Equine Therapy Boots: Why Leather?

EasyCare has been working on robust version of an equine therapy boot. A boot that will last much longer and hold up to the daily punishment that a therapy boot may go through when on a laminitic horse: the constant use, the twisting, the horse getting up and down, the routine washing. After testing many materials we found that a high grade leather tested the best.

The Easyboot Stratus will have a leather upper.

Why did we choose leather? One of the tests that brought us to leather was a horse named "Chubby". Chubby was a tough founder case that Curtis Burns helped with over a 18 month period. Chubby was in boots 24/7 and needed the support and comfort therapy boots offered. Boots were worn for a day and then removed, washed and set out to dry. Another pair was used for a day while the first pair dried. Boots were used everyday for 6 months.  

One of the boots Chubby used was leather up front and tough Cordura in the back. We quickly saw a difference in the leather. The leather formed to the hoof, held up and didn't fray. Take a look at the photos below and see why we chose leather for the new Easyboot Stratus. 

Front is leather. Back is high end Cordura Fabric.  

Leather held up very well and took on pleats to form to the hoof.

The Cordura was no match for the leather. Same boot, same wear, different results.

We are excited about the new Easyboot Stratus: a better equine therapy boot, leather upper, TheraPad, TheraRods and an internal heel sling to prevent twisting and heel lift. The Stratus will be ready to ship on March 1st.

 

 

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President 

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.

 

 

EasyCare at the 2018 International Hoof-Care Summit

The International Hoof-Care Summit is one of our favorite events of the year. The 2018 IHCS continued the tradition and helped EasyCare introduce two new products for 2018. The Easyboot Stratus and the EasyShoe Flex.

EasyCare and PolyFlex Horseshoes partner in a booth and we try and focus on activities that give hoof care professionals the ability to see product demonstrations in person or participate in person. In 2018 we decided to hold a contest that would focus on the application of the new EasyShoe Flex.  

Aussie Christopher Beggs giving it a go.  

It's just another shoe so why is a contest needed? The EasyShoe Flex is different. The shoe is flexible, has a spring steel core, and can't be shaped like a traditional shoe. The contest was designed to draw attention to what makes the shoe different. We feel these differences will benefit horses.

 

1. Spring steel core: The spring steel core provides yielding stability. The core will deflect in the toe, quarters and heels. Heels can independently flex up and down. Spring steel returns to shape and therefore can't be shaped by hammer and anvil. Shaping is done by removing material with a grinder. 

Contest winner Robbie Schuler removes material with a belt sander.  

2.  Secure clinching: The spring steel core allows nails to be set and clinched tight. Many urethane shoes without a steel core have a tendency to have clinches loosen with time. 

Spring steel core holds nails tightly and allows for a solid clinch.

3.  Urethane: The urethane ground surface allows for traction and reduced concussion on hard ground.

Urethane provides traction and concussion reduction. Clear urethane allows the installer to see the while line before driving nails.  

4. Wide web design: The wide web design comes in an open heel and heart bar design. Both versions come in toe or quarter clip models.  

Open heel, heart bar, toe clip and quarter clips.  

5.  Sole-packing versatility: The wide web design holds packing extremely well without mesh.  

The 2018 contest was a huge success. We ended giving four prizes as we had two competitors very close for third. Rather than disappoint, we added another $200 to the payout. 

Robbie Schuler takes first and $500.00

Doug Workman takes 2nd and $300.00. Doug later donated his winnings to the Disabled Farrier Fund!

Luke Farmer takes 3rd and $200.  

 Ollie Middlefield takes 3rd and $200. Ollie is 15 years old. All the contestants were very supportive of Ollie and blown away by his talent. Watch for this young man!

Great week! Great people! Lots of folks and products that help horses do what they do best.  

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President 

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.

 

 

Easyboot Original Equals Endless Possibilities!

For all of those who do their own barefoot trims, I have discovered that putting on Easyboot Originals have helped with making the trimming process much easier. I put a thin layer of sponge, add warm water and wait for an hour. This makes trimming the hoof like cutting through butter.

I am a 67 year old female with arthritic hands and using the Easyboot to presoak has made a challenging job easy to the extreme, even with my draft horses. I will also carry them with me on the trail, of course, as I always have, just in case of a sore foot.

I ordered the Easyboot Original size 5 for my Gypsy Vanners from the Bargain Bin. They look brand new. If you do your own trims, try this, you will be amazed!

Name: Karen
State: New Mexico
Equine Discipline: Other
Favorite Boot: Original Easyboot

The Most Amazing Journey of My Life and Now the Next Chapter

Submitted by Nancy Fredrick

I will be retiring from EasyCare as of December 31, 2017 with 16 years, 6 months and 6 days of the most incredible journey in this equine industry that one could ask for in life! I am blessed….for sure!!

My equine journey of love began when I was just a youngster. My best pals growing up in northern Wisconsin were farm kids that I went to school with. They had horses! Every year going to the county fair, my folks could park me with the ring ponies and they could go enjoy the fair with friends and family as they knew, "Nancy will not leave those ponies and we do not have to worry about her!" Saturday mornings, I would watch all the westerns on the TV. This was the mid 1950’s, so you could find me watching Gungmoke, The Roy Rogers Show, Fury, My Friend Flicka, Sky King, etc. Once again, my parents knew where I was and did not worry. I always told my mother, "I am going to go west and be involved with horses when I grow up”. So I did just that in 1972... on to Arizona in a car, not horseback or covered wagon like I would have totally enjoyed!

Life takes us all on various journey’s throughout our years and after many years of different career choices. My life long dream was to work for an equine business. Well, when you put your dreams out to the universe so many times, she answers back and connects you with something so great that you need to pinch yourself to make sure you are still awake!

In 2001, my good friend, Nina Knight, told me to check out a position opening at EasyCare Inc, the home of the Easyboot right here in Tucson. So I heard about our County Line Riders Club having a hoof boot presentation featuring Garrett Ford, owner of EasyCare and I knew I needed to go to this. After the presentation, I went over to him, introduced myself and said, “Hi Mr. Ford, my name is Nancy Fredrick and I would like to put my application in with your company and work for you.” He said, "Put the application in and we will look at it.” The universe was at work and I became part of the team.

           At my desk hard at work.

I started in customer service and used my knowledge and talents to eventually become the Office Manager for EasyCare. I wanted to take on all that I could to learn this business and give it my all.

At this time, we only had the Easyboot and the Medicator boot. We also had several items for the sport of endurance riding. I felt like a kid in a candy store with all of this equine “stuff” and knew I would become a sponge and learn about it all so I could share that knowledge with every customer I came in contact with. As the new boot styles and product that Garrett created came to life, I was so impressed and knew this is where I wanted to be. His love of equines and creating products to make equine lives better has been so inspirational and is very infectious to anyone who has a connection to EasyCare.

More learning in Durango at the research ranch.

From the very beginning of my EasyCare life, I have been inspired and learned more about equine hooves and different products than I ever thought was possible. To work for and be associated with the world leader of hoof boot technology is so mind blowing. This has made me smile every day and be excited about coming to my job each day to give more than 100 percent.

Private clinic in Durango for the EasyCare peeps.

Throughout my time here, I have been very blessed to have met and become great friends with some dynamic people in this industry, met and helped awesome customers, worked with really great fellow team members, gone to equine events, put on events to promote our product, and helped to get great businesses connected with EasyCare to help us be better at our jobs. I have learned so many things to better myself and be able to perform my duties with the best interest of EasyCare in mind.

I am sad to leave, but it is time to journey on to my next chapter in life. I am forever thankful and grateul to Garrett for taking the chance on hiring me and trusting me with everything EasyCare. I have always told him with much gusto, ”I fight de bull for you, Boss”, and I mean this with all my heart and soul.  You have made a difference in my life’s journey with my passion…horses.

And to my EasyCare family, I will always be connected with all of you. I am one of your HCP dealers now and will promote all things equine that you put out there. I also want to do hoof boot fittings in my little business to help teach horse owners that boots are great and horses deserve the best from all of us. I use EasyCare products for my horses and will continue because I believe in them completely.

I send humble thanks and love to each and everyone that I have been blessed to cross paths with in this equine journey…..Happy trails.

 

Nancy Fredrick

Easycare President-ceo-garrett-ford

EasyCare Customer Care

I have been on the EasyCare team since 2001, have been the Office Manager and done everything from A to Z. I have first hand product knowledge as my horses are barefoot, booted and I do their trimming. I can assist you with all of your booting needs. .

Easyboot Glove Soft- Compiling Customer Suggestions

One of the biggest things I've learned about the hoof boot business in the last 25 years is that it doesn't matter what works for me.  What matters is what works for the customer. I personally love the 2016 Easyboot Glove and the robust gaiter. I've done 99% of my riding in the 2016 Glove and think it's the best boot in the EasyCare hoof boot line. Although I love the 2016 Easyboot Glove, many of our customers have requested we bring back features of past Easyboot Glove models. Based on these requests, we have brought back many of the requested features in the Easyboot Glove Soft.

Easyboot Glove Soft in testing

Orders have been placed and we are expecting our first shipment in mid February. The Easyboot Glove Soft will be available in both regular and wide versions. The difference between the 2016 Easyboot Glove and the Easyboot Glove Soft is all in the gaiter. The requested features include:

1.  "Bring back the elastic support". Many of our customers found the elastic support at the back easier to fit. 

The rear support of the Easyboot Glove Soft gaiter is elastic.

2.  "Bring back the wider hook and loop closure". Many of our customers found the wider hook and loop more secure. The Easyboot Glove Soft has 1 1/2 wide hook and loop.  

1 1/2 inch hook and loop closure.

3.  "Introduce a gaiter that can fit large and small circumference pasterns". The gaiter features a great deal more flexibility in fit. The gaiter should overlap even on a large boned horse.  

Gaiters should overlap!

The Easyboot Glove Soft incorporates the feedback of many and continues to use the standard and wide shells that everyone loves. Between the 2016 Easyboot Glove and the Easyboot Glove Soft, we feel confident more performance horse owners will be happy and have more options.  

We hope you will like the new requested features.  

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President 

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.

 

New EasyCare Durango Location

Many of the products in the EasyCare range have been developed and tested in the San Juan Mountains surrounding Durango, Colorado. The mountains in Durango inspire time on the trails and long hours in the saddle. The trail system is diverse, elevation changes can be dramatic and scenery is breathtaking.

Hard to take a bad photo or ride an ugly trail in Durango

We have been looking for a new Durango office location that embodies what we all feel about our town.  Sam and I spent a day at Zappos in Vegas, got some ideas from Roche in Indy and read articles about Google and Facebook.  We were seeking an engaging work space that helped us all be more productive.  A space with views and open space.  Dog friendly, exercise friendly, a nice kitchen, views and showers.  A workplace where we all feel comfortable.  A work space we are proud of. An office location that continues to help us recruit and retain the best team members. 

After looking around town we picked a rural location in the north valley.  The space was open and we were able to build out to fit our needs.  We are all excited about what we achieved and excited to call this new location home.  

Take a quick tour of our new digs!

Open office space.  Work at a couch or at a desk.  Kitchen is close.

Dog friendly.  You will find Emmitt, Boots, Brisco, Millie, Squatch, and Cheyenne at the office on most days.  

Exercise friendly.  Run, bike, exercise or workout at lunch.  Clean up in the men's or woman's shower.  

Multiple areas to work from.

Great windows to bring the views of Durango inside.  

Steel features with a bit of EasyCare history combined.  

Lots of artwork from our photo shoots over the years.

Hope you like it as much as we do.  Stop in if you are in the area.  

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President 

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.

 

 

5000 Miles of Hope

Submitted by Chris MacLuckie

Roxy has never been shod. She uses Easyboot Gloves. I love them, she loves them, and it gives us the freedom for her to be barefoot every night during our 5000 mile solo horse ride fundraiser.

We first got the Gloves in April to replace another brand that didn't fit Roxy's wide hooves. Until this point, I rode Roxy barefoot in the roughest of terrain. The only reason I needed boots was to ensure her hooves weren't worn raw when I increased the mileage in preparation for the trip.

We tried the Gloves in a range of situations: swamps, roads, trails, rocks, gravel, at all speeds and with rough transitions. I even did a sliding stop on pavement once! They never came off. I like the simplicity of the design, less parts to break or replace.

The first four boots I bought were a little large, so I just kept Roxy's hooves longer to make sure the fit was snug. I knew that when it was time to replace the first set, I would go a size smaller. The 3rd week of September we went from the size 2 and 1 Wide in the front and the size 2 and 0 Wide in the back, to size 0 Wide in the front and size 0 in the back. This set works great with Roxy fully trimmed. I use them with the Power Straps, and most recently, the firm Comfort Pads and the Quick Studs for extra traction and longer wear. The Comfort Pads help a lot with concussion absorption. The studs help prolong tread by taking some of the direct pressure and wear off of the sole. They also give a bit more traction in some situations.

The second set of boots have been used exclusively during our trip on pavement and gravel. We currently have 600 miles on them. I expect to get another 150 miles at least. The next set will be used with the Quick Studs right from the first day. I'll report back on my blog at a later date to give an account of how long that set lasts, as well as future observations. From what we've noticed so far, the boots last longer the tighter they fit on the fully trimmed hoof. This includes walls, heel bars and mustang roll edging.

I encourage you to visit our blog to learn more and follow our story.
5000milesofhope.org

We are doing a 18 month solo horse ride fundraiser for Maya Pedal, a Guatemalan NGO that builds pedal powered machinery.

Our GoFundMe page for Maya Pedal is here:
https://www.gofundme.com/Maya-Pedal-Horse-Ride-Fundraiser

Good Choice

In 2016, my friend bought an eight year old Wielkopolska gelding. I look after trimming this horse's hooves. The horse unfortunately had hoof issues and when my friend started jumping on him, everyone around advised putting shoes on. However my friend listened to my advice and the gelding is barefoot with the help of the Easyboot Glove.

Thanks EasyCare!

Name: Aleksandra Marczak
State: Massachusetts
Equine Discipline: Jumping
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove
 

EasyShoe Flex is Trending

Curtis Burns, of Polyflex Horseshoes, and I have been working on a shoe for many months. Too many months to be candid. The project has taken longer than expected, cost more than anticipated and has made us both more bald. Frustrating, but if bringing a product to market was easy, everyone would do it.  

I did a recent Facebook post on my personal page about the EasyShoe Flex and the post was quickly shared over 1K in a very short time. The shoe and the features of the shoe appear to have some interest.  

A urethane and steel shoe that allows hoof mechanism. Roughly 3.8mm of displacement in the quarters just standing on a nut.  

Curtis and I set out to develop a nail on horse shoe that would provide many unique features. A shoe that would absorb concussion, be easily applied with nails and would allow the hoof to move and flex. Our goal was the following.

1.  Easy application with nails. The shoe can also be applied with adhesive, if needed.

Heart bar version.

2.  A steel or aluminum core that would allow farriers to set the nails and apply a solid clinch.

3.  We wanted a shoe that would move and flex with the hoof.  

 

Rigid, but flexible!

4.  A shoe that would absorb concussion and would outlast iron.  The wide web design is hard to wear out and we believe it will outwear iron.  

5.  We wanted a shoe with sturdy toe and quarter clips.

Sturdy toe and quarter clips. The spring steel is different to work with but the clips can be set nice and flush.

6.  We wanted a urethane shoe that would not cup and apply sole pressure with time.  

7.  A shoe with a heart bar and open heel option.

Open heel.

Heart bar.

We ended up with a bonus product we will call the EasyShoe Light. Same as the heart bar above but with no metal. This version will be priced very aggressively and will compete with the 100% urethane shoes on the market.  

EasyShoe Light.

After nearly two years, we are close to launching a product that we believe has have achieved our goals. A shoe that we view as a "Tweener". More rigid than a urethane shoe and more flexible than steel or aluminum. Another tool for farriers to make the horse happy. In the end the horse is the ultimate customer. If the horse is happy in the new shoe, we will know if the project was a success. 

Would love to hear your thoughts and comments.  

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President 

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.

 

Glue On Clinic at Canoga Farrier Supply, Canoga California

Submitted by Jon Smedley, Trim and Train

Hosted by Jon Smedley and Sarah Smedley of Trim and Train as well as Larkin Greene of Vettec

We don’t need to go to the farrier supply store because we get most of our supplies from EasyCare Inc. but I do like to go to look around and stay connected to the local shop. I’m like a kid in a candy store and my wife Sarah gets super anxious as the nice lady at Canoga Farrier Supply rings up the small stack of tools and toys that I just cannot leave without.

Last year, Julie, the store manager, suggested we have a glue-on clinic because a few of her regular customers where asking a lot of questions about EasyShoes. Those that had tried them were having a lot of failures. I figured it was just ‘small talk’ and she was not really serious. When she asked again a few months later, I realized she was serious.

Julie and, the shop owner, Bobby helped open the clinic to the public for FREE. Larkin Greene of Vettec is always offering to help at an event so I knew we’d have a great clinic. EasyCare was kind enough to send a box with some Glue-On shells and EasyShoe Performance N/Gs that fit our hoof buddies as well as some EasyShoe Bond for demonstrations and practice. Bobby and I estimated around 12 people would attend the clinic. 

Larkin’s display of Vettec products

Other manufactures got wind of our clinic and wanted to get involved. We had Epona, Sound Horse, and Renegade send products for us to play with and Hawthorne paid for breakfast and lunch.

On Saturday morning, 21st of October at 9am, the shop was packed. I counted 53 people at one stage, not including presenters. At introductions, we found that the crowd was made up of professional farriers with over 30 years experience that were there to expand their knowledge and skill base, as well as horse owners that just wanted to learn more about the glue on options.

Larkin led off with a great presentation about glue and a lot of information to keep you thinking. I wrapped things up with an overview of the processes that I have found to be helpful in keeping glue-on products on successfully! 

After the class room portion we adjourned to the parking lot for hands-on demonstration and practice. Sarah and I had a wonderful time answering more specific questions and spending some individual time outside with a great group.

My favorite question of the day, “How long have you been working for EasyCare?” which I was asked multiple times. (Jon is not an employee of EasyCare, but rather a valued dealer of EasyCare products since 2014).

Jon demonstrates how to heat fit a glove shell in the beautiful California sun.

Jon explaining the importance of using the Dremel 9931 bit and some techniques.

Trim and Train, based out of Ventura, California, are a husband and wife team that specialize in providing hoof care and protection for performance and leisure horses. The pair got their start in the barefoot community with PHCP and are enjoying facilitating training opportunities for other hoof care professionals.