EasyShoe Clinics Going Global

It has been a busy year for hoof care clinics everywhere. In March, EasyCare Staff members demonstrated Easyboot use at the AERC National Convention. In May, the Bootmeister traveled to Colorado and Idaho to show participants how to select the proper hoof protection for their horses and demonstrated usage of the Easyboot Glove and Easyboot Glue-On. This was then followed by clinics in Montana and in Idaho, at the National Championship City of Rocks ride, where the Bootmeister demonstrated gluing and nailing of the EasyShoe prototype. In October, EasyCare Staff members traveled east to Daisy Haven Farm and conducted an EasyShoe clinic. Currently the Bootmeister is conducting three different clinics in Germany and Switzerland. One clinic is specifically set up for professional trimmers, farriers and veterinarians.

Easyboot Gloves, Glue-Ons and EasyShoe displayed at a clinic.

The Bootmeister and TE 2013 member Christoph Schork explaining the benefits of the new EasyShoes.

Preparing the hoof for gluing the EasyShoe.

Under the watchful eyes of the many participants, Christoph applies an EasyShoe at the National Championship Clinic.

A freshly glued EasyShoe.

There are a lot of expectations placed on the new EasyShoes, especially from riders all over Europe. EasyCare and GETC Staff members raced in several 50 mile endurance events and tested the shoes over hundred of miles on all kinds of terrain. The EasyShoes are staying on very well, lasting as long as the proven Easyboots and providing superior traction in many types of footing.

This EasyShoe has covered over 150 miles.

After a 50 mile endurance race: this horse finished in first place and won
Best Condition. The sole area was filled with Vettec Equipak CS. Filling the sole area
with Vettec CS is an option you have with the EasyShoe, although it is not required. 

Why go through the trouble of inventing EasyShoes, when EasyCare already is sporting a long list of boots, that can be used in all equestrian disciplines and have served the riders worldwide so well?

Here are some of the reasons why you might consider an EasyShoe for hoof protection:

  • You can glue or nail the new EasyShoe.
  • You can keep it on your horses' hooves for a six week shoeing cycle.
  • It allows the hoof to breathe.
  • The sole of the hoof is protected. 
  • If you need more protection, you can add Vettec Equipak.
  • The EasyShoe allows for heel expansion
  • The new EasyShoe allows for heel extension, to support the bone column.

These are good enough reasons for many equestrians, trimmers and farriers to want to learn more about it.

During the last few educational clinics, it has been exciting to see more and more farriers interested in learning the potential uses of EasyShoes. They can see the benefits and realize that they will miss out on a big market share, if they are insisting on using steel and iron only. The future belongs to the acrylics, polyurethanes, rubbers, glues. Let's face it, they are much better for shock absorption, lighter in weight, and more flexible than metal shoes. I cannot think of a good reason not to use them.

From the desk of the Bootmeister

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center

Topper's EasyShoe Update

Eight weeks ago last Saturday, The Bootmeister, otherwise known as Christoph Schork, applied a set of EasyShoes to my tender-footed gelding, Topper, as part of a demonstration at the AERC National Championship ride. Immediately after the application of the EasyShoe, Topper became more comfortable. As the weeks carried over, he began moving better and better. About two weeks into the shoe cycle, we began our dressage training again, interspersed with trail riding and gallop sets. I haven't felt Topper move like this in a very long time and look forward to maintaining a full-time training schedule with The Top throughout the winter. 

Topper's public pedicure. Photo by Merri Melde.

Christoph applied Topper's EasyShoes with glue on the fronts, and four nails on each hoof for the hinds. I'll admit, I was very skeptical of the glue holding for longer than a few weeks, but thought a few weeks of growth and protection would be better than nothing. Color me surprised when I looked at the calendar and realized a) it had been eight weeks, and b) I was going to have to work a little at getting these suckers pulled. I set my husband to work pulling the hinds last weekend, which came off easily with a set of clinch cutters and crease nail pullers. Topper's hind feet had a ton of growth and were easily trimmed. Because he's never had a problem being tender behind, I trimmed him normally and off we went. We have Easyboot Gloves for those hinds should we need 'em! 

Definitely in need of a trim. And, yes, those are pajamas. Doesn't everyone trim and do barn chores in their pajamas?

Lightly trimmed after pulling shoes. Nail holes should be gone in a couple trims. No problem. 

The fronts were a different story. Although the cuff of the shoe had pulled away at the heels about two weeks into the cycle, it was stuck damn good everywhere else. I have to admit, I've been waiting for Topper to pull a shoe. Having had barefoot/booted horses for the last eight years or so has somewhat colored my assumptions. I have my booting protocol down pretty well and rarely lose a boot. For some reason, I was SURE I would be losing a shoe. On my dressage horse. In the arena. At first I thought he would snag one during one of his shenanigans on a 10m circle or while bolting through a change of rein. Then I thought surely he'd lose one on our trail rides when spooking at a deer or a mouse. Finally, I thought there was no way we would get through any gallop (bucking) sets with both shoes still on. The joke was on me tonight, eight weeks later, when I finally decided they were not about to come off on their own and it was time for a trim! 

Carefree in EasyShoes.

The pictures above show the EasyShoe just after application.

These pictures show the EasyShoe about five weeks in. Check out the
spread at the heels - I don't think this is something a steel shoe will allow! 

When Christoph demonstrated the application of the glue-on EasyShoes, he showed two different ways of gluing. For the first hoof, he used denatured alcohol as part of the prep, and for the second, he utilized a heat gun. While I cannot for the life of me remember which foot was which, I can tell you the right did NOT want to come off. At all. So I quickly ditched the hoof pick that I thought would help me pry off the shoe and grabbed my rasp and nippers. After a little rasping, a bit of nipping and some more prying, the shoes were removed. I decided to let him be for the night and will trim him tomorrow. I'm still laughing at my thoughts of using a hoof pick to pry off the shoes.

Much to my surprise, the Adhere held through eight weeks, an inch and a half of rain, wet mud, dry sand and plenty of Topper's contortionist moves. Most importantly, Topper is moving better than ever. After a couple weeks in his new shoes he started throwing his feet out and offering a truly heel-first landing at all gaits, on all footing. He has been happy to work. He hasn't been sore. I really can't ask for anything more. Thank you, EasyCare, for making this an option for the horses who need it. For all the judgmental individuals out there, judge away. I'm going to go enjoy my horse now. And when the farrier comes next week to apply another set of EasyShoes, I can rest happily knowing that if nailing on these shoes is the worst thing that ever happens to my horse, he's a lucky, lucky boy. 

EasyShoe, Glue and Nails, OH MY!

I have been using composite shoes since 2005 and since then I've played with and applied every kind of composite shoe I could get my hands on. Some have been easier to use than others, and some have become a larger part of my daily work than others. There are very few problems I can’t solve for the horse with plastic shoes, some glue, nails and sometimes a bit of hoof casting.

 

When I heard EasyCare was coming out with a new composite shoe, I felt like a kid in a candy store.  I eagerly awaited any information on it, and it couldn’t come soon enough!  My chance showed up when EasyCare announced that they were looking for a host for an East Coast EasyShoe workshop. The email wasn’t open for more than five seconds when I messaged everyone I knew at EasyCare asking them to allow Daisy Haven Farm to host. Pick me! Pick me! The comment I received was "We were hoping you’d volunteer”. Success! Not only was I going to get training in the EasyShoe, but it was also coming here.

 

As part of the preparation for the clinic, I had the privilege to go to Durango, Colorado and get some hands on training in the EasyShoe with the EasyCare staff.

 

 

 

I learned how much energy and effort went into the EasyShoe’s development; quite a lot! 

 

 

 

I was able to experiment with different application techniques, glueing with both Vettec and Equilox and also nailing.  So exciting!  Seems there are a lot of possibilities!

 

 

I was even fortunate enough to get sent home with a suitcase full of EasyShoes which I promptly put on every horse around me. I found the application easy and the horses are sound and happy in them so far. 

 

 

 

A few weeks later, it was time for the EasyShoe Clinic at Daisy Haven Farm - it was a huge success! A fantastic group of participants, auditors and instructors. Each Instructor gave a demonstration of how they would apply the EasyShoe with specific glue and/or nailing techniques. We were fortunate to have Curtis Burns, Garrett Ford and Kevin Myers all here to teach us. 

 

 

 

I also demonstrated the way I would apply the EasyShoe for rehabilitation purposes. Each instructor's application varied slightly, however, we could all see how each application method had an appropriate time an place: whether Vettec or Equilox glue, with or without nails. 

 

 

After demonstrations, the participants split into groups and each instructor (myself included) took teams of eight. Everyone got to trim and prepare a cadaver foot for the EasyShoe, practice fit and shoe placement, and also glue a shoe on.  

 

 

 

Participants also got to practice nailing the EasyShoe, either on the Blacksmith Buddy or on their cadaver feet.  For those that didn't know how to nail, we did a nailing tutorial and everyone got to practice their accuracy and tool use.  

 

 

Overall everyone had a lot of fun. There is so much excitement and energy around the EasyShoe! I'm excited to continue to use it and learn the best tips and tricks for successful application.

 

 

A Boot for Any and All Occassions

I think one of my favorite things about keeping my horses barefoot is the number of booting options available to quickly adapt to weather, terrain or just circumstances. Earlier this summer I had planned on riding all three days at the Wild West Pioneer Ride. This is one of my favorite rides for many reasons, not the least of which is the amazing views, great trails and wonderful volunteers. Just being in the mountains is so different from our Northern Nevada high desert. The footing is not too bad but it can be pretty rocky and if it rains or snows (which it usually does) it gets really slippery. 

Leading up to the ride I had not fully decided what boot I was going to use this year. Typically for a multi day ride I will just use Easyboot Glue-Ons. But for this ride I like to have the option of using Easyboot Grips if it gets too wet and sloppy so I usually just use Easyboot Gloves then I can change boots depending on the weather. 

Once we arrived in camp and were all set up it was time to get the boots sorted out. I tidied up the trim on all four feet and put Gloves on all four. For some reason I just was not happy with the way the fronts looked and decided this year I was just going to use Glue-Ons and not have to worry about boots for the three days. After gluing boots on for so many years it really is not even anything that I think about any more. It takes almost no time at all and I have learned how not to cover myself in glue. Once the boots were glued I had to marvel that I had three types of boots all set out and ready for use if needed. How nice to have that many choices and to be able to pick and choose then change out in a matter of minutes.

Friday morning was simply beautiful and Fancy and I set out on a really wonderful first 25 mile loop. We came into the first vet check and went to the trailer to remove tack and let Fancy relax a bit then went to the vet. About half way down the trot out I thought I heard the rhythm of her gait change. Literally in front of our eyes she began showing very definite sign of something not right in her right hind foot. We went to the trailer and popped off the Glue On and cleaned out her foot. It did not take much and the abscess ruptured. As soon as it burst we could see Fancy relax. Boy that had to hurt. So we cleaned out the foot and the abscess spot (how can something so small cause such a large animal so much pain), cleaned, bandaged and applied another clean new Glove. 

We did stay the next day so that my friend Jen could finish her first 50 mile ride on her Morgan, Willow. We had a great day crewing and helping out ride management. Then to top it off we got to help another rider whose horse had ripped off his metal shoe and was a bit off. With a bit of work with the rasp to tidy up the hoof we got her correctly sized with a Glove and she was able to finish her ride. Another Team Easyboot save and a great opportunity to represent EasyCare.  

Throughout the day I was able to check Fancy's foot and every time it was completely clean and looked good. She was actually sound and pretty happy just an hour after the whole event. So nice to be able to find the problem and treat it. We ended up getting home pretty late but in the morning I cleaned up the foot even more and just to be safe put a lintex pad on the foot and applied an Easyboot Rx over it. I just love these boots for putting on poultices or even just to protect a foot. They can accommodate a pad if needed and tend not to rub.  After five days the abscess area is barely noticeable and she is perfectly sound. 

In the span of just one ride four styles of Easyboot were called into action: Grips (ended up not needing them but they were there just in case), Gloves (the original first choice and then used to keep the injured foot clean), Glue-On's (the go to long distance and multi day boot) and finally the Rx (first choice for helping hoof injuries heal). So while my husband has been known to roll his eyes at the number and variety of boots it is always nice to know that no matter what the circumstance there is a boot available. Having the flexibility to change out boots to meet the challenge of the occasion is an added bonus.

Tami Rougeau

Sore No More - Topper's New EasyShoe

Last weekend at the 2013 AERC National Championships, I was lucky enough to be in the presence of several very knowledgeable, very talented hoof care practitioners. Between Christoph Schork, Rusty Toth and Susan Summers, I was in hoof care nirvana. Right there along with me was Topper, my seven year old Arabian gelding.

Meet Topper!

Topper has been barefoot his entire life. I got him as a gawky, gangly three year old, and chucked him out to barefoot horse heaven. Hundreds of acres of dry desert foothills. He spent his youth running up and down the hills, living in total bliss. Minus a stall, a blankie and a warm mash every night. Topper was never much for roughing it. I started lightly riding Top the end of his third year, trail riding at a walk a mile or two on gentle trails. His fourth year brought a little more riding, but nothing intense by any means. You see, when you're 15.2 hand four years old on spindly, long legs, it's all one can to do stay balanced. All of the riding that took place until Topper's fifth year was barefoot on lovely sandy trails. I boasted about his strong feet and anticipated no issues in that department. Unfortunately, barefoot perfection did not bless us as we ramped up the miles. 

Running the hills as a 4 year old. The perfect environment to develop perfect feet. In a perfect world. 

When Topper turned six, we started riding further, faster and frequently. I had him in Easyboot Gloves for all of his conditioning miles, which he seemed to come through with ease. However, the day after our longer, harder rides, I noticed Topper was tentative and footsore. I started putting Comfort Pads in his boots, which he definitely seemed to like, but did not help his day-after soreness. At this point we xrayed Topper's front feet, and thankfully found no pathology other than thin soles. Unfortunately this proved to be difficult to remedy and caused more problems than expected. All summer we battled a sound-sore cycle that I thought he would get through with proper padding and riding. He did a few endurance rides with Easyboot Glue-Ons and Sikaflex packing. While he felt excellent during the actual ride, the bruising that showed up weeks later indicated his feet could not handle the extra pressure. 

The end of the bruising growing all the way out. This shows even the soft padding of Sikaflex was too much for this horse. We spent the next several months working only in gorgeous sand arenas, which improved Topper's feet and let him be comfortable and happy. 

The Top spent the winter as a dressage horse, which was great fun while it was too cold to actually ride. Unfortunately as the weather warmed, I became bored and my hiatus with the endurance trail faded. Topper was brought home from the fancy dressage barn and placed on the back-burner. Apparently I can only focus on so many things at one time. Go figure. The move home didn't do Topper any favors in the foot department. While he was nice and sound at the end of a trim cycle, I watched him short-stride over harder footing and downright limp over gravel after a trim. It was time for some serious protection. Enter, EasyShoe

Innovative and progressive, Garrett Ford and team have been working hard on developing another option for those of us who want to utilize a longer-lasting form of hoof protection than the already stellar line-up of hoof boots. While the EasyShoe may not appeal to, or may downright offend, some folks, for others it will be exactly what was missing. On Saturday at the National Championships, in front of a curious group of observers, Topper stood perfectly still while Christoph Schork applied a set of EasyShoes to all four hooves. And he hasn't stopped moving since. 

For demonstrative purposes, Christoph used both glue and nails for Topper new trotters. His front feet were equipped with a final prototype of the EasyShoe, which Christoph applied with Vettec Adhere, and his hinds were outfitted with an older prototype shoe that he nailed on with four nails. My initial perception was that to glue the shoes on, preparation and application had to be perfect. Kind of like the prep for gluing on boots, but more like your life depended on not messing up. As with anything, practice makes perfect, but I could see where several different areas of prep and application could really screw up your results. Nailing the hinds on looked easy, if you weren't afraid of accidentally piercing the coffin bone with a wayward nail, or nailing your thumb to the hoof. After the demonstration, Topper strutted off like he owned it. I didn't tell him all he was there for was to look pretty. 

Photos above by Merri Melde.

Immediately after this, we went for a walk through camp over several rocky sections of road. Topper strode out, visibly lengthening his stride as the walk went on until I was barely able to keep up. He walked over rocks and gravel with no shortening or gimping. At one point he stepped on a rock and stopped, and half of his hoof/Easyshoe was up on the rock and the other half was touching the ground. Not only that, but you can visibly see the heel expand and contract as the horse loads and unloads his hoof. While the thought of peripheral loading makes some people want to gag, and the other thought of nails being driven into the hoof wall creates hate and discontent, all I can say is no one is forcing you to play. For those of us who have horses who have been raised and cared for in ideal environments, with ideal trims and ideal diets, yet still struggle with issues that may prevent using our horses to their full extent, or even keeping them happy and comfortable, the EasyShoe is another awesome tool in the box. 

I love how Christoph set the shoe back to allow for a better breakover.

Excellent heel support.

 

I am excited to see how the EasyShoes hold throughout the next couple weeks, and how much hoof growth we have. In an ideal world, we would use these temporarily, but if a horse requires more 'round the clock protection, I can't think of anything cooler. For those that would rather drop dead than put a shoe on your horse, I hope you never end up with a Topper. But if you do, and he's as cool as this horse, send him over. We'll work with what we've got. 

Easyboot Gloves Prove Successful at the Grand Canyon

Here is a great testimonial to attest to the success of the Easyboot Gloves used at the recent Grand Canyon endurance ride. The Gloves saved the completion for this rider due to the help of Dave Rabe with his booting knowledge.

"I was at the Grand Canyon XP this past week and encountered some shoeing challenges due to the consistently wet, muddy conditions. My mares feet swelled from a size 1 to a 2 and started loosing her shoes! Her renegades, wouldn't even fit due to the moisture saturation in her feet.

We only had one day left to meet our five day goal and I wasn't about to throw in the towel. Dave Rabe became our Knight in Shining Armor, I was so happy to see him back in the saddle and at the ride. He had been cheering me on all week. He asked if I had tried the EasyCare boots and I gave him the reader's digest version of the history we had had with them. He was patient, kind, listened and was extremely helpful. He showed us how to prep her feet and put them on. He told me that he preferred the Easyboot Glue-Ons, but given the conditions we were in and what he had on hand, to go with the Gloves. Which we did.

Drae and I hit the starting line the next morning and she was moving like she was on air. We went through the boggy wet canyons, and climbed the hills, mile after mile, I kept looking to make sure we still had boots and they were still there! This mare trots 10-11.5 mph comfortably and loves to power up hills, my husband and I were worried that she'd tear through them. We finished day five in 2nd place and we were extremely pleased with how well the Gloves held up and how quickly you can put them on or take them off. She didn't have any rub marks or pressure bruises on the bulbs, that I had typically experienced years ago. Thanks for such a wonderful product.


Sincerely,

Tammy Gagnon
Happy Trails Equine Services"

We thank you Tammy for sharing this with us. As always, EasyCare wants to hear your successes with barefoot and booting. Do you have a booting success story to share?

Nancy Fredrick

Easycare President-ceo-garrett-ford

EasyCare Customer Care

I have been on the EasyCare team since 2001 and have first hand product knowledge as my horses are barefoot, booted and I do their trimming. I can assist you with all of your booting needs. .

 

 

 

Oh, You Still Ride Endurance?

I sure do! This year has been one of shifted priorities and welcome breaks. In past years, I would have been hundreds of miles into my endurance season by now, while this year it has just begun. Luckily my break has been voluntary and now that we're settled in to our new home and routine, I can throw my renewed energy into the sport of endurance, which I truly love. 

Last weekend we packed up and headed out to my favorite endurance ride in Idaho. Old Selam is one of the longest standing rides in the Northwest as well as one with the richest history. The ride began in 70's at the old Idaho Penitentiary, following the legend of Bob Meeks, a member of the Butch Cassidy gang, who escaped from the prison in 1901 using Old Selam, an aged cart horse used at the prison. On Christmas Eve old Mr. Meeks unhitched Selam and headed out! Unfortunately for him, he was captured the next day, when both he and Selam were returned to the prison. The second escape occurred a week later when prison guards noticed Selam was missing along with a saddle, bridle and prisoner Sam Bruner. The pair was never caught and was one of the very few successful escapes from the old pen. This ride has changed locations throughout the years as land was developed and closed, but it's been housed at the Idaho City location for many years. Old Selam is challenging in that it is not only a mountain ride, but there are numerous water crossing as the trail winds in and out of the old mine tailings from the gold rush days. Following many creek crossings are steep climbs and descents. 

Headed through the "Scary Forest" on my favorite loop.

This year, my goal was to focus on my up and coming gelding, Belesemo Enchanter. I purchased Chant as a late three year old, who knew nothing but living out on large acreage with his buddies. Chant is now 7, and finally maturing mentally and physically as I knew he would, someday. I've had a tough time with this guy as he is somewhat aloof and a very confident individual who is not at all demanding or insecure and needy as some of my others. Unfortunately this has made bonding with Chant somewhat difficult. While he's always been a great ride (can we say awesome canter?), I just haven't been drawn to him. This year, I was bound and determined to change that. As such, Chantly has been my #1 guy this summer and because of it, is super fit! I knew he was ready to rock and we headed up to ride camp excited for the weekend ahead. 

Because I was only riding one 50 and Chant hasn't ever had any issues with boots, I made the easy choice of using my Easyboot Gloves for this event. Chant's wide little feet use 0 Wide Gloves up front and fancy-schmancy BLUE 00.5's behind. As he has historically twisted his right front boot, I use Mueller Athletic Tape for training and good old 2" Elastikon for endurance rides. Because I knew we would be in and out of the creek all day, I used an extra wrap for good measure and pounded those suckers on for a problem-free boot day for the next 50 miles. Slap 'em on the morning and off you go. Take 'em off after the ride. Easy-peasy. 

And we rode every, single, mile - no short ride here, folks. The first loop was a lovely (and long!) 27 miles before getting back to camp for our only hold of the day. Unfortunately my out-of-practice self did a crummy job of taking care of me, and ended up paying for the oversight in the end. No worries, we won't make that mistake again. After an hour hold we headed out on what may have been the longest, hottest, hardest 20-ish miles of my life. Yeah, it was the true meaning of endurance. While I was lucky to have two awesome riding partners, a few times I considered accidentally pushing the SOS button on my SPOT Tracker and then utilizing the emergency services so their efforts didn't go unappreciated or wasted. Dramatic? Maybe. But I was pretty much there. Like I said, lesson learned and I will not neglect myself in the future! A sick rider makes a crummy partner for an awesome horse.

Little Chant cruised through the ups and the downs, the single track, the cross-country and the creek crossings without missing a beat. My boots stayed put like I've grown to expect and the temperatures soared. Finally, FINALLY, we were finished. Chant vetted out great and I was psyched about his performance on his second ever endurance ride. This poor guy will know nothing but true 50's and looooooong loops as his first ride was a two-loop 55 and his second ride was one of the hardest I've ever done. 

Finally. DONE. (Check out those Gloves, y'all).
Photos by Jessica Anderson of JRA Photography.

My Gloves performed flawlessly, which is always a relief when riding with people who's horses are shod. If anything bad is going to happen with boots, it will be in front of people who don't use them! My one riding partner, Max Merlich, did the big XP a few years back and rode lots of miles with one of Easyboot's finest, Dave Rabe. Dave hooked Max's mule up with Gloves after a few lost shoes and the mules did great. I was glad my boots didn't mess up his perception. Ironically, along the trail I saw two lost shoes and the bottom of another brand of boot, ripped off from its glue-on shell. Chant looked great after the ride, with no rubs. Unfortunately, the next day he broke out in scratches, which could have been from the heat and water but most likely was due to the clover take-over in the pastures which has caused scratches for everyone, as well as drool and stocking up in Topper. Leave it to Topper to re-direct the focus to HIM. 

I am looking forward to lots more miles on this gelding. His scratches cleared up in a couple days and his post-ride vacation is over as of this weekend. Oh, and the clover is getting sprayed very soon. Although the endurance season is winding down, we'll be ready to rock next year. Bring it on! 

Never Say Never - Alternative Methods for Rehab Success

At Daisy Haven Farm: Hoof and Soft Tissue Rehabilitation, we work on approximately 350 horses per month between two full time and three part time farriers. Out of all of those horses, only 10% are in shoes, approximately 35 horses at any given time. We are very selective of how and why we put horses in shoes. By all means we prefer our horses barefoot. However, there are definitely situations where a shoe can be a great tool to help the horse.   

Some of the determining factors for us in deciding when to apply shoes are:

  1. When a horse needs a boot 24/7 to be comfortable long term we believe they should be in a shoe.
  2. When the environment or living situation prohibits a boot from being used. For example a boarding barn where the staff won't apply boots as needed.
  3. When we cannot correct distortion in the hoof capsule with our trim alone.  

Here is an example of a situation where the trim alone would not have been enough to help this animal. This filly was four months old when we were called in by the attending veterinarian. The filly had been born with contracted tendons, and surgery was performed. Unfortunately, the barn farrier became injured and therefore unavailable while she still needed special care - proper hoof care was not provided and she grew quite long.  

 This is what her her feet looked like when I was called in, specifically this is her right front foot pictured here:

The filly is walking on her heel bulbs with her sole completely up off the ground. This means the position of the coffin bone is negatively rotated in relation to the ground, the bottom of the bone should be at a 3-8 degree angle in a healthy foot. With the help of the radiographs provided by the veterinarian, we applied a corrective trim to re-establish a 3-8 degree palmar P3 angle (the bottom of the coffin bone in relation to the ground).  

This is how she stood on her right front foot after her trim on the same day:

Not good enough! Even though I had the hoof capsule and coffin bone trimmed to the best alignment possible, if she wouldn't stand on her toe, I wasn't achieving my goals. Keep in mind that trimming is a subtractive process. Through our trim we can only work on what we can remove in order to improve the horse's foot at that moment in time. Over time, as the foot grows, we can effect a positive change. This filly didn't have time to wait for things to grow in their current alignment. We needed to get her realigned now while she was young and still growing to attempt a permanent functional change for her.

This is where a shoe can be an excellent tool.  Adding a prosthetic support is an additive process. It gives us the ability to add material where we need it to create a positive change. In this case we added some height to her heels and enabled her to stand flat on her sole by using a glue-on composite shoe and some dental impression material around her frog.

This is the same day as the initial trim:

After two consecutive shoeings we were able to take her back barefoot!  

Then just about a year and a half later I had the pleasure of seeing this filly again, this time as I was called in to help another horse in the barn. I was glad to see that while the filly was in need of a trim, the work we had done when she was younger had created the permanent change we were looking for. 

Working on horses like this one has taught me to "never say never".  I am grateful that when we need a prosthetic support device we have several tools to chose from in our practice: hoof boots, composite shoes that can be glued and/or nailed, hoof casts and more.  

To see more case studies of our work please see:  www.DaisyHavenFarm.com .

2013 Tevis Top Ten Riders Series: Beverly Gray and Jolly Sickle

Bev Gray has completed 45 100-mile events and has 18,200 career AERC endurance competition miles, of which 2,400 are with Jolly Sickle. This was Bev's fourth Tevis completion and Jolly Sickles' second Tevis completion. Bev and Jolly Sickle completed the course in ninth place.
 
Jolly Sickle (the ice-sickle in his name) was born on a snowy day in Dallas in 2004. His sire, Jolly By Golly, is a champion stallion at Mandolynn Hill Farm. He was bred to race on the track; his pedigree is Polish with a splash of Tunisian and Egyptian. Even with all the impeccable track training, he was not very enthusiastic for the race track.  
 
I received a call from Mandolynn that they had a very special, tough endurance prospect for me. When I first saw him, he reminded me of my, 9,000 race mile, Breyer model and Hall of Fame champion, AA Omner Indeed, so I took him home to Utah.
 
 
Jolly Sickle, otherwise known as Ice, started his endurance training, and at six years old we entered several endurance races. We stayed away from the front runners as he still had a race track mentality, and 50 miles is a lot longer than six furlongs. This was his foundation training for two years, until I started to enter him in 100-mile events. Ahh, finally he could focus and understand that endurance was endurance and not the track!
 
Last Spring, Jolly Sickle was trimmed way too short: he was lame for two months. How can I help Jolly? I spoke with EasyCare and they suggested trying the Easyboot Glue-Ons. I ordered all the essentials and watched every EasyCare gluing video, read and the blogs to train myself for the application process. It was definitely a learning curve: too much glue, not enough glue, glue sets up too fast, horse would not stand still (needed an assistant). And I looked like the Disney absent-minded professor with plastic gloves glued together: plastic apron and black glue-spattered running shoes.
 
 
Jolly Sickle recovered and came sound with his Glue-Ons. He won his homecoming race and got the Best Condition award. It was a very good year for Jolly Sickle, with 14 races, nine firsts and 11 BCs. He even won the AERC's National Champion Best Condition!
 
I learned the most crucial lesson of Glue-Ons was the trim. I am not a farrier, but my new understanding of hoof dynamics through my EasyCare lessons helps me to prepare for the best performance package. I’m still not overly confident in my own installation and rely on the EasyCare master professionals.
 
When I decided to ride the Tevis, there was no question that boots would be the best protection for the rugged, rocky, technical Tevis terrain: no question whatsoever. We came to Tevis barefoot knowing the EasyCare professionals would trim and fit Jolly Sickle perfectly. Since I have ridden Jolly in numerous races in Glue-Ons and Easyboot Gloves, I was confident. Jolly moved efficiently and flawlessly all day. At the vet checks I was told “he looks fantastic,” “we wish all the horses were presented this incredibly,” “good work,” etc, etc. We were smiling all day. With a fantastic crew, our entire pace and goal was finish top ten and show for Haggin Cup. Goal Achieved.
 
 
My Jolly Sickle moves so comfortably in Easyboot Glue-Ons that it reverberates in my confidence riding him and knowing I have prepared him with the best hoof protection on the market. I believe it is very important to understand the application process and I will be attending an Easyboot clinic. It is really quite simple.
 
Thank you, thank you, thank you EasyCare Inc.
 
Submitted by Beverly Gray
 
All photos courtesy of Vicki Gaebe parkcityphotography.com
 

EasyShoe Gluing Clinic Coming To Your Area?

EasyCare had the opportunity to present the new prototype EasyShoe and the associated gluing methods for the American Hoof Association on Sunday July 28th via an online web platform.  Although technology foiled the day and internet speeds didn't allow for an efficient presentation, we have received a great deal of interest regarding clinics for the EasyShoe and gluing methods for Easyboot Glue-On hoof boots and EasyShoe application. 

Heel expansion in the EasyShoe during an application cycle.

Based on the large amount of interest we are considering doing two or three clinics in October, November and December of 2013.  The clinics would cover the details of successful gluing, gluing in different climates, using different types of adhesives, hoof prep for gluing and basic hoof trimming techniques for successful hoof boot use.  The goal would be to give each participant the opportunity to prep and apply during the clinic - hands on, small and one on one.  The $150.00 cost of the clinic will cover supplies. 

Curtis Burns explaining proper hoof prep techniques.

Clinic #1 - Colorado.  Either in the Denver or Durango area.  October 12th.  Limited to the first 30 participants!  Click here to secure your spot today.  We will do a second clinic on the east coast of the USA if the Colorado clinic quickly fills and we have interest in a second venue. 

Clinic #2 - East Coast.  Looking for locations and a practitioner to help us host.  November 16th.  Click here if you have interest in attending or hosting an East Coast clinic.  We will move forward and schedule an amazing clinic based on the interest level. 

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.