You do not always know you just got hit, sometimes nothing happens for days with the hoof. As was the case with our stallion, DWA Express. After riding him for weeks bare, I was getting him ready for an endurance ride, applying Easyboot Glue-Ons. Hooves look good, no bruising detectable; if you read my previous post, I took diligent care to clean and dry the hoof thoroughly, but nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. When trimming and before booting, I leave the callous sole mostly intact, sometimes even some dead sole, if it is still attached and not flaky. I did not use a hoof tester, there was no reason for it by the looks of the hooves and DWA Express showed no sign of any lameness whatsoever.
Test riding Express after applying Glue-Ons, he was lame after three miles. When something goes wrong with airplanes, pilots are trained to always undo the last thing they did before the trouble occurred. I did not follow that old pilot rule, did not want to pull the brand new boots off, because I had not seen anything wrong with the hooves in the first place. It was easier to assume a muscle pull or some unexplained oddity, especially after Express improved within a couple of days.
Eventually, though, time comes to pull the boots:
After removing flaky sole, a bloody cavity opened up. I had to dig deeper and open it up to make sure there was nothing embedded and investigate the extent of the damage. New sole had already grown beneath, that's why the horse had stayed sound. Backtracking the events, when initially the glue on boots were applied (with Goober Glue at the sole and Adhere at the hoof wall), there was just enough pressure exerted onto the sole that the horse came up lame. But somehow, that pressure then dissipated enough within a couple of days that Express traveled sound again.
Pulling out the EasySoaker, adding some water with Epsom salt to draw out any bruising, then following up with a Betadine/sugar soaking solution.
Below hoof after the soak with the betadine solution:
Next, application of a pine tar hoof packing, for good measure, I cover just about the whole bottom of the hoof.
Final Step, application of an Easyboot Glove for a few days, to prevent any contamination to enter the injury site.
While working on this hoof, it occurred to me that EasyCare doesn't just manufacture hoof boots of all kinds and for all uses, but really provides much, much more to the equestrian community. EasyCare has created a total hoof care system.
What is a 'system'?
Wikipedia defines a 'system' as a 'set of interacting or interdependent components, forming an integrated whole'. The Business Dictionary defines it as 'a set of detailed methods, procedures and routines established to carry out a specific activity, perform a duty or solve a problem'.
Isn't this precisely what EasyCare is providing? Looking through EasyCare website, we clearly see that system.
First, there is a product line of hoof boots and supporting hoof care/trimming equipment that is so extensive, that it allows users to take care of their horses hooves, no matter what discipline they are competing in, what breed of horse they are riding, what terrain they are riding. Hoof treatment boots and therapeutic applications, no problem, EasyCare has you covered.
The extensive product line of Protective Horse Boots and Hoof Care Products was built upon input from customers. After customers use the products, the educated feedback from users constantly improves and expands the product line. This interaction is based upon solid and encompassing education. Here, EasyCare is compiling a mountain of information, videos, books, DVDs, from the best in the field, with Pete Ramey's research standing out above all. Newsletters, blogs from users and professionals, hoof care clinics and boot application clinics round out the extensive education program that is second to none. The education alone is a sub system in its own right.
It is all there, mostly just a mouse click away. Often I'm wondering, with so much information out there and easily accessible, why do we still see so many ill-fitting or lost boots out in the field? When failures happen, it becomes all too easy to blame the product for the failure instead of a faulty trim, application method or own ignorance; it takes time and effort to get informed and educated, but the payback is huge.
EasyCare's success is built upon its system, let's take full advantage of it! Ill-fitting boots, rubbing boots or lost boots will then soon be a thing of the past.