Gloves Conquer Mud and Steeps at Cache Creek Ridge

Submitted by Christina Kramlich Bowie, Team Easyboot 2012 Member

Last weekend my friend Pascale and I packed up two horses, my 13 year old standard poodle Nuala, and ourselves and headed about 120 miles miles north and central to the HOT part of northern California - Williams - where the Stalleys put on the Cache Creek Ridge Ride. It was going to be a scorcher. Pascale was patient while I conducted business the entire drive, and bless her, she even claimed to find it entertaining (I suppose negotiations can be fun to listen to if you don't have skin in the game!). Anyway, I've been to this ride three of the four years they've held it and it is beautiful, tough, and hard on footwear. There are lots of steep hills and tons of muddy water crossings, and the mud is of the boot- and shoe-sucking variety.

For a little history on using boots for this ride: In 2009 I was riding my mare in Renegades and must have done at least 6 extra hilly miles of backtracking having lost boots without realizing it immediately. It was an exhausting day, and I was so frustrated with the boots coming off a million times that that ride was actually the end of my trial of Renegades, at least on that horse. By last year, I was using tape in Gloves on 50s in general and did that for this ride as well.  With two toddlers, a job, a husband, and four going endurance horses, I just don't have time to glue!  Plus I like having the gaiter, especially when traversing as much mud as Cache Creek has.

Last year, we had to stop and reapply the boots a few times just because the mud made the boots incredibly slippery, but overall it worked well. Late last year I started using a bit of Goober Glue (now Sikaflex) in the frog and tape around the hoof wall for 50s, and it has worked incredibly well. A quick application the night before the ride, and voila, one has a Glove affixed to the hoof that will stay on for the day, then come off easily at the end of the ride. Love that. It is just not a big deal to apply nor to remove, and the boots are easily reusable because the glue peels right out. I put them on in camp, and it literally takes less than 3 minutes a hoof. I do find that with terrain and mud added to the mix, a powerstrap on all the boots helps keep them on. Mud can really make a boot stretch out. As always, I make sure everyone has a recent trim to assure the best fit of hoof in Glove.

So, for this ride, Pascale and I were riding my young-ish ponies, Billy and Brigadoon (aka Briggs). Billy has more experience than Briggs but they are well matched and we just wanted to take it easy and get through the day. We knew it would be hot and humid, and it's all hill and a full 50 miles. The start goes straight through a big muddy bog, so we waited a bit for the front runners to leave so we could get through it without pressuring Briggs. He was fine and we started on our way.  

Billy and Pascale on an early climb

We climbed up up up to the ridge as the sun came out and then went down the other side, where we had the first vet check. 

 

Photo taken while trotting! Billy along the ridge

The location of this ride is parallel to the Mendocino national forest, but it's quite a bit inland from the coast, so it's an interesting mix of steep hills and beautiful grassy valleys.

Briggs having a snack in a pretty valley

Then we went back up to the ridge, and down another hill into the lunch stop. Coming back to the ridge after the second vet check, we ran into Janet Mumford, who was riding her gelding in the 25, and was quite happy to be heading back to camp. She's the one off her horse saying hi as we approach.

Yet another welcome water trough!

We continued on our hilly way, heading up a gigantic climb then a back down another hill into the last out vet check. We took our time at the last vet check, as it was hot and we wanted the horses to rest, eat and drink. Heading back into camp, up and down several more hills, we went through a gorgeous valley with lush grass and a little breeze that we were very grateful to have. What a beautiful day!

Billy and Pascale

Christina Kramlich Bowie

Endurance Using Easyboots in the UK

Submitted by Karen Corr, Team Easyboot 2012 Member

I love reading the reports from endurance riders from other parts of the world but there seems to be a lack of reports coming from the UK, so I thought it was about time I put fingers to keyboard and attempt a blog for the first time.

I've been competing in endurance rides for about 15 years and have only managed to sample endurance outside the UK once - the President's Cup in Abu Dhabi, crewing for a British rider, whose horse was spun after 25 miles. But we got to see the rest of the race in full flow and followed some of the horses along the course in the desert - an experience I'll never forget. We have travelled the length and breadth of the UK to compete in endurance rides but with the ever-soaring price of diesel, we are becoming more selective as to where we go and how far we're willing to travel. The furthest we'll travel now is a maximum of three hours to get to an event. That's probably just down the road for a lot of riders in the USA. My favourite rides are in the North of England - they tend to be a lot hillier and more varied in terrain and generally more of a challenge.

Over the years, I've tried a number of different boots for endurance riding and until 2010 I was undecided as to which worked best. However, in 2010 I was sponsored by the UK distributor for Easyboots - Trelawne Equine - this was an amazing opportunity to try out the Gloves and Glue-Ons throughout the season. My gelding was eight years old and at Advanced Level - in the UK this means he had completed two 65km rides and one 80km ride at a set speed. The aim for that year was to introduce him to some faster work at this level and aim for his first race rides. Upping the speed was no problem for him - he had the base of distance work behind him and at the beginning of July he completed his fastest 65km ride to date at the Wirral (fast and flat on the West Coast) in Easyboot Gloves (see picture below).

Looey completing 64kms at the Wirral in the UK

One month later, we decided to try Glue-ons for an 84km Performance Formula Competition in North Yorkshire - the results are based on a formula of HR and speed, so the faster you go and the lower your horses HR at the end and the more points you achieve. Despite being covered in glue (us not Looey), the boots stayed on really well and we came 3rd in much more experienced company. In fact, the boots were glued on so well that we left them on for a week afterwards - they then began to separate from the hoof wall and it was easier to prise them off. We weren't worried about thrush since we'd used Equipak CS to pack the gaps between the boot and his sole/frog. We used Adhere around the cuff on the boot. The farrier at the ride predicted that they'd stay on for about two miles and once we hit the thick red clay they would all come off - fortunately he was very wrong. We had lots of interest from other riders of barefoot and shod horses - none of them had ever seen Glue-Ons in use before.

He looked so good after this we entered him for his first race two weeks later. This race was to be held over the fells and ancient turf hills of Cumbria. The one thing I'd learned was that the tread on the Gloves/Glue-Ons was quite slippy on short wet grass, so we decided to increase the traction on the sole by routering some extra tread - a bit rough and ready but he didn't slip!

Easyboot glue-on with extra tread

This would hopefully give us the extra traction and be able to compete side by side on a more level playing field with the shod horses. We used Glue-Ons again and had slightly less glue make-up this time! The farrier at the ride was very interested in the Glue-Ons and said he'd be watching with interest as to how we got on.

I was a nervous wreck on race-day - I hadn't raced for a few years, since I'd started Looey from scratch four years previously and had lost my FEI horse to cancer. Loo is normally a pretty chilled character (he is 50% Bahraini which helps!), although no-one can predict how they are going to react to a mass start. My original plan was to warm him up out of the way of the other horses - watch them set off down the field and then follow on at a distance and settle him into a nice pace. However, he was being such a good lad, I threw caution to the wind and set off with the leading group. The pace set was reasonable but started getting out of hand over some rough going into the first vetgate, so I pulled back - the leading group disappeared into the distance very quickly. The landscape had changed, the fells were now littered with slabs of limestone which is like riding on a surface covered in soap when it's damp - so if you hit one of those at speed you're a goner!

We had just got through this stretch and started to pick up speed again when I saw a group of riders and horses in front of me - someone had fallen. No-one could get hold of an organiser on their mobiles, so I rode to the next road crossing and collared a crew to send for help, they were in a 4x4, so headed out over the fells to see what they could do. Luckily, both horse and rider were fine - just badly bruised. In situations like this, whoever stops to help is given a time allowance - this makes things a little complicated when trying to work out who is now in the lead during a race.

So I continued on to the vetgate knowing there were two horses in front of me and some behind, who in theory could still be ahead. Looey passed the first vetting, and made good time to the second vetgate - both lead horses were vetted out here - so I was in first place. Or was I? Two riders had retired on course, one due losing a shoe and ripping off a big chunk of hoof and the others were miles behind. It turned out that the second place rider was in first but only just if you took the time allowance into consideration.

So back out onto the last loop on our own, with riders constantly heading towards us going home - Looey made a stirling effort to keep going on his own and picked up when we turned round and headed for home. We crossed the finishing line first and vetted well, but it all depended on how far behind the next rider was - she ended up beating us by two minutes. It would have been so different if we'd been riding together but was still exciting in a very different way. Again my horse and proved himself in good company and the glue-ons worked a treat. Interestingly, the winning horse was completely barefoot, so a well-deserved win.

The new style gaiters have made life a lot easier, we no longer have to think of ingenious ways of wrapping his pasterns to stop rubbing from the rolled edge - I still do trim the lower edge of the new gaiter just to make sure we don't have any pressure points. Another learning point for us in 2010 was using athletic tape round the hoof under the boot. The tape sticks to the hoof wall, heats up and then the glue seeps though and sticks to the boot. You do need to use good quality tape, we've found that cheaper alternatives tend to disintegrate. We always put power straps on each boot too.

2011 was a very different endurance year, we were selected to represent Team Easyboot for the first time and were now able to keep in touch with other members of the team from all over the world, pick up tips and share our experiences with other Easyboot users in the UK. The recession hit us pretty bad in the UK last year and my partner and I made a decision early on to have a year off endurance. We had two four-year old arab fillies to back and start, so that took up a lot of our time.

Looey and I had dressage lessons to improve his way of going and work on his core muscles to help him recover and hold himself better. We both loved the lessons and he is a different horse this year. I also had the opportunity to crew for my filly's dam, whom I used to own. Shannon's owner lives in the South of England, but wanted to attempt her first race ride in Southwell which is mid-way between where we both live.

I couldn't wait to see her again. Shannon has always been barefoot, I did her first endurance ride on her in boots, but since moving to live with Janet she has never had boots on - much to the disgust of some of her mentors in the Endurance world down where she lives. Shannon looked very fit and was definitely up for the job in hand. Janet needed a bit more organising, though, and this was a big learning experience for her.

She nearly blew it at the first trot up - Shannon sort of waddles like a duck if her trot isn't moving forwards from behind - I did the next one and the rest of the trot-ups throughout the vettings and she was fine scoring A's for action. There were only three starters - the race was open only to horses who had never raced before, we call them a Tyro. The three competitors stayed together all the way round the first loop.

However, at the vetgate the temperature soared and the other riders struggled to get their horses HR's down below 64bpm. Shannon's recoveries are amazing and I knew we'd make up loads of time and get out in front of them. She ended up with a lead of nearly 20 minutes going onto the second loop. But, Janet let her do her own thing and said she wanted to go slower (she was actually doing a " I can't be bothered cos I'm on my own now" stunt!) - at the frist crew point she had nearly lost all of her lead - but after some motivation from me which consisited of "if you don't get your act in gear, you'll be doing the rest on your own!" - they both upped the pace and came into the last vetgate in the lead.

Again, Shannon vetted very quickly and they set out on their last loop which they flew round at their fastest speed all day, finishing first on the all weather racecourse and walking calmly over the line. Shannon vetted straight away and passed with flying colours - I was so proud of them both.

Shannon & Janet at the start of their first 80km race

One thing I noticed was how many more people were now competing in hoofboots - the majority being Easyboot Gloves - and at a high level in races. More people were also trying the Glue-Ons, so there was much discussion about technique, how long are they left on for etc. So despite not competing myself, I still managed to get out and about and help and advise others on using boots.

2012: again I've been most fortunate and have been selected onto Team Easyboot. Again, funds are tight, we're trying to sell our house and have lots of other projects on but due to the winter in the UK being a lot milder than the previous two years, I've managed to keep Looey quite fit. He did blow two massive abscesses (one hind, one fore) in early January which put him back a few weeks - but boy do those boots come in handy when they are growing out - they provide such great protection.

My partner has been getting his five year-old quite fit and our little coloured cob has been getting out and about a bit more too. When the Easyboot Glove Back Country was launched we decided to get a pair and give them a go.To be honest, at first we thought they were great on Squiggle (our cob) but she has so much feather, that it was impossible to tuck it all in or let it stick out the top of the boot and so we've been using them on the five year-old mare's hinds with Glove on her fronts. Again, we've adapted the Back Countrys slightly by extending the velcro to ensure debris doesn't creep under the straps and stop them sticking together. Hamra moves extremely well in them and considering this is the first year she has worn boots, she doesn't seem to realise they are there.

Of course, there is always something which happens to scupper your plans - the first one was when Bond took Hamra out on a hack with his mate riding Squiggle - they were having a mad dash round the woods (no boots) and disaster struck when Hamra punctured her sole on something very sharp but blunt. So that was one down and big lesson for Bond about wearing boots for protection. Then Squiggle started coughing during a training ride - she picked up some sort of lurgy and ended up with swollen glands and snots. She had a course of treatment but has only just stopped coughing. I've been watching the others like a hawk especially Looey since he was entered into his first competition for 18 months! Looey has stayed clear of infection - he went and did his first ride of 40kms in April and stormed round with the fastest speed of the day - see picture below of him relaxing after the ride - his boots are still on since I'd taped his hooves and couldn't get them off after the ride!.
 
Looey relaxing after his first competition of 2012
 
 
What's missing?
 
I was lucky with the boots - another lesson, remember to tighten all the screws before setting off.
 
We try to vary our training and occasionally take the horses to a cross country ride where they can jump obstacles. The course is very undulating, so is great for fittening.
 
Great hills for fittening work
 
It's approximately eight miles long, I go round once with Looey and do the jumps (which he loves) and then go round again passing the jumps but up the speed and use it for hill training. On our last trip, Hamra even had a go at some small jumps for the first time - we do get some strange looks jumping cross country jumps in endurance gear.
 
Hold on tight! Hamra's first time jumping...
 
Our other filly has now come down with the lurgy - swollen glands, cough, snots, so she's getting away with murder. Touch wood the rest are still fine, so we're taking each day as it comes - if all goes well Looey will do a 65km ride soon and then be entered for races depending on what choice there is at the time.
 
Unfortunately, a lot of rides hosting races have been cancelled in the UK this year, so choice is limited. Hopefully, I'll be able to do some more blogs reporting on our successes in boots later in the year As yet we have to try the Goober Glueing technique, so must give it a go soon. Watch this space.
 
Karen Corr

Four Years and Counting

The peoples of The Steppes have been riding bare and without hoof protection for thousands of years, we know them from the history books and heard about their amazing horses: the Parthians, Scythians, Cimmerians, Huns and Mongols created some of the largest empires the world has ever seen. They scared and defeated the Greeks, Romans and other western powers with their incredible riding and warfare skills. Their skill were  always far superior to the western powers and they always rode barefoot.

Mongols honing their archery skills.

Natural hoof care was and still is the norm with the Peoples of the Steppes.

Mongol horses are being trimmed. Notice the strong healthy frog and tough sole. These horses are being ridden over rocks, grass and sand.

This Natural Hoof Trimming contrasts starkly to our western civilizations Hoof Care. Only very recently did we start to embrace barefoot trimming. Until about 4 years ago, 80% of all Hoof Care procedures at the  Global Endurance Training Center were applications of steel, polyurethane or aluminum shoes. Today, maybe 5% of all Hoof Care services involve application of steel shoes, more than 80% are bare hoof trims. What a huge change. What have we noticed during these 4 years in regards to the health of the hooves?

  • - a thicker and tougher sole
  • - a huge reduction to total absence of white line separation
  • - a bigger and healthier frog
  • - a naturally developed break over

An example of a mostly bare hoof in rocky to sandy terrain.

Naturally worn break over.

Another example of a healthy bare hoof.

For 4 years now, Global Endurance Training Center and EasyCare have been conducting and sponsoring hoof care clinics all over North America and Europe. I have been traveling at least twice a year to Europe to conduct clinics in Natural Hoof Trimming and Protective Horse Boots application. We are constantly educating and learning all at the same time.

Here is a schedule of Hoof Care Clinics and workshops: I will be spending three weeks in Germany and France in the month of May.

1. May 12 -13, 2012 in Dresden Germany

For info and sign up, contact Veit Koppe at Koppe@heine-bau.de

2. May 25 -26, 2012 in Baiersdorf, Germany

For info and sign up, contact Gunnar Schillig at info@pferdmensch.de

3. May 29 - 30 in western France

For info and sign up, contact: info@globalendurance.com

June 3 - 9, 2012 is Natural Horse Care week at Global Endurance Training Center. We will be  conducting Hoof Care Workshops at the Global Endurance Center in Moab, Utah. These workshops are free, we are going to share and discuss the latest findings in the area of Natural Hoof Trimming and demonstrating the newest horse hoof boots, glue on techniques, sole protection and therapeutic measures. RSVP required. We can help you with lodging.

July 10th, the day before the City Of Rocks Pioneer ride in Almo, Idaho will see a Hoof Care Extravaganza. GETC, EasyCare, Equiflex and Vettec are all sponsoring a 3 hour free clinic at the ride site. The clinic starts at 3 pm. You will be able to observe trimming techniques, tool maintenance protective horse hoof boot applications, gluing techniques, various Vettec sole protection methods, Easyshoe and Equiflex shoe gluing methods and more. The Vettec Company is sponsoring the wine and cheese party directly following the clinic. And the following day is the start of the new 4 day ride through the incredible beautiful City of the Rocks wilderness at the Utah/Idaho State line. An event not to be missed. The sponsoring companies are giving away various prizes for the clinic participants and ride participants: Glues, EasyCare Hoof Boots, Equiflex shoes and Free Hoof trims. You may want to mark this event on your calendar.

For more information on all the above outlined events, you can contact the Bootmeister directly at info@globalendurance.com. For the City of the Rocks Hoof Care Clinic you can also contact Steph Teeter at steph@endurance.net.

It is a given: none of us will  ever be as good a horseman, rider  or archer as the People of the Steppes. But I know for certain that our horses can have hooves as tough as the hooves of the  horses of the legendary Sarmation and Mongol people.

Mongols with their horses.

See you at some of our clinics.

Your Bootmeister

American River 50. Where We Take Steps Backwards and Move Forward

As endurance riders, I think sometimes we are so focused on conditioning that we forget about *training* the horse. I’m guilty of this myself. As a result, my chargy little arab has gotten worse and worse at the start of each ride. I normally start at the back of the pack with a buddy horse, but this year I’m attempting to teach him to be a little more independent. So far this season this has involved hauling him solo to rides and attempting to start rides on our own at a sensible pace. Unfortunately Bite’s idea of a sensible pace is somewhere oh, just slightly faster than everyone else. At the last ride, our debate regarding pace included him depositing me into the sand. I felt pretty strongly that I didn’t want to repeat that at American River. So Bite and I have started couples therapy. And our unlikely counselor has been my non-horsey husband, Russell. He suggested that if Bite was going to act like a green horse, I should treat him like one. Genius. Why didn’t I think of that?

The ride was scheduled to start at 5:30. I saddled Bite by 4:45 and spent the next 45 minutes sacking him out, pulling on his crupper, and mounting/dismounting just like I would with a baby horse. I rode him around camp until the hump in his back disappeared and when the ride started, we snuck in behind a rider who was walking out of camp. Magic. No jumping around, no pretending like he’d forgotten how to steer, and no dumping his rider onto the ground. Even if everything had gone downhill from there, I was already completely thrilled with our ride.

The ride started with beautiful views of Folsom Lake.

I was warned about this ride’s bad reputation with hoofwear. I remember last year hearing about multiple boot and shoe losses on the trail. And given the very technical terrain, I can understand why. The trail includes a little bit of everything: mud, steep climbs, creek crossings, and big rocks to clamber over. I prepared for this by adding Goober Glue (a leftover tube from before the product changed to Sikaflex) to Bite’s Gloves, as well as applying copious amounts of athletic tape and Powerstraps to all four boots.

Around mile 10, we were moving along on a single track trail in a large group of horses. A man behind me commented on how nicely my boots were staying in place despite the challenging trail. I replied that this was thanks to the mass quantities of tape, power straps, etc. I had used. Literally seconds later, I looked down to see Bite’s left front boot clinging desperately to his pastern by the gaiter. Sigh. I quickly dismounted and let everyone pass. I reapplied the boot, this time with even more athletic tape. For the remainder of the ride, all four boots stayed perfectly in place through more mud, creeks, and steep climbs. I heard of two other booted riders who lost a boot at some point during the ride and counted seven lost shoes along the way. This reminded me that whether your horse is booted or shod, we’re all going to have hoofwear challenges along the way. I’m thankful, however, that since my horse is in boots, fixing the problem is as simple as slapping the boot back on, rather than a) hoping he didn’t rip off a chunk of hoof with his shoe and b) hoping someone at the vet check can reapply the shoe.

Resting at 43 miles with our crew/husband/cheerleader, Russell. Photo by Lucy Chaplin Trumbull.

I met another boot user, Diana Hiiesalu Bain, who rides a gorgeous little bay named Ali. He has "hock issues" and she reported that keeping him barefoot/booted has been a huge help for this issue. It’s so cool that boots not only provide hoof protection but can also decrease concussion on our horses joints! Ali looked pretty solid to me and set a very consistent pace down the trail. I had the pleasure of riding most of the last 20 miles with Diana and another fun rider, Maryanne. We ended up finishing together and our horses were absolute freight trains the last 5 miles. The last 4 or 5 miles is on the Tevis trail which meant we got to cross No Hands bridge and pretend like we were finishing Tevis in the daylight. Bite was going to charge into camp with our without me so I just clung on and let him do his thing. He finished looking positively phenomenal and I couldn’t have been more proud of him.

Crossing No Hands Bridge, just a few miles from the finish

The ride starts and finishes in two different locations, so I was thankful to have the Worlds Best Crew, my husband Russell and Lucy Trumbull, who moved the rig and met Bite and I at each vet check. This was most definitely one of the toughest 50’s I’ve done so I appreciated seeing their friendly faces at the vet checks. I’m glad we were prepared ahead of time and able to make little modifications to our boot protocol. These little changes were a big help in keeping our boots on and allowing us to have a successful ride. I loved this ride, and can't wait to go back!

Renee Robinson

Hoof Boot Inventions - Can the Past Help Us Invent the Future?

On July 31, 1790 Samuel Hopkins was issued the first patent for a process of making potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer. The patent was signed by President George Washington. Hopkins was born in Vermont, but was living in Philadelphia, PA when the patent was granted.

The first patent, as well as the more than 6 million patents issued since then, can be seen on the Department of Commerce's U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website at www.uspto.gov. The original document is in the collections of the Chicago Historical Society.

Hoof boots and hoof protection have been a popular subject with inventors from the United States and around the world since the early 1800's.  In these early years horses were used for transportion, farm work and hauling heavy loads.  People depended on their horses and protecting their horses feet was a necesity.  The US Patent Office database is clouded with artwork and ideas from these early years.  Clever strap on horse boots and shoes of all different types are found by the hundreds.  These early inventors had some ingenious ideas for hoof protection and many of the sketches found in the database still have merit today.

An example of  an 1869 horse shoe, hoof boot patent by Henry Headrich

I have a fascination with these inventors and the hoof boot designs that were developed hundreds of years ago.  I find it interesting to think back to the 1800's and think about their lives, the materials that were available to create these devices and the stacks of prototypes that littered their workbenches.  I have spent many a late night printing these original patent documents and often look through these files to see what has been done in the past.  Over the past several months I've been working on recreating many of my favorite boot and shoe designs for this printed collection. Many of these replicas work quite well and with some material changes may end up as a production product.

 

An 1800 hoof protection device held in place with a heel bulb strap.  Envision some small tweaks and material changes to this design.

 

Another design from the 1800's.  This one reminds me of a fine women's shoe. Another that could work today with some small adjustments. 

The early design has a cool pastern strap and heel retention cup.

 

Many of the early designs had good intentions but would be barbaric if put to use.  This would stay in place but pummel the hoof in the process. 

 

 

 

Fast forward to the early 1970's and you start to see some of Dr Neel Glass' first hoof boot prototypes found in the US Patent records.  Neel's designs were pretty unique and marked the real first production hoof boot.  Neel's original Easyboot design is still in production 40 years later and is the backbone of EasyCare.

Neel's first glue-on hoof boot drawings are shown above.  Glass used glue and screws to hold the boot in place.  EasyCare's current glue-on hoof boot is very similar to Neel's 1970 design.  Screws wouldn't fly today, adhesives now accomplich the job.


The examples above are just a couple of the hundreds of hoof boot and horse shoe patents that can be found in the US Patent database.  When you take the time to look at the past designs the possibilities for improving what we have today get fun and interesting.  EasyCare may need to do a fun Throwback Collection and use the original inventor's names "Easyboot Headrich"  In the least we will recreate some of these designs for our EasyCare hoof boot museum. 

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.

 

Three Good Reasons to Use Easyboot Gloves

It was a very good weekend for Easyboot Gloves last weekend at the three-day Prescott Chaparral 155-mile endurance ride.The trails there are always diverse and often challenging, with a good mixture of single track, dirt road, sand, grass and rocky areas. It's one of those rides that makes you pleased to be sporting the kind of hoof protection only hoof boots can provide.

Far on Day 1. Photo by http://azcowgirlphotography.com/

So what are the three reasons for using Gloves? The coveted Best Condition award went to horses riding in Easyboot Gloves on all three days of the event. And on two of the three days the 50-mile race was won by a horse wearing Easyboot Gloves. I had the good fortune of coming across the finish line on Far on Day 1 with two other Glove riders in first place and received High Vet Score. On Day 2, I rode Stoner to third place and received the Best Condition award.

One of the sand washes.

My booting protocol for the event was not complicated or costly. I simply used my regular Easyboot Gloves on Day 1 with three rolls of athletic tape around the hoof for added security over some of the rockiest trail known to mankind. On Day 2 I experimented with some of the prototype red Easyboot Gloves and the results were obviously very good.

Lisa Ford and Cyclone, Garrett Ford and The Fury and me with Far - Day 1. Lisa is putting red Easyboot Gloves to the test. Photo by azcowgirlphotography.com.

There were also riders there who glued on boots - mostly those who intended to ride all three days and who simply did not want to use the Gloves. Kim Abbott and her horse, Sea Spot Run, wearing Glue-Ons, was the second fastest horse in the three-day 155-mile competition that took horse and rider throughout the trail system at Skull Valley and up as far as Granite Mountain. Another three-day rider was Susan Morgan, who rode Glory, her gaited mare all three days on the Limited Distance event. In fact, Susan's was the only horse to ride all three days of the LD event - and she did it with Glue-On boots.

There was also the pleasure of a couple of converts at the event: Philip and Marcelle Himanka used Glue-Ons for the first time on two of their horses and were delighted with the results - they finished in the top ten with both horses. And then there was the rider who lost one shoe on Day 1, who finished the ride with an Easyboot Glove. On Day 2, he lost two more shoes and so finished the ride with three Gloves and one shoe. I'm pretty sure he likes the boots.

Keep up the bootlegging!

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.

 

A Conspiracy You Can Be Proud Of

Quo vadis natural hoof trimmers, bare hoof trimmers, booters, farriers, blacksmiths, hoof care merchants?

I have been fortunate enough to have had great mentors when I started farrier work over 20 years ago. My mentors were farriers who were open minded, letting the horses in their care go bare for long stretches of the year to "allow the hoof to relax" for a while, as they always said. Bare hoof trims were nothing fancy or new, whenever a horse had some time off, the shoes were pulled and that was it. Bare hoof riding was a way of life for many horses already many years ago.

Now Barefoot Trimming and Natural Hoof Care have gone mainstream. Natural Hoof Trims and Hoof Boots are in the lime light now, we all talking about it and more and more horse owners are taking it upon themselves to learn and study and doing it themselves.

I have been conducting hoof care clinics all over the Northamerican Continent and Europe. I attend farriers clinics, am a member of the American Farriers Association (AFA) and have ample opportunity to speak and interact with farriers from many countries all the time. Interesting to hear their take on Natural Hoof Trimming and the usage of protective horse boots. Here are some of the comments:

  • "It's a fad".
  • "It doesn't work"
  • "Horses cannot go bare"
  • "Steel shoes have always worked"
  • "Don't change anything if it is not broken"
  • "I'm a professional, I work hard"

None of these statements have any substance, they are hollow, mean absolutely nothing and are only excuses. But for what? Just a few days ago, I heard a new one, which I liked the best so far:

"It is a conspiracy!"

Is this horse a conspirator?

Now I was interested, who are the conspirators? He explained to me that the objective of "them" is to push the farriers out of business.

Conspirators at work.

The Kodak Company came to my mind.  When they filed Chapter 11, did they think it was a conspiracy of the digital camera manufacturers and the various software companies to push Kodak into the abyss? Were typewriter manufacturers victims of a conspiracy?

Life is ever evolving. So are our jobs and professions. If we think we know it all, are lazy, resting and stagnant, we are getting steam rolled. More now so than ever before.

I had to thank this farrier for giving me the opportunity to show him that he will only be out of business if he refuses to educate himself and adapt. The new hoof care findings and new hoof protection product lines offer an amazing opportunity for farriers to participate in the future by providing a complete Hoof Care Service for their customers.  Adding new skills to the art of blacksmithing, like barefoot trimming, Easyboot Glue-On applications, Vettec hoof protection; selling and providing Polyurethane horse shoes like Equiflex and the new upcoming Easyshoe, Easyboot Backcountry, Glove, Epic, Trail, etc, etc; any farrier can participate in this conspiracy and benefit immensely economically through it.

From the past, we move to the future through learning and by being open-minded.

A polyurethane horse shoe made by the Bootmeister with Vettec Superfast.

A protoype of the new EasyShoe.

Jump on board, Farriers, let the journey begin!

Brought to you by Christoph Schork,  The Bootmeister.

Global Endurance Training Center

Easyboots Finish First, Fourth and Seventh at USA Endurance Team Time Trial

It was another great weekend for hoof boots. Easyboots were used by several of the horse and rider teams at the USA Endurance Team Time Trial for the 2012 World Endurance Championship.  Although many Easybooted horse and rider teams didn't have the day they had hoped for, the first, fourth and seventh place horse and rider teams finished wearing Easyboots.  The Best Condition prize was also awarded to a horse that completed the course in Easyboots.   

Jeremy Reynolds and Kutt take home first place and best condition in Easyboots.  Photo by Merri Melde.

Heather Reynolds and Riverwatch finish in fourth place.  Photo by Merri Melde.


Amy Atkins and Juniper finish in seventh place.  Photo by Merri Melde.

In addition to the Easybooted horses, several other of the USA competitors were using Renegade Glue-On hoof boots. The second place horse finished in Renegade glue-on hoof boots.  At the end of the day, Easyboot horses and Renegade horses accounted for nearly half of the USA riders looking for a spot on the team heading to England.  The event shows that hoof boots are here to stay and are being used at the top levels of equine sports.

One of my favorite moments of the day was watching Jeremy Reynolds take time away from his horse during one of 30-minute vet stops towards the end of the race.  Jeremy put his race aside and helped a fellow competitor with a lost shoe.  He tacked the shoe on with minutes to spare and then quickly jumped on his horse as he departed on his way to his eventual first place finish.

Jeremy Reynolds applies a shoe to a fellow competitor's horse during a short vet stop.  Jeremy is still in his helmet!

EasyCare is looking forward to the possibility for riders on the USA Endurance team to compete in Easyboots.  We have several new tread patterns for them to choose from that will help them stick to the course.  In addition, EasyCare's new EasyShoe may be the perfect option for the English countryside.

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.

 

Crossing the 2011 Tevis Winning Hoof Boot With The 2011 Preakness Winning Shoe

What do you get when you cross the hoof boot that was used to win the 2011 100 mile Tevis Cup with the polyurethane horse shoe that was used to win the 2011 136th running of the Preakness

A new tool for farriers and hoofcare professionals.  The new glue-on urethane shoe is a collaboration between EasyCare and No-Anvil.  The combined efforts have produced a new urethane hoof protection device that blur the lines between boots and shoes.  The urethane hybrid device absorbs concussion, is held securely in place for a shoeing cycle without nails, is lighter weight than most all nail on shoes and allows the hoof to expand and contract as nature intended. 

Shackleford wins the 2011 Preakness in Burns Polyflex shoes

Shackleford at the 2011 Kentucky Derby in Burns Polyflex Polyurethane Horseshoes
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Jeremy Reynolds wins the 2011 Tevis Cup in Easyboots

Jeremy Reynolds wins the 2011 Tevis and Haggin Cups in Easyboots.

Below you will find a couple photos showing the collaboration between No-Anvil and EasyCare.  The freshly filed patent includes some of the following features.

1.  Glue-on urethane hoof protection.
2.  The urethane shoe has an internal moldable skeleton for structure and shaping.
3.  The integrally molded cuff increases the gluing surface area.
4.  The urethane shoe and cuff allow the hoof to expand and contract.

EasyShoe.  Half Easyboot, half Burns Polyflex

The EasyShoe.  Half Burns Polyflex and half Easyboot Glue-On.

EasyShoe In Action

Initial EasyShoe prototypes getting some hard core testing.

Stay tuned for more updates and news on the collaboration. 

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.