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.

Tevis 2015: Meet Easyboot Elite Team Member Pete Van Rossum

Pete has been deeply involved in all aspects of equine hoof care with Ernest Woodward and their affiliation with Dr. Mark Silverman and the Southern California Equine Podiatry Center. His ongoing full-time apprenticeship with Ernest provides Pete with the opportunity to work with some of the top dressage horses in the country, both at home in San Diego and around the country. His experience includes traditional equine shoeing, barefoot trimming and booting, composite glue-on shoeing applications, and founder care/therapeutic applications. Pete lives in Ramona, CA and works throughout the San Diego area, including Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe.

Pete currently provides hoof care for between 100 and 125 horses every month. His primary focus when not working directly with Ernest is on working barefoot dressage horses, and therapeutic shoeing applications. The proudest moment in his hoof care career was being able to provide the options and support for a chronically lame retired horse to come back to full work with EasyShoes.

Ernest Woodward has been Pete's primary influence in understanding and applying a wide range of podiatry solutions for horses in a variety of working conditions. His association with the Southern California Equine Podiatry Center and Dr. Mark Silverman has been a priceless source of information and inspiration for Pete, as well as the frequent clinics they regularly present throughout the country allow him a larger perspective of podiatry needs in different environments. In addition, the influence of Pete Ramey's teachings led him from trimming his own horses to expanding his passion for equine podiatry as his main life focus.

When asked about the greatest challenge in his hoof care practice today, Pete says he needs to constantly keeping an open mind to adapt and change when new products, technologies and methods evolve and develop in the field. He also says it is important to make the time to attend clinics and meet peers around the world for exposure to the best minds and talents in equine hoof care. His third identified challenge is to keep the courage to try new things.

Looking towards the Easyboot Elite week at the 2015 edition of the Western States Trail Ride, he says the thing that excites him the most is the no-room-for-error, all-in opportunity to help Tevis competitors and their equine partners get the absolute most out of their partnership and the latest EasyCare technologies to realize their maximum potential at the event.

Pete has been a lifelong surfer, and as regularly traveled internationally to the Caribbean, Fiji, Hawaii, mainland Mexico and other destinations in the search of large and perfect waves.

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.

New Hoof Boots and Better Hoof Boot Designs

You are either moving forwards or backwards: you never stay the same.  After 45 years in the hoof boot business, EasyCare continues to bring new hoof boots to the market place, improve current designs and continue innovating. Our goal is to keep hoof boot and hoof protection innovation moving forward. 

We just returned from a trip to see many of our international partners around the world.  The personal visits continue to be critical to our current partnerships and discussing new directions.  Our five new concepts were very well received and will soon be available through all our international partners.

1.  Easyboot Cloud.  The Cloud targets the laminitis, founder and rehab market, and is also perfect for transportation and horses spending time on hard ground surfaces. it is the first hoof boot to have an injection-molded EVA pad. 

 

2.  EasyCare Therapy Click System.  Developed by some of the best vets in the world, the Therapy Click System quickly adds a new series of bases to the Easyboot Cloud.  The system adds 5 degrees or 10 degrees of heel lift along with the ability to change mechanics when treating laminitic and founder cases.  The system also works with the Easyboot Glove, Easyboot Glue-OnEasyboot Glove Back Country, Original Easyboot, Easyboot Epic, Easyboot Transition, and the Easyboot Rx

3.  The new Easyboot Trail.  We will upgrade the Easyboot Trail into a much more complete hoof boot.  Still very easy to apply, but with added features to make one of the most versatile boots for the trail rider.  More to come in the June 2015 newsletter. Sneak peak below.

4.  The New Mac.  Like the new Trail, the New Mac is a new version of the popular Old Mac's G2.  We compiled many years of feedback to bring the horses a better boot.  Replaceable parts, added comfort and new materials are all features of the new model.  There is more to come in the June 2015 Newsletter.  Sneak peak below. 

These designs are complete and will hit the market later this summer.  We now have a new set of projects, boots, and urethane protection devices to finish before year end.  The goal is to introduce the Easyboot Y, The Easyboot Sneaker, The EasyShoe FlipFlop, The EasyShoe Flex and a new E-Z Ride stirrup line before year end.

The new E-Z Ride Stirrup should be the first on the list above to be released.  I hope to release it with a lifetime guarantee. 

It's fun keeping the brain engaged and bringing new products to the equine industry.

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.

CFGP: Certification Opportunity for Glue Practitioners

Every day I approach the horses I work on with enthusiasm. I love what I do. I love helping horses and I love the materials I am able to help them with: glue and composite shoes. I am excited to be able to share with you my experience earning a farrier certification with a well respected organization based on these progressive materials. The Equine Lameness Prevention Organization CFGP: Certified Farrier Glue Practitioner. 

I first became aware of the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization (ELPO) about six years ago at the International Hoof Care Summit. They are a fabulous organization made up of some of the most generous, open minded, and thoughtful people I know. Their mission statement is:  "Helping People Help Horses" which shines through in all of their actions and endeavors. The organization offers educational courses, certifications, support to their members and the community, and performs research about all hoofed animals. 

Years ago I was intrigued by the programs and certifications offered through the ELPO. I wanted to learn more, especially about the techniques they were using to address lameness issues, many of which use materials right up my alley: composite shoes of all kinds, clogs, plastics, glue. I was also interested in the certification programs that were available. Only one dilemma: at the time I wasn't using metal shoes in my hoof care work, and in order to earn credentials working with lameness, I needed to pass the basic farrier exam which was done with metal shoes.  

My career as a farrier has always followed a non-traditional path. First barefoot trimming, then growing in my education and skills, I recognized a need for support devices beyond boots. I dove into alternative materials: composite shoes, casts, and glue.  

I have a specialized skill set I can offer the horse with the tools I use, and am very busy just doing that, so chose not to expand my education into metal at that time.  

Years passed, and each Hoof Summit I'd talk to the ELPO members at their booth. In 2012, we decided to offer an ELPO hoof mapping and trimming course on the East Coast at Daisy Haven Farm in PA taught by ELPO President Steve Foxworth and fellow Instructor Jen Reid. It was a great time, and all 20 participants learned a lot.

The following year, in 2013, the ELPO again traveled to Daisy Haven Farm in PA, this time to offer a Level 1 and 2 Certification. Through diligent testing on assessing the horse, hoof mapping and trimming, 15 of the 16 test takers passed their exams, and created additional momentum for further educational opportunities with ELPO for those of us using primarily glue and composite materials as farriers. 


Then in June of 2014, I was invited to the ELPO Level 3 Farrier Certification Course in Penrose, CO. The ELPO leadership had decided to add to the existing structure of the Level 3 Farrier Certification by adding a glue and composite material option within the criteria for certifying. This course was specifically planned to sort out the testing criteria for glue and plastic.

Six years after I initially approached ELPO my dream was coming true. Many of the Level 5 Instructor/Examiners were present for the course. I gave a lecture and demonstration on glue and composite materials to the group, and the appropriate modifications to the Level 3 test were discussed amongst the Level 5 attendees. It was important the the core of the test was consistent between materials, metal and composite, and any changes made were only due to the differences specific to each. Very few modifications to the existing test were necessary, for example, foot preparation and finish for glue was added, and nailing made optional, although if you do nail on your test the same criteria as nailing for the metal test still applies.

At the end of the weekend I took my Level 3 exam. I was assigned a horse for my test in glue/composites out of many that were trailered in for glue work that day.

The other attendees began working on horses and practicing their glue work, except for one, the amazing farrier David Nicholls from West Sussex in the United Kingdom who was to examine me on my test. No pressure!  

After taking the written exam, my practical test took four hours. I assessed the horse, I mapped and trimmed the horse's feet, and glued EasyShoes on all four following the ELPO protocol to the best of my ability. It was a marathon of meticulous focus. I was aiming to demonstrate that I could successfully apply these principles with my glue and composite materials; the opinion I had expressed six years ago.  

I passed with flying colors and earned the first CFGP: Certified Farrier GLUE Practitioner. 

This landmark weekend has now paved the path for others to take the exam and earn this certification in glue and composites. I am grateful for the ELPO's forward thinking mindset, and demonstrated support for those that work in these materials. 

Since earning my CFGP, I have now also earned the CLS, Certified Lameness Specialist, and am working on completing the Level 5 CE/CI, Instructor/Examiner certification as well as completing the Level 3 Farrier Certification in metal.

I am truly grateful for the learning opportunities I have had because of the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization. I encourage you to take advantage of the progressive view of the organization, as I have. 

For more information about the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization, upcoming courses, and CFGP Certification, please see: www.lamenessprevention.org.

www.DaisyHavenFarm.com
www.IntegrativeHoofSchool.com

Tevis 2015: Meet Easyboot Elite Team Member Jeremy Ortega

Jeremy Ortega began trimming his own horses' feet in 2004, when his wife’s uncle, Hank Kuiper, a farrier from Colorado, came out and taught him. He met barefoot trimmer, Dave Fitton, a year later and apprenticed with him for two years. In 2007, Jeremy attended the Oregon School of Natural Hoof Care. Today, Jeremy prides himself in maintaining and achieving a sound barefooted horse. He trims 110-120 horses on a monthly basis.

Jeremy lives with his wife in the Mokelumne Hill, California area. They had been looking for a house and property in a rural area that was close enough to the Sierras to ride conveniently. They wanted to be in Calaveras County because it’s a small, sparsely populated county with a rich history from the Gold Rush era. It’s a perfect place to raise horses and enjoy what the outdoors have to offer. It also allows for easy travel so Jeremy can continue to support his clientele in the Bay Area.

Jeremy takes most pride in his experience of working with a well bred, well trained cutting horse suffering from chronic lameness due to navicular syndrome and rehabbing him into a sound, happy and renewed working horse.

We asked Jeremy about the greatest influences on his work. He acknowledges Dave Fitton, because he opened the door to the idea of the art of the barefoot trim. Before he met Dave, he was following a formula and trimming his horses to maintain toe length and heel height without understanding why. Dave started Jeremy on the path to understanding the dynamics of the hoof and its role in the health and well-being of the horse. He names Cheryl Henderson, explaining that it wasn't until he went to the Oregon School of Natural Hoof Care that he found like-minded people with a passion for hoof care and the horse just like his own. Cheryl's passion for teaching and sharing her knowledge was inspiring and her methods simplified trimming the hoof and took out a lot of the guess work. It gave him the ability to tackle harder and more challenging cases with more confidence. It also taught him that the distorted hoof can be trimmed back into balance, thus improving the overall health of the hoof and the horse. Jeremy's final nominee is Daisy Bicking, who filled the gap for him between the traditional farrier and the barefoot trimmer. As there are limitations in everything, he sees Daisy as bridging that gap so many hoof care practitioners need. "There were times in my practice that I felt in my gut if I had the ability to shoe a horse I could move it along quicker in its rehab regaining soundness in less the time."

When asked about the three greatest challenges in his hoof care practice today, Jeremy identifies client education and bringing awareness about the importance and depth of good sound hoof care practices, including nutrition, environment, exercise and the many options of hoof protection now available. He also says that working in a profession that is often misinterpreted and not always looked at as a viable, sustainable practice in rehabilitation by the veterinarian community and the traditional farrier create ongoing challenges for him. Although horses have been ridden and working barefooted for a very long time, the barefoot evolution is relatively new. Lastly, he says identifying himself in this profession as more than a barefoot trimmer, but a practitioner of hoof care.

When Jeremy contemplates the 2015 Tevis gluing activities, the one thing that excites him the most is having the opportunity work with Curtis Burns and his fellow team members towards the same goal of enabling the equine athlete and rider to compete at the level of the Tevis Cup.

If you see Jeremy in Auburn in July, be sure to ask him about his former career as an art director and graphic designer.

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. 

The Art of the EasyShoe Sport, A Few Tips From a Pro

Submitted by Tennessee Lane, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

This past weekend I had the pleasure of having my EasyShoe Sports applied by Derick Vaughn. I just want to share some pics I took during the process and make note of some tricks that I, personally, had not yet picked up on, although it was pointed out to me that "it's all in the pamphlet," LOL.  These pictures were taken at this past weekend's Antelope Island Endurance Ride. The horse (Bluff,) did the 100-miler there wearing these EasyShoe Sports and finished strong and sound.  He encountered everything from steep to flat and extremely rocky terrain (like REALLY rocky,) to hard packed roads, to perfectly shallow sand, to deep sand, to firm dirt. He covered the 100 miles of diverse terrain at all gaits, steady slow climbs and descents, galloping climbs, long cantering sessions, long trotting sessions, even some sideways running through boulder fields and sagebrush (because he's still learning, and we might have had some disagreements on pace, and so briefly lost brakes and power steering on a few occasions until we came to an understanding.)

I have glued this product on several times before with great success using only adhere and a rasp, they have protected my horses' feet through several multidays and 100's that way. That's easy and awesome but Derick did an AMAZING job so here are the main differences... (Pictures will follow with corresponding #s.)  If you haven't already been through this process then you should consider watching the application videos for this product, because I'm not going through it all here, I'm just noting a few things that definitely got my attention while watching a pro turn my simple trim into a work of art. I thought I would share since some of you might want to raise the bar on your process.

My observations:  #1 He used Adhere (fast set up) on the bottom and Bond (slower set up) on the wings.  #2 He used a "Buffy" power tool that greatly reduces work/time while improving everything from functionality to aesthetics. I've been thinking that I could live with out one, but I was wrong, it's official, I can't live without one.  #3   He used a hoof nail, driven into the toe of the EasyShoe, to prevent the hoof from slipping forward when it was first set down after the bottom was glued. He was sure to place that nail in such a way that the breakover was exactly where he wanted it. (This was the most important trick I picked up on, I'm not sure how I missed that on the first go'round.) #4 Did I mention the Buffy?  #5 He sealed the edges with super glue to prevent "the beginning of the end," and keep all the bond-to-hoof edges sealed tight. Beautiful overkill and much appreciated by Bluff and I. Thank you, Derick, for your attention to detail and for enlightening me! You're an artist!

#1 The white glue used on the wings is the Bond (finished product shown)

#2   Using the Buffy as an extra step in the hoof prep routine, it was later used to clean up the glue job once everything had setup. 

#3  The nail keeps the hoof from sliding forward for that brief second when it's still wet and they put weight on it, where you place it allows you to adjust breakover.

#4 The Buffy beautifies...

#5 Super Glue polish job

Absolutely beautiful! 

AND IMMEDIATELY AFTER 100 MILES...still fabulous!

The "Sports" are an awesome product, I've been testing them for a year or so now and I plan to use them them again, and often. I did feel a bit naked on the rocks, with his little frogs and soles unprotected and unsupported, when they usually are protected and supported in products like Gloves, Glue-Ons and the EasyShoe Performance.  Regardless, they protected my horse's hooves in extremely rocky conditions very successfully so I STILL have no complaints to think of. I would especially consider them at rides where, instead of worrying about rocks, I'm worried about traction on turf, or in mud, snow or sand. They're also great to leave on for a full trim cycle. Love them!

 

Tevis 2015: Meet Easyboot Elite Team Member Deanna Stoppler

Submitted by Ashley Gasky, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

Deanna Stoppler AF is a member of the 2015 Easyboot Elite team. She is among 5 other elite professionals charged with the task of gluing on boot shells to equine competitors at the 2015 Tevis Endurance race.

Deanna began her hoof care career in 2011, riding with a local farrier, then completing a semester at Mission Farrier School(MFS) in May of 2012. After MFS, Deanna began coursework with Daisy Haven Farm: School of Integrative Hoofcare and has 137 hours in coursework to her credit. Currently she maintains a busy schedule; trimming, shoeing in metal and plastic, glues on shoes, and sizing for EasyCare boots. An average month will have her working on upwards of 160 horses. 

Deanna lives and works in Fairfax, Vermont with her husband, Dave, three dogs, and two horses. Growing up in Alberta, Canada she has an affinity for the cooler northern climates, and actually complains about the hot summers of Vermont, though she appreciates having four solid seasons and the awesome autumn landscape. 

Living in a rural community has provided Deanna with a sense of small town loyalty and camaraderie."You can find good coffee almost anywhere in the state; small general stores that have been around for over 100 years, where owners know their customers by name and it's easy to find fresh baked cinnamon buns if you stop first thing in the morning", she claims.

From the small family farms, bounty of horses, and rugged scenery to look at as she drives from barn to barn, or to explore on days off, she enjoys the sweet offerings of Vermont life. Maple syrup is a Vermont tradition, and one that Deanna and family are happy to support.   

When asked to choose three of the greatest influences to her hoof care practice Deanna names Mark Plumlee, Daisy Bicking, and Esco Buff. Mark Plumlee, owner and instructor of Mission Farrier School, taught Deanna everything she needed to know to get out in the workplace and start a farriery business. "He taught me confidence, how to speak to clients, and how to manage a successful farrier business." she notes. 

Daisy Bicking, owner of Daisy Haven Farm, "advanced my trimming skill set and helped me approach founder in a new way" says Deanna. "She taught me more about gluing on plastic shoes and how to approach my trim using radiographs as a tool".  Deanna and Daisy traveled to Lagos, Nigeria in 2013 to shoe polo ponies and educate the local farriers. 

Deanna credits Esco Buff with continuing her radiography skill set and helping her think about trimming and shoeing in regard to whole horse balance.

While the challenges of being a farrier, and running a hoof care business are many, Deanna lists three she perceives to be the most influential:

1. Horse obesity and founder as a result. If I can teach the owners to be proactive before their horse has a problem, that’s most of the battle, often though I find that horses that are obese are not necessarily viewed by the owner as obese. It’s difficult to change that owner mind set.

2. Moisture. We live in a very wet environment in Vermont. The feet take a beating with humidity and wet conditions. I look forward to working on CA feet at the Tevis Cup. Dry hooves=heaven!

3.Trying to help the horse while navigating through different theoretical approaches about hoof care with veterinarians. Not all approaches are the same and it can be tricky meeting on common ground."

In the excitement building up to Tevis 2015 Deanna is most excited to experience the camaraderie of the elite team. Stating "I’m very excited to spend the days working side by side with professionals as passionate as myself. To focus on a common goal with a group of talented farriers. To feeling the excitement as prepare horses' feet for the grueling 100-mile race. Team memories being made. Can't wait!"

The proudest moment of Deanna's hoof care career came as a result of her trip to Nigeria. 

"After I returned home, one of the farriers that I had worked with, Bello Gali, sent me an email with a photo of a foot that he had mapped and shod. I was very proud that he was reflecting on his work and felt it was important to share with me. From the photo is was obvious that he had retained the information I taught him. I will never forget the happiness of seeing that photo and how proud I felt."

You may have met Deanna, perhaps more than once, or even had her work on your horses, but did you know she HITCHHIKED from Maine, USA to Alberta, Canada during a college break? It was an exciting, frightening, and unforgettable journey. Be sure to ask her why this is her favorite song.

 

It's Getting Hot

No, not discussing politics. Sorry to disappoint you if you expect a juicy commentary. Not talking about the upcoming summer temperatures. Actually talking about a killer heat. And no, not discussing global warming either.

Rather a heat that will kill bacteria, spores and fungi so EasyShoes and Easyboot Glue-Ons can be safely applied. 

Before applying any glue, for example Vettec Adhere, to any hooves, these have to be dry and clean from soil and dust. Otherwise the adhesion will be compromised and the shoes and boots might not stay on. Adhesion is only one of our concerns, of equal importance is that the harmful bacteria. Spores and fungi are not getting any chance of doing harm inside the boot once it is glued on the hoof. To achieve this goal, we have some tools available to thoroughly sanitize the hooves and literally burn off any of the damaging parasites. I would encourage you to revisit some of the Glue on Educational Videos produced by EasyCare. Also helpful might be to revisit my blog from two years ago about gluing Easyboots.

To achieve our goal, we have a few options available.

1. Heat Guns. 

With these tools, available at just about any hardware store, we can get the temperatures high enough to kill any harmful bacteria and thoroughly dry the hoof wall and sole. When using them a couple of times a week, they typically last one year. It seems they build in such a short life span in all brands, so that we all have to buy a new one on a yearly basis. A more expensive heat gun will not last longer, just might produce a little more heat.

This model has a variable temperature setting, nice to have especially when temps are cold. It is important to keep the heat gun very close to the horses hoof, otherwise the desired effect of burning off harmful bacteria cannot get achieved. Hold it as close to the hoof as half an inch. You might want to feel, hear and observe a little burning  of hoof material.

Here the hoof rasp shavings are just getting brown and cinched. A good sign that you achieved the right heat to dry and sanitize the hoof wall and sole.

2.Hardware Store Torch

Torches are hotter compared to a heat gun. You do not need a power supply, so they are great in the field. The torch also has a pointed flame, ideal to get into the collateral grooves. Because of the higher heat setting, you only need a few seconds to dry and sanitize the hoof.

This model is fairly inexpensive. Works great if there is no wind. With any wind higher than 10 mph, the flame will extinguish.

3. Bonjour Torch

This torch you can get from kitchen supply stores or Amazon. It is commonly used for flambeaus and Creme Brulees. A little bigger compared to the Bernzomatic above, it produces a slightly higher temp and can withstand higher winds. 15 mph are about the limit on this one.

For both models listed above, you need a refill bottle, easily available at hardware stores. To refill the torches, turn them upside down, push the filler cap into the fill opening and push down.

4. AD Kitchen Firebird Torch

This torch is even hotter. Available also at Amazon. A gas bottle attaches directly to the burner. Easy to use, it can handle even higher winds, up to 20 mph.

The Firebird torch is a nice handy tool, easy to use. A disadvantage is the fact that it needs about a 2 minute warm up period. Otherwise flaring will occur when you tilt the torch more than 15 degrees from the vertical, which you will have to do when using it on the hoof. Just let it stand for two minutes to warm up, then you can angle it whichever way you like.

Don't burn yourself or your horse, just kill the bacteria. Select the model and type that will fit your needs the best.

From The Bootmeister

Christoph Schork

www.globalendurance.com

 

Tevis 2015: Meet Easyboot Elite Team Member Ashley Gasky

Ashley Gasky began trimming horses in the summer of 2010 when she asked a visiting farrier to remove her horse's shoes. By the fall of 2010, she had been introduced to Dr. Judith Shoemaker's work and attended a hoof care clinic hosted at her facility in Nottingham, PA. Following this clinic on hoof distortion, she volunteered at various postural rehabilitation clinics with Doctors Shoemaker and Gellman who were frequently assisted by Elizabeth Reese, Daisy Bicking and Lee Follett. Her immersion into the postural rehabilitation paradigm was life-changing. It enabled her to correct her horse's feet and the rest of her horse's body. By 2012, Ashley's knowledge and reputation as a hoof care practitioner had evolved. She flew to California to attend the Epona Shoe Institute and began taking her career in hoof care very seriously. In 2013, she joined the American Association of Professional Farriers, an organization dedicated to continued education.

Barefoot trimming in a perfect barn environment with the help of a trusty Hoofjack.

A large percentage of Ashley's practice is dedicated to barefoot horses. She is able to fit them for boots or shoe them as necessary. She considers shoeing in composite materials (non-metal shoes) to be her niche. In working with Curtis Burns, she feels she has learned a highly effective gluing technique. The technique does not require special treatment of the horse while the glue-on shoes are being applied. Ashley works with a client base of 75 - 100 horses on a regular basis and about a dozen other emergency cases per year.

Ashley is based in rural Saratoga County, New York. There are approximately 11,000 horses in Saratoga county, making it a great place to be in the horse business. She lives 15 minutes from the town where she was raised, so technically she knows somebody who knows somebody on every street corner, for miles. When asked what she values most about her home base, she credits the land, the flora and fauna, the pure dichotomy of the sophisticated Saratoga Springs in the summer with the rough and ready agriculture-based communities that surround it. 

Working at an anvil.

We asked Ashley about the greatest influences on her work. She acknowledges Dr. Judith Shoemaker because without her, postural rehabilitation would not be a teachable practice. She names Esco Buff because of his insurmountable presence and patience. He has also helped Ashley develop her business skills and build an efficient, effective whole-horse approach to farriery. Esco, she says, is a walking, talking search engine of information on the equine hoof. Ashley's final nominee is Curtis Burns, who helped remodel her gluing techniques to be highly effective under all circumstances.

When identifying the three greatest challenges in her hoof care practice today, Ashley lists time, money, and environmental stressors. Time, she says, is the greatest limiting factor for us all. Money is a necessary evil. Environmental stressors are not nearly so cut and dry for her: they can be anything from terrain that is too wet or too dry for proper hoof health. It can be a barn environment that is not conducive to hoof and horse care, or it can be a rich green pasture that leads a susceptible horse down a painful path to laminitis. 

Curtis Burns (also on the Easyboot Elite team) and Ashley Gasky.

When Ashley contemplates the 2015 Tevis gluing activities, she is most excited to see the horses she's worked on go out and compete in the toughest endurance race in the world. She will be feeling the struggle and the triumph of each horse. When you see Ashley in Auburn at the Tevis Easyboot Elite gluing event in July 2015, be sure to ask her personally about her passion for dancing. She dances swing, salsa, and even blues. Anyone up for a dance?

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.

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.