork, was there offering to help with Glue-Ons to anyone who needed it. In my mind, there were more booted horses than not. Then again, my attention is drawn to the Easyboots, so I am a little biased. The one place I did not see boots: alone, left along the trail. I think this was a great boot ride and very sucessful.

I rode day 1, a 55 miler, in Gloves on the fronts. I did not use tape or glue and I did not have one boot mishap. Going that far with reliable boots is exhilarating.

Jersey and I

I also rode day 3, a 25 miler, on my big TWH. She wore her Gloves on the fronts only as well. Again, I never had a boot emergency, twist or malfunction. You get the point.

Here is a "back cam" of my Gloves about a mile from the finish line.

Savannah's back cam

In closing, I would like to say again, that doing a distance ride, or any type of ride for that matter, with a reliable boot is beyond words. Thank you EasyCare!

Boot Care 101

Here is a question to ponder: do you clean your Easyboots after every ride? How about ever?

I live in the desert where it is rocky, sandy, dry and dusty. I want to get as much life out of all of my EasyCare boots, so after each ride, I give each boot a 'once-over'. A good hosing is the easiest way, in my opinion, to get the job done. There are many cracks and crevices rocks, hair and debris can hide.

Aha! An extra passenger!

I always clean the hook and loop areas as well. Grass, stickers and the like can ruin the 'stick', and dried mud can cause unwanted rubs.

Here is an Easyboot Trail with a sneaky little bugger trying to hitch a ride.

Trail with a rock

I like to put on clean socks and shoes so I'm sure my horses do too! How do you care for your boots?

A Goober Using Goober

A Goober (that would be me) tried the ol' Goober Glue on the sole of the Easyboot Glove only. Being the experimental kinda gal that I am, I watched the videos on applying the Easyboot Glove with the Goober Glue, as explained by Kevin Myers. I gathered all the required tools needed to apply the Easyboot Gloves successfully.

All the tools necessary/

I decided to only boot the front hooves for this Limited Distance ride. I am a very messy applier. I had one friend take pictures while the other was my handler of instruments. I felt like a doctor asking the nurse... glue, putty knife, boot. Using gloves was very helpful, (although I ripped one right off the get go). I first cleaned the hoof very well with the hoof pick then the wire brush. I then wrapped the hoof with two layers of black Mueller Athletic tape.

Tapin' the hoof

Then the fun part. Using a caulking gun to apply the Goober Hoof Pack, or as I like to call it, the 'Goob Glue'.

Gluing in the collateral grooves

Once the collateral grooves are filled, use the putty knife to spread it like butter or jam on toast.

Spreading the glue.

This is the hardest part for me. Boot application. Did I say I was messy? Without letting go of that hoof, carefully put the Easyboot Glove on. Seat it nicely and then set the hoof down making sure the gaiter is out of the way. Fasten the gaiter. Repeat on other hoof.

It seems complicated and too much work, but it only took me about 20 minutes to do two horses' front hooves. And it was my first time! Results? Here is a complete Jersey hoof.

Jersey's completed hoof.

And here are Savannah's completed hooves.

Savannah

I'm thinking practice, practice, practice. I need a lot of practice with the tape, I tend to get it too high to the coronet band. The boots were applied about 15 hours prior to the 25 mile ride. They did not twist and held fast. I was really impressed. I felt the Goober Hoof Pack was additional 'padding' to the sole as well as kept that Easyboot Glove on the hoof.

Removal? After the ride, I used a flat head screwdriver, pried the boots around the edges first to help release any sticky tape, then started to pry the boot from the sole. It took about 10 minutes or so to remove the boots. Most of the glue stuck to the sole of the hoof, making the boot easy to clean for re-using.

It was fun experimenting. I liked this process and had great results!

Prying with a screwdriver.
glue stuck to hoof
Cleanin the boot

Mud? Clay? Muck? Bring It On

Just have to brag a little bit here. I recently went camping with some fellow horse lovers up to Mormon Lake, Arizona. It had rained up there for the previous five days before we had arrived. The terrain was sticky, thick, clay type mud. This mud wasn't your normal wet, slick type mud; it was the scary frustrating mud that sucked your shoes right off of your feet. On top of that, the forest, although gorgeous, was incredibly rocky. When your horse wasn't standing or walking on rocks, then you got the pleasure of the nasty mud.

I put my beloved Easyboot Gloves with the red power straps on all four of Jersey's hooves. It was casual trail riding and I had asked other riders to please keep an eye on my boots if they possibly could. I felt a little sick in my stomach the whole ride, because I just knew I was going to lose at least one, and in that muck, would never be found. Sigh.

We got back to our trailers and although my friends kept telling me the boots were still on, I didn't believe them much. With black mud and black boots, how could they tell? Surprise. All four Gloves were still on! I did a little jig. No, really, I did. I took pictures after I wiped a little mud away, just so everyone would believe me.

Jersey's front Easyboot Gloves

Jersey's front Easyboot Gloves.

Jersey's rear Easyboot Gloves

Jersey's rear Easyboot Gloves.

I did not bother to tape or use any kind of adhesive with these boots on this ride. I was very pleased to say the least.

Easyboot Trail Gaiter

Welcome to September! Football season and cooler weather... reasons to cheer! Here in Arizona, more and more people are out riding after a long and oven-hot summer.

As more people are hitting the trail once again, I have been asked a few times what Gaiter am I using with the Easyboot Trail. Ah, the answer is so simple. The Gaiter that fits so well with the Easyboot Trail is the same exact gaiter used with the Boa Hoof Boots and the Old Mac's G2s!

Trail gaiter
 
The Gaiters simply slide in the bottom of the boot, fold back to insert the hoof, wrap the gaiter around the pastern making sure to smooth out the material, fasten the hook and loop then finish fastening the boot! Wa La!

TG

mr p

Now you are ready to go out and enjoy that trail! Enjoy the weather and happy riding.





Can You Spare a Spare?

A few weeks ago, I attended a ride put on by a local Arizona group. We went up to the Mogollon Rim near Poverty Draw/Potato Lake.  The terrain was rugged and most was cross country style riding, but beautiful to say the least. I rode my mustang in Easyboot Trails. They performed perfectly. But that is not what this post is about.

Poverty draw

A barefoot mule, a mule in Easyboot Epics and my horse, and although there were only a few of us riding barefoot or booted horses, I had an experience that I did not expect.

Knowing how the Easyboot Trails operate, I did not carry a spare with me on this ride. I was very surprised, however, that there were 3 other riders with shod horses that did carry an Easyboot of some kind as a spare. About 11 miles into the ride, a horse lost a steel shoe on the front hoof. A rider with an Old Mac's G2 jumped off their horse and offered it up right away. It fit! On with the ride we went. The man on the horse with the lost shoe, asked another rider what exactly this "contraption" was. Since I was wearing an EasyCare tshirt, the rider referred the man to me.

This man was from France, and had never heard of horse boots. I answered all of his questions and when we got back to camp, he asked to see how the Easyboot Trails worked. I showed him the ease of which the boot worked and the benefits to it as well. By the time I was done with our conversation, three other people were there asking questions as well! The man from France told me that he was going on a week long trail ride and would be ordering his own hoof boots asap.

Potato Lake

Just when you think everyone has heard about natural hoof care and/or Easyboot products, don't assume so. Keep talking... people are listening!

Sabrina Liska

Clubbin' in the Easyboot Trails

Meleah has a club hoof. Her 'mom' is working with her trimmer to get Meleah's hoof as close to normal as possible. In the meantime, Meleah is still being ridden on a regular basis.

L club hoof

I helped 'mom' measure Meleah for the Easyboot Trails and we anxiously awaited them to come in the mail and try them out! (Like kids at Christmas... I swear!) With a size 0 on the club, and a size 1 on the other normal hoof, we went out for a leisurely stroll. Riding in rocks, dirt, asphalt and the like, along with walking, trotting and hills, these boots stayed tight! No twisting, no velcro coming undone, and most importantly, NO rubbing! Yahoo!

eb trail

When I asked 'mom' what she thought of the Easyboot Trails, her response... "I love them! They are so easy to put on and take off, even for someone like me who has minimal use of her thumb! I think we have found her new 'sneakers'!"

The fact that these boots work for a 'non normal' hoof, and that they also come sold in singles, prove that EasyCare is on a mission to make sure all horses can be comfortable in their hooves!

Sabrina Liska