Alternative Uses of a Horseshoe Nail

You might never have an interest in nailing a horse shoe on a hoof but if you are a natural hoof care provider, rider, or horse owner, the horseshoe nail can still serve you very well.

Here are five alternative uses for horseshoe nails:

1. Explore the depth and severity of white line separation.

Horseshoe nails are very pointed, no other nail or hoof pick is thin enough to be inserted into the white line to clean out decayed tissue, debris, small embedded pebbles and prepare it for treatment. Simply insert the nail and scrape the separated white line clean, then apply treatment solution. The same applies for cleaning out collateral grooves.

 

2. Explore the frog for thrush.

Not every crack in the frog means thrush. With a horseshoe nail it is easy to find out and check the frog for sensitivity, decay and bacterial invasion.

 

3. Estimate the thickness of the sole by measuring the depth of the collateral grooves. With the pointed end of the nail it is easy to get to the bottom of the groove. Unless you use a Precision Hoof pick, which has a pointed end and a reading scale, a horseshoe nail is second best. Lay your rasp over the level and flat trimmed heels, place the nail to the bottom of the groove and use your fingernail or a marker to fixate the spot where it hits the rasp. Then pull the nail out and measure the distance.

The distance below, marked by the fingernail, is 2 cm, about 3/4 of an inch.

 

4. Clear the channels in the Vettec Adhere tube. Sometimes, when tubes have already been used previously, little plugs can form and obstruct the openings. This is really bad news if a mixing tip is already attached and an uneven flow of glue comes out. A nail tip can clean it out quickly and easily.

 

5. Clear debris from a screw. Need to replace a gaiter on your Easyboot Glove? Tighten a screw on your gaiter or the power strap? ( I highly recommend doing this after each ride using Gloves). After a ride with Easyboot Gloves, most screw heads are filled with debris. Somehow the sand and grit forms such a hard fill that your phillips screwdriver cannot get a bite. A horseshoe nail allow you to clean the slots out with minimal effort.

This screw slot is filled tightly with debris.

Can you think of any additional usages of a horseshoe nail? Please share them with us.

 

Your Bootmeister

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center

Get the Word Out

Four years ago, a professor at Colorado State University asked me if I would give a lecture about endurance riding in her Equine Exercise Physiology class. I gladly accepted the invitation and I have done it once per semester since. It's nice to have the opportunity to expose college students to the sport of endurance since many have never even heard of it.

The topics I discuss include:

  • the basic rules of AERC.
  • the horses that excel and training.
  • nutrition.
  • high performance and international level competition.
  • the finances.
  • the business and professional aspects.
  • physiology and metabolics.

 

During each of my lectures, I sneak in a slide about hoof care and I talk about all of the alternatives that are out there. I try to be unbiased and briefly talk about various alternatives but honestly, I go through the list of options quickly and spend extra time on my favorites; the Easyboot Glove and Easyboot Glue-On. I discuss how more and more horses are being booted rather than shod and that boots are successful in all fields, from track racing to dressage. The students always ask about the boots afterwards and I'm happy to have put the bug in their ear about it. Living near Fort Collins, I also train on a lot of very popular public trails and I'm always happy to talk to people who are interested in what's on my horse's feet. 

Equine enthusiasts are everywhere so I try to make a conscious effort to get the word out. I grew up with horses but did not know the sport of endurance riding existed until graduate school. The sport of endurance riding is what exposed me to the world of booting. Previously I never thought twice about horse shoes because I had never even seen hoof boots being used. I wish somebody had told me! We should all try to expose new groups of people to our equine sports and be sure to discuss hoof care and booting, because like many, they may not even know about hoof boots.   

Nobody is going to try something they don't even know exists. There are alternatives to steel shoes, lots of them. There is an Easyboot option to fit every horse's needs. Help get the word out! 

Tennessee Mahoney

PS: Join us May 11th & 12th at Remuda Run for a clinic on the Performance Barefoot Hoof with the Bootmeister.

Broken Down May Not Be So Broken

As hoof care providers we often get calls to help horses as a last-ditch effort before euthanasia. The owner calls with a laundry list of problems and a history of solutions that have been tried and fallen short.  

This is the case of a 19-year-old Quarter Horse gelding whose laundry list was a mile long. He had been diagnosed with:

  • bowed right front tendon
  • left front coffin bone fracture
  • sidebone
  • ringbone

His current diagnosis was navicular disease. When I first saw him he was barely walking on his left front leg. Many options had been tried to resolve his lameness but with minimal long term success. The owner was tired of watching him in pain and was considering euthanasia. The veterinarian who referred me to the case told the owner "Call Daisy, she may be able to perform a miracle for you"...no pressure!   

Anytime I come across a horse with arthritic conditions, navicular, etc my goals as a farrier are to minimize the range of motion the joints have to articulate through, hopefully minimizing the impact any soft tissue problems or rough bone surfaces may have as the horse moves. The more compact the foot, the shorter the distance the joints have to move in locomotion.

I have discussed my basic trimming and shoeing goals in previous blogs. The same goals apply in this situation as the other case studies I have highlighted.

My goals are:

  • 3-8 degree palmar P3 angle: the angle of the bottom of the coffin bone in relation to the ground.
  • 50/50 base of support from toe to heel around the center of rotation of the hoof capsule.

Here is the horse's left front foot when I came to see him:

Goal:
P3 Palmar Angle: 3-8 degrees
Toe Support % (50/50) 50% toe

May 8th Old Shoe:
P3 Palmar Angle: NEGATIVE -1.70 degrees
Toe Support % (50/50) 59.17% toe

I really respect what the previous farrier was doing with this horse. The shoe is well fit, and the rolled toe was working to help this horse with his lameness issue. However the internal and external hoof alignment was not quite to my parameters, so I felt increasing the palmar P3 angle and getting closer to a true 50/50 support base would have a good chance at helping this horse become more comfortable if not sound.  

Here is the same foot, same day, with the shoe pulled:

May 8th No Shoe:
P3 Palmar Angle: NEGATIVE -3.69 degrees
Toe Support % (50/50) 63.51% toe

So without the shoe the hoof capsule and internal alignment was worse.  

Here is what we were able to do in our first trim the same day:

 

 

Goal:

P3 Palmar Angle: 3-8 degrees

Toe Support % (50/50) 50% toe

 

May 8th After Trim:

P3 Palmar Angle: POSITIVE 2.90 degrees

Toe Support % (50/50) 56.70% toe

 

So we were getting much closer to our ideal parameters. I felt I had pushed this foot as much as possible at this time. We left him barefoot in a dry lot paddock. The horse became much more comfortable and at a walk was sound. But at a trot, especially on firm ground or on turns he was still off.  

 

I felt I had achieved as much improvement as I could achieve in his internal and external hoof alignment through trimming. I wondered if he even could become sound at the trot and on turns, especially on hard ground. We decided to use leverage testing to determine where his discomfort was coming from. An easy way to do leverage testing is with the KrossCheck leverage testing system:

 

 

The leverage testing revealed that the horse hated his toe elevated (functionally decreasing his palmar P3 angle) and was very happy with additional heel elevation (increasing the palmar P3 angle) which made a lot of sense. However, it was interesting to find that he also hated his foot being tipped from side to side, medial/lateral. I decided to try a glue on shoe to create ease of range of motion from side to side as well as add a bit more heel height.  

 

Here is what his foot looked like with the addition of the composite shoe:

 

 

June 14th New Composite Shoe:

P3 Palmar Angle: POSITIVE 5.74 degrees

Toe Support % (50/50) 50.20% toe

 

With the additional mechanics created in the shoe, and the shock dampening effect of the plastic, this horse went completely sound and is now back in work being ridden for trail riding, light dressage lessons, and some therapeutic riding five days a week. The leverage testing was an invaluable tool in getting this horse, with his laundry list of problems, back in work and sound. Here is his very happy owner enjoying her horse!  

 

 

Daisy Bicking, APF

www.DaisyHavenFarm.com

Expensive But Worth It

My riding partner Jenni Smith and I completed our second CEI** (75mi/120km) at the Shine and Shine Only ride on April 20. This AERC ride, which I think is in its 25th year, is managed by Becky Hart. The FEI component is relatively new. It was a great day overall. We finished 1st and 2nd, and 45 minutes ahead of the 3rd place horse. We were the only two horses in the CEI ** in EasyCare hoof boots. I was pleased that my two mares finished so well, and I was ecstatic that I had no wardrobe malfunctions (my code name for losing an Easyboot Glue-On during a race). At the 20 Mule Team ride in February, I learned a frustrating yet valuable lesson about makings sure that the Adhere glue mixes out of the gun in equal quantities. After losing nine of the 12 boots I had glued on and analyzing the failure ad nauseam,  Kevin Myers told me that if the glue dispenses with a bluish tint, then it’s not mixing evenly. I remember seeing the “blue” but didn’t think much about it at the time, assuming it was just cold. I didn’t repeat this mistake, and all the boots I glued on two days before the SASO ride stayed on.

In our quest to fulfill the necessary criteria so that we can nominate for an FEI national or world championship, Jenni and I have now completed the requisite one CEI* (50 mi/80km) and two CEI** (75mi / 120km). Regrettably, we are now stalled out until another CEI*** (100mi/160km) is scheduled somewhere on the West Coast—or at least west of the Rocky Mountains—so that we can get our Certificate of Capability at that distance. While CEI*** races are plentiful on the East Coast, they are a rarity on the West Coast. Only one was scheduled in 2013, and that was at 20 Mule Team. I persistently inquired as to why no other CEI*** events were being offered in 2013 when there are so many riders working their way up through the qualification process. I heard several dubious reasons (ride managers didn’t want to deal with it/too expensive/poor attitudes of the FEI officials and riders). Rob Lydon, DVM offered the most plausible explanation—that in order to hold a CEI*** a four-star-rated treatment vet must be present, and that vet must be licensed in the state in which the event is being held. According to Rob, the lack of a veterinarian with this qualification is the reason why  there are no CEI*** events on the calendar for West Coast riders. Regardless of the reason, there are a group of talented horses and riders on the West Coast who aspire to ride at the FEI level but cannot because fulfilling the qualification process is so difficult. I won't say "impossible" because I could haul my horse to the East Coast for a CEI*** but that is not a realistic or cost-effective solution for me. As it stands, the best we can hope for is that the CEI*** will again be offered at 20 Mule Team in 2014. If it is offered and if Jenni and I are successful in earning our COC, then it will have taken us three ride seasons to complete the qualification process.

In the meantime, we will continue to support the ride managers who offer FEI sanctioned events by entering their rides. It’s expensive, but worth it, if our entries help to maintain the momentum of interest in riding FEI that is building on the West Coast.

Jenni and me after our first CEI* ride and at the start of a long journey
to hopefully one day compete together in an international endurance ride.

Footnote: I am diligent about checking my Easyboot Gloves before and after every training ride. This time I found a rusty nail embedded in the bottom of a boot. How ironic that it was a shoeing nail.

Abundance!

Whoever has the most knowledge is always a step ahead.

An exciting spring season is upon us. There are abundant opportunities to learn about hoof trimming, breaking research, hoof protection possibilities, and fitting hoof boots of all kinds. There are many clinics available this spring being held with the support of EasyCare, Vettec, Global Endurance Training Center, Remuda Run, Endurancenet, and The Bootmeister. All are working together to provide educational clinics for you. Some of them are basic, while others go deeper and explore subjects including: factors that influence a horse's movement, cause and effect of pathologies, the connection between conformation and hoof development, and how to perfect the gluing procedure for Easyboot Glue-Ons.

Conformation and hoof development, where is the connection?

The first clinic will be held by myself, aka the Bootmeister and GETC. This is a short free clinic at the Antelope Island 25/50/100 ride that will take place on the afternoon before the race on the 12th of April. We will offer a demo on fitting various Easyboot hoof boots.

Next, at the Mt Carmel XP Ride from May 1st through May 5th, I will be available every afternoon for a free one hour session for trimming advice. Please RSVP by emailing at info@globalendurance, time will be limited as I will be riding every day as well. On the afternoon of the 30th of April, I can assist with hoof boot gluing.

At the Owyhee Fandango Pioneer Ride on the 24th of May, I will conduct a free 3 hour clinic with gluing demos. This clinic is sponsored by Vettec, who is inviting the attendees to a wine and cheese party after the clinic. Free giveaway prizes are also being handed out, donated by EasyCare, GETC, and Vettec.

Clinic participants enjoying culinary delights.

Checking for lateral cartilage development.

A more advanced weekend clinic is being organized by Tennessee Mahoney from Remuda Run on May 11th and 12th. The Performance of the Barefoot Hoof clinic will give insights into topics including: the four main hoof trimming theories, how shoeing and booting are influencing hoof development, caudal foot problems, and exploring the connection between dental pathologies and hoof development. I'm really happy to work with Remuda Run on these topics and share them participants. Sign-ups for this clinic can be done by either contacting GETC at info@globalendurance.com or Tennessee Mahoney at ten@remudarun.com.

For the pros among you, we will discuss problem hooves such as those shown in the image below.

What is the plan of action when encountering these hooves?

On a more pleasant note below: SBD (the horse) is happy that his rider Carla Laken (here seen tailing), attended a hoof care clinic at GETC.

Easyboot Glue-Ons protecting hooves from the sharp rocks in Mill Creek Canyon near Moab, UT.

Looking forward towards the summer, the big event in the west is going to be the National Championships at the City of the Rocks in Idaho in September. Details will be forthcoming in a timely fashion. We are organizing another great educational hoof care clinic during this event.

Group photo with clinic participants in Switzerland last year.

Check frequently for updates at:
GETC: www.facebook.com/globalendurance , www.globalendurance.com/blog/
EasyCare, Inc: www.facebook.com/Easyboot , www.easycareinc.com/blog/

Hope to see you all at least one of all the upcoming events.

So long

Your Bootmeister

Christoph Schork

The Best Of Both Worlds - A Hoof Protection Device That Still Allows The Hoof To Function As A Bare Hoof

I personally believe in the barefoot horse and marvel at what the equine hoof can do.  The equine hoof is an amazing structure that expands and contracts under load, dissipates energy, and aids in blood flow.  Although I believe that a horse should be barefoot whenever possible, I also believe that horses need hoof protection as distance traveled increases, terrain becomes more abrasive, and the loads carried become greater.  We ask unnatural things from our equine partners, far beyond what the bare unprotected hoof can endure. 

Hoof boots are a wonderful invention that can be used on a temporary basis when the hoof needs protection.  The beauty of hoof boots is that the hoof is bare and functioning as nature intended the large majority of the time.  But what about a protection device that can be left on the horse for longer periods of time that still allows natural function? Can a hoof be fitted with a protection device that still allows the hoof to expand and contract, allows the heel to spread, allows the heel to move up and down independently, and also provides support to the frog and heel? 

Looking at the horse world objectively, I believe the majority of people on both sides of the argument agree that horses should spend time barefoot.  In addition, both sides believe horses need protection for many of the activities that their human partners put them through.  Most owners stall horses in man-made environments; many feed them two meals per day, and the majority of us ask our horses to carry 25% of their body weight in grueling events.  We ask unnatural things of our equine partners.  As events become longer, speeds become greater and the footing becomes rougher we can't expect our equine partners to perform without man made protection? - See more at: http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/hoof-boot-news#sthash.AGIFoSIJ.dpuf

We have been testing a new glue-on device that can be used for 3-6 week cycles that allows a protected hoof to receive many of the same benefits as a barefoot hoof. 

Heels can move independently up and down.

Heels can expand and contract after the shoe in glued in place. 

The test model EasyShoe provides frog and heel support.  The wide web of the shoe aids in loading the hoof.  The sole is open to air in the center for extended use. 

Open at the toe so breakover can be adjusted

Glue channels and holes are added in several areas of the shoe to better accept adhesives and speed the application process.

Initial testing of the new device for endurance conditioning has been very positive. It should prove a valuable tool for farriers and hoof care professionals and have many uses. 

Uses may include:

  1. I can see it used as a transition device to stimulate the hoof toward a stronger hoof before pulling shoes. 
  2. It may be used by owners who believe the barefoot hoof is the most healthy but want the convenience of long term protection. 
  3. It could also be used in disciplines that don't allow hoof boots.

I'm very excited about the new test shoe and the results I'm seeing on my horses.  I've had many prototypes on my horses over the years and this one is up there with the best I've tested. 

What do you think?  Does the new device have a place in the horse industry? 

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President & CEO

I have been President and CEO of EasyCare since 1993. My first area of focus for the company is in product development, and my goal is to design the perfect hoof boot for the barefoot horse.

 

The Other Barefoot Wine Company

My husband Barry and I are in the wine business, and our horses play a prominent role in our company. For the record, we are NOT Barefoot Wines and Bubbly, which is the brand that has the bare human footprint on the label. Our winery, Tamber Bey, is named after Barry’s first two endurance horses, Tamborina and Beyamo. A visit to our property includes a tour of the barn and stables. Guests meet our very-friendly endurance horses and listen intently as we recount their accomplishments. I enjoy pointing out that the horses are barefoot, and I show them an Easyboot, which I describe as a horse’s cross-country running shoe. The guests think this is really cool.

Visitors are awed by our sport—most have never heard of endurance riding and their jaws drop when we tell them about it. We get all the usual questions: “How fast/far do you go? How long does it take? Does your butt hurt? Do you get to rest?” Inevitably, someone will ask what we win. I answer, well, nothing, really. I like to tell guests that I once rode 100 miles and got a jar of beans for a completion award, although I usually get practical prizes, like buckets and mini flashlights. Sometime I’ll get an embroidered horse blanket or a belt buckle. The guest looks dumbfounded, unable to comprehend that we expend so much grueling energy for no significant material reward at the finish.

Barry then launches into his speech about the welfare of the horse and why prize money isn’t awarded. We get a few nods of understanding. I add comments about the “the ride is the prize.” Some guests get it, while others continue to struggle the concept of doing so much for no extrinsic reward. In general, our guests are not horse people and what they know of horse competitions is limited to the lavish Kentucky Derby parties they attend—whether they actually watch the race or not. Say Kentucky Derby and the ladies think hats, not horses. That’s when we pour them another taste of wine and all is good. We’re back on the same page again.

The few horse people we get are interested in the boots. They ask intelligent questions. They understand my explanation about the benefits. We discuss the barefoot movement in other sports. Once in a great while, someone will ask me if barefooting and booting saves me money. To this I answer yes and no. Trimming is obviously much less expensive than shoeing. I was paying $5,200 a year to shoe four horses every six weeks. This does not include the occasional additional charge for pads and clips for a rocky race. I spend $1,500 per year to trim those same four horses. In 2012, I spent approximately $1,500 on Easyboots and gluing products. That’s quite a savings. Also, long after a boot’s tread is worn down too much to use for training, it goes into EuroXcizer duty, where it is useful until holes are worn in the toe—which can be takes months. Can’t do that with old horseshoes.

The “no” part of saving me money pertains to time, which is a form of currency. Neither shoeing nor trimming requires much of my personal time. Professionals do that for me. But the booting is another story. I’ve spent hundreds of hours (or so it seems), chasing lost boots down the trail, repairing broken gators and filing hooves to perfection between trims. I’ve spent many more hours in the barn before a race, covered in glue, with tears of frustration building up. I’m proud of myself for not giving up.

I’m now well past the blood, sweat and tears phase of the shoe-to-boot- transition learning curve and my time burn is minimized. Plus, the wine helps.

And all that cash I’m saving…

Footnote: Last month I introduced you to Mustang trainer Alyssa Radtke. Alyssa is now one month into her training program with her new Mustang Sweet Pea, which she adopted for the Extreme Mustang Challenge in May. Sweet Pea is now completely gentled and desensitized to the many sights and sounds that are part of domestic life. She trailers willingly and Alyssa is starting to ride her. As I write this, the two are participating in a two-day clinic with trainer Wylene Wilson. If you don’t know who she is, check out the award-winning documentary “Wild Horse, Wild Ride.” Have tissues handy.

Jennifer Waitte

Hoof Education IHCS Style

As a hoof care professional, I am always seeking to improve my knowledge and skills to better help the horses I work on.  One of the best venues I have found is The International Hoof Care Summit (IHCS), held annually in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The IHCS is one of the leading conferences for equine hoof-care professionals. Farriers and veterinarians come together to learn techniques and share ideas to address trimming and shoeing horses.  If you look closely at the following video you will catch me and a few others from the Daisy Haven Farm crew in attendance.

I have attended the IHCS each year since 2005, each year benefiting from the experience of the speakers, wide variety of content covered, networking opportunities and the extensive trade show.  This year over 950 farriers attended. 

Some of the broad range of topics covered at the IHCS included:

  • Hoof Morphology
  • Hoof Function
  • Hoof Trimming
  • Shoe Making and Placement
  • Using Glue and Plastics
  • Pathologies: Laminitis, Navicular, Ringbone, P3 Fractures, Flexural Deformities, etc.
  • Business Topics
  • Client Management
  • Body/Hoof Connection
  • Case Study Presentation
  • Locomotion/Gait Analysis
  • Conformation
  • Nutrition

I was honored to be a moderator and speaker at the 2013 IHCS.  I moderated a roundtable discussion on “When to use Barefoot Rehabilitation in Your Practice”, which turned out to be a lively discussion well-attended by a diverse crowd.  While the conversation became heated at times, everyone's opinions were heard and respected.  A lot of good information was exchanged.

I also presented a Hoof Care Classroom on “Maintenance vs. Rehabilitation Trimming and Shoeing and Gaining Your Clients Confidence” which was also well attended with a great Q & A session at the end.  I presented several case studies demonstrating the process by which we make our decisions when to safely apply maintenance work vs. rehabilitation work at Daisy Haven Farm.  Thank you to the American Farrier’s Journal for asking me to speak.  A wonderful group of our students and Team Members helped me rehearse my presentation the day before.

The International Hoof Care Summit has always challenged and expanded my thinking.  I highly encourage you to attend next year!   You may not always agree with every speaker, but there’s always something to take out of the experience to help the horse!  

Just a few among many of the amazing people and groups I’ve had the privilege to connect with by attending the International Hoof Care Summit:


For more information on the International Hoof Care Summit, please see: http://www.americanfarriers.com/pages/International-Hoof-Care-Summit-Homepage.php.

 

Easyboot and EasyCare Top Ten of 2012

Another year has passed and the barefoot, booted horse is several steps closer to the mainstream. Take a quick look at several of EasyCare's 2012 highlights.  Counting down in order from #10 to #1. 

10. The booted passion continues even stronger in 2012.  Although politics and religion are the hot buttons in society, EasyCare has seen an increase in the amount of firey debate in the EasyCare Newsletter, EasyCare Blogs and Easyboot Facebook pages.

9.  Easyboot Star Sightings.  Easyboots are seen with Shania Twain, Martha Stewart, and are often seen on CBS during 2 Broke Girls

Shania Twain in Old Mac's in Vegas

8. The Easyboot and Easyboot Epic get a facelift in 2012.  A new buckle design and a more aggressive tread pattern.

The new 2012 Easyboot Epic

7.  EasyCare partners with Curtis and Diane Burns at Polyflex

EasyCare and Polyflex are putting are ideas together for new forms of urethane hoof protection.

6.  Little girls and horses.  Alyxx gets a pony in 2012.

The bond between a young girl and her first horse.  A refreshing reminder of how lucky we are at EasyCare to work with horses and the people who share their lives with them.

5.  EasyCare owned horses race in Colorado, Texas and Delaware in a new prototype, urethane, flexible glue on horse shoe. 

The Easyboot prototype race shoe hits the flat track in Delaware, Colorado and Texas.  EasyCare is making progress on a flexible, urethane option for the flat track industry. 

4.  Heather and Jeremy Reynolds compete and finish the 160K World Endurance Championship in England.  Both of the Reynolds mounts were barefoot and fitted with Easyboots.

Heather Reynolds on Marvel and Jeremy Reynolds on Kutt.  The Reynolds were two of the five person team representing the USA at the World Endurance Championship in England.

3.  The Tevis Cup is won for the second year in a row in Easyboots.  Tevis is considered the toughest 100 mile horse event in the world!

Lisa and Garrett Ford cross the finish line 1st and 2nd in the 2012 100 mile Tevis Cup.  Both are riding barefoot Easybooted horses.

2.  The Haggin Cup is won for the third year in a row in Easyboots.

Rusty Toth and Stoner win the Haggin Cup at the 2012 100 Mile Tevis Cup.  The third year in a row the Haggin Cup has been won by a barefoot booted horse. 

1.  Shannon and Steffen Peters have success with the barefoot horse and hoof boots at the highest levels of dressage.  The Peters have transitioned many of their top level dressage horses to barefoot and hoof boots in 2012.  Look for an article in the 2013 February Dressage Today that talks about the journey. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sossity Gargiulo, Shannon Peters, Garrett Ford pause for a quick photo after watching a barefoot Ravel work in EasyCare hoof protection.  I usually rub horse slobber off, I rubbed Ravel's slobber in!  What an amazing horse and unforgettable opportunity to work with people the caliber of the Peters.  

To an amazing 2012!  Looking forward to what 2013 will bring.

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.

 

Having a Barefoot Clinic is as Easy as 1 2 3

Submitted by Charmain Q De Hart, Team Easyboot 2012 Member

Having a barefoot clinic is not an easy task. Although we have done numerous presentations and several clinics, I still had that anxious feeling I get when I really don’t want to forget anything. That would include every type of boot you have to display (thanks to EasyCare for providing single boots for display purposes), brochures on different types of boots and boot accessories, brochures on barefoot services, handouts on what your lecture is covering, banners and posters of anatomy and a white board to draw on.

You never know exactly what people expect when they attend a Barefoot Clinic. Starting out with nutrition always seems like a good idea; get people while they are fresh and can take as much as they can in before we move on to what they really think they came for. Next would be the anatomy of the hoof and trimming and last but not least boots.

Six years ago when we first ventured out spreading the barefoot word, utilizing boots for barefoot horses was pretty much unheard of here in our part of the world. Sure people pulled their horses shoes off during the winter, but in a true barefoot person’s mind we don’t consider this truly going barefoot. Barefoot to us is no metal shoes, completely barefoot 24/7, 365 days out of the year and booting when needed. The only boot that anyone really heard of was the Original Easyboot. Oh yes, the infamous Easyboot, the boot that people still say didn’t stay on if ridden on tough uneven terrain.  

Fast forward to 2012 where boots have come a long way. The options are greater and the quality of the products has changed two fold. There are many types of boots for different types of disciplines.  There are low profile boots like the Glove, the Glue-On or the Epic for people that put 25+ miles a week on their horse. If they are the casual trail rider their boot of preference could be the Trail or maybe the Old Mac's.  And of course for rehab purposes the Rx. Easycare is on the cutting edge of new, improved boot selection.

The turnout was great and we received a lot of positive feedback which makes all the work of putting a clinic together worth it! If one person can be convinced “to come to the dark side”, I feel we have accomplished something good. After a 3 hour lecture, one person pulled shoes off of her gelding and another person left exclaiming she was going to try and go barefoot with her horse. The consensus was that most people got most out of nutrition lecture. 

Knowing when the best time for their horse to be on pasture to how to test their hay for any lacking minerals and sugar levels. Another person that had been going barefoot for quite some time spoke with us after the clinic in regards to boots. She felt she had gotten a ton of info in regards to diet, pasture management and trimming but at the point of us talking about boots she said the “light” went on and she said that was the piece of the puzzle she was missing to be able to ride her horse comfortably on the trail.

Basically what it all boils down to is proper trimming on a regular schedule, movement and a good environment build good hooves. These things combined with proper nutrition build great hooves.

Charmain Q De Hart