Floating The Heel

Finally we have successfully rebalanced the hooves and achieved an accurate M/L balance, only to discover to our dismay a few weeks later that same M/L imbalance again. What went wrong with our last trim, we might ask ourselves? Really nothing probably went wrong, a great job could have been done, it is just that the Law Of Least Resistance took over again.

No horse has perfect conformation. At least, I have not encountered one. So when evaluating hoof growth and hoof balance, it is important to look at the horses conformation first, because that conformation is the decisive factor which part of a hoof grows more or less. A hoof grows more where it experiences less pressure or loading. A narrow based horse, as an example, where the lower legs and hooves end up inside a plum line drawn from the shoulder, will exert more pressure on the lateral sides of both hooves while standing. Let's look at the photo below.

This horse is extremely narrow based, the medial side will grow much more, because most pressure is exerted on the lateral sides of both hooves. The opposite would be true for a wide stance horse.

Let's look at another one.

This horse is narrow based and on top of it, pigeon toed. The lateral hoof walls will experience even more pressure compared to the medial hoof walls, allowing them to grow much easier and much more. Within a trimming cycle, the inside of both hooves will have grown a lot more, because the loading is less there. At every trim, we have to take therefore more hoof wall off the medial side. And this will never change. Failing to do so, can cause quarter cracks and severe lameness. Within a six-week trimming cycle, the medial heel bulbs and coronet bands could also experience an upward displacement. To correct coronet bands that are vertically displaced or 'shoved up', to use a jargon frequently used, we can float the affected heel. What does that mean? It means shortening the heel length to the same level medially and laterally and allowing that 'shoved up' part of the hoof to settle down and relax. In essence, we are shortening the heels more on the displaced side when looking at the plane of the sole

Looking straight at the heels of this hoof and the heel bulbs, we notice the vertical displacement on the left side. When shortening the left heel so both heel lengths (measured from the heel to the coronet band at the bulb) are the same, we allowing the distressed side to relax and settle down.

Here the same photo with arrows indicating how to measure the length of the heel. Both green arrows measure the length, (not height) of the heels, the red shows how much more that heel was shortened to achieve the same heel length laterally and medially.

If we would have trimmed both heel to a level plane, you can see how much longer the left heel would be compared to the right one.

Initially the shortened hoof side will be hanging in the air, so to speak, but within a relative short period of time it will settle down to have ground contact again.

How long will it take? That depends on the moisture content of the hoof, the time frame of how long the vertical displacement has been allowed to go unchecked and the hardness of the ground. Under favorable conditions, the hoof can settle down within half an hour. If the hoof capsule has been distorted for a longer period of time, the hoof itself is dry and hard, the ground is soft, it may take days for the hoof to regain its balanced shape.

So, can you apply hoof protection? Absolutely. You can use any kind of Easyboots during your work out and ride. Just apply them for the ride and take them off afterwards. When gluing on Easyboot Glue ons or EasyShoes, however, make sure you firmly press the shoes or Glue-On boots onto the hoof as it is trimmed. Do not fill the part of the recessed hoof wall with glue, otherwise the hoof capsule cannot relax and regain its balance. Basically you would substitute and rebuild the trimmed side with glue and your trimming and floating will get negated. So either wait till the hoof capsule has relaxed completely or apply even pressure onto both sides of the hoof wall before setting the hoof down. 

Next month we will look closer at trimming the heels to the appropriate length, which parameters we can use to do that and I will share with you the names of the two hoof care professionals who have been advocating the equal heel length theory in seminars in several countries of the world and may come to the USA this fall, so stay tuned.

From the desk of the Bootmeister.

Christoph Schork, www.globalendurance.com

A Case for EasyShoes

By definition, a dilemma is a situation requiring a choice between equally undesirable alternatives, or any difficult or perplexing situation or problem. And I’ve got one—a big one. My No. 1 horse M Dash Czoe  (Zoey) has developed an unusual lameness. My dilemma is this: Tevis is now less than five weeks away. Do I just sit this year out and breed her early (tentative plan is to breed her after Tevis), or do I try to get her sound again so I can ride her? My gut says sit it out. I'd rather not go at all than take a horse that is less than 100%. It's too hard to get through the Tevis, and I don't want to get pulled. My hopeful heart says don't give up so easily. Maybe it's something minor that can be resolved. I'd like to take a long nap and get back all the sleep I've lost so far over this dilemma.

The problem started in April, on the 24th to be exact. My regular barefoot trimmer Rachel Rezos (former EasyCare Dealer of the Month), injured her back and was sidelined for awhile. I had a race coming up on the 26th, so I called a farrier I knew and asked if he could trim my horses. He had been filling in for Rachel in my area. My horses are trimmed every four to six weeks, and I am diligent about maintaining them between trims. I typically have my horses trimmed two to five days before an event so that I can apply the Glue-On boots onto freshly trimmed feet. Rachel and I have a good system that has been working well for me. My horses just needed a “buff and scuff” so I could apply the Glue-Ons. Normally I would do this myself but I had four horses to trim and it was more than I wanted to take on.

Zoey has significant high-low syndrome. Her right front foot (the “high” foot) is borderline club foot, although it is straight. The right foot is also smaller than the left. For two years now she has worn a 1.5 Glove on the left and a 0.5 on the right. I’ve recently started using a 1.0 on the right front with good success. In a nutshell, she has two very different front feet. For this reason I have been very particular about keeping up on her trimming. If I let her go too long, the left toe grows and the right heel grows in such a way that how she travels is greatly affected. I can feel it in her right shoulder (it “hikes”) and I can hear it when she walks on pavement or hard ground. She also steps shorter with her right foot. This is more apparent at the walk than the trot. After 6 years of riding her, I've developed a keen sense of what is going on with her feet and how it affects her movement. It's tempting to just knock down the heel on right foot and take back the toe on the left so that the two feet appear similar, but that would cause all kinds of internal problems. This is the confirmation that Zoey was born with and I can only manage it, not change it.

Front view of Zoey's front feet. I wet them down so the pastern joint effusion (more on that later) could be more easily seen.

 

HIgh-low syndrome common in Arabians. Note the dish in the RF hoof wall. The black marks on the hoof wall is old glue.

Back to April 24th. The farrier trimmed four horses. One horse (Tiki) was very tender-footed after the trim. He had clearly been trimmed too short. Stella and Tyler looked good. Unfortunately, he had done too much cosmetically to make Zoey's feet look similar. He took a lot of toe and the front of the hoof wall off the left front foot. Overall, all four of Zoey's feet had been trimmed too aggressively, although I didn't fully realize this at the time. I applied the Glue-Ons exactly as I always have.

The race on the 26th was the American River 50, which was the topic of my last blog.  Zoey and I had a great day and finished 2nd. What I left out of the last blog was that between the time that I trotted out for completion and CRI and then went back 45 minutes later to show for BC, Zoey developed acute lameness in the left front. It gets even more perplexing because on the way to show her for BC, we practiced our trot-out and she looked really good. I got two thumbs up from my riding partner, Jenni Smith.

Within 24 hours, the lameness was gone. By the time my vet was able to look at her, three days after the ride, she couldn’t find any evidence of lameness. An examination of her soles did show tenderness, and Zoey would hold her head to the outside when trotted in a circle on hard ground.  My vet surmised that she had been trimmed too aggressively and the Glue-Ons with Sikaflex hadn’t provided sufficient protection from concussive forces. She didn’t have a definitive explanation for why the lameness would appear so suddenly except to suggest that the circulation in the foot had been diminished during the ride and then when it returned it caused pain and inflammation.

We returned to our normal training routine for the next three weeks, including an intense circuit around Mt. Diablo. Our next race was the NASTR 75 on May 25th. This time Rachel trimmed my horses a week before the race and then I applied the Glue-Ons two days prior to the event.

The NASTR race delivered miles and miles of rocks, sand, heat and hills.

Jenni and I finished in first and second place. We went through the completion exam and CRI and then showed for BC. Zoey looked good and I actually thought I had a chance at showing for Best Condition. We took them back to the trailer and iced and wrapped legs. About three hours later, we took them to the arena for a leg stretch and roll in the sand. Zoey trotted around with energy but was noticeably off, but this time on the right front. My heart sank. I called my vet during the drive home. She came the next morning, which was 36 hours after we finished the ride.

My vet conducted a series of flexion tests and all were negative. She noted effusion of the pastern and coffin bone joints in all four feet. This is the point where the exam took an unexpected turn. When we blocked her right front foot she was then off on her left. When we blocked her left front foot she dramatically shortened her stride in the hind end. The blocks concluded pain in all four feet. This occurred while Zoey still wore her Glue-Ons from the race. My vet did not want me to pull them off right away, thinking they would provide needed protection. We took radiographs of both front feet and, even with the boots on, could see that her soles were very thin, approximately 30% of normal.

 

We started her on Previcox and I waited a few days to let her joints rest then pried off the boots. As before, the lameness minimized within three days. The effusion was reduced as well. She had a week of rest in her paddock and then easy walk/jog workouts in the Euroxcizer with Easyboot Gloves on all four feet. She looked comfortable at the trot but I could see that she was still stepping short on her right front and coming over her shoulder (see video).

Do you see anything at the trot?

How about at the walk?

My vet returned to take a second set of x-rays so we had a clear view of Zoey's sole thickness. She also ultra-sounded both front legs from the knees down. Everything look good and her radiographs showed nothing unusual or alarming. Some minor remodeling and spurring that would be consistent with a 10-year-old endurance horse. She concluded that the inflammation in her joints was the result of her thin soles and therefore she needed 24-7 sole protection. I knew the EasyShoes would be ideal.

 

Rachel returned and we collaborated on our first attempt at applying the EasyShoes, which we did without much difficulty.

I gave Zoey a couple of days in her paddock to become accustomed to them and then I started her back on the Euroxcicer program. The improvement was considerable. We didn't have much success getting the back ones to stay on very long -- they lasted about four days. However, the front shoes have been on for two weeks and three training rides so far. My vet returned again for a follow up and noted that much of the effusion was gone and Zoey was traveling much better.

I mentioned already that when you have a horse with high-low syndrome, don't try to change the shape of the foot. This is an unfortunately case in point. Now, Zoey needs time to regrow lost sole, have her feet return to what is their natural balance and have the inflammation subside in her feet. I don't know yet if I will get to Tevis with her this year. Stay tuned!

I'll be your Huckleberry: Glue Gunning like Doc Holiday

Gluing Feedback and a handy glue gun tip that will have you firing from the hip.

If you were curious about your gluing result and would like to have it reviewed, send your EasyShoe to:

EasyShoe Field Testing

Attn: Review my Shoe!

3206 N. Main Street #2

Durango, CO 81301

Here are a couple more EasyShoe Learnable Moments. The weight-bearing portion of the glue looks nicely flat and textured like the pattern of the hoofwall. It has filled each of the glue beds evenly as well (If you didn’t know they were there, you would’ve never known they were there.) I can see a need for Keratex Putty to avoid having that spine.

While these are two views of the left and right portion of the shoe, look at the top image and connect your line of sight from left heel, to the toe and (down to image two) back down to the right heel. It’s nicely flush on the left and around the toe, but as it started leading into the right, it’s building until, ultimately, the right heel area has SHINY glue! This means to me the person filled the right heel first and then swept around to the left. When they went to apply the shoe, the right heel, having been pumped in first, had more time to set up. The left heel was the last to get glue and thus was the “wettest” and adjusted nicely during weight bearing. But that rascally right side was pumped first, and it started setting up. This horse essentially had a right-sided wedge.

       

I know this looks like a bad circus mirror, but I had to take angled views of the left and right branches so you could see the ridges that needed the Keratex Putty. But what I did want to note was, again, how the glue sets up on you. SNEAKY GLUE!

Tip #1: Again, know your temperate and know how that glue is behaving. Get the pumping action fast and get the glue on the shoe and the shoe on the horse and weight-bearing as rapidly as you can.

Glue Gun Tip!

I have fairly decent forearms. I mean, I don’t work them out or anything, but between painting my house, riding mountain bikes, working with horses, gardening and “life” I don’t think I am “weak”.

I want to feel like the glue-slingers of the golden age that I saw in the movies:

All that changes when I pick up a glue gun. Are you kidding me right now?! How is it this heavy? How can I pump and guide and hold onto the dang thing without my hand falling off?

All of a sudden, I'm Bruce Willis in "Sin City" and Junior is screaming at me, "Look at you, you can't even lift that cannon you carry!"  At this point is when I wish my horse was a mono-pod and just had one leg like a pogo-pony.

At a clinic I got the best cheat from a trimmer near me. She showed me how to hold her gun and I was in heaven.

When I hold a gun the “normal way” my wrist gets worked. I’m trying to grip the handles so the gun is positioned the way I want and yet I can’t position it too well because when I pump the gun, it’s flying all over the place. When I’m fresh, I have good control, but not after hoof number 1. It all goes downhill. I end up using two hands, but that’s not possible in all scenarios.

But when I hold the gun like THIS… my world changes.

I don’t know why I didn’t notice that the flap on the end is angled to brace against your arm.

Then the pressure of the end on your arm takes all the obligation off of your grip to “hold” the gun. You can angle and position the gun using your “forearm” direction, while your hand is left doing the important job: pumping that glue fast!

If you have a good gluing tip that we've not covered in our videos, webinars and trainings, please share them with me! I will be sure to get photos to explain your tip and post it for everyone.

"I don't always always glue, but when I do, I make sure to hold my gun upside down. Glue fast my friends." The Most Interesting Gluer in the World.

Holly Jonsson

easycare-sales-director-holly-jonsson

Director of Sales

Through a lifetime of "horse crazy" and the fortunate experience of riding nearly every shape and size of horse, I got to see a wide array of hoof shapes and sizes. No Hoof, No Horse is very true to me. I want to ensure that horses on every continent have a variety of footwear to pick from, to ensure the best match is found. I want your partner to be happy from the ground up!

 

Hindsight is 20-20: What happened to my EasyShoes after I glued?

Hey Ya’ll!

I’ve been fortunate enough to attend gluing and shoeing clinics with some of the top in the business. I have seen prep and application and finish. What I’d not seen yet was “feedback”.

Yes the horse moved out more easily. Yes, “Sparky was more comfortable” and “Bitsy really seems to like these”.

Recently, I got a batch of shoes that were “used” to review. While normally we review booted product for wear and research them for improvements, this is the first time I was looking at shoes and seeing what really happened with the glue.

In a candid setting, from a learning view and not judgment, I’d like to focus on some close ups and point out “what happened here?” so that we can all benefit from the importance of certain steps.

I’ve nicknamed each shoe. This one is Mr. Shiny.

Son of a gluing-gun, that looks like it set up before the horse went weight bearing. Look at the rest of the glue, it’s filled in the grooves of the shoe bed and looks “flat” and matte black. But ol’ Shiny there tells us that he never touched the bottom of that hoofwall until he was already hardened. This horse wore these shoes for a full cycle and still that glue is glossy, shiny black.

What would that mean if just that portion of glue, right near the quarters, was firmed up? Would feel like a rock in his foot. Or at least a pebble.

Here is another view of Shiny:

He’s about 3” long, about ½” wide and tapers up and tapers down. If this filled a scoop in his foot, we would see hoof stuck to it, or a pattern of hoofwall fiber. (See the shed hoof pieces in the front, that solar glue held on and when the shoe was pulled, the dead flaked out in 3D. But the glue behind it has no hoof stuck to it, and is glossy black.)

Tip #1: Watch the temperature and judge how your glue is setting up. Watch gluing a warm shoe out of a car/van. Your glue can start setting up from the temp of your environment and the temp of the shoe. Get the glue on the shoe, on the horse and get it weight-bearing as soon as you can.

This one is Mr. Mountain Range.

Again, this is a good example of the glue setting up before the horse went weight bearing. You can see that the glue set up like a tiny mountain range. This left peaks and valleys; valleys then filled with dirt. This view is taken at eye-level with the “glue dam” area.

Let’s note the mountain line. Granted, the trims can be uneven and not perfectly level. Generally, I have not seen trims that have this type of “line” in pitch and evenness, so I’m leaning in the direction that the glue made this shape, not the bottom of the hoof. This left the horse without an even platform to stand on.

With the valleys comes the dirt. You can see on the facing and in the 3rd dimension, where the dirt packed in.

Tip #2: Again, get the glue on the shoe, on the horse and get it weight-bearing as soon as you can.

Meet Captain Keratex:

You can see all the glue slots of the solar portion of the shoe are filled nicely. You can see the inner rim is very neat, where I pulled away the glue dam. But if you focus on this spine, you can tell this horse had enough of a crack in his white line that it should’ve had the Copper Sulfate Keratex Putty treatment before gluing. We don’t want mountain ranges of glue, like tiny spines, on the underside of our hooves. The wedge effect promises to drive deeper and deeper into a crevice and cause it to gap wider and wider. Not what your buddy wants to have happen to his white line. Again, if your hoofs are flush, then great. If you have valleys and pockets along your white line, they will fill with sharp blobs of glue. What a long toe does to laminae, a glue wedge does to the white line.

Other side of the same shoe. Same indicator.

The glue is nicely in the glue beds and the solar area looks level and has a routine texture/pattern/imprint of a rasped hoof. You can see how tall that ridge is. That is the purpose of the Keratex Putty. Put it in there so the glue will press out nice and level like the rest looks. Ensure you don’t put Keratix putty any place other than the crevice. You don’t want to smear it on the sole or cover any glueing surface that you don’t have to. But Putty those cracks for sure.

Tip #3: Keratex Putty is your friend. If you see valleys in your white line, get some putty rolled into thin little snakes and tuck them into the chasms before you glue.

Until next time!

Holly Jonsson

easycare-sales-director-holly-jonsson

Director of Sales

Through a lifetime of "horse crazy" and the fortunate experience of riding nearly every shape and size of horse, I got to see a wide array of hoof shapes and sizes. No Hoof, No Horse is very true to me. I want to ensure that horses on every continent have a variety of footwear to pick from, to ensure the best match is found. I want your partner to be happy from the ground up!

June 2014 Customer Newsletter: Webinar Announcement: Curtis Burns & Garrett Ford Glue and Nail the EasyShoe

 

THIS MONTH:

 

Webinar Announcement: Curtis Burns & Garrett Ford Glue and Nail the EasyShoe

Garrett Ford: Too Expensive for Most? A Great Trick to Keep Your "One in a Million" Horse Going Longer

Announcing The Results of The Slickest EasyShoe Application Contest

Daisy Bicking: Heel Wedging with EasyShoes is Easy

 

READ MORE:

 

Almost A Tradition

It all started 5 years ago with Global Endurance Training Center offering Hoof Care Clinics in conjunction with the yearly Fandango Endurance Event in Oreana, Idaho. In the first year I focused on barefoot hoof trimming, then we added various Easyboot applications to it. We also showed other kind of available hoof protections, from Duplos to Old Macs, Sneakers and Equiflex Shoes, so everybody could make their own informed decision on what kind of hoof protection are most suitable for their horses hooves and needs. During the next couple of years we refined and improved the demonstrations, focused more on the Easyboot Gloves and Glue On applications. It is worth mentioning that throughout all these years, these clinics have always been free of charge and, on top of it, all participants were eligible to win in a raffle great prizes like Easyboots, saddlebags etc. EasyCare, GETC and Vettec Company have sponsored all of these clinics and provided great prizes for the raffle.

This year we concentrated on the application of EasyShoes. The workshop took place on the second day of the event, after most of the riders were back in camp.

Dave Rabe and I are planning the demonstrations together, while Emma is watching out for the arriving participants. Merri Melde wrote a nice story on us in her 2014 Owyhee Fandango summary on Endurance.net

 

Explaining the various tools necessary for successful applications.

What are the advantages of the EasyShoe? Everybody is curious.

 

About 30 attendees participated and took ample notes. After going through the various new models of EasyShoes and their best recommended usages, it was time to apply an EasyShoe to a live horse. I chose the Performance N/G for a gluing demo.

With the preparations and trimming completed, I roughed up the hoof walls from the side and from the sole level, using rasp and Dremel tool. By means of a gas torch, the hoof was dried and sanitized.

 

An Easyboot Trail was used to protect the clean and dry hoof from contamination while the EasyShoe was prepared.

 

Adhere,  I also shared some nailing techniques. If you are inclined to learn more about nailing the EasyShoes, you may revisit my last month blog: Nailing for Performance.

 

Following the demonstrations, a raffle rounded out the symposium. EasyCare donated several pairs of EasyShoes, Global Endurance Training Center donated logbooks, saddle bags and Coldflex cooling wraps. Vettec sponsored the wine and cheese party in the evening.

 

Walking with Medinah during the vet check hold on day one. Medinah MHF is wearing the EasyShoe Performance. This horse won the 50-mile race and also won BC. More proof that EasyShoes are getting results.

Dave Rabe and I are planning the demonstrations together, while Emma is watching out for the arriving participants. Merri Melde wrote a nice story on us in her 2014 Owyhee Fandango summary on Endurance.net. - See more at: http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/bootmeister-natural-hoof-care-tips#sthash.0LhG7ZEX.dpuf
Dave Rabe and I are planning the demonstrations together, while Emma is watching out for the arriving participants. Merri Melde wrote a nice story on us in her 2014 Owyhee Fandango summary on Endurance.net. - See more at: http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/bootmeister-natural-hoof-care-tips#sthash.hHbgqrjG.dpuf
Dave Rabe and I are planning the demonstrations together, while Emma is watching out for the arriving participants. Merri Melde wrote a nice story on us in her 2014 Owyhee Fandango summary on Endurance.net. - See more at: http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/bootmeister-natural-hoof-care-tips#sthash.hHbgqrjG.dpuf

From the Bootmeister

Christoph Schork, Global Endurance Center

Webinar Announcement - Curtis Burns and Garrett Ford Glue & Nail the EasyShoe

Are you interested in the new EasyShoe, but still not 100% comfortable in making the leap? Is your hoof care professional ready to try something new? Would you like to see the steps used to glue on a urethane shoe by the man who helped Mucho Macho Man win the $5,000,000 purse at the Breeders' Cup Classic last November? We can help!

Who?

The webinar is open to everyone and is designed for the hoof care professional and owner to learn and understand each of the steps involved in a successful EasyShoe application. There is no charge to attend this virtual event.

What?

EasyCare is pleased to offer the opportunity for a virtual, up-close and personal demonstration of gluing and nailing best-practices with two of the finest urethane shoe professionals in the world. Curtis Burns of Polyflex Horse Shoes and Garrett Ford, President of EasyCare, Inc. will apply EasyShoes to a live horse. Watch these experts go through the each of the steps necessary for appropriately preparing the hoof, and nailing and gluing the device onto the hoof.

Where?

Simply go the the appropriate EasyCare webinar link below and register for this one-of-a-kind event. Presented with the latest in interactive technology, this hour-long webinar will afford you a close-up view of how to apply the EasyShoe, as well as real-time dialog between you and the presenters.

When?

There will be two webinars to accommodate various world time zones:

1. Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time). Register at easycare.yourbrandlive.com/c/gluenailwiththeprosweds/.

2. Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (7:00 AM Pacific Standard Time, 2:00 PM GMT). Register at easycare.yourbrandlive.com/c/gluenailwiththeprosthurs/.

If you are unable to attend, just go the the same link to watch a recording of the event and the questions and answers between presenters and attendees. 

 

Note: This event has been approved for one American & Canadian Associations of Professional Farriers (AAPF/CAPF) Continuing Education Credit.  For more information visit their website at ProfessionalFarriers.com

Kevin Myers

easycare-marketing-director-kevin-myers

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.

Heel Wedging with EasyShoes is Easy

 

One of the most exciting aspects of glue and composite shoes for me is the ability to add foot where I need it, when I need it, especially when I can't achieve what I need for the horse with the trim alone.  I think of it like building “prosthetic foot”.  In this previous blog I demonstrated one example of the use of shoes and glue when the trim alone wasn't enough: 


http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/hoof-love-not-war/never-say-never-alternative-methods-for-rehab-success

 

In general, I would consider increasing heel height for many reasons at one time or another, such as:

 

  • increasing the palmar P3 angle in a low heel or negative plane foot
  • in response to leverage testing where the result indicated a relief of pain with a raised heel
  • to facilitate rehabilitation of a prolapsed frog and/or digital cushion
  • to aid in healing of soft tissue injury at the direction of the veterinarian

In the case of this horse I wanted to increase my palmar P3 angle on a chronically low heeled foot.  Here is the left front foot before trimming (foot was cleaned up lightly with the rasp and knife for radiographing) showing a palmar P3 angle of  -0.59 degrees:

 

 

I was only able to improve the palmar P3 angle to 0.68 degrees with my trim.  Note: I left the toe a bit longer so I'd have room to glue without being too close to P3 on the sole:

 

 

While I am pleased the palmar P3 angle increased by 1 degree, it still does not fall within the ideal range of 3-8 degrees.  I will use the shoe and glue to build the added heel height I need.  

 

I know heel wedging at times gets a bad name, however, I have found when the trim is accurate, and the load of the wedge is spread across the heels, bars and frog, the health of the back of the foot improves rather than breaks down.  Here is how I would do it with an EasyShoe, with special thanks to the fabulous assistant, my daughter Rowyn:

 

 

Trim and prep the foot the same way you would for any EasyShoe application with the following additional steps: http://www.easycareinc.com/education/videos.aspx.

 

When wedging the heels I use dental impression material and EasyShoe Bond glue to create the wedge.  The added benefit of using EasyShoe Bond instead of Adhere is that I can treat the foot with specific antimicrobials and the glue will still stick.  In our wet climate, I always use fungidye in my quarters, old nail holes, etc.  Be sure to use your moisture meter and butane torch to thoroughly dry the area you're treating before glue application.  I also like to use an antimicrobial hoof packing like Artimud by Redhorse Products around the frog under my dental impression material to prevent thrush and foot funk from growing under the shoe and packing.  

 

 


 

Once your foot is thoroughly prepped, the shoe and wedge can be applied. As soon as you start these next steps you are on the clock as the dental impression material (DIM) and the glue both cure pretty quickly, usually within 2 minutes or less.  I'd definitely recommend recruiting an assistant or two to help ensure successful application if possible, especially when first working with these materials this way.


Mix the DIM material 50/50.  Most brands bought in farrier supply stores will work well.  How much you need depends on the size foot, amount of concavity/frog present, and amount of wedge you need to build.  In this case, I have a foot with a full frog, a little bit of concavity, and aiming to build a 3 degree wedge.  Blend the two colors together until they are one uniform color and STOP MIXING.  The heat from your hands will speed up the curing process.  Place the DIM near the horse's foot you're working on; I like to use the top of my tool caddy.


 

Apply the glue to the shoe, adding extra glue in the back of the wings and the heel area of the shoe as this will create a good bond with a wedge effect.  When using DIM, I remove the white liner on the shoe as the DIM is providing the glue dam instead.  

 

 

Walk over to the foot quickly, placing the shoe within reach, and pack the foot with the DIM.  Do not pack where the glue is going to bond.  Be careful to add height of the DIM at the back of the foot as this creates your wedge.  Note: the horse had an infected area of wall which I cleaned up prior to gluing creating a dip in the medial heel quarter in the photo.   

 

 

Apply the shoe when the glue is just starting to get thicker, as thin cold glue will not hold the heel height.  As you are applying the shoe, press DOWN in the toe.  This is going to finish the wedge effect.  The timing of the glue in this step is the hardest part of this process with the biggest learning curve, but well worth it to be able to build with the glue.

 

The amount of wedge you create is dependent on the height you build with your DIM, and the amount of glue between the shoe and the foot at the toe.  So pressing down on the toe is a critical part of the wedge.  Plus it gives you extra glue to spread and feather on the rest of your shoe, especially the heels and wings.  

 

 

When you're finished smoothing the glue hold the foot up until the glue is cured.  If you put the foot down, you will compress your wedge and probably wreck your glue bond in the process.  Hold the foot up until the glue is hard to the touch, even if it's still tacky and warm, usually only 2 minutes.  Be prepared to have a competent horse handler at the horse's head with some distraction available if necessary to encourage the horse to stand.  If the horse is footsore on the other foot, please apply an Easyboot with a soft pad to the supporting foot to help the horse stand comfortably.  

 

 

The finished product. The palmar P3 angle increased to 4.35 degrees, so I'm very happy, and so is the horse.

 



Some comparisons:

 

 


 

For more information on Daisy Haven Farm, and the School of Integrative Hoofcare where we teach glue on processes including this one shown here, please visit us at:

www.DaisyHavenFarm.com
www.IntegrativeHoofSchool.com

 

 

Announcing the Winners of the Slickest EasyShoe Application Contest

Many thanks to everyone who submitted photos to be considered for The Slickest EasyShoe Application Contest. We were inundated with submissions for the Glue-On division. 

The results are as follows:

Glue-On Division

1st Place: Peter Van Rossum

Penelope is a 20+ year old Andalusian that came to Peter and his colleagues barefoot and very sore. She had a low heel/long toe and very sensitive callus toe. EasyBoot Gloves on all four feet and proper trimming allowed her to start working again. After about eight months, her owner wanted to take her to the next level, and the EasyShoe Performance seemed to be the best option. This was the first application, and six weeks later, she is still in the shoe and ready for her second set.

2nd Place: Lyndsay Poole

This is Lyndsay's 12-year old off the track Thoroughbred, Garwin, and they he is an Eventers. He is a very active horse, and needs the added protection of the Easyshoe Performance to stay sound. Previously, he used Easyboot Gloves, but Garwin loves his Easyshoes: this is his third set.

3rd Place: Mario Gargiulio

Pearl is a teenaged Paint mare, previously shod in metal for most of her life. She had a bleeding crack and was short strided with a toe-first landing when Mario and Sossity started trimming her a couple of years ago. She was diagnosed with navicular disease as well as bilateral fusing hocks and possible insulin resistance. She has upright 'halter style' conformation. She has been in a wide variety of hoof protection since they took her on, including casting, Trails, Gloves and Back Country boots as well as Epona shoes. She has a lot of heart, and tries everything for her owner, but she has challenging feet and multiple related issues. Pearl loves her EasyShoes. She's soundly ridden in them in the arena and on the trails 4-5 days a week. She's a good girl and owned by a friend of thiers, so they decided to have a little fun with the shoe and some Califonia-style modification!

Kevin Myers

easycare-marketing-director-kevin-myers

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.

Plastic Lined Shoes in the Kentucky Derby

Ever since Mucho Macho Man’s win at the Breeder’s Cup in November in the Burns’ Polyflex Shoe, I’ve been curious enough to watch the larger races to learn about which hoof protection choices support their success. For all of horseracing history, a metal shoe has been customary. Aluminum is nailed to the preponderance of racehorses, but once in a while, we watch the victory of an equine wearing an alternative to steel. While many factors influence which competition shoe is suitable for the horse, it must be unnerving to take a leap of faith in a newly introduced product, such as plastic shoes. My father asked me on Kentucky Derby race day “Does EasyCare have any shoes in the race?” and I auspiciously thought of the future. I couldn’t say yes, so he responded that it “must be hard to change the game when there’s millions of dollars involved”.

The EasyShoe Compete with Wear Plate, above, is an evolution of the Burns' Polyflex Shoe.

That statement is true. It must be hard to change the game, unless you’re a game changer. California Chrome, 2014 Champion of the Kentucky Derby, is the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby in plastic-lined glue-on racing plates (although they were nailed). Chrome’s farrier? Judd Fisher who credits his uncle, Curtis Burns, for helping him with his career. Curtis Burns, creator of the Burns Polyflex Shoe, provided design input into the current EasyShoe models conceived by Garrett Ford, owner of EasyCare, Inc.

What’s so great about plastic shoes (or more scientifically named thermoplastic polyurethane/TPU)? I navigated sources such as BASF to confirm, but for sake of simplicity, would like to restate the words of Wikipedia:

• abrasion resistance
• low-temperature performance
• mechanical properties, combined with a rubber-like elasticity
• shear strength
• elasticity
• transparency
• oil and grease resistance

TPU is used in products such as inflatable rafts, drive belts, and footwear. On the contrary, steel displays the following properties:

• strength
• toughness
• ductility
• weldability
• durability

Steel is commonly used for production of stadiums, cutlery, and guns. The relatable element, aluminum, is great for use in vehicle production and power lines.

 

 

 

While both materials serve their purposes for use in the horse community, alternative shoe types should be a consideration of each horse owner to amplify the wellbeing and enjoyment of the equine lifestyle. You may draw your own conclusions in the comparison between these material used on our equine partners. Contact EasyCare today to identify the alternative hoof care products that will supplement your horse care needs.

Mariah Reeves

easycare-customer service-mariah

Customer Service

As one of the customer service representatives, I am happy to help get your horse into the right boots. I promote holistic methods of equine care and will assist you with finding the perfect fit for horse and rider.