Eight Things Everyone Should Know About the New EasyShoe

After more than two and a half years of development, the new EasyShoe will be available worldwide starting in mid-February, 2014. The entire EasyCare dealer network has the opportunity to place pre-orders starting this week, which means every member of the distribution channel can get boots to their customers at the same time. There are eight things everyone should know about the new EasyShoe. Read up - we might just decide to give you a pop quiz on them next month.

1. The EasyShoe is available in four different models: EasyShoe SportEasyShoe CompeteEasyShoe PerformanceEasyShoe Performance N/G

2. The EasyShoe design allows for vertical and horizontal heel movement never before seen in a urethane shoe. The video below shows the lateral flexion offered by the same shoe using hand strength only. The image below demonstrates how the unique keyhole design at the back of the shoe allows flexion never before seen in a frog support shoe. 

Unequaled lateral flexion.

Vertical flexion properties: setting a new industry standard.

3. The EasyShoe can be glue or nailed. Gluing may not be for every hoof care practitioner, farrier or horse owner. If you would rather nail the EasyShoe onto a horse's hoof, then simply purchase the EasyShoe Performance N/G. If you would rather glue the EasyShoe on a horse's hoof, select from the Performance, Sport or Compete models. Do you have a glue preference? Our application videos show two application techniques: one with Vettec Adhere and one with Polyflex Bond. 

The spacer system, which comes in five widths, allows the user to set the back of the
EasyShoe Performance N/G to the optimum width when nailing on the shoe.

4. The EasyShoe can be left on for the entire trimming cycle. Enjoy the benefits of a barefoot and booted protocol without having to apply and remove the boots each time you ride. The open sole design of the EasyShoe allow the hoof to breathe. The expansion and contraction properties of the shoe help evacuate material from within the shoe with each step.

5. The EasyShoe allows unlimited heel expansion throughout the trimming cycle. The unique design of all four EasyShoe models allow the heel area to expand during the trimming cycle without forcing the hoof to grow out and over the base of the shoe.  

6. The unique keyhole design of the EasyShoe Performance and Performance N/G lets the shoe expands to fit most hoof shapes. Even the most unusual hoof shapes can be well accommodated because the shoe opens and closes, hugging the hoof for an optimum fit. 

7. The open toe design means you can set break-over anywhere you want. Are you working on bringing back break-over? The EasyShoe can be set back as far as you want and still offers the largest gluing surface area. If you want to set the Performance N/G back, just remove the front toe clip with a pair of nippers and leave the clips at the toe quarters to maintain shoe placement.

8. The EasyShoe is ideal for therapeutic applications. If you're helping horses with chronic laminitis or founder, add a pour-in packing or dental impression material to maintain support and comfort across the entire sole of the hoof.

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.

 

2014 International EasyShoe Clinic & Events Schedule

If you're interested in learning more about background and application of the new EasyShoe, we've got good news for you: a series of clinics and representation by key EasyCare staff and dealers is already in place.
 
 
1. Daisy Haven Farm will be offering five EasyShoe clinics across the US. This 2 1/2 day clinic schedule starts on Friday evening and will focus on hoof anatomy, background on the EasyShoe and hands-on application techniques of all four shoe models. 
 
Agenda
- Friday 4:30 PM: Registration and Dinner
- Friday 5 PM-9 PM: Anatomy Presentation and Dissection
• Overview of the weekend.
• Presentation on hoof anatomy and terms.
• Dissection by Paige Poss in conjunction with x-ray comparison of anatomy.
 
- Saturday 8:30 AM: Breakfast and review of previous day, Q & A
- Saturday 9 AM-5 PM: Cadaver Work
• Demonstration of hoof trim and prep for glue.
• Participant hands-on hoof mapping and trimming using x-ray: reliably finding the external landmarks related to internal anatomy.
• Shoe fit and preparation for glue.
• Lunch offered during review of the morning work, continue work after lunch.
• Demonstration of shoe application.
• Wrap-up Q&A at end of day.
 
- Sunday 8:30 AM: Breakfast and review of previous day, Q & A
- Sunday 9 AM-5 PM: Glue-On Shoe Day
• Participants hands on final hoof prep and glue on shoes, working as teams to watch and assist each other.
• Lunch offered during review of the morning work, continue work after lunch.
• Learn to nail offered after lunch.
• Wrap-up Q&A at end of day.
 
 
Clinic Schedule
The cost to participate in the clinic is $299.00 (attendance is capped at 40 people). Auditor spaces are also available for $125.00 (auditor attendance is capped at 15 people). The clinic must be paid for in full at time of registration. Participants may sign up using this on-line form: EasyShoe Clinic Registration. Please be sure to identify which location you are signing up for. 
 
March 7-9th in Plymouth, CA
Host: Bob Smith
Facility: Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School
5225 Carbondale Road, Plymouth, CA 95669
 
March 14-16th in San Diego, CA
Host: Shannon Peters
Facility: Arroyo Del Mar
7070 Black Mountain Road, San Diego, CA 92130
 
May 16-18th in Charlotte, NC
Host: Bryan Baire
Facility: Location TBD
Charlotte, NC 
 
June 13-15th in College Station, TX
Host: Dr. David Hood
Facility: TBD
College Station, TX
 
July 11-13th in South Lyon, MI
Host: Brian Smigielski
Facility: Gaited Acres Farm
6175 Mae Lane, South Lyon, MI
 
 
2. EasyCare will also have representation at the events listed below: 
  • International Hoof Care Summit - Cincinnati, Ohio. January 28-31, 2014.
  • Strohm Open House, Dusseldorf, Germany. February 6-9, 2014.
  • BETA International - Birmingham, England, February 16-18, 2014.
  • EasyShoe Clinic - Durham, England. February February 19, 2014.
  • EasyShoe Clinic - Bodalla, Australia. February 20, 2014.
  • Easycare Down Under EasyShoe Clinic - Melbourne, Australia. February 23, 2014.
  • SPOGA Horse - Cologne, Germany. August 31 - September 2, 2014.
  • Equitana Asia - Melbourne, Australia. November 20-23, 2014.

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.

 

Gluing In The Cold

If you live in the US or northern Europe, winter temperatures are often frigid or even brutal cold with the exception of a few areas. Many videos and blogs have been published about proper gluing procedures of the Easyboot Glue-Ons and EasyShoes during average outside temperatures (examples include: The Last Two Percent and Glue-Tech Seminar - A Broad Spectrum of Gluing Techniques). All of these should be watched and reread but during the winter months, there are ways to alter the gluing protocol to adjust to the cold temperatures and higher humidity.

When using Vettec adhesives, make sure they are at room temperature or slightly above. Vettec Adhere is fairly thick flowing in colder temperatures which can lead to longer than normal setting times. Vettec Sole-Guard flows thinner and has a slighter higher tolerance for air humidity. So during the winter months, especially if the glue is marginally warm, I have used Sole-Guard to glue Easyboot Glue-Ons/EasyShoes. Sole-Guard has the same adhesion strength as Vettec Adhere. During tests performed on Global Endurance Center horses, there was no difference in tensile strength between Adhere and Sole-Guard.

It is also very important to spend sufficient time warming the hooves as well as the Easyboot Glue-Ons/EasyShoes.

Warming up Easyboot Glue-Ons and EasyShoes.

Setting and curing time for the glues will be longer during the cold winter months. You can expedite the process by using the heat gun after the gluing to keep the boots and glue warm. Be careful when using a heat gun and do not hold it too close, as this can alter the molecular structure of the glue and 'burn' the glue.

If Vettec glues have been exposed to cold temperatures it is important to SLOWLY warm the tubes up to room temperature. No short cuts allowed by immersing them in hot water or laying them onto a heater. These methods can affect the glue strength. If the glue is grainy or pale purple and opaque, discard the glue cartridge and start with a fresh cartridge.

Often when I'm gluing front hooves, I do not feel the need to pick up any legs. If I do feel it should be done, I prefer to lift one of the hind legs.

When gluing hind hooves, it is advisable to pickup a front leg. Refrain from picking up the opposing hind legs, because any movement with the hind quarters could result in a twisting of the newly glued boot. Lifting one of the front legs off the ground makes a horse put more pressure on both hind hooves.

I wish you successful gluing during the cold season!

Your Bootmeister

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center

Four Months of EasyShoes

Is everyone sick of hearing about the EasyShoe from me yet? If so, I apologize, but the EasyShoe has truly been a game-changer for myself and this particular horse. I don't believe it's a one-size-fits-all miracle, but for my situation, it has bridged the gap between barefoot/shod and sore/sound. In the past few months, while the product has been prepared for launch, there has been much ado. There has been criticism, judgment and some nasty words. I chalk the nastiness up to misdirected passion, from people who believe so strongly in keeping horses barefoot and as natural as possible. I truly believe the naysayers feel any form of semi-permanent hoof protection is a sure demise in the integrity of the bare hoof. They say any horse can be "fixed," with a better, more competent trimmer, a more natural environment, a lower sugar diet, more exercise, less civilization, magical lotions, potions and more. In reality, most of us ride the horse we have. We do the best at providing the horse with good, if not superior-to-most hoof care, we make improvements to living conditions, we consult other trimmers, friends, veterinarians. We stuff slow-feeder hay nets, feed three times the amount of grass hay when we could be feeding much less alfalfa and diligently read and learn all that we can. Yet, sometimes, our horse fails to read the book, and doesn't thrive the way we think they ought to. 

The EasyShoe has added a piece to the puzzle for this particular horse. My horse, Topper. He has spent the last four months in EasyShoes, and every time I think it's as good as it's going to get, he gives me more. In some ways, I feel awful for not recognizing that he truly needed more support. In others, I am just thankful for doing the best I could, and even more thankful for having a better option for him at this time. I'll be the first one to admit that keeping a horse in shoes is not absolutely ideal, however, I think the EasyShoe is going to be an amazing tool for a lot of horses, in a lot of different situations. 

Four weeks in this set of EasyShoes, applied by yours truly. 

At four weeks on the second set of EasyShoes, I am about where I was at this point on the first set applied by Christoph. I feel a little itchy to get my hands on Topper's feet and give him a good trim. The hoof capsule is getting a bit long and his ever-running-forward-toes could be shorter. Is this the end of the world? I sure don't think so. And if you did, you could easily remove this set, trim the foot and re-apply a new set, or, remove the shoes, lightly trim and let the horse spend a period of time barefoot. Either way, Topper has grown some foot, still has his hoof wall in-tact due to the lack of nail-holes and is very, very sound. He has been able to gallop, trot and play over the rock-hard frozen ground, while the other horses have cautiously moved about. I haven't observed him appearing to have less traction than the rest and he hasn't gotten the nasty snow-balls like the rest of them. Winning! 

Observing the beginning of the Great Spread, on both the left and right front. His hind feet are bare, and don't appear to bother him at all. 

After a month of frozen ground that was literally as hard as concrete, we have been blessed with a tropical heat wave of above-freezing temps, which, while delightful to the body, has given us standing water, mud and slop. I'll admit it, I haven't actually cleaned out Topper's feet more than a few times in the past month, but upon closer inspection tonight, they don't appear to be holding up too badly. For those who have asked about how the glue holds in wet conditions, my preliminary opinion is GOOD! Despite standing in wet for the past week, and maintaining a pretty solid work schedule for the last month, the Adhere bond is solid and the EasyShoe shows no sign of detachment. After cleaning out his feet, I sprayed a bit of copper sulfate product in the opening as a precaution. From what I can see of the sole, his feet appear no different than my other barefoot horses. And, just like last time, the EasyShoe is moving with Topper's hoof as it grows, spreading at the heels, a feature that I believe is the ticket for horses who require long-term hoof protection. No contracted heels here! 

Happy Topper, playing in the snow without a care in the world. 

My opinion on the EasyShoe has surpassed my expectations. I found the application totally doable and have been thrilled with my horse's progress. Will I put them on all of my horses? No, but I sure like knowing they are available if needed. I have been blessed with horses who handle being barefoot and competing booted very well, but I'm not about to make any blanket statements about never putting "shoes" on any of my horses. I am so excited for the EasyShoe to hit the shelves next month! Just think of all the horses that may be helped! Thank you, Garrett, for continuing the think outside the box and standing up against the naysayers. It takes people like you to give us more and more options. Cheers to the EasyShoe - may the Year of the Horse be rockin'! 

2014 - The EasyCare Year Ahead

What can you expect from EasyCare in 2014? A lot of exciting projects are coming to a head. 

The EasyShoe Performance N/G allows the shoe to be nailed or glued. The
integrated nailing plate is clearly visible through the opaque design of the shoe.

EasyShoe

There will be four EasyShoe models released at the end of January 2014 and available for purchase worldwide by February 2014:

  • EasyShoe Compete
  • EasyShoe Sport
  • EasyShoe Performance
  • EasyShoe Performance N/G

The EasyShoe has gone through almost three years of development and testing and provides a wealth of advantages. Enjoy the benefits of a barefoot protocol without having to apply and remove hoof boots each time you ride. The new EasyShoe allows the hoof to naturally expand and contract laterally and vertically. The open sole design assures complete breathability of the sole and frog.

Manufactured with the latest in polyurethane technology, the EasyShoe dramatically reduces concussion on hard surfaces yet offers maximum durability and longevity. Use the EasyShoe to help offset chronic symptoms of thin hoof walls, sensitive heels, quarter cracks and slow hoof growth. Unique glue wings at the quarters maximize gluing surface area and contain glue holes to increase glue depth at a critical location.

EasyShoe Clinics in the US

An exciting partnership with Daisy Bicking of Daisy Haven Farm will allow us to offer a national tour of five EasyShoe clinics across the US. The exact dates and locations are being finalized - we will have more information to share in the coming weeks. 

EasyCare World Tour 2014

EasyCare representatives will be present at certain key international events throughout 2014. Expect to see key members of the EasyCare management staff at the following events:

  • International Hoof Care Summit - Cincinnati, Ohio. January 28 - 31, 2014
  • Strohm Open House, Dusseldorf, Germany. February 6 - 9, 2014
  • BETA International - Birmingham, England, February 16 - 18, 2014
  • EasyCare DownUnder EasyShoe Clinic - Melbourne, Australia. February 23, 2014
  • SPOGA Horse - Cologne, Germany. August 31 - September 2, 2014
  • Equitana Asia - Melbourne, Australia. November 20 - 23, 2014

Abundant Inventory

Did you notice something different in 2013 compared to previous years? EasyCare carried more than double the inventory usually on hand. That meant practically no backorders and immediate access to stock as and when you needed it. Expect to see the same unlimited access to any EasyCare model your heart desires for the duration of 2014.

An auspicious team: most of the members of the three EasyCare locations.
Missing from photo: Garrett Ford, Debbie Schwiebert & Becky Caldwell.

A New Location

EasyCare's corporate headquarters are located in Tucson, Arizona. On Monday, January 13, 2014, EasyCare will open an expanded satellite office location in Durango, Colorado. We recruited new Durango-based staff members in November and December 2013 to take on various functions in customer service, sales and accounting functions to complement the Tucson-based team members skills. Team members are currently being cross-trained at both locations. Expect to see visits north and south by each of the EasyCare teams throughout the year.

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.

 

2013 Success Stories - A Group Effort

Here we are again, the year is almost over and it is a great time for a summary of this year's highlights. The 2013 Easyboot/EasyShoe success stories include:

  • Rusty Toth won the Tevis Cup in Easyboot Glue-Ons.
  • The first six horses to finish Tevis wore Easyboots.
  • Kevin Myers won the 100 Mile AERC National Championship in Easyboot Glue-Ons. 
  • Christoph Schork won the 50 Mile AERC National Championship in Easyboot Glue-Ons.
  • Jeremy Reynolds won the NAETC with Easyboot Glue-Ons.
  • Riders tested the upcoming EasyShoes in endurance races (Gene Limlaw at the NAETC, myself at two 50 milers).
  • The EasyShoes are fully developed now and ready to hit the market in early 2014.

Rusty Toth and Take a Break (Quake) receiving the 2013 Tevis Cup first place award. Photo by Lynne Glazer.

Kevin Myers on his way to win the 100 Mile National Championship. Photo by Merri Melde.

Christoph Schork on the final stretch to win the 50 Mile National Championship with red Easyboot Glue-Ons.

Jeremy Reynolds winning at NAETC.

EasyShoe glued on Starlit Way from Global Endurance Training Center (GETC).

I have heard comments that these guys would have won anyway, regardless of what kind of hoof protection they are using. Maybe so, maybe not. But this is not the point. The point is that Easyboots of all kind are being sought out by the best in the sport. These are the athletes who are detail oriented and only select the best products for their horses. They know how attention to the detail can make the difference between success and failure. These riders are the leaders in their sport. EasyCare hoof protection allows their horses to maximize their performance.

MHF Medinah from GETC wins her first 50 Mile Race and BC wearing EasyShoes.

During the many clinics conducted in 2013 by EasyCare Staff in the US and myself in the US and Europe, we received a lot of feedback from hoof care professionals and riders. All of these comments were pondered over and evaluated to help produce the new EasyShoe. It truly was a group effort and without everybody's help the final product would not be what it is now. The same can be said about all of the EasyCare products on the market - they are made by the riders and for the riders.

Hoof care professionals in Germany discussing the new EasyShoe.

During last month's blog: EasyShoe Clinics Going Global, I described the advantages of the EasyShoe. The EasyShoe will not replace hoof boots, but they will round out the hoof protection available. Now EasyCare is providing the full spectrum of hoof protection, from the trail riders to the top national and international competitors of all equestrian disciplines. 

Hoof care clinic conducted by the Bootmeister in Oreana, Idaho.

GE Seastar of Global Endurance Training Center is traveling with her new EasyShoes in the snow. 

2014 will bring the opportunity for many riders to try the new EasyShoes. I truly believe these shoes will be turning heads and be of unparalleled success. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and fun filled and successful New Ride Year!

Your Bootmeister

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center

EasyShoes: Amateur Style

By now I think everyone has seen the lovely pictures of various hoof care professionals (like Daisy Bicking) and EasyCare staff applying the awesome EasyShoes that boast a line of peeps waiting to buy them longer than that of The Hunger Games and Twilight Breaking Dawn combined. I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to have The Bootmeister himself put on Topper's first set of EasyShoes, and ever since pulling them off have been hesitantly waiting to put a new set on myself. I'm not sure what my hang-up was. I've glued on dozens and dozens of Easyboot Glue-On shells with success, even for important 100 mile events. I know my way around some Adhere and a glue gun, but for some reason was thinking this was a challenge I couldn't meet. Of course only time (and shoe retention!) will tell, but I think I need not have worried. 

Garrett Ford's pretty EasyShoe application.

When I finally got the nerve to glue on Topper's second set of EasyShoes, the temperature plummeted to negative zero degrees. While this is certainly not ideal gluing weather, it made me that much more impatient with waiting for gluing weather. As the ground froze harder and harder, Topper started tip-topping around on the stabbing ice-ground which jabbed him with every move. His normally nice soft sand paddock froze solid. Luckily our Easyboot Gloves came to the rescue and we were able to keep him totally comfortable and happy in his Gloves. While waiting for a break in the temperature, we enjoyed a nice snowy ride on the trails and several dressage schools in the soft cushy indoor. Nevertheless, I was waiting impatiently for the temps to rise at least above 20*, like any reasonable person. 

While waiting, I was able to view this video that EasyCare recently released, as well as make sure I was able to easily put on the shoes in a dry run without glue in the way. Today I decided was the day, as the temps were well into the 20's and the horses were lazy and calm in the sun. Given that Topper has been standing in snow for the last week, I knew I'd have to pay extra attention to drying his hooves and because of the temps I made sure to warm up my Adhere and EasyShoes by keeping them in the sun until I was ready to go out. 

Gluing Stuff

Like I always do before gluing, I made sure to assemble everything I would need. Because I hadn't glued on a single set of boots this year (seriously love my Gloves), I was a little rusty. No worries, a little consideration and preparation can go a long way when gluing on boots/shoes. I gathered my fresh Adhere, glue gun, more tips than I thought I would need, husband's heat gun with the instructions of not to burn down the barn, paper towels, a pair of Easyboot Gloves, nippers, rasp, wire brush, hoof pick, box of plastic gloves (seriously, don't think you can do this on four or eight gloves), EasyShoes and the horse, which is best to leave out until everything else is ready to go, unless your horse is more awesome than any of mine and have longer attention spans than gnats. The only thing I forgot was a screwdriver, to use when putting glue into the tabs. This would have been very helpful. 

I went and grabbed Topper out of the snow and immediately dried off his feet with paper towels. I used the heat gun three different times in the course of prepping his feet, which I hope was enough. I first dried off his feet and then used the heat gun. Then I trimmed him and prepped the outside of his hooves with the side of the rasp, roughing up the surface to give the glue some tooth. I used the heat gun again. Then I put his feet in a pair of Gloves stuffed with paper towels. And then I burnt my arm on the damn heat gun. At this point I was ready to think about glue and pulled everything into an easy to reach pile from my post at Topper's leg. From here it went quickly, as it always does. 

Hoof wall in the process of being roughed up for maximum glue stickage.

First you apply your plastic gloves (I always use two pairs on each hand so I can peel off the nasty sticky outside one and have a fresh glove to work with). Then I carefully nip off the Adhere and purge a little material. Then you put on a tip and off you go. I was impressed by my contortionism as I juggled Topper's foot, the heat gun, the wire brush,  the Adhere AND the EasyShoe. Thankfully my horse is good. I don't recommend this method. For the second foot, I was a little more organized. 

After getting both shoes on, I realized this process was easier than gluing on shells with Adhere and Sikaflex. The cool thing about Adhere is that once it's set it's set. The bad thing about Adhere is that once it's set it's set. Having a totally ADD horse myself, I appreciate the 60-ish second set-up time and always struggled with the minutes and minutes it would take to set up a a shell with a twisty horse and slow-setting glue. I think the glue-on process for either product takes practice and preparation, as does much anything worth doing in life. 

 

Can't wait to watch these bad boys spread at the heels again!

When you're elbow deep in glue there are certain things you have to just roll with. In the process of putting on the first shoe, I realized I had forgotten a screw driver to use to pry the tab away from the hoof wall to get your glue down there. I used a hoof pick but it wasn't really ideal. Because I had probably been a bit too generous with glue on the floor of the shoe, there was some glue coming out of the holes in the tabs. I hope this combined with the little bit of glue that I got in there with the help of my wimpy hoof pick was enough. On his second, shorter foot, I realized I hadn't gotten my break-over as far back as I wanted. Thankfully, one of the coolest parts of these shoes is being able to shape them from the bottom almost as you would a bare hoof. Want a better break-over? Rasp one in. Want some relief at the quarters? Well rasp that in also. I was able to clean up the tabs on the walls with a rasp and added some more glue to where I felt it would be better anchored to the hoof wall. I rasped in a better break-over and voila! Off we go. 

Topper seems happy in his new shoes tonight and we'll test out my application this weekend with a couple of dressage schools and hopefully a trail ride. Hopefully they hold, as if they don't I have no one to blame but myself - I already know they can last over eight weeks

EasyShoes: Daisy Haven Farm Style

I have been gluing composite shoes of one kind or another since 2005, and have gotten very comfortable using the tools I have. After jumping into using the new EasyShoe, I am finding it really simplifies many aspects of the composite shoeing process. Like all new things however there is certainly a learning curve involved! I have been exploring the nuances of EasyShoe application, and am getting pretty happy with my application process. Here is an example of a horse I worked on a few weeks ago, with excellent results.

I am using Equilox/Equibond glue, hoof disinfectants such as Artimud and Fungidye, and dental impression material to pack the frog and sole. I have modified this EasyShoe by removing the 3 clips that are in front of the rear cuff as this horse doesn't need them. I am planning on gluing and nailing this shoe onto the horse's foot.   

My feet are prepped by trimming and removing all exfoliating material from the glue surface area. In this horse's case, I used a heat gun to dry her foot thoroughly before gluing.

I also prepare the foot by applying Artimud around the frog to prevent foot funk from growing under the shoe, and Fungidye in the white line and any nail holes to prevent infection from growing in those areas.  

Next I prepare and apply glue to the shoe. I have dental impression material mixed and ready to apply to the frog as well. I heat the shoe a bit before applying glue as this day the weather was 19 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of 8 degrees. The colder it gets the more I have to heat my materials. I also had the glue in a heating pad to warm it up before application.  

When applying the glue to the shoe, I pay special attention to ensure the glue completely fill the cuffs on the side of the shoe. I used a lot of glue on this shoe, and have learned that I don't need quite this much on most applications. I'm also going to move some of that glue into the inside of the cuff before application to the foot.  

I've brought the shoe over to the foot, and will apply the dental impression material just before the shoe. The dental impression material also acts as a dam and prevents the glue from going too far in on the sole.  

 

I have figured out I need to get under the horse to apply the shoe. I've tried applying the shoe from the side of the horse, but found I'm more successful if I have two hands free. I apply the shoe from lateral to medial, not from the front, paying close attention to how the cuff is laying on the wall.

I press down evenly and smooth the glue with my finger around the foot, shoe and cuff. I've found it advantageous to get out of under the horse at this point and work from the side. I don't want the horse pulling their leg at an inopportune moment and removing the shoe in the process!  In my experience you haven't glued enough shoes until you've actually glued one to your leg. Not something you do twice! I'll also use the heat gun on the shoe and glue in this cold weather to help the glue set quickly.  

For this horse I also applied two nails to each foot, one on each side just in front of the cuff. The nails go easily through the shoe, glue and foot, and are easy to set and clinch. I have been using the corner of the hammer head to set the nail into the shoe tread. Blocking and clinching is easy too.

Here is the final product which I am very happy with! This horse is ridden on the trail and in the ring several times a week and participates in many clinics throughout the year. She's loving her EasyShoes. 

For more information on Daisy Haven Farm, the horses we work on, and the clinics we offer, please see:

www.DaisyHavenFarm.com

Glu-Tech Seminar - A Broad Spectrum of Gluing Techniques

I had the honor of attending the Glu-Tech seminar on November 14 & 15, 2013 at the Ocala Breeder's Sales Center in Florida. The event was hosted by International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame inductee, Tom Curl, who has 38 years of hoof care experience. 

Tom Curl with Big Brown, 2008 Kentucky Derby Winner.

The list of speakers was impressive, and after Tom welcomed the attendees, it was clear that the finest gluing practitioners in the world had been assembled to share information and techniques publicly. It was even more clear that EasyCare's role as a thought leader in the application of hoof protection devices is well established. Each of five speakers had one hour to make a PowerPoint presentation and to apply their hoof protection device gluing protocol on one foot of a live horse.

Ian McKinlay of Tenderhoof Solutions presented case studies of hoof rehabilitation using Yasha Glue-On Shoes. He spoke at some length about the importance of allowing the hoof to expand and contract to remain healthy and vascular. As a farrier who has been working in alternative hoof protection device applications since the 1970s, his presentation was both fascinating and inspiring. 

Leah Clarke applies the Sticky Shoe. 

Leah Clarke, whose early years were connected to the world of endurance from her home in California, presented a gluing application of the Sticky Shoe, manufactured by the Thoro'bred Race Plate Company. I was particularly fascinated by the user kit the shoes come in: they contain everything you need for the gluing application, even a set of latex gloves. Leah later presented some case studies of quarter crack repair and lacing techniques to repair hooves. 

Tab Pigg from Vettec presented application of steel shoes using Vettec Adhere. If you have ever used the Easyboot Glue-On, you will know that Adhere is one of the recommended glues for applying the boot.

Curtis presents at the auditorium in the OBS facility. 

Curtis Burns of No Anvil LLC was the next to present the application of the Burns Polyflex Shoe. Curtis and Garrett Ford have worked in close partnership for more than two years as the design of the EasyShoe evolved. Curtis' application technique was characteristically meticulous. And as the hoof care practitioner responsible for Mucho Macho Man, Curtis has to know the best application methods on earth. And they appear to work: Mucho Macho Man won first place at the Breeder's Cup last month, bringing home an astonishing $5,000,000 purse for the win.

Garrett applies an Easyboot Glue-On. The entire event was filmed, with close-ups projected in real time onto a giant screen.

The first day closed with a presentation by Garrett Ford on how to glue on the Easyboot Glue-On. Garrett's application is almost as meticulous as Curtis'. His current application technique can be seen on the videos section of the EasyCare website.

One of the Glu-Tech Seminar attendees works with Garrett Ford to apply an EasyShoe to a Blacksmith Buddy.

On day two, each of the attendees worked in a hands-on setting with the presenters. Attendees picked who they worked with and applied the various forms of hoof devices using their preferred glue. Rather than using live horses, each presenter worked with a Blacksmith Buddy - essentially a life-sized prosthetic horse leg attached to a stand. The hooves are interchangeable, so the opportunities for teaching application methods using the Blacksmith Buddy are limitless.  

There were four key takeaway points for me:

  1. Gluing techniques vary dramatically. The key to successful application of the Easyboot Glue-On and the upcoming EasyShoe models rely upon careful and meticulous application methods. 
  2. Glue provides the bridge between steel shod and barefoot protocols. If you've felt like barefoot/booted and shod worlds are in a different universe; think again. Gluing applications of hoof protection devices have been around since the 1970s. Many of the hoof flexion benefits of barefoot/booted principles are alive and well in the glue-on shoe world. 
  3. The EasyShoe is eagerly anticipated across all sections of the hoof care world - the ease of application and the flexion properties will be key in its broad mass appeal as compared to all other glued hoof protection devices on the market today.
  4. As Garrett Ford put  it; "we're not selling horse shoes - we're selling what our shoes can do for the horse."

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.

 

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