I had the honor of attending the first of the EasyShoe Clinics last weekend at the Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School in Plymouth, California. Presented in collaboration with Daisy Haven Farm and EasyCare, Inc., clinicians came from as far north as Washington State and as far east as Colorado. To hold the inaugural clinic at a renowned horseshoeing institution was proof positive that the EasyShoe is building bridges to new markets and building appeal to a wider customer base.
Applying an EasyShoe Performance onto a live horse.
We all gathered around a salad and lasagna dinner before heading into the classroom and making introductions so we could get to know our fellow attendees. Most people there were trimmers or farriers, but we also had a good number of horse owners. Some had prior gluing experience, but many did not. Most trimmers were eager to expand their current business models into therapeutic work and saw the EasyShoe as a good tool to help them expand their client base in that direction. The last couple of hours on Friday evening was spent huddling around Paige Poss of Anatomy of the Equine while she mapped two cadaver feet before beginning the fascinating process of dissecting each of them all the way down to the coffin bone. It was mesmerizing to see how all the pieces connect, how they are attached, and where everything sits within the hoof capsule.
Paige Poss begins the dissection of a cadaver hoof.
On Saturday morning, we reviewed lessons learned from the dissection exercise and discussed the benefits of mapping a hoof before trimming it, and how to set things up to prepare for applying the shoe. Daisy did an excellent job of demonstrating the biggest differences between trimming for a barefoot/booted protocol versus trimming for application of a permanent hoof protection device like the EasyShoe. With a barefoot trim, the practitioner is managing a subtractive process, whereas applying an EasyShoe is an additive process and requires a different methodology for trimming.
Explaining the importance of following each step methodically.
As the clinicians moved into the barn, we used a live horse to demonstrate two applications of the EasyShoe Performance. Daisy led a brief hoof mapping exercise on the horse before I went through the step-by-step process of gluing on a shoe using Vettec Adhere. The process requires a lot of cleaning and drying of the hoof capsule and sole, but if followed meticulously, the user can enjoy a virtually risk-free use of the shoes throughout the full trim cycle. Daisy followed up with a demonstration of applying the EasyShoe for a therapeutic application using EasyShoe Bond, the methacrylate glue that can also be used with the EasyShoe for any application.
Understanding the hoof. Understanding the EasyShoe.
After lunch, the clinicians each used their own cadaver leg to begin the hands-on process of preparing and cleaning the hoof for applying the EasyShoe with their chosen method. Each cadaver foot needed first to be mapped, then trimmed appropriately. They then measured the hoof and assessed the appropriate size for their hoof. The day concluded with a recap of lessons learned, which particular challenges they had overcome, and which areas they felt needed to be addressed in anticipation of the gluing or nailing application the next day.
Megan Hensley working with her group using the EasyShoe Bond method.
On Sunday morning, another live horse was used to demonstrate preparation, application and removal of a more challenging case. Clinicians then broke into groups sorted by their desired application method (gluing with EasyShoe Bond; gluing with Adhere or nailing), with each group led by a team leader to work on the specific application process. Clinicians worked methodically through each of the steps and had many questions and moments to perfect their applications along the way. Each student benefited from the group setting and were able to apply lessons learned by others as well as themselves.
The clinicians from the Plymouth, California event.
The clinic wrapped up on Sunday afternoon with a review of lessons learned, discussions about best practices for application and removal, and a look forward to each clinician's plan for next steps. Everyone who attended felt confident about their application, excited about the new markets and opportunities with the EasyShoe product line.
Three of the clinicians like their experience so much that they modified their schedules so they can attend the upcoming clinic in San Diego this weekend. The event, which will be held at the famous Arroyo Del Mar facility owned and run by Shannon and Steffan Peters, will feature presentations from Daisy Bicking, Ernest Woodward and Garrett Ford, as well as the dissection of a lower leg by Paige Poss. A few spots are still available if this is an activity you think could benefit you as a horse owner or as a hoof care practitioner. On-line registration forms are available by clicking here: EasyShoe Clinic Registration Form.
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.