Bryce Canyon XP - Hooves Define a New Paradigm

The horse's hooves spoke clearly at the recently completed Bryce Canyon 5 day XP ride. Many lessons were learned thanks to Garrett Ford and Duncan McLaughlin thermo-imaging before and during the event. What an interesting eye-opener. Read that latest blog and findings at EasyCare's Main Blog Central.

Base Camp at Bryce.

But equally as defining were the results at Bryce Canyon: all Best Condition awards were won by horses with Easyboot Gloves and Glue-On boots:
  • Garrett Ford and The Fury with Gloves
  • Kevin Myers and Stoner with Gloves
  • Dian Woodward and Stavire with Glue-Ons
  • Dian Woodward and Halyva Night with Glue-Ons
  • Christoph Schork and Mandy with Glue-Ons

All first places were won by Easyboot Glue-On booted horses as well. Furthermore, most of the days, there were 5 or more booted horses  among the top 10. Day 2 saw even placings one through six in Easyboot Glue-Ons and Gloves.

Although most riders still using traditional steel shoes, we are seeing again and again horses with protective horse boots in the winner's circle of top ten placings and BC winnings.
What are the reasons for the continuing success story?

First, it is the research and design placed in the boot by the EasyCare Staff. The new Glue-Ons and Gloves are half the weight of traditional steel shoes, facilitating the work of our horses tremendously. They provide unprecedented cushioning and sole protection. They are easy to apply. They are healthy for the hooves.

Dian Woodward and Tania Kittel riding under the Pink Cliffs on day 4.

The Pink Cliffs.

Because of excessive July and August rains, this year's trails were rockier than usual. Horses without good hoof protection were risking bruising of the soles. None of our booted horses  had any issues with that. The horses moved effortlessly and easily through the often rough trails.

Loosing a boot, however, could have put a damper on your day. As we approach fall and cooler and wetter conditions in many locations, this is a good time for some reminders in application of your boots.

To have success with your Glue-Ons, it is of great importance to apply utmost diligence in your gluing process:
  • Select the proper size boot
  • Trim away any flares in the hoof wall
  • Eliminate any forging by facilitating quick breakover of the front hooves. (Long toes on  front and hind hooves could cause forging and potentially pull off front boots)
  • Structure the hoof wall with the rasp
  • Wire brush hoof wall and sole thoroughly
  • Dry the hoof wall with a heat gun or hair dryer
  • Avoid touching the inside of the boots with your bare hands (hands are always somewhat moist or oily and will prevent the glue from adhering properly to the boot)
  • Always carry a spare Easyboot Glove with you.
When using Easyboot Gloves, check the 3 screws that hold the cuffs in place frequently. Through vibration these screws can loosen and can fall out. You may also use some lock tite to keep them in place at all times.


Double Zell, Van Helsing and Halyva Night enjoying their feed during the Vet check on Powell Point, Day 4 at Bryce Canyon XP.

It is easy to get complacent and sometimes take shortcuts in your application of the boots. I hope these reminders will let you get the most out of your boots and enjoy your partnership with your horse.

Your Bootmeister


Barefoot Transition at 31

Barefoot horse, Timothy, at 31 years of age can attest that one is never too old to go barefoot and booted.

Timothy wore horseshoes all his life until last year. Diana Thompson tried taking him barefoot several times, but he became sore and she was forced to re-shoe him. In horse shoes, he had significant reverse palmer angles on his hinds; his soles were flat and walls were thin.

Last year Diana asked Linda Cowles to pull his shoes. Because his paddock terrain is extremely abrasive and his hind end was very sensitive (a result of the imbalance caused by his reverse palmer angles), they tried an assortment of protective hoof boots (Easyboot Rx, Old Macs and Easyboot Gloves) to keep him comfortable in his paddock. He was frequently barefoot in pasture. His walls and soles thickened up and grew dense in his first 3 months barefoot, and they were able to rebalanced the negative palmer angles so they are normal now for the first time in 20+ years).

This spring, while Diana erected her new covered arena over Tim’s usual day-time turn-out area, and he was restricted to his abrasive turnout paddock full time. He moved best in the Easyboot Gloves, but using them full time chaffed his heels, so Linda and Diana decided to try using Goober Glue to apply the Easyboot Glue-Ons to all four feet. He wore these glue-Ons almost non-stop for the 3+ month period of arena construction. Linda felt casting would have perhaps been best, but Diana was so impressed with how he moved in the Gloves, that they agreed to try full time Glue-On booting. It worked beautifully.

Timothy isn’t a typical 31 year old horse; he was notoriously athletic in his prime, and he still looks like a champion ready for the track or three day event course when he has a major frolic. He rips around the pasture at top speed, throwing in a bucking spree or roll-back on the fence for emphasis. In spite of his buoyant attitude, Tim’s Easyboot Glue-Ons stayed tight for 4 to 5 weeks at a time. Using Goober Glue they were able to easily clean up his shells and re-use them for the whole period. Needless to say the Glue-Ons are worn out at this point.

When the shells were pulled for a re-trim, his hoof condition was great. The wall and sole was a bit softer than normal until it dried out (3 or 4 hours), so occasionally the horse's boots were left off for a few days before re-gluing them. There were no problems resulting from having full time Glue-On boots on. His wall growth continued to be dense and thick, as it had been since pulling his shoes, and we never had a problem with thrush. When the shells came off, his frogs and sole were covered by a thick film of shedding keratin. Linda used a wire brush, hoof knife and pick to clean up the frog and sole, and he was ready for rebooting. There was no need to use any sole pack or thrush treatment and had great results.

Linda doesn't encourage this sort of long term booting with Glue-Ons under normal conditions, but for this sort of rehab situation, she was delighted with the results. This was a great temporary solution that was economical, and easy to apply.

Linda Cowles is a natural hoof care provider and EasyCare dealer in Santa Rosa, CA.  Linda was also recently featured as EasyCare' dealer of the month for August. Thank you Linda for the feedback and this great story!

EasyCare recommends that Easyboot Glue-Ons used for a time period greater than 10 consecutive days be done at your own discretion or the discretion of your natural hoof care provider. 

Watch 31 year old, barefoot horse Timothy show us what's he's got.

Debbie Schwiebert

easycare-vet-hcp-deaaler-accounts-manager-debbie-schwiebert

Vet Dealer & Hoof Care Practitioner Accounts

I manage the hoof care practitioner and veterinarian dealer accounts at EasyCare. An integral part of my job is to stay current in all areas of barefoot hoof care, which enables me to serve this vital group of EasyCare dealers at the next level.


Trimming Tools and the Art of Maintenance

There are many reasons for that development, but the fact is that more and more riders and horse owners are now trimming their horses hooves without the help of professional hoof technicians and farriers. Protective horse boots are replacing traditional horse shoes in ever increasing numbers. The Glue-On horse hoof boots and Easyboot Gloves are being used more and more in all equestrian disciplines.

Besides acquiring the necessary knowledge and training for hoof trimming, the horse owner also needs to know what tools to get for starters. Looking through tool catalogs, a newcomer might get quickly overwhelmed.

Out of all the available tools, I've selected five that I consider essential for successful hoof trimming:



These five are a must. Without having all five available, do not even start trimming your horses hooves.

Hoof rasps come in a range of prices from $5.00 to $25.00; hoof knives from $3.00 to $75.00; nippers from $35.00 to $225.00. Like in many areas of the tool market, you get what you pay for. Do not buy any cheap tools: you are wasting your money. They will not work well, make life hard and sooner or later you will throw them out to get something that works. Believe me, I have been there and learned the hard, or I might say, the expensive way.

Get some good tools, GE nippers are arguably the best, depending on your hand size, get nippers between 12 and 14 in. 15 in are also available, but I would only recommend them if you have very large hands and long arms. SaveEdge rasps are a good value. Get a handle with it. Purchase a hoof knife that fits your hand: middle to upper price range will suffice here; there are a lot of good knives around. Before buying a hoof knife, spend several minutes holding it, feeling it. Carry it around the store for a while, mimic trimming movements to get a feel for it. It has to feel right in your hand.

The hoof jack is a one time investment, yes, somewhat pricey, but you have to have a hoof stand. The hoof jack is one of the best. It comes with a cradle as well, so it saves your back. You would be wise to get one right away, not after you suffered already for a year and your back is out. By then, you already will have spent more money than the hoof jack costs on body work, massage and chiropractic. The big advantage the Hoof Jack has over other hoof stands is the stability. It won't tip over if you have an unruly horse or one that constantly tries to pull the hoof away from you. Furthermore, you can stabilize it even more by placing your feet over the base. It is really solid then, no other hoof stand lets you do that.


These five tools are necessary to do good and effective hoof trimming. At the Global Endurance Training Center in Moab, we have been using and testing these tools for years and found them to be very useful and also sufficient for most hoof trims. They all have quality and they all last well. Let's say you invested $400 to $500. Now you need to take care of them to increase their life expectancy and usefulness.

Below are some maintenance tools that are inexpensive to acquire but will save you lots in the long run.


We have sharpening tools for your hoof knives, the Swissistor tool works the easiest. Chainsaw sharpening files are also popular, work really well to sharpen the curve of the hoof knife. Stones and metal files do not work as well for the curved tip.

Your rasp should always get stored in a piece of cloth or a protective sleeve. I like to use piece of irrigation pipe. It works great and doesn't cost more than a dime at the most.


A new rasp should last you for about 20 horses; let's say about 80 to 100 hooves. Provided you are following a few tips and tricks to extend the life of a rasp:

1. Always clean the hoof before rasping. The hoof below is in no shape to put your expensive rasp to work.


First use your hoof pick to clean as much as possible, then the wire brush to remove all sand and grit.


Now the hoof is ready for using the nippers or the rasp.


2. Use your nippers more than your rasp. It is easier and time saving.

3. Use the whole rasp. Too many people have a tendency making short strokes, make long and smooth strokes.

4. Use the rasp in a singe direction. No back and forth scrubbing, but instead in the forward cutting way, the way the rasp pattern is designed to cut. Look at the rasp so you understand the way it cuts.

5.When switching from using the nippers to the rasps, don't just toss your tools around on the ground. Place them carefully on a soft towel or board. You can also use the magnets of your hoof jack to lean the tools against when not using them.

6. After finishing your trim, brush your rasp clean with a non metal brush. Wire brushes will dull the rasp. Then store them in a dry environment. Rust will shorten their life.

7. Have all your tools protected when in transport. Don't let them bounce around in a box.


A word on the nippers: good nippers can last you many years. The same rules apply for protection as with the rasps. Don't use them on a dirty hoof, treat them with great care and use some oil or WD 40 to keep them protected from moisture. Rasps should not be oiled, however, it compromises the cutting and makes them collect dirt. Even when you take good care of your nippers, eventually they will dull. You can send it in to have it refurbished. Do not attempt to sharpen the nippers yourself. You will end up ruining them. Guaranteed. It takes great skill and knowledge to sharpen nippers. There are also mail-to services available to sharpen your rasp, but to make it cost effective with shipping, you should mail in several rasps together.

After you are done with your trim, wrap your nippers in a sleeve or protective cloth piece.


Hope these tips will help you getting most out of your investment.

Till the next time,

Your Bootmeister


Carry a Spare Easyboot

Carry an Easyboot or get a sense of humor! 
Does this sound familiar? This was one of EasyCare's first catch phrases, back when the only hoof boot product available was the Easyboot and most horses were shod. People would carry an Easyboot in their saddlepacks in case they lost a shoe, in fact many people still do.
 

 
 
Times are changing
More and more people are moving their equine partners toward natural horse care, transitioning their horse to barefoot and using some of the newer protective horse hoof protection such as the Epic, Easyboot Glove, and Glue-On. But the notion of carrying a spare applies more now than ever: if you are going on a multi-day ride, a pack trip or a riding vacation, make sure you are prepared in case of an emergency. 

Plan ahead
You carry a spare tire when you go on a road trip even though most of the time you never have to use it. Why not carry an extra boot when going on a trip with your horse? Planning ahead for unforseen situations can really make or break the trip you have been planning with your horse.

Remember, failing to prepare is preparing to fail
You can go to our on-line store or your local dealer to order your extra boot or boot accessories and while you are at it, order an EasyCare Hoof Boot Stowaway Bag to carry them in.

Shari Murray

easycare-customer-service-shari-murray

Customer Service

If you call the customer service help desk, you’ll probably get me on the phone! I process repairs, returns, credits and exchanges that come into EasyCare.

The Barefoot Horse and Hoof Boots Take a Huge Step Forward with Haggin Cup Win!

It was a day for all barefoot horses.  A day that will help the practice of keeping horses barefoot be less challenged in the future.  It was a day that Dr. Neel Glass (the inventor of the Easyboot) would have been proud. 

There are countless equestrian sports available to horse enthusiasts and different types of competitions within each discipline.  From dressage to eventing, to cutting, to reining, to jumping, to driving and endurance to name a few.  Each sport is exciting, competitive and invariably has its own event of significance within the discipline: like the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event for eventing, The Kentucky Derby for Thoroughbred racing and the Tevis Cup for endurance racing.  These historical events define the sport segment.  It’s where horsemen and horsewomen take their horses to measure them against the best.

The Tevis Cup 100-mile horse race is unquestionably one of the most difficult equine events in the world.  It has a deep tradition and its 55 year history defines the sport of endurance racing.  The challenging trail stretches from North Lake Tahoe in California to Auburn, California.  Riders and equines climb over Emigrant Pass at nearly 9,000 feet; traverse canyons with swinging bridges and ride in temperatures that often climb over 100 degrees.  Average completion rates run in the 50% range year after year after year.

Garrett and The Fury traverse the Granite Chief Wilderness

 

The winning horse and rider team is presented with the “ Tevis Cup”.  Winning ride times average 15 hours and the course record of 10:46 was set by Boyd Zontelli on Ruchcreek Hans.  The list of Tevis Cup winners reads like a legends of the sport list and is an award that most endurance riders can hardly imagine.

Although many look at the Tevis Cup as the ultimate achievement in endurance racing, others argue that the Haggin Cup is more prestigious.  Dr. Richard Barsaleau, a veterinarian who joined the race in 1961, was instrumental in creating this distinction, which he saw as an objective award that would recognize horsemanship, conditioning and respect for the health of the mounts.  But it would also honor great performance. Starting in 1964 the top ten horses would be judged for the Haggin Cup.  In her book, “The Tevis Cup: To Finish is to Win,” author Marnye Langer wrote: “Many people, especially noted horsemen, have come to regard the Haggin Cup as the most prestigious honor one can earn, and the award remains unique in both the sport of endurance and other equestrian pursuits as well.”

Garrett accepts the Haggin Cup Award at the Auburn Fairgrounds

 

Over the 55 year history of the Tevis Cup the majority of finishing and entering horses were fitted with steel iron horse shoes: horses required shoes to finish the grueling course.  In 1970 Dr. Neel Glass developed the Easyboot and rode the Tevis Cup five years later to show the world that his alternative hoof protection could complete the event.  Neel successfully completed the 1975 Tevis Cup and gave horse people everywhere an alternative means of hoof protection.  Neel’s Easyboot invention was quickly adopted as the “spare tire” for the horse.  Trail riders, endurance riders and equine owners across the world in all disciplines now carry a spare in case they ever lose a horseshoe.

Just as the Tevis Trail has changed over the years, so too has technology and the equipment used to compete at the event.  Saddles have become lighter and more flexible; feed and electrolytes have improved and hoof care has evolved dramatically.  Steel shoes are now seen next to urethane shoes and next to advanced versions of Dr Glass’ original Easyboot.

The Fords Junior at the Finish Line. Hand in hand after 100 miles.

 

Natural hoof care and booting the endurance horse for tough events is growing faster than any other type of hoof protection.  What was once thought to be impossible is now common practice for the barefoot horse fitted with Easyboots.  The 2010 event had at least 34 horses officially start in Easyboots and 20 horses finish: a 59% completion rate.  In 2009 the event had 20 horses start the event in Easyboots and 15 horses finish: a 75% completion rate.  Comparing the finish rates of the barefoot booted horse to the average overall finish rate of 50% suggests that barefoot booted horses are here to stay and that their numbers can only increase.

Garrett shows The Fury for the Haggin Cup.  Powerful and forward, a moment for the barefoot horse after a demanding 100 mile event.

 

The Haggin Cup has been won in the past by horses wearing Easyboots over iron shoes.  Sandy Brown and Ruby (The Wonder Mule) took home the Haggin Cup in 1998.  Heather Reynolds and Crystal’s Charm repeated with Easyboots in 1999.

The Haggin Cup, however, has eluded the barefoot horse until now.  The 2010 Haggin Cup makes history for the barefoot horse.  The Fury raced five 2010 endurance events leading up to the Tevis Cup in Easyboot Gloves, recording two Best Condition awards along the way.  Easyboot Glue-Ons were selected to protect Fury’s bare feet during the 2010 Tevis event and to help the barefoot horse make history.

An intimate look at the Haggin Cup Award: More Than the Cup

 

The 2010 awarding of the Haggin Cup to a barefoot horse marks a historic point in endurance racing and technological advancements.  One of the most difficult and demanding equine events in the world was just completed by 20 barefoot equines and the most prestigious award in endurance racing was just won by a barefoot horse.  It marks a significant change and proves that if an endurance horse can complete the toughest event in boots, so can most horse owners complete their back-country trails and equine pursuits successfully.

Congratulations to The Fury for making history and establishing change.  Thank you Dr. Neel Glass for inventing the Easyboot and giving horses and equestrians a choice!

Click here to see The Fury showing for the Haggin Cup.

 

How to Watch Our Webinars if You're Not On Facebook

If you don't like the idea of getting a Facebook account and you still want to watch the recordings of this week's EasyCare webinars, we have good news for you.
 
You can click on each of the video players below and watch them without logging into a Facebook account.
 
The webinars were fun to do and provided us with a wonderful opportunity to interact in real time with clients from across the country.

We got the following note from Lisa in Utah:

Please pass along my deepest thanks to Garrett, Kevin, Duncan and everyone who is making the webinars possible.

The shoe vs boot debate can get rabid at times! People are so passionate about it, wanting to do the right thing but knowing only ONE thing. You HAVE to play 'devils advocate' when making such a shift, leave no stone unturned, ask the right questions. You don't know what you don't know.

Shifting paradigms takes leadership, and great tact. You all do a fabulous job at answering questions, from newbies like me to critics everywhere.

"Forge" ahead!
 
 And we got this note from Gene in Vermont:

I have spent the last three days sitting at our computer between 7-8 EST glued to the Webinars. This live format is such a great idea! As when a question comes up in ones mind they can ask.
 
The first day was so nice seeing you all apply boots and discuss applications that your finding to work best. Being a visual learner makes all the difference when questions arise. And the fact that things happen, like when Kevin hit the boot on the footed he had taped and it popped off at first. Not a big deal, but for someone home alone trying to do they might freak out and say in wouldn't go on when they really need to be a little more forceful. Also seeing people writing their excitement over seeing the famous horses was fun. It was all educational and entertaining enough to make me get by the computer on Tuesday night.
 
The maintenance trim information was really good. Sometimes someone explains something you have heard a number of times and all of a sudden it becomes very clear what a number of others have been trying to say. So I thought this was great. Bring back the heel, then the toes then the quarters. I just seems to be systematic and make sense and I had not seen it or paid attention enough. I felt the overall delivery gave me more confidence working on my own horses.
 
Last night I abandoned our truck at the garage for the second night to watch the conclusion on the trilogy. Nutrition is such a big part of our performance horses that a lot of us don't really understand. Duncan gave some great basic guidelines as well as some good resources learning more. A few breaks in-between allowed soaking time of the information. And gave Garrett a opportunity to discuss some new products in the works just to wet everyone's appetites, with improved products and cutting edge new technology. All in all it was very informative and a great format. 



Webinar # 1: Easyboot Glove Fit & Easyboot Glue-On Application - Part I of II


Webinar #1: Easyboot Glove Fit & Easyboot Glue-On Application - Part II of II
 

Webinar #2: Hoof Care Maintenance & Trimming for the Amateur
 

Webinar #3: Nutrition Basics for the Barefoot Horse

We plan to air a second series of webinars in September. Please let us know if there is a specific topic you would like us to address.

Keep up the bootlegging!

Kevin Myers
 

Thank You Easycare, Inc!

I have made the incredibly hard decision to move back home and leave Easycare Inc. These last two working weeks have made me reflect on this last year and what I have learned and experienced working with Easyboots!

Removing my first Glue On in Durango
Removing my first Glue On boot in Durango Colorado

Just 2 months out of college, I packed up all my stuff and moved to beautifull Durango Co last August where I was to start my journey. My horse Abe had shoes on all four hooves and I was eager to pull them and learn about hoof boots. I had seen Easyboots at endurance rides but had never used them myself. In Durango I learned about all the different models and helped Garrett condition his horses for endurance rides. I also got to compete at quite a few races and see the boots in action.

Riding a booted horse at the Bryce Canyon XP Ride
Testing boots at an endurance ride in beautiful Bryce Canyon

A month later I was sent to Global Endurance in Moab Utah, where I helped Christoph Schork and Dian Woodward condition their many horses for endurance rides. Both Christoph and Dian use the Easyboot Glove and Glue Ons, and I had the privilege of seeing first hand how they condition their horses to become some of the top endurance horses in the country.

Training ride in Moab UT with Dian and Christoph
One of the many training rides in Moab with Dian and Christoph
 
After a little over a month I traveled back to my final destination of Tucson AZ where I started working in the office and where I got to see and help out behind the scenes of Easycare. I met some very dedicated people who are very passionate about barefoot horses and the comfort that Easyboots can give them.

In Tucson I also got to help out with conditioning Garrett's horses and started helping customers at rides. I used the boots almost everyday and really got a feel for them. I saw the changes in my own horse and really made a commitment to keeping my horse barefoot. In the past I've told people that if I left my job tomorrow I would continue to keep my horse barefoot and use Easyboots and I plan to stand by that.

Glueing boots on at an Endurance Race
Debbie and I glue boots on at the Lost Padres ride.
 
You have to realize that when you talk to someone from Easycare that they are more then just sales people, they have barefoot horses too and they have witnessed the same changes that I have in my horse. They really want these boots to work for you and will do whatever they can to try and make the process as easy as possible.
 
I will continue to attend endurance rides and use boots on my horse. I really believe in what I've learned here at Easycare and if you see me at a ride and have questions, please don't hesitate to ask! My favorite part was helping at the races and I hope to keep a little part of that always.

I somehow managed to glue a mallet to myself at a ride!
Somehow gluing a mallet to myself in the dark!
 
To everyone at Easycare and all the people I have met along the way; thank you for making this past year an absolute blast! The memories and experience I have gained is priceless and I will miss working with you everyday!

See you out on the trail!


Miriam Rezine

easycare-customer-service-miriam-rezine

Customer Service

You will probably speak with me if you call the EasyCare office to make a purchase or if you need help with one of our products. I am proud to work for a company dedicated to the health and well being of our equine partners.

Ride Tevis for Free Contestants Announced

On Saturday, July 24, 2010, approximately 200 riders will cross the start line of the 54th edition of the Tevis Cup. 36 of them will be officially competing in the Ride Tevis for Free Contest, which means that if they cross the finish line at the Auburn Fairgrounds their ride entry and belt buckle will be provided to them courtesy of EasyCare.

Competing riders must start and finish the race wearing four Easyboots. Although most of the riders will be using Easyboot Glue-Ons on barefoot horses, some contestants are using Original Easyboots glued on over steel shoes.

“That’s not all,” said Julia Lynn-Elias of Dewey, AZ, who is one of the contestants. “EasyCare is providing the boots for the event; the tools and equipment needed to apply the boots and the EasyCare staff are applying the boots for the riders. I'm definitely feeling lucky!”
 
As soon as competing riders cross the finish line at the Auburn Fairgrounds on July 24 or 25, 2010, EasyCare will reimburse riders their entry fees. The stakes are without question in favor of riders in Easyboots: the completion rate of horses in Easyboot Glue-Ons at the 2009 Tevis was an impressive 70% compared to the 50% average overall completion rate of all horses entered in the competition.

Riders will descend 23,000 feet and climb 19,000 feet. They will have to trot and canter up and down hard-packed service roads, pick their way through boulder fields and bogs and canter through forest trails. They will wade through rivers, navigate steep canyons, climb the infamous Cougar Rock and stumble their way in the thick, soupy darkness of night along precipitous mountain trails no wider than a horse.

We're all set up for a gluing festival, splitting the appointments over three days in two locations. More than half of the competing horses will have their boots applied at Barn 2 at the Auburn Fairgrounds. We've got a couple of stalls set up that will keep the horses out of the direct sunlight. The appointments start on Wednesday and Thursday in Auburn and then move up to Robie Park in Truckee on Thursday afternoon and Friday.

Ride Tevis for Free Contestants
  1. Laurie Birch
  2. Nicole Chappell
  3. Crystal Costa
  4. Connie Creech
  5. Karen Deaver
  6. Karen Donley
  7. JJ Donley
  8. Kathie Ford
  9. Garrett Ford
  10. Lisa Ford
  11. Rodger Ford
  12. Julia Lynn
  13. Debra Karl
  14. Paschal Karl
  15. Tennessee Mahoney
  16. Leah McCombs
  17. Duncan McLaughlin
  18. Kathy Myers
  19. Dave Rabe
  20. Heather Reynolds
  21. Jeremy Reynolds
  22. Tim Reynolds
  23. Carla Richardson
  24. Vicki Saitta
  25. Robin Schadt
  26. Christoph Schork
  27. David Shefrin
  28. Kathy Sherman
  29. Pascale Soumoy
  30. Steph Teeter
  31. Rusty Toth
  32. Kevin Waters
  33. Dian Woodward
  34. Janet Worts
  35. Kris Wright
Please join me in wishing all of our riders the very best of luck in the most gruelling of competitions. I'll be at the vet checks cheering them on and assisting them in any way that I can. I can hardly wait!

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.

Ride, Baby, Ride!

And ride we did. At the 2011 Bandit Springs Endurance Ride, in the Ochoco National Forest. Again, it was easily one of my absolute FAVORITE endurance rides of all time. As I posted last week, we were "just" doing the 80. And I must say that was a damn good decision! While my mare could have done twenty more miles, she was sufficiently tired at 80 and I was spent! The last 20 mile loop would have been loooooooong! 

The ride really started the week prior, as it seemed to take forever to pack and prepare. I got my Easyboot Glue-Ons glued on with a new-to-me method and we didn't finish up packing until Thursday morning, when we were supposed to be leaving! We finally got out of town and were on our way to Oregon! 

Arriving at the Bandit Springs ride camp Thursday afternoon. 

We arrived Thursday afternoon to the most beautiful ridecamp you could imagine. I can never get enough of this place. It was hot and muggy, both of which we haven't had this year. I was a bit worried about the humidity, specifically, as that can really hurt your horse. We had an amazing dinner hosted by John and Susan Favro of Healthy As A Horse, and chatted with good friends. The next morning dawned HOT AND humid! Yikes! It was a really fun day filled with mini-seminars by farriers and two of the ride vets, my husband and head vet, Cassee Terry. The ride ALSO put on a mini-clinic, Endurance 101, which for a minimal fee newbie endurance riders could attend. I volunteered to be a mentor and had a lot of fun. I hope it helped the transition to the endurance community for some of these newbies. I was also able to help another rider with Easyboot Glue-On shells that I happened to have used from last year, as he didn't have the right size. 

We got to bed at a good hour and I actually slept great! 4AM came too quick, but I was up and ready with time to spare. The 80's and 100's started the ride at 5AM, and with only a dozen or so riders on the trail, winding through the mountain meadows in the soft light of dawn was quiet and peaceful. Unfortunately my mare had other ideas. The mare I was bragging on just the week prior, about being able to ride her in dental floss, proved me wrong. I actually thought about that spade bit The Cowboy mentioned! We caught up with some other riders about 8 miles from the first vet check, and cruised in on the 20 mile loop in just under three hours. She didn't eat well at that first check and I was sick with worry, knowing we had 60 more miles to go, and a hot day developing. The next stretch to the out-check was awful. I was frustrated, angry, worried and sad. I was lonely and really missed my normal riding buddies! My self-pity was short-lived, however, as we were soon dropping into the out-check at about 35 miles. Thankfully at that time I met up with one of my Idaho pals who was riding the 100, and we left together and rode from the out-check back to camp in each others company. 


Indian Prairie- absolutely stunning.


Riding through the Aspens in the prairie. 
 
Amazing wildflowers were everywhere!

Back into camp, we were at 50 miles. The awesome company was a lifesaver on that particularly HARD loop. I wasn't feeling great and was thankful for the hour hold. At this time Replika was eating and drinking like her normal self, and I knew we were over halfway done. I was finally able to take care of myself. After eating a big 'ole sandwich, drinking plenty of water and a Red Bull, we were ready to rock. Replika and I headed back out alone on the same twenty mile loop we had done first thing that morning. I was so happily surprised to leave on a forward, focused horse! At that point we were an hour behind the first place horse. I had gotten so hot on the previous loop I actually used my Cool Medics vest for the first time. I have had the vest for about two years but have never really been bothered by the heat. Man that thing was a lifesaver!! Since I had already done this loop, I knew where to slow down, where to make time and where there was water for Replika. I also decided to run the downhills which was a really good idea and was refreshing for both myself and Replika. 

Amazing views and tons of single track.


These pie plates sport the names of all the riders past who have blown by the turn over to the left, over the bridge, and to Grandmother's house we go... ride management really has a sense of humor at this ride!


Replika chowing down at 70 miles. Only 10 to go pumpkin!
 
We came in on that loop only three minutes slower than we did the first time. It was starting to cool down and the last half of the loop was almost completely shaded as it was nearing 6PM. We only had ten miles left to go! Did I really have this much horse left?!?! After another short half-hour hold, we were off again. Replika once again flew out of the vet check and surprised me with her enthusiasm. I again ran the downhills and we slowed for the long, long climbs. We took turns showing each other the deer and antelope that were grazing in the meadows aside the trail. She ate and drank with gusto, but never hesitated when I gave a kiss to pick up the trot. Coming into camp for the last time I was almost brought to tears. My mare trotted right through camp to the finish, ears pricked and feeling fresh. I was shocked when I saw the first place horse completing their ten minute CRI. Did we really make up that much time?!?! We did! We had a perfectly respectable CRI and she showed great for BC. While we didn't win BC, we won High Vet Score by 40 points!! I guess that's the downside of being a featherweight, but I certainly can't complain! 

My little red rocket, the next morning. Looking pretty good! 
 
The next morning, I told my husband it was the ride of all emotions! I laughed, I cried, I was sad, frustrated and worried. I was also joyous and giddy. All in the course of about sixteen hours. I missed my riding buddies, and worried about my friends who had tackled the Big Horn. I felt alone and yet became aware of the intrinsic partnership and teamwork I share with my little red mare. As I was chatting with my friend who had completed the 100 the night before, she told me that aside from Tevis, this was the most difficult 100 she had ever completed. I plugged my GPS into the computer as soon as we arrived home and was not shocked to see we had approximately 19,000 feet of elevation change throughout the 80 miles. The hundred would have added approximately 25,000 feet of change. This ride is no joke!

At a stop on the drive home. It was super hot and a long drive. 

Going back to the topic at hand, which would be barefoot horses, I have to say this was the first endurance ride I have done on my mare, where she absolutely felt 100% over all surfaces. There was a lot of rock on this ride, fortunately it was mostly concentrated to certain long-sections of the trail, so you weren't constantly subjected to the good/bad footing crisis. When it was bad, it was bad, and vice versa. I was super happy to have the full protection of the Easyboot Glue-Ons and was thrilled when I realized she hadn't taken a short step in all of 80 miles. Her feet are finally getting there!!!! 

Now, not to gloat because I truly believe in karma, I am just stating the facts here. There were upwards of TWENTY lost shoes throughout the miles on Saturday's rides. YIKES! There were several boggy sections that I guess turned into shoe-suckers. I felt secure and confident in my boots and they were absolutely solid this morning, seven days after I applied them. As I posted last week, I used a bit of Adhere to secure the boots while the Goober Glue set, which did make pulling them a bit harder, but not un-doable at all. I will for sure be using this method for all my gluing on needs in the future! 

As of now, Replika will enjoy some time off. Although she didn't loose much weight, she can hang out and do as she pleases. She really deserves it! For me, well, I've got my hands full with two green-beans. I'm looking forward to spending some time with my boys!! 


Keep up the riding- it's gorgeous out there!!!

Amanda Washington
SW Idaho


Product Placement

Sometimes things just fall into place. Most of the time, though it may seem like a lucky coincidence, it's the result of determination, hard work, and an unwavering belief in what you're doing.

The success of the latest EasyCare hoof boot designs can be thought of this way. Things seem to be falling into place left and right for the Easyboot Glove and Easyboot Glue-On in particular. From the amazing real world success they're seen in endurance riding, to the worldwide acceptance that they've gained, it's clear that we're onto something big in hoof protection and natural hoof care.

At first glance, this may seem like a run of good luck for EasyCare hoof boots. While we do feel quite fortunate to be experiencing the amazing success we're seeing lately, we're also keenly aware that it's no coincidence. We've been working hard for years, decades even, to refine and perfect the hoof boot design.

We've patiently but firmly spread the word that metal horse shoes, while currently very popular, are based on ancient technology that has changed very little over thousands of years, and that hoof boots are the way of the future.

Now we're coming full circle: just this month we published an advertisement in a magazine that is mainly focused on metal horse shoeing, The American Farrier's Journal. As luck would have it, our ad was placed directly next to an ad for metal horse shoes, and we can't help but smile at the "coincidence".




Gabriel Luethje

easycare-graphic-designer-gabriel-luethje

Graphic Design

As the graphic designer and photographer, I am responsible for the design and implementation of all of the EasyCare visual marketing materials including website, blogs, catalogs, brochures and packaging for our products.