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.

Another Shamrock Report


As you can see in the last Shamrock report, we had all sorts of conditions this year near Wheatland, WY. Our family ran the barefoot spectrum: son Joe's horse wore Glue-ons, Mom Yvette's horse wore Gloves, and my horse was barefoot. And the conditions varied just as much: rock, smooth pasture, water crossings, heat, cold, hills, sun, rain, hail, etc ... you name it. For our family, and our horses, that's really the big advantage of boots: versatility. We can keep our horses barefoot most of the time, but still take them to areas of different footing without fear, and without hassle. Our horses are expected to be versatile: trail riding, endurance, CTR, hunting, packing. The boots really allow them to go from one use to another, while remaining barefoot in between. We used to see steel shoes as the hoof care that allowed convenience, and it's true that steel shoes are in some ways the "easy answer." But we've come to discover that boots are the real "easy answer" because they allow our horses be more versatile.

Name: John Haeberle
City: Laramie
State: WY
Country: USA
Equine Discipline: Endurance
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glue-On

Booting Up

Well it's about that time again, and I am starting to panic about the "to-do" list that needs to get done before we leave for Bandit Springs on Thursday morning. Bandit Springs is top three on my list of most favorite endurance rides. I love the ridecamp, the trails and the atmosphere. It's a big ride and is managed extremely well. I always look forward to going into the Ochoco National Forest for this ride! 

Despite the ridiculous amount of peer pressure and cyber-bullying that I have received about doing the 100, I have decided to "just" do the 80. Since when did 80 miles become a "just"?!?! All I know is I am *really* excited to ride my little red rocket for 80 miles. She is my absolute favorite ride, ever. Can't wait!!

Ready to go? 

First thing on my to-do list was gluing boots. While sometimes I get a little jealous of my friends who make a quick phone call and come home to magically new pony feet, all clean and ready to go in steel shoes. But, the feeling is fleeting as I realize a) I am too much of a control freak to allow anyone to mess with my horses without me being there, and b) if I have to stand and hold horses for the farrier, I might as well do it myself and pocket the cash I would be spending on horseshoes! I would still be out an hour or so, so it really is a wash in the $ and time department. No comparison on the benefits to the horse. 

All of my supplies laid out before starting...

I decided to use a different glue on process when applying my Easyboot Glue-Ons this time around. While I have been using Goober Glue exclusively for the past year, I decided to add a little Adhere to prevent the twisting that always seems to occur with Replika's boots. While I usually mix the Goober Glue with a little water in a small bowl, this time I applied the glue directly from the gun into the boot. I left a little space at the top of the boot, where I applied the Adhere. I did my regular method of twisting the boot upon placing it on the foot, but instead of setting the foot down, I held it up while the Adhere cured. I think it worked pretty well!!! 

After the Adhere cured, I put the foot down and went about gluing the other boots. The process took about 30 minutes, and then I let her stand and eat for another hour while I did some chores. An hour later I checked boots and none were twisted and they seemed very secure. Out she went and fingers crossed! 

After gluing. I actually did pretty well today not making a humungo mess. I didn't even get glue all over her chrome!


Finished job. Look how tidy!!
 
I am sorry about the lack of pictures, it's really hard to do everything and try and get pictures, by yourself, without ruing your phone in the process!! 

Stay tuned for next week, hopefully it's a successful update!! I also want to wish everyone who is heading over to Big Horn and other endurance rides this weekend! I will for sure be thinking about everyone. 

Happy riding everyone!

~ Amanda Washington
SW Idaho




Reporting on the Cooley Ranch Endurance Ride

Submitted by Christina Kramlich

Last weekend I had the pleasure to attend the Cooley Ranch Ride in Sonoma County, California.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s a must-do event. The beautiful setting on a private ranch, the people, the food, the wine, great prizes, and most of all, incredible trails make this one of my very favorite rides.  Last year, Forrest Tancer and Cynthia Ariosta took over the management of the ride from Ruth Waltenspiel, and they had big shoes to fill because Ruth put on a fabulous ride for many years.  But Forrest and Cynthia made it a 2-day 100, added their own unique flavor (how many rides serve lunch, delicious catered dinners, and offer wine tasting?), and did an outstanding job the first year out. This year they continued to improve it. It was so well organized that there were rarely any lines for the vet, despite 150 or so riders! 


As I mentioned earlier, this is a great ride to attend, even when not riding! This week I’m going into my eighth month of pregnancy, so for the moment I’m relegated to “crew” but I didn’t even do that this weekend, as I was busy toddler wrangling my already-horse-crazy-2-year-old. Somehow my trailer got packed on Thursday and my horses were in the trailer when we drove out of the driveway Friday morning, thanks to my friends Pascale Soumoy, Melanie Lourme, and Joanna Proctor. Pascale and Melanie did a fabulous job of completing both days on Czeale SF and Billy the Sid.  Czeale was coming off of not doing much for the last few months, and Billy is fit but fat, so the goal was just to get through both days with both horses feeling good – and they did! Both of these horses have been barefoot for about a year and a half, and I have been thrilled with the progress their feet have made and how it has affected their movement.


The weather was pleasantly cool on Friday, heated up on Saturday, and was blistering hot on Sunday.  The Cooley Ranch is located in an extremely hilly part of northern Sonoma County.  The hills are relentless, and while it’s usually hot in June, Sunday’s temperatures went into the 100s in spots and made all those hills even more challenging for horses and riders.  Fortunately there were lots of creek crossings during the ride, so riders did have opportunities to cool their horses off.  Needless to say, ride times were longer on Sunday by about two hours, with the front runners finishing around 2:30 after a 6am start. Tough ride. Back in camp, my little girl Larkin was thrilled to be there with some of her favorite people, tons of dogs and horses, and lots to explore in the creek.

 
Booting Challenges
I try to look at every ride (and therefore every gluing session) as an opportunity to try something new that I didn’t do the previous time, or correct mistakes I made previously. My hands are not very big, and I find that they lack the strength needed to get enough Adhere out of the gun before it starts hardening up inside the shell. I have had much better luck with Goober Glue (especially in the dry months), and more recently, good luck with the new Goober Glue, so I was planning to use that for both of my horses.  Thursday was booting day. A friend of a friend, Joan, cam over because she had never glued on boots before and wanted to watch and get some advice.  She had done a lot of reading and came prepared with Adhere and Goober Hoof Pack. She brought her horse and we got started. Pascale, Melanie, and Joanna were there to help too. We got started on Czeale and worked our way from the back feet to the fronts. A drawback to Goober Glue is that it takes a bit longer to cure than Adhere, so you have to hold up a hoof for a while after gluing each one, which gets tedious. Sometimes one or the other front boot gets twisted in the curing process, and if I catch it in time I try to correct it. If I have Adhere on hand, sometimes I can get just enough in place inside the boot, pop the boot on again in the correct position, and smear some Adhere around the top to seal it while the rest of the glue is setting inside. It’s not pretty but it has worked in the past and we did it on one of Czeale’s feet this time. Yes, I did read that post on Thursday morning about the Adhere “lock”, which I thought was a great idea, but I just don’t think I have enough hand strength, especially these days with pregnancy carpal tunnel, to put enough of it in the quarters to stay on.  Plus I was willing to give the new Goober Glue another chance since it worked well on my mare a few weeks ago when Pascale took her to a ride.  Anyway, Melanie has helped and observed several gluing sessions and when Czeale’s boots were on and I realized I needed to sit down for a while, she helped Joan with her horse. I was nearby, making sure they didn’t miss any steps. 19 and strong, Melanie does not have the same issues that I have with Adhere, and she likes that fact that it sets so fast.  Joan’s horse’s feet were done about 45 minutes later, and then Mel moved on to put Billy’s boots on, also using Adhere. His boots went on, stayed on overnight in the pasture, and off we went in the morning to the ride.

My takeaway was that I am happy with the new Goober Glue and will still plan to have Adhere on hand for last minute saves. 


It is stunning and as you can see, the ups and downs are endless! I should line up babysitting now so I can actually ride it next year!

Christina Kramlich

Relief Is Just An Hour Away!

I recently posted about transition in my newest horse, Khopy. I decided to give him some longer-term support, by gluing on Easycare Glue-On Shells with Goober Glue

I trimmed him just a tad (backed up his toe) and slapped on some shells with Goober Glue straight out of the gun. I would normally mix the glue with water, but given the fact this horse actually STANDS STILL, I wasn't too concerned. Khopy stood like an angel at the trailer while the glue set, which took about 20 minutes,  and took off bucking and galloping in his pasture after fully setting in about two hours!


I glued on boots Friday afternoon, and had a ride planned with my pal on Sunday. Exercise is so important during the transition process, as it stimulates the hoof to grow and gets the horse used to moving barefoot, even in boots. We headed up to the trail-head at the base of the mountain and up we went!!

We looked at the cows....


Inspected rocks...


And shared a Chocolate-Peppermint Luna bar. YUM

Khopy felt great, and we kept the speed very slow, always walking over the rocks and on the downhills. As always, what a great ride!!!! I'm starting to get to know this horse and appreciate his quiet, thoughtful nature. While he can be moody and touchy, he really seemed to enjoy himself on our outing. At one point during our climb to the top, he slammed on his breaks and turned right, quick! I thought he was spooking at something to the left, but quickly realized he just wanted to take in the view. We had come to an incredible clearing, looking all the way down to the valley, and he just looked and looked. When he had enough, he straightened himself out and started back up the trail. Pretty cute!!

Khopy takes in the views.
 

Back at the trailer, the ponies make a mess, and below, Granite tells us what he thought of the s.l.o.w. ride!

 

On Wednesday, we had our weekly dressage lesson. My trainer didn't notice his glued-on boots, but commented several times on his progress and his movement that day. He moved freely in our extended trot passes across the diagonals, and had some really great lateral work. Thank you Easyboot!! 

I pulled Khopy's boots yesterday, ten days after I applied them. It had rained the night before, so the ground was still forgiving. His feet really weren't any softer than my other gelding who has been out barefoot, because of the rain. Khopy moved comfortably across the gravel and took off up the hill in his pasture after turning him out. I will re-evaluate him tomorrow have no problem re-gluing boots on again this weekend if he needs more time. I transitioned Replika last fall by gluing and re-gluing boots for a couple weeks. Two months after I got her, she went on to complete 205 miles in four days at the Owyhee Canyonlands 5-day ride. I can't wait to look back on this when I am able to ride Khopy barefoot over all terrain like I know can Replika. And no, I did not buy Khopy just because I already had a Replika!! My friends joke that I should change Topper's name to Duplicate or something like that!! 

Boots before removing on the eleventh day.
Eleven days, post gluing. We did three rides plus several sessions in the round pen. Rides included an 18-mile trail ride, a one hour lesson in the ring and a 10-mile trail ride. Not to mention all the miles this guys puts on his boots galloping around the 25 acre pasture several times  day!! 


The quarters are starting to loosen up, but they were still on plenty tight! 
 
I know it's more work (for the owner, that is!) to glue on boots, and sometimes it *would* be easier to just call out the farrier and have a set of shoes nailed on, but it's really worth the effort for me. I also hope that people really look at the cost, and understand that it isn't more than the cost of shoeing. Four Glue-On Shells will run you $92, and a tube of Goober Glue, which is extremely soft and provides excellent support in the sole area, will cost you $15. That is $107 for instant relief! I know in our area, a good set of shoes will run you $100-$125, and after six weeks it's another check to the farrier. I think the BEST thing about gluing is you can re-use the shells several times for rides and even more for therapeutic use as described above! They really end up being the cheaper option! 

With the different options in the market today, I hope people step up the face the challenges found in some transitions, armed with glue and shells!! It feels GOOD to be able to make my horse comfortable, with a long-term goal of bare feet in mind!!

Happy Gluing!! 

~ Amanda Washington
SW Idaho

Solutions for Tender-Footed Horse Hooves

We've all seen it: the horse with sensitive sole, the tender footed horse that gives, sometimes almost collapses when stepping on a rock. There can be a variety of causes for sensitive soles.

- Excess moisture in the hoof. An average hoof sole should have about a 33% moisture content. With lots of rain and on soft or wet ground this percentage can increase substantially, which then softens the sole and increases sensitivity.
- Knife-happy trimming. Excess paring of the sole beyond removing flaky dead sole can increase sole sensitivity.
- Dropped soles and flat soles. Soles with little concavity will be more sensitive to rocks.
- Bruised soles are sensitive. Horses exposed to too many rocks without proper toughening of the soles.
- Genetic. Often flat soles and thin soles are inherited. Examine the hooves of dam and sire before breeding.

Be that as it may, there are steps we can take to mitigate tender soles.

- Keep the horse in dry corrals with sand or small pebbles.
- Apply daily iodine or turpentine solutions to the soles.
- Pack the soles with Venice Turpentine or Hoof Sole Pack, then glue the boots on.
- Follow the steps for transitioning to barefoot as outlined in the blogs of Kevin Myers, "Bootlegging".


This horse had sheared the bars off. He was extremely sensitive, the sole was very thin.

I applied a layer of Sole Pack and glued a Glue-On EasyCare boot. He was immediately more comfortable.


At last week's Strawberry Fields endurance event we all encountered a lot of rocks. In spite of having Glue-on boots and Easyboot Gloves on all our horses, after the first day, one of the horses with already sensitive soles was really sore when stepping on rocks. The horse was otherwise sound and in good shape. What to do?

We wanted to start the horse, but had to come up with a solution. That's when the Bootmeister put on his creative hat and started thinking. What if we double boot this horse, would that work? With nothing to lose, I gave it a try.

First, I rasped off the front of the existing glue-on boot and beveled the bottom edges around the existing boot.


With the help of a Hoof Jack, I took the dorsal wall of the existing boot all the way down to the hoof wall. The sandals are not mine, in case you are wondering whether I work with sandals around horses. Another rider was watching my work.


I then selected a pair of Glue-on boots one full size bigger than the old one, the horse had a #1, I selected a #2. A #2.5 would have worked even better. After cutting the walls of the new glue ons flush with the bottom, I fitted it so both boots were even in the heels.


After roughening up the existing boots outer layer and cleaning it with a wire brush, I applied Vettec Adhere to the second pair of boots inside walls and glued them on.


One boot on top of the other

The heels of both boots are flush: this is really important for heel support. The second pair of boot should not be shorter than the original one, it could be a bit longer for better heel support. This photo was taken after the 50 mile ride.

Before the second boot was applied, the horse was very tender on the pre ride trot out. We could not have started her. With the double boot system, she traveled comfortably over the whole 50 miles, part of which was a 12 mile gravel downhill road and lots of rocks over the climb and descent to over 10,000 ft. The horse finished 2nd, never missed a beat and showed sound for the BC judging.

This is not an ideal situation, the horse is elevated in front by about an inch, but it can save the bacon if needed. Another trick up your sleeve. One Glue on boot weighs half as much as a steel shoe. So with two glue ons, the horse still only carries the same weight as with a steel shoe. Not bad at all.

With all the different EasyCare boots available, we can really solve problems when we put our heads together. Let's face it, there is nothing out there on the hoof protection market worldwide, that comes even close to the wide variety of boots and hoof protection products made available to the riders by EasyCare, Inc. A big Thanks to Garrett Ford and all the EasyCare staff for providing so much education and such great products for horse and rider in all equestrian disciplines.

Success through Learning, that motto was proven true again last week.

As a parting shot, Double Zell at 10,300 ft on day 3 of Strawberry ride. Double Zell won on day two and three, back to back, wearing the same Glue-on Boots. He was not foot sore.


For more detail on the results of the 2010 Strawberry Fields four-day endurance event day ride, visit our blog at www.globalendurance.com.

So long,

Your Bootmeister