The Horse That Wasn't Allowed To Race Update - Progresses From 'Not Allowed' to Winning Races and Awards

In August 2011 EasyCare was tinkering with a glue-on race shoe and was running into road blocks.  We purchased a horse named Clunk and started the long process of racing an Arabian on the track in a shoe that we designed.  The idea was to race in a shoe that allowed the hoof to function more naturally and at the same time follow the hoof protection rules of the track.  What we thought would be a quick and easy process turned into a long project. 

EasyShoes at 6 weeks and the day after a win at Arapahoe Park in Denver, Colorado.

At that time I wrote two blogs about what we were going through and the road blocks we were facing.

The Horse That Wasn't allowed to Race

The Horse That Wasn't Allowed to Race Update.

Fast forward four years, and much has changed.  The EasyShoe Compete has been in production for roughly 18 months and in now carried by distributors in Europe, Canada and Australia, among others.  In the United States, the Compete has now raced on over 20 tracks in 15 states.  EasyCare owned horses wearing EasyShoes have won in Texas, Colorado and Delaware.  EasyShoes are now winning and accepted at Araphaoe Park and all tracks in the USA. 

Some of the more notable successes from the EasyCare horses are listed below.

  1. RB Rich named 4-Year-Old Colt of the year Arapahoe Meet 2014.
  2. RB So Rich named 3-Year-Old Colt of the year Arapahoe Meet 2014.
  3. RB So Rich nominated for a Darley Award in 2014. 

We are seeing horses stay sound, their digital cushions stay strong and improve,  and the quality of the horses' feet don't deteriorate during a race meet. 

RB Brilliant winning at Arapahoe Park on Saturday June 27th, 2015.

The EasyShoe project was the start of a relationship with Curtis and Diane Burns of Polyflex Horse Shoes and No Anvil.  The Polyflex horse shoe has been around for longer has raced on the bigger stages of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.  In 2013 the Breeder's Cup Classic Winner Mucho Macho Man came back to form with Polyflex horse shoes.  The EasyShoe and Polyflex share the same internal structure and the EasyShoe has a vertical cuff.  The collaboration between EasyCare/No Anvil has worked well and there are several new EasyCare/No Anvil products in the development stages.

In the end, it was all worth it.  Flat track horses now have another tool in the toolbox to leave the track sound and happy.  In addition to the flexible urethane hoof protection allows these young horses to develop their feet while at the track and help them leave with feet that can compete in other disciplines after life at the track. 

RB Rich in a fresh set of EasyShoes.  Ready to race in his flexible hoof protection. 

All that time and energy has paid off for the horse.  It was a long process but it's rewarding to see another option that can help these track horses enjoy a second career. 

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.

Horses Don't Have To Wait Anymore

Submitted by David Landreville, Hoof Care Practitioner

There's a Quote in the book No Foot, No Horse, by Martin Deacon FWCF and Gail Williams BA PhD.

"... and still the horse is putting up with the same old type of shoe that he has been putting up with for hundreds of years, perhaps it is time we start thinking about 'Nike Airs' for horses.

The horses don't have to wait anymore. 

This was probably the first book I read that got me thinking about the long term physiological effects that trimming and shoeing has on horses. At the time I was just learning to shoe horses, using steel, and had little knowledge of hoof form, function, or anatomy. Until then I had simply been repeating what my farrier had generously taught me without questioning it much. Two years later our 7 year old Quarter Horse, Santo, was diagnosed with late stages of navicular disease. He had severely broken back pastern axis' in both fronts but It was worse in his right one. 

He had extremely long toes, flat thin soles, contracted heels that were also under-run, and thin elongated frogs, and according to the vet our hoof care options were limited and he recommended corrective shoeing. We used the vet recommended farrier and after three cycles of this really expensive shoeing I was informed by another farrier that the method we were using would lead to a dead end. I had been so relieved that Santo was walking again that I had paid little thought to the long term. The uneasy feeling was back so I called the vet and asked him what I should have asked him in the beginning, "How long will these shoes work for my horse?" He replied "You'll probably get another two years out of him." That was the end of my relationship with that vet as well as my shoeing career. I realized that if this was where it was headed I wanted nothing to do with it. The next challenge that I faced was figuring out what to do next.

We called an alternative vet and she recommended pulling his shoes, changing his diet and buying a Pete Ramey book. I asked a lot of questions. I wasn't afraid to be annoying anymore. I took this vets advice and I found a different concept in hoof management: 180 degrees different. I read every book or article I could find. 

Santo was the reason I learned bare foot trimming, and his feet got better as my trimming got better. For the next ten years, Santo was the teacher. I developed my trimming techniques based on what I was learning that kept him sound. Prevention is much easier than rehabilitation. I was so proud of Santo and myself, for what we had accomplished, and at the same time I realized that while he would probably last at least into his twenties. I worried a little about what that might look like for him.

When he turned 16 he had a rough year. His hooves began to slowly distort back into their old shape. It seemed that everything I had learned to keep his hooves functional and formed properly was no longer working the same. To make matters worse, one of the mares in our track system kicked him in his good shoulder. This caused him to overload the weaker leg. Shortly after that, he developed an abscess in the foot that he was trying to keep weight off of. After the abscess ran its course I did everything I could to help him build his feet back. I saw minimal improvement. 

One day I was on the EasyCare Blog and I saw the new design for the EasyShoe. For days I couldn't stop turning it over and around in my head. I called EasyCare to order a pair but they informed me that they weren't even on the market yet. I bought a pair of Easyboot Glue-Ons and modified them to replicate this new shoe as best I could. I kept making them myself until they finally became available. I pulled them every 2-3 weeks so I could trim the excess growth and keep him balanced. I gave him up to a week off between shoeings. I figured that I'd keep applying them as long as I was seeing improvements in hoof form and development. I knew better than to judge on performance alone. 

Stoicism and willingness are a killing combination for horses. Within months, Santo became a new horse and his feet were looking better all the time. At 17, he was feeling better and more powerful than I'd ever seen him. I believe that it's possible that there is no limit to the hoof's ability to develop. We just need to better understand how the hoof/horse works and give them what they need to thrive.

I'm finding that EasyShoes are just as useful for rehabilitation as they are for performance.

SOS July 2015: Sweet Success with the EasyShoe

This month, we would like to share a success story with you. The story comes to us from April Volling. Based in central Florida, April has been an EasyCare dealer since 2012. 

Cadet is a 6 year-old Thoroughbred jumper with recurrent lameness. This horse was constantly resting his right hind and was repetitively back and hip sore despite saddle fit, massage and chiropractic care. The massage therapist/saddle fitter told them they need to fix the feet, so they hauled him a couple of hours to April. He was barefoot. Upon the vet's recommendation the EasyShoe Performance was glued onto all four feet. Now he's standing square and stepping up behind.

“It was a very educational day today." said Lori Tankel, a friend of Cadet's owner. "I trailered a friend’s horse to a performance sport horse vet in Alachua, north of Gainesville. Cadet has been having soundness issues off and on for several months, mainly related to a sore back and hip. His mom has spent months and lots of money, employing saddle fitter, chiropractor, and massage therapist, but he would always regress. So today, off we went at the crack of dawn to finally get to the root of this. Initial x-rays of the feet revealed, aside from the obviously long toes, that his soles were thin, short pastern angles were off and most importantly, the coffin bone in the rear feet were lower in the back by several degrees. Normally, the bone, which is perpendicular to the sole, should be a tad lower in the front of the bone. The farrier trimmed Cadet, trimming the toes, and x-rays were taken again (2nd picture), already showed a huge improvement, with short pastern bones getting more in line and the coffin bone lining up. Then, the farrier applied these really cool rubber shoes, which just came on the market. They are called EasyShoes and are flexible. Cadet got the glue-on shoes this time. Then x-rays were taken again (3rd  frame) and as you can see, the change is impressive. Not only that, but he walked freely and for the first time was actually overstepping! He was standing squarely on all fours and not resting his hind leg in a manner that he usually does to alleviate the pain. In just a few hours, this horse was transformed and it will be exciting to see how he continues to improve over the coming days, weeks, and months.”

 

 

We hope you were inspired by Cadet's success with the EasyShoe. Please feel free to contact us to find out more about the incredible EasyShoe, tell us your success story or to place your order.

Need help, have questions? We are here to help make your job “Easy”. Debbie and Rebecca can be reached at 800-447-8836, Option 3 or dschwiebert@easycareinc.com and rbalboni@easycareinc.com.

Stay tuned for more inspiration..

 

Secrets of the Savvy

Secrets of the Savvy

Secrets of the Savvy

Secrets of the Savvy: your source for inside information on all things EasyCare. See you next month!

Supporting Navicular Using EasyShoes and Wedge Pads

Submitted by Deanna Stoppler, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

Adding support devices to chronically lame horses can be very difficult and many times nailing on a shoe or holding up a foot for 3-5 minutes while glue cures is not an option; however, with the EasyShoe and EasyCare’s glue on protocol I have found it much easier to offer support to horses without adding concussion to the hoof (from hammering) or extended glue cure time.  Instead, I can prepare the hoof for the glue on shoe or shell and once applied, set the hoof down for weight bearing instantly.  Sigh of relief for the horse and farrier.

Recently, I added a new horse to my books who presented lame on both front feet, particularly lame on the right front—pointing the foot and reluctant to stand square.  The horse had underrun heels and excessively long toes.

The owners suggested that the horse had suffered from lameness for many years and their only requirement was to keep him as comfortable as possible. I was able to trim the horse and remove the lever on the toe, creating a more effective base of support; however, he needed more mechanics via a shoe to be comfortable.  I requested x-rays to effectively shoe the horse. 

According to the vet, the horse suffers from severe navicular and pedal osteitis in both front feet, particularly the right front. The X-ray is one week into a trim and four weeks pre shoeing. These are not high quality X-rays but you can see the obvious broken back angles and lack of support in the caudal portion of the feet.

I decided to leverage test the horse to determine if a wedge would make him more comfortable and to decide what position to place the wedge on the foot. The horse responded positively to a wedge in the caudal portion of his hoof (to be expected) and would not weight his foot with a wedge in the toe region or on either medial/lateral sides. 

I decided to shoe the horse in the EasyShoe Performance NG, using Vettec Adhere, and add a wedge if necessary.  He responded well once shod in the NG but still pointed his right front foot and continually moved it trying to find a comfortable spot.  I applied a 3’ wedge pad to the groundside of the NG, using 3/8” screws to hold the wedge in place, and packed with Vettec Equipak CS, making sure not to pack the caudal portion of the foot until the inflammation in the foot subsided (most likely at the next scheduled shoeing). The horse responded positively to the support and for the first time since I’d met him stood square.  

EasyShoe Performance NG with a 3' wedge pad screwed to the ground side of the shoe using 3/8" screws.

Standing square for the first time since I started working on him.

EasyShoe Performance NG with 3' wedge pad (this photo displays the shoe after it was pulled, six weeks later).

Six weeks later, at our next shoeing, I decided to remove the 3’ wedge and create a glue wedge to the base of the EasyShoe Performance. The inflammation in both front feet subsided significantly so I felt the horse would do well in a smaller wedge and could tolerate Vettec Equipak CS packing in the entire caudal portion of the foot.

 

Second shoeing with 3' wedge pad removed.  Shod in EasyShoe Performance, packed with Vettec Equipak CS, and build a small wedge with Vettec Adhere on the ground side of the shoe.

The exciting part about this shoeing was that the horse could put weight on his right front, the worst foot, and hold his left front forward on the stand!  He was unable to do this prior to the first shoeing with the 3' wedge pad.  I was super excited that the inflammation had gone down enough for him to get some weight back on the right front, allowing the left front to rest.

Still standing square since his first shoeing and with a little less wedging.

It never ceases to amaze me how additional support, mechanics, and a bit of creativity can help a chronically lame horse function.  

My Adventure with EasyCare

Submitted by Fabrice Creignou, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

I am Fabrice Creignou, and I live in the West of France. I have been an endurance rider for over 20 years. I used to work as a mounted policeman and also as a training rider for flat track horse racing and an endurance rider.

I have always been aware that classic iron shoes are not my chosen solution to protect horses’ feet because I believe they prevent the foot from its natural movement and reduce the shock absorber effects. I believe equine natural trimming is ideal for the health of a horse's foot, combined with alternative protection products like the EasyCare range of shoes and boots.

I now have an endurance stable. I train horses for the Malaysian endurance team at a high level. My horses regularly take part in 120 – 160 km rides. Until last year, my horses had iron shoes and some used to wear the Easyboot Glove, only up to 90km rides. I tried different plastic shoes, but feel they do not allow the free movement of the heels like the EasyShoes.

Then, at the beginning of last year, I was intrigued by the EasyShoe launch. Since that time, I have tried them on all of my horses as well as trotters and thoroughbreds for racing. I noticed better movement and some splints disappeared on horses that used to have some.

Since then, some of my horses have finished 90-120km rides with EasyShoe NG's.  I only use the EasyShoe Performance N/Gs because I am not confident enough yet to glue my shoes for the competitions or important international rides. I would like to try the EasyShoe Sport and Performance on important international rides. I once equipped a trotter with EasyShoe Competes and he came in 2nd.

I am acquiring information that will enable me to improve my technique through the EasyCare blog, and product videos on the EasyCare YouTube Channel. Thanks all for your information and innovation EasyCare!

Playing Around with Easyshoes

Submitted by Renee Robinson, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

Well, summer has arrived in Nevada. The ground is hard and none of my horses seem to be ready for it. Bite has seemed especially uncomfortable and I’m not sure why. I’ve been feeling like he needs a bit more hoof protection right now (24 hour hoof protection vs. boots only when riding) so I’ve been brain storming trying to decide what to do for him. Yesterday I remembered I had an extra pair of EasyShoes that I had wanted to try last year before I went and got knocked up and had a baby. I rummaged through my supply and found them, thankfully still stored in their plastic bags.

While I’m very comfortable using Easyboot Gloves and Glue-Ons, I had only glued on one other pair of EasyShoes so I wasn’t feeling super confident but decided to go for it anyway. Since I’m not riding much right now, I decided this was the perfect time to play around with hoof ware.

Despite not being handled much lately, Bite was a gentleman for the application and the process went off without a hitch. I was glad I had two sizes to chose from as I discovered that the sizing is just a bit different than Gloves/Glue-On shells.

Today Bite and I got to try things out and all I can say is, “wow!”. He felt like a million bucks and I swear I think I heard him say, “thank you.” I’m not sure what the difference is as far as he can tell between Glue-Ons and EasyShoes, but I am inclined to think he liked the shoes even better. So, I think it’s safe to call my little experiment a success.

 Happy horse, and happy mama!

Booting the Gaited Horse

Boots are not for every horse and we know this at EasyCare. The EasyShoes have been successful for many horses that were not a good candidate for boots because of their need for 24/7 protection or a very low interference option. Nonetheless, a vast amount of horse owners who are aware of the benefits of barefoot and/or booted but are hesitant to try it are gaited horse people for many good reasons.

I grew up with a Tennessee Walking Horse named Shadow. We enjoyed trail rides and attended the occasional show where he would display great movement as a flat shod horse. He was always the horse that my friends who weren’t familiar with horses would ride because of his affectionate, gentle temperament and easy ride. He is the perfect Walker and is now retired to the pastures of northern Michigan.

Before the latest advancements in hoof boot technology, I wouldn’t try a boot on Shadow. He needed support across the gravel roads we exercised on, but a boot would be too clunky. As his left hind crossed forward with his right front or vice versa, he’d certainly beat the heck out of something that wasn’t as low profile as a shoe.

There are many gaited horse equestrians out there that are as reluctant as I was to try something that could interfere with a perfect gait. After hearing so many Easyboot and EasyShoe success stories on Fox Trotters, Standardbreds, Walkers, Saddlebreds, Pasos, and the list goes on, I regret not placing my faith into boots to provide Shadow with all the benefits of barefoot. In fact, many riders have claimed to see improvements in gait after removing steel shoes and transitioning.

The best products on the market for these talented breeds include the Epic, the Glove, and the EasyShoe. A clean glue on application of the EasyShoe is nearly an extension of the hoof and even with a notorious overreacher, it’s nearly impossible for it to come off without intention.

If the notorious overreacher would be best with temporary protection and left barefoot the rest of the time, the solution is the Epic or the Glove with a bell boot to protect the gaiter and back of the boot. If using the Epic on all four hooves, it’s a good idea to use the cotter pins made for the Epic on the hinds to eliminate the chance of the buckle flipping up in the case that it makes contact with the front limb.

What have you got to lose? The best time to try the latest and greatest on the market for hoof care products is now. Call EasyCare to chat about the best boot or shoe for you and visit our website for testimonials and more information.
 

Mariah Reeves

easycare-customer service-mariah

Customer Service

My focus is on educating myself relating to all things hoof and horse care to customize your EasyCare product experience. Each customer interaction is an opportunity to enhance another equestrian lifestyle.

EasyShoes To Help Foundered Horses: Daisy Haven Farm Style

Helping foundered horses is my passion. Of course I love helping ALL horses. Foundered horses just hit close to home. It was my own horse foundering and the wonderful farrier who helped me with him that brought me to hoof care. 

I am able to help many foundered horses barefoot, especially with the temporary use of therapeutic boots. When a foundered horse needs protection with a boot long term, however, I prefer to apply glue on composite shoes, like the EasyShoe Performance and Performance N/G.  

Here is a case study where the horse was doing very well in therapeutic boots, but for several reasons, we felt the horse would benefit from shoes.

Mia is a very sweet Rocky Mountain Horse who has a history of chronic laminitis. Mia came to Daisy Haven Farm at the end of February for more intensive rehabilitation.   

When Mia arrived at Daisy Haven Farm, our veterinarian came out to see her and we reviewed her history. He made some modifications to her meds, and pulled blood to check her metabolic status. She was very painful even on bute, rocking back to take weight off her front feet, with strong digital pulses. Here are what her front feet looked like at that time:

Externally, Mia's feet didn't look terrible but she was so painful I knew internally she was having bigger problems.  The radiographs confirmed what her pain level indicated:

If you are familiar with my previous blogs, like this one here, I have four criteria that I aim for when rehabilitating the foot. Of course they are guidelines, and not rules, but are the foundation I work to build for each horse to establish Static Balance. Here they are in summary:

-50/50 ratio of toe to heel support around the center of rotation of the hoof capsule

-3-8 degree palmar P3 angle

-Minimal flare and distortion in the hoof capsule

-Capsular Alignment and Phalangeal Alignment (straight Hoof Pastern Axis)

In Mia's situation, while her hoof capsule was only minimally distorted, her foot print was slightly forward, her palmar P3 angle too steep, as well as having Capsular and Phalangeal misalignment. After applying my initial trim, here is what I was able to gain for Mia:



While we had significant improvements in our goals for static balance, I was disappointed that the phalangeal alignment (hoof pastern axis, ie HPA) wasn't straighter after the trim especially on the left front foot, even though I had lowered the heel as proactively as possible:

My experience is usually the HPA straightens out very quickly. I had to be satisfied this was the best we could achieve today. The damage to her feet was quite extensive with significant bruising in her laminar wedge:

Mia quickly became more comfortable and bute was eliminated. After three months despite the improvement to her comfort level, Mia wasn't quite ready to go without protection, and we started thinking about shoes instead of boots:

1. EasyShoes provide additional opportunity to create mechanics for Mia's feet than we have in boots. 

2. Mia's activity level has increased significantly as she was feeling better, and therefore less risk of tossing a shoe than a boot when she kicks up her heels.

3. As we started thinking about Mia going home, her owner suffers from significant arthritis in her hands, and expressed a preference to have shoes instead of boots if it wasn't detrimental to Mia.  

This past week we applied the EasyShoe Performance to Mia's front feet after her trim. I am very happy with the results. While we were able to achieve our static balance goals in the right front foot very quickly, the left front had proven difficult to get the HPA realigned. With the addition of the EasyShoe Performance, the HPA improved even further, which will help develop the healthiest hoof capsule possible for Mia. 

The two biggest considerations for Mia when going from therapeutic boots to EasyShoes was:

1. Initially I thought she'd fit well in an EasyShoe Performance size one, but didn't like how it made her footprint bigger overall.  I like to avoid additional leverage on the laminae when a foundered horse is healing. By going to the size zero, we were able to keep the footprint smaller which reduces leverage. Here is how the size zero shoe fit without the glue:

While the wings of the shoe gap a bit, the fit was much better overall.  

2. We also added a spacer in the back of the shoe to help with fit and stabilize the key hole in the shoe. I find caudal support extremely helpful in rehabilitating the foundered foot.  Here is a photo comparing the size one EasyShoe Performance on the left and the size zero EasyShoe Performance with a 10 mm spacer on the right. Notice how the size zero is just a little bit smaller overall. We like to glue our spacers in with Gorilla Gel Super Glue*, then screw in for stability.  

3. Finally we finished the bottom of the shoe by easing the heel landing, and rolling the toe to create a ball bearing effect for Mia.  

Mia's feet have improved tremendously since arrival at Daisy Haven Farm. I am excited to be able to send her home, healthier, happier, and with the help of her owner and veterinarian continuing her rehabilitation going forward.

 

For more information please see:

www.DaisyHavenFarm.com
www.IntegrativeHoofSchool.com

* Editor's note: EasyCare does not sell Gorilla Gel Super Glue.

I Do Know Sik'em!

Submitted by Karen Bumgarner, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

When I was a youngster, a great friend of mine, Dan Petrequin, would tell us "You girls don't know sik 'em!", whenever we'd really mess up. It was a big joke because even the dog would go crazy and find something to chase when you said "sik'em!" Years later, I do know sik'em; just a different variety of Sik'em. It's a product known as Sikaflex. Easycare has carried it for some time but to me it's one of those good old stand-bys that I often come back to.

There are a few things I like about Sikaflex. One - I can use a regular caulking gun. Two - I really worry about getting the Adhere under the sole, on the heel or hairline and creating a bigger problem than I already have. Three - it sets up slowly so I don't have to rush. However there is a drawback there too ,as I have to keep the horse busy eating hay and tied for a couple hours. Fortunately, Brass he can eat all day! 

I've had Brass for about 20 months now. He was the "free" horse. Yes, that should tell you a lot right there. His hooves were terribly neglected. At seven years old, he had never been trimmed. He still has sheared heels. And if you trim him too much he goes lame for a few days. So while I know his trim job is not perfect, at his age you just can't change too much. Last year we used Easyboot Glue-Ons on his fronts, and he'd pop one off the smaller less than perfect hoof. I tried EasyShoes but his hoof walls were thin and he had a smaller gluing surface. My luck wasn't great. We used Easyboot Gloves with power straps at the City of Rocks and The Haunting endurance rides last fall and he did great. Just recently one boot began turning on him within just a few miles of trotting. I decided Sikaflex would fit the bill with him. It not only gives him extra protection from rocks but will fill in the gaps and be adhesive enough to keep the boot from turning.

So, proving anyone can do this, I stuck my Gloves in the wash machine as usual to clean them up nicely. They dried in the sun. I laid out all my tools and necessary items, clean Gloves for the horse and a pair of latex gloves for me to keep the Sikaflex from making a mess, all my trimming tools, caulking gun, and mallet. I cleaned and trimmed up the hooves real well, scruffing up the outside wall just like in Christoph Schork's blog.

I left the power straps on the Gloves to keep them snug. I then squirted the Sikaflex in the bottom of the Glove, in a V pattern where the frog goes. I also placed it up the wall on the quarters and the toes. I was careful not to get too much in the heal area because excess Sikaflex will squirt out and you don't want extra material there. Then I put the Gloves on like I always would, with the mallet, twisting it a bit to smear the Sik around, then attach the gaiter. 

Brass just pretty much stood there and ate his hay. Because the Sikaflex takes a while to set up, I'd recheck the boots to be sure he hadn't twisted one, and kept the hay coming. After a couple hours I put him in the round pen where he wouldn't immediately run and play with the other horses.

My plan was to leave the gaiters on so if the adhesive came loose at least the gaiter would keep the Glove on. The next day before we left the horses were all racing around, Brass was busy bucking and kicking and the Gloves stayed put. You could tell the adhesive was tight. It was time to load up and go to the Owyhee Tough Sucker ride and put the experiment to the 50 mile test.

A good friend, Beth Nicholes, rode Brass on the 50 through rocks, creeks and sand, the Sikaflex held tight and the boots didn't turn. This is Beth's last year as a Junior and she wanted a horse to ride. Brass was my best choice. 

Beth Nicholes and The Big Brass, going through the sand wash at Owyhee Tough Sucker 50, April 4, 2015. They are off to a great start with a second place Junior finish. This just could become the best way to do things for Brass. Each horse is different and we always have to keep trying new things, and sometimes return to old things. Ride on!

Tevis 2015: Meet Easyboot Elite Team Member Derick Vaughn

Derick started learning how to trim and nail on shoes from a local farrier near his home town in Humboldt County, California early in 2011. Always interested in horses, and a fan since childhood of day-long rides into the famous redwood forests of the area, Derick decided a career in the horse industry would suit him well. In September of 2011, he attended Red Rock Horseshoeing School and studied under Dave Abel. Derick wanted to expand his experience and learn more about alternative hoof care methods. He made contact with Megan Hensley, a barefoot trimmer based in the area. He tagged along with her for a day, and was so fascinated by the work and impressed by the results, that he decided to apprentice with her and colleague, Amy Thornbury. He eventually sold his anvil to start his own barefoot trimming business in Humboldt County. 

At work applying EasyShoes in Durango, Colorado.

He moved to Durango, Colorado, in September 2014, after two trips there to work with horses in the area. He appreciates the opportunities offered to him by living in close proximity to the the EasyCare research and development location because of the dynamic group of people he gets to meet and work with, including Curtis Burns and Dr. Ric Redden. In 2014, he applied Easyboot Glue-Ons to the Haggin Cup winning horse as well as Tevis Cup winning horse. In 2015, he glued EasyShoes onto a horse nominated for the famed Darley Award. Derick considers his area of expertise to be the application of glue-on composite shoes. His favorite classes at school were Ceramics and Wood Shop. When you watch him work, you might see some parallels in the balance and finishing techniques he uses. 

Riding the foothills at his favorite ranch in Humboldt County, California.

When asked to identify the three most influential people in his career path thus far, Derick credits Garrett Ford for teaching him to care about his work and to take special care around the details in the work often overlooked by others. He acknowledges Curtis Burns for an expression that Derick lives by: "Are you going to leave it like that?". Derick hears that question as he completes every trimming or gluing job he works on. He credits Megan Hensley for teaching him about hoof function, diet, mechanics, the difference between a farrier trim and a barefoot trim, and for helping him build a clientele in the sector that interests him the most. The biggest challenges Derick sees in his hoof care practice are staying true to the ten-year vision he has for his business, and managing to build a specialized practice in a small mountain town three hours from the closest highway. As well as developing his business in the Four Corners area, Derick regularly travels to Texas and Florida to work with clients from the Arabian horse racing world.

Looking ahead to the week spent with the Easyboot Elite team at the 2015 edition of Tevis, Derick is most excited about the honor of working with five of the best gluing hoof care practitioners in the country. He also hopes to be able to achieve his double cup gluing status for the second year in a row. 

A collage from Tevis 2014.

The Easyboot Elite team is a group of six gluing professionals from around the country who will spend the week before the 2015 edition of the Western States Endurance Ride gluing Easyboot Glue-Ons onto horses entered to compete in the ride. Together, they form the most accomplished and sophisticated team of gluing professionals in the world. To book your Tevis 2015 gluing appointment, please call any of our Customer Service Representatives at 1-800-447-8836, and be sure to read last week's blog about the appointment process.

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.