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

Fitting the Back Country

The new and improved Back Country boot has evolved into what I like to call the “Black Knight” of boots.

With it’s rugged, warrior-like good looks, tough as nails rubberized upper, and extra-thick neoprene comfort cup cradling the heel bulbs, this boot is the best of both worlds. It combines the fit, comfort and convenience of the Glove with the ease of application of the Trail. At the back of this boot is the Snug Strap and its job is to hold everything together in a strong, but tender, embrace. This strap is now standard equipment on every Back Country boot, ensuring a super-secure fit.

Though this boot begins its life as a Glue-On shell, the fit requirements for the Back Country are vastly different from those of the Glue-on shell or for the Glove boot.

Thanks to the Back Country’s innovative design and robust construction, even if your horse’s hoof measurements don’t fall perfectly into the parameters of the sizing system, the forgiving qualities of this boot’s 3-lap Velcro closure system can make up for various hoof shapes, conditions and pathologies.

Here's an excerpt from the Fit Kit application guide:

"Although the size chart for the Easyboot Back Country is the same as one for the Easyboot Glove, the fit does not need to be as snug. Customers who are unable to use the Easyboot Glove due to length of trim cycle or lack of hand strength should consider the Easyboot Back Country. If your horse is on a trim cycle longer than 4 weeks, we recommend using a 1/2 size larger than the snug fit required for the Easyboot Glove. Sizing up a half size also allows for ease of application." 

Therefore, when using a Fit Kit to fit your horse for the Back Country, find the boot shell that “fits like a Glove”, where the "V" at the front is spreading and it's like a second skin. Then, try the next ½ size up. Keep in mind that the actual Back Country boot, with the upper and comfort cup gaiter attached, adds to the strength and rigidity to the boot, making it seem a tiny bit smaller than it actually is.

That being said, here's some more food for thought:

If your horse's measurements fall in at the low end of the sizing system, it IS possible that it will be a good fit for the Back Country. This is especially true if your horse's hooves fall into the wide sizes. This is why I always recommend using a Fit Kit whenever somebody expresses interest in either the Glove or the Back Country boot.

FYI, whenever a horse's hoof width measurement meets or exceeds the length measurement, we consider that a wide foot. 

Here’s my horse in his size 1 Gloves. 

He is a rock-solid size 1 in Gloves, measuring 114mm x 123mm after a fresh trim. I've had these boots for about a year. I'm thinking of adding Power Straps pretty soon. I normally apply Mueller Tape to the hooves when I ride in Gloves and have never lost a boot.

Shown below, I am trying to stuff his right hoof into a size 1 Back Country. It's a bit of a struggle, but I got it on.

After I set his hoof down, I noticed he caught the Comfort Cup Gaiter between his heel and the boot, creating the dreaded "wedgie effect". His heels could not seat properly into the boot. Even after I fixed it, I am not happy with this fit, so I will go up a 1/2 size to the 1.5 and add a Comfort Pad if necessary.

From the back, you can see that the closure system of the size 1 on the right only has about a 1/2" of Velcro overlap, while the size 1.5 on the left has a much better purchase. The Snug Strap on the size 1.5 is also getting a better overlap compared to the size 1. See what a difference 4 mm makes? That’s the difference from one boot size to the next.

 

Size 1

 

Size 1.5

I like to maintain a left and a right with my boots and pads, so I will switch the Snug Strap on one of the boots so that, at a glance, it's easy to see which is which. Plus, it keeps me safer because as I tighten that strap, I'm pulling away, keeping my body out from under my horse. 

Here is the final test to be sure your boots are fitted properly:

After applying the boots securely, walk your horse a bit, then come to a stop and pick up each hoof and try to twist the boot.

Give it a good hard twist. If you can feel a small amount of twisting around the hoof inside, you may need to add a comfort pad at the beginning of his trim cycle to snug things up a bit. If there is more twist  than an inch or two, you may be better off with a 1/2 size smaller.

Fitting your horse for hoof boots can sometimes be a challenging process. Once you find that perfect boot, though, it’s all worth it.

 

Jean Welch

Jean Welch, EasyCare CSR

Customer Service

Originally from New England, I finally heeded the advice of my inner cowgirl, packed up my horses and moved west to Arizona. Here I learned the finer points of hoofcare and successful booting techniques. I can help you select the right EasyCare product for your specific needs. 

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
 

Blue Hole of Nevada County Adventure

I recently led a trail ride down to a blue pond affectionately known as the Blue Hole. I was on my new mare Friday when we decided to go up to the water's edge for a drink. I had been here about 2 months prior and we had gone into the water a couple of feet with no issues. I had no plans to go in that day but Friday decided she wanted to go into the deep end. I commented, "it looks like I'm going swimming," as she dove in.

She struggled to get out, hopped 4 times and then rolled onto her side and that's when I was able to step off. She was then able to get up and out after I was off.

Of course my friend was able to get photos of it while it happened and my other friend had captured it all on her GoPro.

We commented after the incident that her Easyboot Gloves were still on. Thank goodness because this was the first ride in that pair of Gloves. The thick clay mud should have devoured those boots but they survived. I am VERY happy with my Easyboot Gloves!

P.S. All four of our horses were wearing Easyboots.

Name: Diane Phillips
City: Auburn
Equine Discipline: Trail
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove
 

What Easyboot Is Right For My Horse?

Submitted by Jordan Junkermann, EasyCare Product Specialist 

Some of you may be new to the booting world. I am only a year into this experience, so I'm still new to booting. There are many factors that lead us towards booting our horses. Some have always had barefoot horses, some are just removing iron shoes to begin the long journey to a healthy, happy foot, or maybe you are one of the all too common cases of laminitis, founder, navicular, or another hoof disease and are desperately looking for comfort and relief for your equine friend.

So here you are, searching the internet for a hoof boot company that will work for you. There seems to be an overwhelming amount of directions you could go. If you find yourself on our EasyCare website then you have tab after tab of options: Pleasure Riding, Performance, Therapy, or EasyShoes. How do you choose which boot is best for you? One option is to narrow down what you are wanting to use the boot for. That often helps point you in the right direction, but now you have to begin the trial and error process of getting a good fit. Luckily, you are not alone in this journey. We have a few different resources for you to gather as much information as you need to make the best decision, including each boot description, our blog site, videos on our YouTube page, the fitting assistant form, the EasyCare Fit Kit (Glove/Back Country and EasyShoe) or our highly educated Product Specialist Team. EasyCare’s mission is to improve the well-being of horses by providing the equestrian community with superior service, education, and innovative equine products.

As an employee with EasyCare and new to booting I have had the opportunity to try out a few of our boots. My mare, Pistol, is barefoot and only tender occasionally. I use the boots for riding on rocky Colorado terrain, but there are many boots in our lineup that would work for the type of riding I do. The biggest determining factors are her hoof shape and the length of her trimming cycle.

The first boot I tried was the Easyboot Epic. It is forgiving in fit and designed for longer trimming cycles, such as the 6-8 week trim cycle Pistol is on currently. I wanted a positive first booting experience and the Easyboot Epic is a good place to start. The application process is not incredibly difficult although getting the heel strap in the right place and the cable tightened just right can take a few tries to get accustomed to. Unfortunately, my mare was not used to going through water crossings at this point and attempted to avoid the water by climbing a few trees. In the process of hoping across the stream, like a frog might, she tore one of her gaiters on a sharp rock. I don’t blame the boot. She was acting wilder than she would have normally and the location for that tantrum was not ideal. Since then I have removed the gaiters and created the Original Easyboot instead of replacing the ripped gaiter.

The second boot I have used is the Easyboot Glove. This is definitely one of my favorites. I love the slim fit which allows her to move freely at any speed and doesn’t allow debris to enter the soft tissue areas near the hoof.  Although I appreciate the functionality of this boot, it only works for my horse for part of her trimming cycle. This boot is designed to accommodate 4 weeks of growth so that there is a snug, secure fit throughout that time period, so I can only use this boot the first couple of weeks unless I rasp her hoof down. If someone has the financial ability to, I would suggest they purchase a size that fits the first part of the trimming cycle and another set that fits for the last part if they have a longer trimming cycle.

I also tried the Easyboot Back Country since that boot has the same snug fit as the Glove but is more forgiving in fit. I had some trials with that boot as I transitioned into full barefoot. Her heel bulb angle didn’t allow for me to get the velcro to close the way that EasyCare suggests. I modified the boots by adding a half size up larger upper and that solved my problem.

My favorite “slip-on-and-go” boot is the Easyboot Trail. That boot slides on with no effort the first day after the trim and the last day before the next trim. It is always easy to just put the hoof into and it stays secure. There is no turning or twisting. I am lucky and have fairly good connection around the top of the boot: a little bit of space but not huge gapping. Some debris has gotten into the boot but it is easy to shake out at the end of a ride. If someone is concerned about rocks getting into the boot the best option would be to use a human sock to prevent rocks from getting in or the Gaiters that come with the Old Mac's G2.

This past spring, my mare went into a very intense heat cycle. She was pacing when she was in her pen so much that she was wearing her feet down a lot. She wasn’t ride-able because she was so sore. I used the Easyboot Transition, that is now discontinued and in our Bargain Bin. The Cloud or Rx boot would have worked just as well I put them on her when she was stalled so she could not wear anymore of her hoof down.

I am fortunate enough to have a horse with a hoof shape that fits in many of our boots. Some horses will have limited options and that will help narrow down the boot possibilities. We have a variety of sizing charts in order to accommodate a variety of hoof shapes. It is hard to fit every horse out there even with seven different sizing charts.

Everyone has had their own stories, good and bad about the boots they have tried. It can be overwhelming to try and pick the boot that is right for you. Feel free to contact the EasyCare Product Specialist Team, use our fitting assistant, or our other "Contact Us" resources to get advice on sizing for your horse. We are happy to help.

Staying Sound While Healing Post Surgery

George is a 1600lb draft cross who stepped on something creating a small hole in his sole clear down to the coffin bone. It required surgical debriding and a multi-month recovery in a foot cast and hospital plate. To support the collateral "good" leg, we put him in a Easyboot Cloud. It was wonderful and helped provide sole and lower leg support. The Cloud made it so both hind legs were at the same height while he was in a foot cast. Through the entire ordeal he stayed sound. Thank you EasyCare for your innovations. I highly recommend these boots.

Name: Emily Lamprecht
City: Chesterfield
Equine Discipline: Dressage
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove
 

Tucker's Club Foot and the Easyboot Back Country

Tucker is an off the track Thoroughbred whom we rescued. He came to us with poor body condition, lots of bones visible, rain rot covering his body, and his feet literally falling a part. Tucker has a club foot that resulted from a broken leg. With the help of knowledgeable people, we have watched Tucker heal from the inside out! He is a beautiful, kindhearted animal who loves all of the people who visit our farm! In spite of all of his progress, the club foot does not hold up to bug-stomping summers. Thanks to our farrier and Kelsey Lobato, EasyCare Product Specialist, Tucker now has a new pair of Easyboot Back Country boots to protect his hooves! Thanks EasyCare for your help in this process!

Name: Jen Leyes
State: Virginia
Equine Discipline: Dressage
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove Back Country

August 2017 Newsletter: Best Seller Easyboot Glove On Sale!

In this month's newsletter:

  • Don't Give Me Any Lip!
  • My Foundered Horse is Finally Stable...Right?
  • Tips and Tricks for Removing Shells Using Acrylic
  • Who is Kelsey and Why is She Important?

​READ MORE HERE...

July 2017 Newsletter: 15% Off The Easyboot Rx!

In this month's newsletter:

  • Modifications of Easyboot Glove and Glue On Shells: Part II
  • Blaze and the Many, Many Boots
  • The EasyShoe FLEX in Action
  • Why is the Easyboot Rx the best medical boot in the industry?

​READ MORE HERE...

Modifications of Easyboot Glove and Glue-On Shells: Part II

Submitted by Pete Ramey

Glove Glue-On Shells    

The Industry’s Shift to Synthetic Horseshoes 
In my opinion, the increasing popularity of synthetic shoes – both for rehab and for high performance – is a very good step in the right direction. During the time that metal was the only material we had that would hold up under a horse, metal made a lot of sense as a horseshoe material. But these days we have a wide array of materials that will do the job, and most of them are much better for energy dissipation and shock absorption. These materials are also more flexible, which can allow the foot to function more normally, perhaps leading to increased health of internal structures when compared to more rigid shoes. 

I do worry that synthetic shoes will become just another thing that people leave on horses’ feet 365 days a year. Healthier than steel, perhaps, but still degrading the foot with their constant presence. I use these tools in my everyday work, but for most situations I remain a “barefoot and boot man,” as I think this combination yields the best hoof health in a majority of situations. 

My Love Affair with the Glove Shells
There are times, though, that long-term or even permanent hoof protection is needed. For these horses, I usually turn to the Glove Glue-On Shells, simply a Glove without the gaiter (instead of other synthetic shoe models) for several very specific reasons:

  • All of the glue bond is on the side wall, instead of on the bottom of the wall. This frees me up to unload areas of separated walls, making these shoes ideal for growing out hoof capsule rotation, toe flaring, and quarter flares (and thus wall cracks).
  • Almost as well as a hoof boot, if applied properly, they can allow total release of pressure to the sole during hoof flight. This allows you to get away with more sole pressure/support than any other fixed shoeing method I have seen, heard of, or tried.
  • There is no need to trim the foot “flat” in preparation for shoeing. The horse’s foot, when viewed from the side, is naturally arch-shaped, mirroring its internal structures. The only ways to level this arch for shoe prep are to, 1) thin the sole at the toe, 2) thin the sole at the heels, 3) leave the quarter walls too long, or some combination of those three. I can’t abide any of those, as each causes damage. Note: When floating the quarters above the shoe floor, be careful not to let glue run beneath the wall and harden under the sole.
  • The glue bond area is 3-5 times larger than typical glue-on shoes. There is also no need to prep or protect the prep of the ground surface of the foot. For beginners, this makes it easier to succeed with them. For seasoned veterans, this makes the bond as close to bombproof as a shoe can get.
  • I can pad in them! Most permanent shoe modifications accommodate padding or impression material under the arch of the sole, but not under the wall or the outer periphery of sole. This little trick is a true life-saver for thin-soled, splat-footed horses.
  • Using heat-fitting, this shoe can easily adapt to any almost any hoof shape, and be adapted to any breakover or heel support needs.
  • Economics. I can stock only this shell and, by trimming it down to shape, duplicate a wide array of products. If I want an Easyshoe, a Flip-Flop, a lower cuff, a direct glue shoe with no cuff, M/L or D/P wedge, better traction, heels in, heels out, open sole, closed sole, frog support… I can make one by removing unwanted material from this single product. This helps maximize precious storage space in my truck and, of course, dramatically cuts the expense of carrying extra stock. 

Heat-Fitting 
It is equally important to achieve a close fit with the Glue-Ons as it is with the Gloves. We have the same breakover and heel support needs. Large gaps between the wall and shoe will be difficult to fill with glue, and tight areas may push the shoe out of place before (or after) the glue dries. 

Better fit can be achieved with the Glue-Ons than the Gloves when large quarter flares are present since the gaiter is not in the way of quarter fitting. During the heating process, you will find that it is better to hold the shell with something besides your hand, particularly if you have opened the sole (discussed below). I use my shoe pull-offs or crease nail pullers.

As an end result, you want a snug but relaxed fit with little-to-no air space, and no pressure attempting to push the shoe out of place. Prior to gluing, you should be able to put it on the foot with no glue, walk the horse around on concrete, and it should stay in place.

Other Modifications

All of the modifications I discussed in Part I with the Glove boots can also be done to the Glue-On Shells. Below are additional options I use only when gluing.

Venting the Back of the Shoe
Gluing allows you to cut out the heel section of the boot completely. I almost always do this as it allows the foot to breathe, keeping the back half of the foot relatively free of the black, foul funk. I tend to do this simply with my pocket knife, and then I finish by rounding the top of the cuff with my nippers or shears. 


Opened heel of Glove shell, done with knife and nippers. I’m doing this to 90-something % of my glue-on shells.

Venting the Bottom of the Shoe
If there is adequate sole and frog in the center of the foot and if I don’t perceive a need to use impression material or padding, I often vent the bottom of the shoe. Using a jigsaw or Dremel, you can follow the contour of the shoe tread, mimicking the frog support and look of an EasyShoe. The material is strong and difficult to cut. Most tools actually burn their way through it, rather than cutting, and it can be a long process. 

So in most cases, I simply use a drill and hole saw (thank you Leslie Carrig!), usually 2 ¼” diameter, occasionally larger, to vent the bottom of the foot. This takes seconds to do, with no burning or clogging, though the end result may not look as cool as other designs, the horses never notice. As with almost any open-bottom shoe, there is some risk of a stone lodging between the shoe and the sole, causing problems. But the access to air can be worth the risk, particularly if the owner routinely picks and checks the area.

Pads and Impression Material
All of the padding methods discussed for the Glove boots will work with the Glue-On version, plus several additional options -- Dental Impression Material (DIM), pour-in pads, and Sikaflex 227 adhesive, to name a few. Generally, when using any type of pad, I leave the shoe’s stock sole intact (forgoing the sole vent). I also fill the collateral sulci and cover the sole with a thin layer of Artimud to keep infection at bay.

Prep and Glue
Gluing instruction is best done in person or at least via DVDs or YouTube (start here)  – not in writing – but here is my basic protocol in a nutshell, and in a very specific order:

  1. Trim the feet, clean out any infected areas in the white line or frogs, wire brush debris from the walls and bottom of the foot. This, and the other steps are each done to all four (or two) feet that are being glued in sequence, rather than doing each foot start-to-finish. This saves time.
  2. Heat-fit and do all shoe modifications. If using DIM or a felt pad, it is prepared at this point. If using a pour-in pad, decide if you need a hole or holes in the shoe to inject the pad.
  3. Sand all the gluing surface of the sidewall, yielding a rough finish. I cut 50 grit belt sander belts into small squares and do it by hand, or more recently, use a cordless drill buffer/sander. I then use the rough corner of my rasp to add fine grooves to the gluing surface. Take care to prep all the way to the back of the heels. This area can be hard to reach, easy to forget, and is the most critical area of glue bond. 
  4. With a small hand-held butane torch, I heat the outer wall for 1 or 2 seconds in each individual spot, moving the torch around very quickly while avoiding melting the hair at the coronet. Most of this, I do with the foot on the ground, but be sure to pick up the foot and prep the heels. I do the same to the inside of the shoe’s gluing area. This step eliminates dust, oils, and moisture, and is critical to success. After this step, take great care not to re-contaminate the glue surfaces of the hoof and shoe. Arm sweat, oils from impression materials and bacterial treatments are the most common culprits, as well as the grubby little hands of curious onlookers and well-meaning horse owners with a bottle of fly spray in hand (yep, it happened to me).
  5. Using a painter’s digital moisture meter, verify that all parts of the hoof’s gluing surface read 0.0% moisture. If not, repeat step #4. If a horse just came in from dry stall shavings or a dry pasture, one lap with the torch will usually do the trick. If the horse just came in from the rain, it may require three or more laps. Resist the temptation to heat longer as this could harm the horse. Instead, heat more times. Be patient – this is the most important step, particularly if you live in a damp climate.
  6. Glue. Keep it warm in winter, cool in summer. I like to use the guns and mixing tips – personal preference. Sometimes I use the acrylic, EasyShoe Bond Fast Set (Equilox, Equibond – all the same, with different labels) because it may be better glue for wet environments, and sometimes I use the urethane Vettec Adhere because it is less noxious and may do less damage to the walls. Adhere is also more user-friendly, and thus may be easier for beginners to succeed with.
  7. Purge the glue before installing the tip. For Adhere, be sure equal amounts of both agents are flowing freely. For EasyShoe Bond Fast Set, be sure the (white) bonding agent is flowing constantly, about 1/10th the volume of the pigmented agent. If so, wipe the glue from the end of the tube, being careful not to mix the agents, and apply the mixing tip.  
  8. If using DIM, place it on the foot. If using felt (or other) pads, place them in the shoes.
  9. Purge a grape-sized ball of glue onto the ground or paper towel, then apply the glue to the shoe. I avoid the sole, the ground surface of the wall, and the lower ½” of the cuff. The concern here is getting a glob of glue on the sole, which will then act as a stone in the shoe. To the rest of the cuff, I apply the glue liberally with a continuous ¼”-thick bead covering most of the gluing surface by the time I am done. In warm weather, I then put the shoe on immediately. In cold weather, I may stall for a bit, waiting for the glue to begin to cure. I repeatedly touch the glue with my gloved finger – at first the glue will attach a small “string” as I pull my finger away. As the glue starts to cure, this will not occur, and it is time to apply the shoe. As you do this, be careful not to drag glue from the sidewall onto the sole.
  10. Wait. For some applications, I want to cure the glue while I am holding up the foot (less sole pressure, less compression of pads – I generally do this on thin-soled horses). On other applications, I want to cure the glue with the foot on the ground (easier for lame or impatient horses; may yield a more snug “performance fit.”). If the shoe is to be cured in the air, put the shoe on, put the foot down on the ground, have an assistant pick up the off foot, then quickly put it back down (this spreads any glue that might have ended up on the sole). Pick up the foot you are gluing, check shoe placement, wipe off any excess glue, then hold the foot up until the glue dries. If the glue is to be cured with the foot on the ground, place the shoe, have your assistant pick up the off foot, and then watch the glued foot carefully as the glue dries. At some point partway through the cure, I switch places with the assistant, as I will want to be the one holding the foot during the latter (and more trying) minutes of the cure.
  11. Repeat for the other feet. You will need to clean, purge, and apply a new mixing tip for each shoe.
  12. Go around with a hoof pick and check the shoe heels to be sure they are bonded. If not, attach a new mixing tip and re-glue these areas. At this point, you can also seal the tops of the shoe cuff with a thin bead of glue. If you are slick, you can get all this done to all 4 feet with one mixing tip.
  13. If you are using pour-in pads, inject them now. Decide whether you want a lot of sole pressure, a little, or none. If you completely cure the pad while you are holding the foot off the ground, there will be a lot of support/pressure. If you put the foot down to let the pad cure, there will be none. It varies case-by-case, but I tend to do something in-between.
  14. When all the glues are cured, watch the horse move. Make final adjustments to breakover and heel rockers, if needed, based on movement.

Removal
After 5-6 weeks, Vettec Adhere will become brittle enough that shoe salvage is not terribly difficult (though it is still cheaper to buy a new shoe than it is to pay me to clean an old one up for you). I take a ¼” flathead screwdriver and work it between the shoe and the hoof, separating the bond.

With EasyShoe Glue (Equilox, Equibond…) at 5-6 weeks, the glue will not be brittle – the screwdriver method rarely works. Instead, using my hoof knife, I cut ½”-long slits in the top of the cuff, dividing the cuff into 6 sections around the circumference of the foot. I then use my shoe pull-offs to peel and rip each of the sections down and off the hoof wall individually. 

Tape-On Application
A hybrid between the on-off hoof boot and a glue-on application is the tape-on boot/shoe. Many people trail ride in this setup, and I use it for rehab cases when I need to cover the foot for 24-48 hours and then gain access. 

Warning: Results of this vary wildly. If a horse steps on his own shoe, they will pull right off. But I have also seen them stay on for a week and heard of them staying on even longer. I think it really depends on the way the horse moves and perhaps the environment. I have found that I can count on them for 48 hours as well as about anything – so this is how I use them. 

If a horse absolutely must have 24/7 protection, use a boot or a glue-on instead. I like to say, “Tape-ons are for when you kind-of need a shoe and only need it for a short period of time.” All that said, this is still a very commonly useful tool, and has the distinct advantage that you can keep re-using the same shell over and over, often for years to come. This can also be the only option (for turnout or riding) when the bulbs or coronet has been injured and permanent shoeing is not desired. This method also works for use similar to a hospital plate when daily access is needed to dress a wound or surgery site. 
This method is ideal for post-trim tenderness. A conscientious trimmer (with a stock of glue-on shells) who inadvertently causes post-trim soreness, can do a tape-on application to cover the foot for a few days, then pick up the boots at the next visit, clean them up and sell them to a gluing client. All it costs is the purchase of the tape and the time to clean up the boot.


Mueller Athletic Tape Application. Used alone with Glove Glue-On shells or as extra insurance with Glove hoof boots.

Mueller Athletic Tape
Note: Several years ago, I bought two cases of Mueller Athletic Tape, which I am still using. Apparently, it has since changed, and the material is now thinner (thanks, Amy Diehl), so these instructions may warrant some experimentation with the newer version of tape. I will update as I learn more. And, no, I will not sell you any of my tape. 
Here is my method:

  1. Heat-fit a Glove shell – and strive for perfection. Do not cut the back out of it or open the sole for this method – just use a stock shell. As always, the better the fit, the better this will work. You want to end up with no excessively tight spots and as little air space as possible. The shoe should be difficult to pull off, once applied. Be sure the boot is clean – free of dirt and moisture.
  2. No additional prep to the foot is required; just trim normally.
  3. Wrap the foot with Mueller Athletic Tape as if you were applying a hoof cast. I generally use 3-4 rounds/laps of tape, wrapping so that I cover all of the side wall that the boot shell will cover and also lapping under the wall and slightly onto the sole. 
  4. Drive the boot shell onto the foot with a rubber mallet (or for trail use, a big stick). For the first 30 minutes, the extra friction provided by the tape will make this shoe very difficult to remove. After 30 minutes, the heat and pressure will have caused the tape’s own glue to wick through the fabric and there will be a pretty decent glue bond. During the first 24 hours, it is almost as hard to get off as it would be if it were glued with hoof adhesive.
  5. The bond seems to disappear within 48 hours. I think dust simply works its way in and absorbs into the glue. I believe that when I (and others) have seen these stay on longer, it was simply because of good fit, the added friction, and a horse that never interferes or trips. Either way, removal after 36 hours is not an issue – you can generally pull them off by hand.

Mueller Athletic Tape in Gloves
The above wrapping method is even more useful as “Glove boot first aid.” If you are using Glove boots, carry a roll of Mueller Tape in your trail pack; it doubles as first aid tape, so shouldn’t take up extra precious space. If you rip a gaiter on the trail (or develop any other boot fit/performance issue) you can add the tape to the foot, knock the boot on with a stick, and ride on for the rest of the trip without a gaiter.

I even had one client who was using a #2 Glove when her friend threw a #0 horseshoe. They kept wrapping tape around the #0 foot until the #2 Glove fit and got the horse off the trail without further incident. My client discovered, at the same time, that her horse no longer needed boots for that particular trail anyway. Now, this is not a recommended application by any stretch of the imagination, but it did work.

Smoothing Boot Fit Problems
I like for my booting clients to have a roll on hand in case booting issues pop up mid-cycle. This is particularly common when I am in the process of growing out hoof capsule rotation or wall flares. The boot fit will get sloppy over time. I do try to adjust for this at routine visits, but sometimes I misjudge. Hopefully, when I arrive for my scheduled visit, I can de-bug the boot fit, but having a way to keep my clients riding saves me some unscheduled trips.

I recall two instances where I had to use the tape application with the Gloves as a permanent fix. I didn’t like it, but it was the best I could do. Both were on the hind feet of horses with hip problems that rotated their foot on the ground under load. After several boot-fitting fails, I left both clients applying one wrap of tape prior to booting the hind feet. Sloppy, yes, but better than nothing, I suppose. 

Race Day
This method, combined with adding Vet Wrap to the gaiter is how to make a bombproof Glove application. I don’t like to see clients train this way. I want to work through any booting bugs during normal rides. But on race day, show day, or that big group trail ride – that day when you want to be absolutely sure you don’t have any problems, it is worth the extra 3 minutes to put Mueller Tape on the foot, boot, then wrap the gaiter with Vet Wrap. Optionally, an added bell boot seals the deal.

And the List Goes On…
That’s the best thing about these two platforms (the Glove and Glove Shell). Your own imagination is the limit. While every boot and shoe can be modified to some extent, none other lends itself to so much possibility. In the past, I had to haul around a wide variety of options. Now, I find that I can get by with a full stock of only these two products – well – except that we do need them in larger sizes… and with some different tread options. 

For a complete article in PDF format, please follow this link to be redirected to Pete Ramey's website: http://www.hoofrehab.com/Glove%20Mods.pdf