2016 - The Year of New EasyCare Hoof Protection Products and The Monkey!

2016 is here and EasyCare is working on our longest list of new product launches in our 46 years in business.  Many are brand new concepts that we believe will improve the lives of horses and make the jobs of hoof care professionals more proficient. I'll start announcing the new products in our monthly newsletter blogs and will give all our customers and dealers a heads-up on whats coming. I hope to share a new product for each month of 2016. Yes, we have been busy.  

The Easyboot Glue-On Flip Flop will be available in sizes #1, #1.5, #2 and #2.5 before the end of January 2016.  The Flip Flop was one of those hunches that I thought would work but you never know until you try. In essence, the idea amounts to a flip-flop design with a conventional upper that extends backward only roughly to the widest point of the hoof. The widest point of the hoof has the least amount of movement in both the vertical and horizontal planes. Because of this lack of movement, the bonds between the shoe and the hoof hold much tighter and are much less likely to fail than at the heel. As a result, it is surprisingly more durable than shoes bonded along the entire sides of the hoof. The absence of an upper in the rear half of the shoe ensures that the heel and the entire back portion of the shoe is not connected to the hoof. The heel is afforded greater movement in all directions, which, in addition to improving the durability of the bond between the upper and the front portion of the hoof, also allows more movement of the hoof, which in the long run results in a healthier hoof.

I've glued a large number of hoof protection devices on horses feet in the last ten years and this product is not only the easiest to apply, but stays on the better than any glue-on product I've ever used. The product works better than expected, has won several 50-mile distance races.  

An early slow motion video of a Flip Flop in action. Check out how the sole flexes at the mid-point. 

One of the first prototypes on Fury.

Solar view. Same sole as the Easyboot Glove and will accept the EasyCare Therapy Click System.

The base flexes and pivots.

The final molds have an extended length sole. This allows the sole to be cut to length.

So what does the Easyboot Flip Flip do better than others and why does it have a place in the equine market?

  1. It's very easy to apply and it stays on very well.  
  2. Aside from abrasion, the back of the foot is protected but still functions as a bare hoof.  It allows the hoof to function better than full shell products.  
  3. Debris goes in and comes out easily. In testing we have seen no issues with debris getting in and packing in the toe area. For those with concerns, it's easy to add a pour in packing in the toe area.

It works very well with the EasyCare Therapy Click System. The perfect combination for a pregnant mare having hoof problems while carrying a foal to term.

We are rushing to get four sizes done before the end of the month. I hope you will give them a try. I plan to share another new product next month that I believe will change hoof boot designs going forward. 

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President & CEO

I have been President and CEO 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.

Top 10 Best Read EasyCare Blogs of 2015

Here at EasyCare, we work hard to provide our customers with as much information as possible when it comes to our products, as well as hoof education. We believe that knowledge is power and our blog is an excellent resource, filled with tips for success.

2015 was full of new products, lots of information on hoof health, and product experiences shared by hoof care practioners, customers, Team Easyboot members and the EasyCare staff team. We have paid attention to what you like, and here is a list of our top ten blogs for the year.

1. Laminitis And The Laminar Wedge: Take It Or Leave It - "Laminitis is one of the biggest hoof problems we can encounter." Take a look at the debate about the laminar wedge and what to do with it.

2.  Six Things You Should Know About the Easyboot Cloud - "This robust boot exceeds the needs of therapeutic support and protection, whether it be a long trailer ride to an event, prolonged stalling situations on hard ground at horse shows, thin-soled horses, laminitic stages, abscesses, founder or recovery after tough work-outs. It can also be used to aid movement and reduce recovery time after injury or surgery." This boot is changing the lives of many horses.

3.  The Truth About Equine Abscesses - "Hoof abscesses can be much more serious than most of us realize. Abscesses usually are misunderstood, misdiagnosed, mistreated and cause our horses unnecessary suffering, loss of use and too often loss of life. The following is a brief explanation of white line abscesses of the hoof wall."  This was a two part blog and is filled with invaluable information.  Be sure to check out Part Two as well.

4.  How To Develop a Healthy Foot: Circulation It Is - "The circulation of the horse's foot is critical to nourishing the tissues as well as being an integral part of the energy, shock and heat management system of the foot." This is a facinating read.

5.  The EasyShoe Sport Maxed Out - "The only way to know how strong you are is to keep testing your limits." See just how much you can get out of this popular EasyShoe.

6.  Retained Soles: Stop Polishing a Turd - "Next time you are looking at your bare hooves and see “nice, thick, healthy walls” but no connectivity to the sole, check and make sure you are not, in fact, dealing with a flare and a false sole." This blog has great photos and lots of information.

7.  DHF Addressing Hoof Distortion: Slippering Heels - "There are many ideas surrounding how to address the back of the foot with our trim. Heels, bars, frog; some trimming techniques are more aggressive than others, recommending more or less removal of material." Critical information here on different methods of heel trimming.

8.  Conditioning From the Ground Up - "Every step a horse takes can either build them up or break them down. Every serious rider is aware of the benefits of conditioning their horses bodies through regular work and play. Fewer are aware of the benefits of conditioning their hooves. Every time a horse takes a step there is also the potential for development or breakdown." This is one of my personal favorites from the year.  A must-read for any horse owner.

9.  The Courage to Change - An equine massage therapist and hoof care practitioner shares her experience with change in this industry. "...it seemed so cruel to me that so many generations of horses had lived, and died on crippled feet. It seemed so unfair that they had a lesser quality of life simply because they were locked 24/7 onto steel shoes."

10.  Slow Change Is Better Than No Change For the Equine Industry- There is nothing more consistent than change, and as Garrett Ford explains, it can be painful to watch the lack of change in this industry at times. Thank goodness he keeps pushing through with innovation and passion for our horsey friends.

Tina Ooley

easycare-customer-service-representative-tina-ooley

CustomerService Representative

As a member of the EasyCare Customer Service Team, I am here to assist you in fitting and choosing the best hoof protection foryour horse. I believe in natural, holistic hoof care and its contribution to sound horses and happy riders.

It's a Matter of Perspective

Submitted by Elaine McPherson, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

Have you ever noticed that the more you ride in certain places, if your horse has no issue with the footing and terrain, that you cease to realize that someone else might not care for it? I'm a Back Country Horseman and avid trail rider and I take quite a bit of pride in our Southern Nevada trails that I help maintain, so when I take someone out and they don't like the trail we're on I take it a bit personally.

A few weeks back a friend who had never ridden in Mt Charleston asked me to take her and show her a trail and I gladly complied. She told me the distance and speed she wanted to do and inquired about the footing and terrain. I described them the best I could and let her know that hoof protection was recommended. She said her horse currently has shoes so shouldn't be a problem, right? Chief as usual would go out with Easyboot Gloves on his fronts and bare behind. 

Thirty seven ridge lines to get where I was headed and my friends horse kept getting slower and slower, she said his feet were tender which was slowing him down. My friend didn't agree with my claim of decent footing, heck this trail has downright great footing compared to some I ride, there's that different perspective we all have. Needless to say Chief in his boots handled the rocks and granite boulders we came across like a trooper, ready to ride another day.

 

My Season with Easyboots

Submitted by Stacey Maloney, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

I wanted to share what a typical year looks like for me and my horses' feet. We are competitive trail riders competing at the 25 mile distance this year and we start "spring training" as soon as the weather allows us to be outside without freezing (that date can vary greatly here in Alberta!).

This past year was exceptionally mild and as early as February we were out running down the gravel roads and across the bare crop fields. The ground is frozen this time of year and can be punishingly lumpy, rocky and uneven. If we're out for a slow ride we can get it done barefoot but of course my horses are more comfortable with something between them and the ground. Often times, at this time of year, it's our Easyboot Epics that fit the bill. 

I have used these boots for over a decade now and just love them. They are easily adjusted and therefore easy to fit to your horse throughout their trim cycle. Two days post trim to six weeks out, these boots will insure a snug, secure fit and I don't ever worry about losing one thanks to the handy gaiter.

This past spring we had lots of chinook winds that would blow very warm air across the snow covered ground turning the top of the snow to wind whipped melting puddles that would freeze into sheets of ice overnight. We had ice everywhere. Lots of open, bare tracts which made it quite possible to condition if you could just make it to those spots. 


Enter my Easyboot Gloves with Quick Studs. I wrote about how to apply the Quick Studs here. My oh my what a difference these little studs make to traction. Nary a slip on the dodgy sections, my horse strode out with confidence on our way to our training grounds. I love the Gloves for their ease of application, snug fit and no hardware to fiddle with. There are a bit trickier to ensure correct fit as my horse has to be trimmed more often to "get it right" but that just means her hooves are always in great shape. 

Once the snow and ice cleared and we headed more into our true spring and early summer, I removed the Quick Studs (so I can use them again next year) and continued using the Easyboot Epics and Gloves to condition my horse up and down the gravel road, through the hills, across the rocky river beds and into the Alberta foothills (small mountains).

Then FINALLY, after what seemed like forever, competition season was upon us! I broke out my gluing gear and this rookie made a one woman show of gluing a set of four EasyShoe Performance on my mare. I had learned the how-to's from a local professional last year and set to work making it happen for myself (I wrote about my experience gluing in this previous blog). There was lots of trial and error, glue everywhere and some frustration but that first set I put on myself looked not too bad and definitely did the trick in landing us a first place at that CTR. 

Several weeks of conditioning later I removed that set and applied a new set of four with greater ease and improved skills (see - trial and error at work!). For me I realized the best way for my slow self to apply the adhesive was to only put the Adhere around the bottom where it would contact the sole, hold it to the hoof until set then use a hoof pick to hold the wings open while I applied the Adhere to the quarters with enough quantity that it spilled out the holes. Wait for the appropriate set time again, clean it up with a rasp and voila. 

We had a great competitive season and in total my mare spent 14 weeks in the EasyShoe Performance hoof protection. They definitely offer convenience over the boots as there is no applying/removing before and after each ride and my mare felt superb in them. I called them her little "Rocket shoes" because she was faster and more confident in our conditioning rides than ever before. 

I just pulled them off last weekend and we are back to heading into the colder weather. I will shake the dust off my hoofboots that have been sitting in the corner of the tack shed all summer and we will continue on our merry way, booted and bundled up in the colder weather, waiting for springtime and warm summer days to return.

I do believe EasyCare offers a hoof protection solution for most all situations and if you're not sure, just get a hold of EasyCare Customer Service and they can direct you to what may work best for your situation. We are able to ride outside year round thanks to the protection the EasyCare Hoof Boot line up offers and I am so thankful for all the options. 
 

Transitioning From Shod To Barefoot

Submitted by Karen Bumgarner, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

I brought home a new horse home at the end of July. Yeah I know, I didn't need one, but he's here and I love the big guy - all 16 hands of him and with pretty good sized hooves to match. When I brought him home, his hooves were shod and very long. 

Further inspection showed that what should have been the sole of his hoof was actually covered with overgrown bar, giving him a flat hoof. He had a nice large frog and the corner of the shoe was digging into the edge of the frog. 

My goal was to transition him to barefoot and use boots on him as needed. I knew that if I trimmed him up all at once so it looked correct and pretty, the chances of making him sore were quite good. So I opted for the slow and natural approach. We pulled the shoes, then I trimmed him a bit. Just taking off about 1/2 " of wall, which still left a half inch. His frog was big and fleshy and I only trimmed the tags off and barely touched any of the over grown bar. My plan was the reject sand in the round pen, which is very course, would exfoliate the bar at a natural rate. Plus riding him in the sand on the hills would further exfoliate and wear some hoof down. This would allow nature to do the job and in the long run create a tougher hoof, all the while keeping the horse happy. 

The first couple weeks I kept Rio in the pen by himself where he ran the fence on the course reject sand, wearing his hooves down and getting a nice slow "trim". This was the easy way to do it in hot and dry August when hooves can be hard to trim in this country. After a month, a lot of the bar had sloughed out. His hoof was still somewhat flat as the sole had been buried by bar. I would just take a bit off the edges and round him up every 10 days. After a month, and in need of a bit of touch up trimming, his hooves looked like this:

Now I know I could have rasped this down short, gotten rid of the separation, cleaned up the flare, pulled out more bar, but I was liking the results of "trim thy self". It was slower but he wasn't sore. And in the beginning his hooves weren't loading flat, as can be seen by bar and the tell tale tip of the frog pointing one way. But even this was slowly improving. I told myself not to get in a hurry, and stick to the plan. 

We ride in a lot of sand so I don't always need to boot. But I picked up some used size 2 Gloves, my favorite boot, and fit them to him. 

Since they were just a bit big, I ordered Power Straps to help the fit. I knew in transitioning that his hoof was going to change more and I wasn't sure what size boot I would need for him later. But some places where we ride there are rocks, and I wanted to be prepared with boots that fit.

Our transitioning has been coming along slow but sure with only a slight bit of occasional soreness. As the hoof develops and balances, so the sole becomes thicker and more concave. Now the hoof is getting more uniform, still thin walled in the quarters, but that will come in time. It takes a full year to grow the hoof out.

In 2 months he was pooching out the sides of the 2s so bad that I was afraid they'd tear. Now he wears a 2.5 Glove with a power strap. We still have a long way to go but oh, we have come so far.

Three months of transitioning without lameness, and still being ridden as we continue the process. To me, that spells success. 

Hole In The Boot

The Easyboot Glue-Ons are certainly a marvelous invention. From the beginning we had a great product, but we had to learn how to use them properly and how to apply them correctly so they stayed on even under the most extreme conditions. Meanwhile, Easyboot Practitioners have refined the gluing process to an art and getting the boots off the hooves even after they been 'on' for a few weeks can be quite a chore. Which is, of course, a good thing, because it proves to everybody that the gluing application has matured.

A couple of months ago I wrote about Reading The Boot, a blog with photos to evaluate the gluing application after the fact, meaning after we take the boots off. A learning after the fact, so to speak, but also a studying and learning opportunity for future applications.

EasyCare recommends to pull the Glue-On boots after ten days to two weeks.  I have to admit, I often do not adhere to these these time recommendations and keep them on somewhat longer than that. Maybe I shouldn't, but when the seals are still intact and the boot well attached with no water having entered the boots, I stretch this time line. And yet, I'm always amazed how hard the hooves still are after I pull these Glue-On Boots off my horses hooves. I have not noticed any thrush developing under the boots and most of the time they are a 'mother' to get them off, even after hundreds of miles ridden and several weeks having passed. Yes, they are softer compared to the bare footed horses running around in dry sand. But certainly are not any softer than a bare hoof that travels and lives more in a wetter climate and muddier soil than we have in the desert southwest.

Notwithstanding those observed facts, I cannot help to wonder sometimes if it would be better to have the sole exposed to more natural soil, sand, rocks and air to keep it dryer and tougher.

Time to experiment and play.

Tools needed:

- power drill

- circular hole saws of various sizes

I pre-drilled a small hole in the center of the Glue-On so that the hole drill can stay centered:

While drilling the hole, the boot has to be fixed, otherwise it will spin around and the circular saw won't be able to cut. The best way for me to stabilize the boot was to hold it between my feet.

The sole of the Glue-On boot is rather thick, so it will take a little time. Too much pressure on the drill and it will not cut anymore but get bound up and stuck and jerk your arm. So better use light pressure to allow the tool to do the work.

The modified Glue on Boot with a hole in the bottom.

The sole thickness of the boot is indeed impressive, here is the cut out piece. The Gloves and Glue-Ons certainly have a thick sole, that's the reason they last so long and protect the soles so well.

Hoof preparation is being done identically the way we glue a boot without holes.

For gluing the boot I used Sikaflex the same way as I normally would for a complete boot. I just need a lot less of it this time.

Vettec Adhere is being applied afterwards to the inside wall of the boot and the boot then being glued on according to protocol published on the EasyCare website.

In the sole area I use the excess Sikaflex to seal the cut borders.

Most of the frog and sole is now exposed, keeping the sole and frog tough and hardened.

The foremost question in my mind was: did I rob that boot of essential stability and compromise the integrity so much that it will fall apart and get ripped off in no time? Only time and frequent riding over mixed terrain will tell me.

In my first try I cut the hole too big and, sure enough, the toe part of the boot sole was pushed over the dorsal hoof wall within 20 miles ridden.  The boot pictured above is a size 2 and I used a 3.5 inch diameter hole saw. That hole seemed the appropriate size, leaving a wide enough sole margin.  I therefore came up with the following hole sizing chart (this is what has worked for me):

-2.5 inches saw diameter for boot sizes 00 and 00.5

-3 inches saw for boot sizes 0, 0.5 and 1

-3.5 inches for sizes 1.5, 2, 2.5

-4 inches for sizes  3 and 3.5 and 4

With these sizes the boots have stayed strong enough to withstand heavy and fast riding over mixed terrain.

After 4 weeks of riding this horse, the margins and borders are all intact and the horse is moving happily and freely.

Next photo from the bottom side:

The frog and sole did toughen up more, more dead sole visible compared to the frame above 4 weeks ago. The horse walked before the Sikaflex had completely been dry, that is why some of it had pushed out from under the sole, but that did not create any issues.

Summarizing why such a foolish undertaking could benefit the hooves:

- Continuous sole and frog stimulation and toughening through contact with ground

- Longer time intervals before pulling the boots, possibly up to 6 weeks

- Better grip in mud and wet grass

I might not elect to use this modification for endurance rides or riding a lot over sharp and hard rocks. The risk of stone bruising is certainly greater. For moderate terrain and training rides it seems to me to be a viable alteration.

To give credit where credit is due: this 'Hole in the Boot' idea did not originate with me. I saw it first while attending one of the Pete Ramey Clinics in Durango and considered it worth a try and to experiment with. Pete had a couple of the boots with holes cut out on display.

So far, I must say,  I'm happy with the results.

 

From the Bootmeister's desk

 

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center


 

Achtung, Leeches!

Medicinal leech use dates back over 3000 years. In Egypt, India, Ancient Greece and Ancient Persia the Hirudo Medicinalis, what the medicinal leech is called, was used extensively for healing and therapeutic treatments. Hippocrates writes about them in his works. These little creatures have a very long history.

There are over 650 species of leeches known today, but only 15 of them are blood sucking. These are the ones we are interested in. They are anywhere from one to 10 inches long, have 32 brains, 3 jaws and millions of mini teeth. Their central nervous system is similar to the human one. In the 19th century the European countries imported 100 million leeches every year for medicinal purpose. It was not till the middle of last century that leeches kind of disappeared for about 30 years from the medical field. Since the 80's they have become very popular in medicine again and are being widely used in hospitals all over the world for the following treatments:

-muscle pain and cramps

-rheumatoid arthritis

-tendonitis

-varicose veins

-hematoma

-organ replantation

-detoxifying

Myself,  I have been using leeches on my tennis elbow, thumb capsule inflammation, broken toe, just to name a few. In all cases, the relief of pain and the healing experienced have been very noticeable and long lasting.

I have made the same observations while treating various horse injuries and pathologies. Over the last 15 years, I have successfully used leeches on bowed tendons, muscle cramps, suspensory injuries, chronic joint pain, arthritis, ring and side bone and laminitis. Horses do very well with leech treatment and enjoy the whole experience.  In Africa, biologist have observed that buffalos and cattle seek out ponds with high leech populations, stand in the water for 30 to 45 minutes, get a leech treatment and then leave the pond when the leeches are full and have fallen off.

Before treating a horse, it is advised to shave the area down to the bare skin. Although leeches can bite through the skin of a hippo and also through hair, they prefer clean skins. Wash the area with clean water, no soap. Leeches detest soap and any artificial smell.

Clean your own hands with water only,  take a little mini cup, fetch a leech from your container and hold it with the container to the horses skin.

Leeches can bite on both ends, so just hold that cup to the area to let them bite. If they are not in the mood, then a little prick of the horses skin with the needle will draw a drop of blood and will help stimulate their appetite.

Once they are attached, they often use their other end to hold themselves in place, but not always. Stay with your horse, because if the horse would stomp the leg because of flies, for example, the leech could fall off and then will loose interest. They are very sensitive creatures, one should always have love and respect for them and be kind.

This one is holding on with the other end, but will only bite with one end at a time.

Typically a leech will stay attached from 30 to 45 minutes. During this time, they can grow to 5 times their original size. Then they just fall off and do not feel like feeding again for 6 months or a year.

This one just hangs loose from the biting end.

The saliva of a leech contains 13 effective components, one of them being the protein Hirudin, a strong thrombin inhibitor.  Hirudin has anti coagulant and anti inflammatory characteristics. The effectiveness and the healing power comes through these ingredients and the subsequent bleeding. The longer the bleeding lasts, the better the effects of healing. 40 ml or so would be nice. The ongoing bleeding stimulates local circulation and carries damaging toxins and waste products from the affected area.

When treating acute laminitis, place four leeches low on the affected leg for best results.

What do these leeches have in common with hoof boots or EasyCare products?

EasyCare has a a new boot, the Easyboot Cloud.

"The new Easyboot Cloud is a therapeutic hoof boot system to give comfort and support to horses with thin soles, abscesses, founder, laminitic stages, stresses of shipping, recovery after workouts or stalling on hard surfaces. The Easyboot Cloud also provides instant and ongoing relief for horses suffering from chronic lameness and general lower limb or hoof problems by aiding movement and reducing recovery time after injury or surgery."

After a treatment with the leeches for any of these pathologies mentioned above, the Easyboot Cloud is almost a must to give the horse ongoing relief and support. Both the Cloud and the Leech can work very well together for the welfare of our horses.

To learn more about these amazing little creatures, you can visit this website.

 

From the Bootmeister

Christoph Schork

www.globalendurance.com

 

Marie's Opinion

Submitted by David Landreville, Guest HCP

Transitioning horses from shoes or neglected bare feet into properly shaped, fully functional, and comfortable bare feet can be challenging. If you don't care for a good challenge, you're not likely to be successful...save for luck. You will really have to pay attention, listening to your horse, and being mindful. I tend to have an all or nothing mind set, so when I became convinced that shoes were a bad idea for our navicular horse, Santo, I pulled them off, and I also took them off of Cloud 9 and Marie (our 2 mares). The other gelding (Dante) was already barefoot. He was only two and not being ridden yet. Prevention made so much sense to me that I decided to go all out.

Cloud 9 had no trouble with the change, except for the rainy season in the 1st year. Marie had her own opinions about things. I bought her a pair of Easyboot Epics with 1/2" comfort pads. The first time we went out on the trail to try out her boots we made it about 200 yards and she came to a stop. I urged her on but she gave me her "pay close attention to what I'm about to tell you" look. She's an Arab...I dismounted, took her boots off, and checked for rubbing or pebbles. I didn't find anything. I left the boots off, mounted and off she went, with a little encouragement, for about 50 feet. She came to a stop and refused to move forward again. I looked at her eye again and said, out loud, "you don't like that either, do you"? I took her home and we got our exercise in the soft sand of the round pen. We did that for the next month, until she was comfortable on the hard dirt road. At our place, in order to get to the soft, sandy trails along the wash, we first have to travel down a hard packed dirt road with one inch gravel sparsely strewn and accumulated mostly at the edges and down the middle ( it's distributed this way from cars using the road ). I always try to stay between the gravelly parts. After a half mile of this there's a patch of the road that gets really rocky with golf ball to basketball sized rocks halfway submerged and very little earth in between. After that it's smooth sailing down the almost rock free trail. After Marie was comfortable enough to go out on the road again, without boots (I think it was the rubbing that bothered her) we routinely rode out and I got off and hand walked her through the really rocky part.  I remounted when we ran out of rocks and did the same on the way home.  I did this for over a year. I never minded it and I knew she appreciated it by the look in those extremely expressive eyes of hers. One day on our way back I dismounted at the rocky spot, as usual, and began to walk off leading her. She took a few steps and stopped. I urged her on and she wouldn't budge. I checked her feet for rocks and they all came up empty. I urged her again and she remained frozen in her tracks. I asked her what the problem was and she just stood there with a patient look on her face. I mounted up and asked her to move off and she walked right off.  I went a few feet and dismounted so she didn't have to carry me through the rocks.  Again she wouldn't budge. I looked at her and asked again what it was that she was trying to say. All of a sudden it dawned on me. She didn't need me to get off anymore. I mounted and we crossed the rocks and we've crossed them for several years now. She never complained again...about that.

Over the years, I always got the feeling that Marie wasn't all that wild about trail rides. She always went out the gate willingly, but she took every opportunity to tell me she would rather be home with the other horses. The further away we got, the more she let me know. She prefers the arena, especially if people are taking pictures of her. She will also pose for the occasional tourist hiker. On the way home, she usually tells me which routes are shorter.  We have had many arguments about this. When ever she loses she "mad walks" home. I don't care, as long as it's a walk.  That's the compromise.  She usually forgets by the time we get home anyway. When the Easyboot Gloves came out a few years ago I liked the design and wanted to try them out.  I put them on Marie and we headed down the trail. She was in a particularly forward mood this time so we went for a longer ride. I realized something else was different. She was more adventurous than usual. This time I was the one that said, "OK, far enough." On the way home, she argued at the forks in the trail, because she wanted to stay out on the trail. She had so much extra energy. By this time it was clear to me that she loved her new boots.

Marie is 15 here.

In the beginning, when she first came out of shoes, her feet weren't the proper shape yet. There's a big difference between a farrier trim and a physiologically correct barefoot trim. As I learned the difference, her feet became more properly shaped and fit more comfortably in the boots. I've become accustomed to riding Marie, as well as our other horses, in Gloves, Glue-ons, and EasyShoes regardless of how good I think their feet are. I keep their feet trimmed frequently and balanced properly. Even if they are sound with out boots, I prefer riding and not wondering about their comfort and knowing that every step is building a better foot and protecting their feet as well as their joints from future problems.
 

If I had a Quarter for Every Mile

Submitted by Karen Bumgarner, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

Look what came in my mail box!! Oh to have a quarter for every one of those miles!   

Looking back it seems like I was a child when I began this sport in 1977 at a mere 23 years of age. Since then I've ridden 18 different horses to accumulate this many miles. Some were ridden on only a ride or two, a couple borrowed like the famous Tulip, but most of my horses have over 3000 miles.

In 1977 I met Neil Glass who was the original "Easyboot Guy", I even rode a few miles with him. That was quite an honor! I used my first Easyboots at the Mt Burney ride in California. The Easyboots were placed over the shoes on my big Appy Sunny Spots R for added rock protection. In the early years of the sport, that's what we did with Easyboots. Then along came the EZ foam which filled the spaces, kept out the dirt and was also somewhat adhesive.

The new boot designs started rolling out in 2007, I think, and Team Easyboot was started and I was happily part of that. I used the Bares on Rushcreek Hollie. When the new Epics came out I used them on Z Summer Thunder. Ahhhh, but then the Gloves were released. These are my favorite, my standby, my "go to" boot, the boot that I use on every horse I own! They seldom come off, they're easy to put on, they wear better than iron and they provide my horses plenty of rock protection.  

Owyhee River Challenge, and three of my horses in Gloves. Left : My daughter Andi Sorrell riding Z Blue Lightening, myself aboard Z Summer Thunder, and my good friend, Junior rider Beth Nicholes on The Big Brass. We finished 8, 9 & 10 overall with Beth being First Junior! Photo by Merri Melde

I'm guesstimating over 5000 of my AERC miles have been ridden on horses wearing Easyboot Gloves! Hard to say how many miles I rode in regular Easyboots over shoes or using Bares or Epics but they added to the total. So I have to say, mile after mile, thanks EasyCare for helping me be successful!

 

Mile After Mile in EasyCare Boots

Submitted by Sue Basham, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

Easyboot Gloves and Glue-On shells have taken the worry out of one aspect of competitive riding for me. I like that my mare has bare hooves most of the time yet I don't have to worry about hoof bruising no matter what terrain we cover when training or competing. Gloves are my go-to for everyday rides and training. Glue-On shells are my go-to for most competitions. Fortunately, I cross paths with Christoph Schork (Global Endurance Training Center) at many of my endurance competions and I always make arraignments ahead of time for him to glue on my mare's boots. 

Sometimes people complain that they lose boots (of all brands) but I have yet to lose a Glue-On boot. Meticulous hoof preparation and boot application are key to successful Glue-On boot use. Christoph and the EasyCare Elite Gluing Team at Tevis are very particular in following the EasyCare protocol. I learn a lot watching them apply KC's boots!

Early in June KC and I traveled to the City of Rocks ride in Idaho. Christoph glued her boots on Thursday and we rode the next three days through some pretty spectacular country. KC won and BC'd the overall 155 mile Pioneer! I credit her Easyboot Glue-Ons with protecting her hooves as she traveled all those miles.

Our next ride was the Strawberry Fields Forever Pioneer in Utah just 2 weeks later. KC's boots were still firmly glued on and we did all three days through lots of rocks, bogs and mountainous terrain. Once again KC had the fastest time over 3 days/160 miles and received the Pioneer BC. Her boots did a great job and provided superior protection for her hooves in tough conditions. Its so nice to not worry about hoof bruising or losing a boot. 

I was curious how KC's boots would look after more than 360 miles through the mountains. When I got home I was pleased to find all of them still firmly attached although a bit worn. The bead of Adhere at the top was a little ragged but after all the miles, mud, rocks and downfall, I thought they looked pretty good! You can see how much her hoof grew during those 3 weeks so it was definitely time to take them off (EasyCare protocol recommends removing the boots after 10 days at most).

The bottoms of the boots, although worn, still had adaquate tread and I never felt any slipping on the trail. 

She did wear through the left front toe so it looks like I have a trimming issue to address. All in all I am very happy with how the Easyboot Glue-Ons performed!