The Bootmeister Invites You to an Upcoming Hoof Care Clinic

A one day hoof care clinic will be organized and conducted by Global Endurance Training Center and the Bootmeister. This event will be in timely proximity to the Owyhee Fandango Pioneer Ride, a 3 day ride, a first class endurance event in Oreana, Idaho, on May 27th, 28th and 29th. A long time favorite for riders from all over the world, this is an event you do not want to miss. Besides the 3 Day Pioneer ride, the event will also feature a 80 and 100 mile ride.

Hoof Care Clinic Germany

Christoph Schork at a recent Huf Coach Clinic in Germany. 

The Hoof Care Clinic will take place Wednesday, May 25th, in Eagle, Idaho, very close to the Fandango ride and this presents an unique opportunity to attend both events in the same trip, a big consideration during this time of ever rising fuel prices.

This clinic will cover in detail the anatomy of the horses lower limbs and discuss various hoof trimming techniques. 

Global Endurance Training Center Presents:

Hoof care options for the competitive endurance horse

 Presentation, Discussion & Demonstration
 
When: Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
 
9 am – 5 pm
 
Where: ONCE UPON A HORSE ARENA
 
2880 N Eagle Rd
Eagle, Id 83616
 
(Eagle Exit on I-84, 2 miles north of Eagle at corner of Eagle Rd and Beacon Light Rd)
 
Tel: 208 939 0785
 
Participation Fee: $ 200.00 if paid before May 18th ( $ 225.00 after deadline)
 
Program:
 
9 am – 10 am: Functional Anatomy of the  Equine limb
10 am -11 am: Limb and Hoof Biomechanics

11 am – 12 am: Conformation and Hoof capsule distortion
12 am – 1 pm: Lunch ( lunch will be provided) During lunch, opportunity for Q&A
 
1 pm – 3 pm: Practical session with live horses: Conformation analysis, hoof care and trimming
 
3 pm – 5 pm: Choices of hoof protection and application

Clinicians: 

Christoph Schork, Hoof Care Provider, Farrier and rider; Global Endurance Training Center, Moab Utah
 20 year experience as farrier, hoof care specialist, bare foot trimmer
10 year experience as clinician in hoof care and horse training in the Americas, Australia and Europe 
25 year experience as horse trainer, endurance rider, national and international competitor(1st place in 2007 Quilty Gold Cup, PANAM, WEG rider)
With partner Dian Woodward: combined completion mileage of over 35,000 miles and combined 1st place finishes of over 230

Olin Balch, DVM, MS, PhD, North Fork Veterinary Service, Cascade, Idaho
Participant in endurance riding (vetting/judging, riding) and ride-in-tie events since 1980
Resident farrier for the Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine from 1976 to 1980 and from 1986 –1991
PhD. Degree in Equine Locomotion and Biomechanics; PhD. Dissertation: Effects of alterations in hoof angle, mediolateral balance, and toe length on kinetic and temporal parameters of horses walking, trotting, and cantering on a high-speed treadmill
One of 38 veterinarians selected world-wide since 1997 to the International Equine Veterinarian Hall of Fame that recognizes veterinarians who have contributed to the knowledge and recognition of proper hoof care for horses
51 national and international presentations and 34 refereed scientific papers and proceedings on shoeing, hoof balance, and lameness issues

Sign up at:
 
Global Endurance Training Center
4381 Heather Lane
Moab, Ut. 84532

Tel: 435 719 4033
Cell: 435 260 1494
 
Email: info@globalendurance.com
www.globalendurance.com

Discussion on Conformation

Conformation and hoof growth, how do they relate to each other? Just one of the topics we will cover during this educational opportunity.

During this clinic, we will also discuss and demonstrate natural hoof trimming, barefoot trimming, natural hoof care, horse shoes, protective horse boot application and other hoof care products. 

Participants are welcome to bring their own horses for hoof evaluation and trimming suggestions.

Vettec, Inc has been a long time sponsor and contributor to GETC hoof care clinics and the Fandango rides. Without the Vettec Glue on Products, many new hoof protection products and protective horse boots could not even get applied. Vettec is sponsoring a Wine and Cheese party on Friday evening at the Fandango ride. All clinic participants are invited to join us there.

wine and cheese

Vettec also donated some raffle items, which will be given away to clinic participants. These include  Vettec products like Adhere, Equipak and an application gun. We appreciate Vettec's support for continuous education and the welfare of our equine friends.

Following the educational clinic in Eagle, Christoph will be available during the Fandango ride in Oreana for a free Q&A session each day of the event from 4 pm to 5 pm. You may bring your horse for a hoof evaluation and suggestions for hoof care.

This is a great opportunity to learn, ride and have fun with like-minded riders, trainers, farriers and hoof care practitioners. Don't be left out!

Pegasus

See you in Eagle.

Your Bootmeister

Charm School

A few weeks ago I loaded up the new pony, Charmy-Schmarmy, and took him to kindergarten. Not only is this a huge step for him, it's a huge step for myself- an obsessive-compulsive, worrying control-freak of a person. Was he ready? Was the trainer really that good? What if he didn't recognize a potential little sign of not-quite-rightness and a horrible injury ensues? What if they don't notice he isn't eating well and he colics? What is he ties-up after a few days off? And my main concern- what if Charm's bare feet can't handle training on the trails without the protection that horse trainers in this area seem to be completely adverse to using (unless, of course, the protection is nailed-on steel). Clearly I am a freak, but we already knew this.  

Of course I'm being a bit dramatic here. But, as this was to be the first time I've ever sent a horse off to training, I was understandably a bit worried. However, I checked out this trainer thoroughly including riding three horses that he had put thirty days on and was very pleased. The owner of the facility happens to be Charm's breeder, which is why I felt confident leaving him there. I was, however, not kidding when I say I was concerned about the potential for Charm getting sore feet. After three rides in the round pen, my baby pony was ready for the trails. One of the other main reasons I decided to send him to this trainer was due to the fact he does most of his riding on the trails from the facility, which are mostly good footing but can be pretty hard with some rock. I didn't want to pay for someone to ride the kid in the arena, I wanted him out on the trails so he's ready to go when I got him home!! Woo-hoo! This training thing is a pretty sweet deal!

Charm

After two weeks, we went to see Charm being ridden and check out his feet. He went so well in the round pen that I just HAD to get on him. No, I didn't have my helmet, and yes, I know how risky it is to ride without one, but did it anyway. What a cool little horse this is going to be! I made my ride short and sweet, just getting on, walking around each direction along with a few halts and some moving off the leg. He's going great and from what I understand keeps getting better and better. So far his feet are doing well, although I will be going back out tomorrow and checking them further. We have had a ton of rain and he is in a bedded stall so the ground is soft and wet and his feet are staying dry. As he only has four weeks left (trainer takes six weeks to put on thirty days) I would be safe to glue-on boots if necessary, although I don't think it will be a problem. 

charm

What have you done with your barefoot horses while sending them to training? Of course when I mentioned I could leave his boots with him, the trainer wanted to know why I was "opposed" to nail-on shoes. I can understand why a trainer wouldn't want to mess with a bunch of booted horses, but felt a little backed into a corner. 

Turns out Charm's feet did get sore, about five weeks into his training. It worked out in my favor that during his weekend off, it rained so the ground got wet again, but I did end up bringing him home a few days early. I think the ideal situation would have been to glue on boots for the last two weeks, but of course that is all hindsight. 

What I brought home was a well-started horse who enjoyed a few weeks off while I was riding the others. I pulled him out for the first time on Sunday, which was three weeks after he came home. I hadn't done much with him since bringing him home, so was pleasantly surprised when I got on (and he stood still!!) and then left the ranch with a forward, ground-covering walk. He was comfortable barefoot, and I plan to ride him primarily barefoot this summer as we'll be taking it super slow. I snapped a few pictures of his feet when we got back from our five mile jaunt. He is in need of a trim now, which is good because he was pretty dang short when I brought him home. Can you believe the difference in these feet?!?!

Remember these pictures from his pre-purchase exam? YIKES!

left hind

Both hind feet


right hind


left front

Front feet shots, mid-trim.


right front before

And now we have some nice feet!! His front feet are in serious need of a trim, but I am pleased with the way they are growing. He appears to wear fairly evenly, despite breaking over a bit to the outside. His back feet are self-trimming and wearing well. What a change in those back feet, eh? 

hind now

Hind foot #1
and

hind now

Hind foot #2. Much better!

Front feet-

front

And check out the nutrition line..

front

All in all I am pretty pleased with the new addition. Hope to be out on the trail with him in full force very soon! 

charm


Until next time!
~ Amanda Washington
SW Idaho


Dealer of the Month: Randy Hensley

Randy grew up with horses: he used to team rope and was a rodeo pickup man. He now lives with his wife and two sons on a farm in small-town Iowa. They like to trail ride when time permits: he enjoys the time spent with family and being outdoors. He works full-time trimming, rehabilitating hooves and conducting clinics. He and his wife boot their horses if needed when riding in an environment they are not used to.

When someone calls him for the first time, he asks a lot of questions. “I want to get some history on the horse if possible: what the living conditions are; what the diet is; what the horse is, or was used for; how much it is ridden, and in what situation. I explain my thoughts on hoof care and what is involved to get a healthier hoof. A change in diet, living conditions (environment), and hoof protection will all be looked at.”

Randy Trimming

Like many of his peers, Randy believes the hoof boot industry has changed tremendously. “When I first started in the farrier business,” he says, “a hoof boot was a spare tire in case you broke down. As boots have evolved, they now are a very good option for hoof protection. Even the changes since I switched from shoeing to barefoot have been quite a lot in a few years.” When he made the switch, he did a lot of rehabilitations with Epics that still had teeth. “I modified this in most every boot that I fit so that it would not get into the hoof wall. The pad selection was not where it is today either: I did a lot of making pads out of what ever I thought would work. Then came comfort pads and now there is a wide selection.”

Randy attributes his success to the many people he has met in the time he has been a farrier and now a hoof care practitioner. “There are far too many to people to mention, but I want to thank them all. I would not be where I am today if it were not for the help and education that those individuals have given me.”

He has been carrying EasyCare products since 2006. He stocks Epics, Old Macs, Rx, Gloves, Glue-Ons and pads in his vehicle. The boots he uses the most and his favorite EasyCare boots are the Gloves and Glue-Ons. He uses the RX boots for his rehab cases.

Randy was a traditional farrier for several years. He made the switch to barefoot after a couple of clients began working on him to start trimming their horses that way. “I was very skeptical at first. I began to realize I had a lot to learn; I changed my style of trimming and way of thinking. I began applying natural hoof care to the problem feet that I had. The improvements were amazing; the founder and navicular cases I had been struggling with were improving. As time went on, I changed my business to trimming and rehabilitation, no longer using steel shoes for hoof protection.”

Randy Clinic

When asked what he sees in the future of barefoot, he says “My hope is that I will see the day when barefoot is normal for all horses.”

For more information on Randy Hensley visit his website at http://www.naturalequinehoof.com/index.htm.

Glove Love

Well we all know that I have been blogging (blabbing??) on and on for the past couple months about my plans to be a slave-no-more to gluing on boots. I love Easyboot Glue On's with Goober Glue and Adhere. I think the performance of the Glue-Ons is absolutely the best form of hoof protection for us. If applied correctly, there is very little failure and the peace of mind during the long miles or several days in a row is completely worth it. However, having done several one-day 50's in Gloves before, I knew there was another way! Like I have written, my mare has shown a propensity to be sensitive to EVERYTHING, and as such, had a difficult time with the gaiters on boots causing irritation. That said, I did my homework starting in January. I decided to to all of our longer training rides in a full set of Gloves, and went barefoot during our shorter mid-week rides. The longest ride we did was only 17 or so miles, but after several weeks of riding consistently in all four Gloves with no irritation, they were ready for the test!

Rep

Replika sporting her Gloves complete with pink Power Straps. Photo beautifully taken by Steve Bradley.

Saturday was the annual Owyhee Tough Sucker Endurance Ride. It's the first ride of the season for Idaho, and only the second for the Northwest. The weather usually SUCKS and I was looking forward to not having to deal with gluing on boots mid-week during a raging blizzard/rain/thunder/lightning storm like I have in years past. Nope, this time I sat twiddling my thumbs Thursday night when I normally would have been covered in glue. I got a lot of stuff done and we had a stress-free departure early Friday afternoon. We got to ridecamp and set up in about five minutes with the use of Replika's HiTie. Going off-topic for a moment, I have to say we just love our HiTie. There is no easier camp set-up than just swinging out the arm, plopping in the pin and attaching the bungee. Done. Clean-up is just as fast and we will be soon putting two additional HiTies on the trailer and doing away with the portable pen. Nice! 

fa

Picture by Merri Melde

We vetted in leisurely after I slapped on a brand-new pair of Gloves in the front because I know the trot-out area has some rocks. After I was done vetting, one the local riders needed some help with her horse who would be competing the next day in his first booted ride. He and his rider had been having some trouble with their Gloves staying on, so we set them up in proper sizes which were reinforced when I needed a screwdriver to pry them off! Unfortunately he was a bit sore so his owner opted not to start, which is always a difficult call to make, emotionally, even though most people know what the right decision should be. There will be more rides and now his rider has even more time to work out their booting issues and be well-prepared for the next ride! 

During the ride meeting, Steph Teeter and I decided to start the day off together and see how things went. Replika and Steph's gelding, Rhett, had gone out together a few weeks ago and seemed to tolerate each other, as much as such independent horses can, and it ended up working very well! Steph and I had an absolute blast, flying along the trails on two great horses, chatting up a storm and marveling at the scenery and amazingly perfect weather. No hardships at this ride, we were oh-so-lucky, and equally appreciative! 

ponies

Replika at the vetcheck in her Gloves. No issues here!

feet


Steph began the barefoot transition for her herd last year while wintering in Scottsdale. She and her horse, Rhett, are a new decade team, and at 20 years old, Rhett has over 5000 miles including nine 100's and Tevis just last year! This guy is amazing. While he didn't have much trouble with his transition, Steph noticed a substantial improvement in his metabolic recoveries after switching to boots. Staying consistent, he was awesome on Saturday and both horses completed our fast ride (exactly five hours) with heart rates in the 50's. The kicker of this is that Rhett was completely barefoot behind!! Funny thing is, despite just being trimmed on Wednesday, Steph couldn't fit him into his boots (size 2.5 hind boots!!) the morning of the ride so she decided to do it barefoot and see how he did. That horse never missed a step. Awesome. 

fa

Steph and Rhett's sexy butt and bare feet at the vetcheck. 

rhett

Rhett's hind foot after 50 miles completely barefoot. 

We rode pretty fast all day, staying at a consistent 10mph. My boots didn't budge the entire first loop, which was 25 miles. At the vetcheck, I pulled back the gaiters but didn't even have any debris to brush out. I had applied Replika's boots first thing in the morning, using a few wraps of athletic tape and Powerstraps on her front feet. Her hind boots fit beautifully so we just put them on as is. About halfway through the second loop I noticed Rep's right front boot was a bit twisted. She is technically an 0 on that foot but seems to move better on 0.5 as she doesn't like any heel pressure. Now keep in mind that I take the risk of putting her in a larger boot on that foot based on trial and error. These are the things that you learn after really putting in the time with that particular horse. It pays to put some time into this stuff! At the next water stop, I popped off the twisted boot, shook out some sand that had gotten into the toe and slapped it back on. We cantered the most of the next eight or so miles into camp and had no more twisting. I won't change anything for the next ride besides adding another wrap of tape and spending more time making sure the foot is really set in the boot. 

feet

Replika's pastern's immediately after the ride. The line on the inside of the left pastern rubbed out with a brush. There was no swelling or stocking up later that day or the next morning. 

feet

Hind ankles look great!

Replika felt strong and even all day. It was one of our best rides and I am beyond happy to have the option of using Gloves instead of Glue-Ons for single day rides. If I can stress anything at this time, it is to know what a good barefoot trim looks like and how proper hoof form will not only prevent most, if not all, boot-retention problems, but is also best for the horse in regards to mechanics, structure and soft-tissue. A horse with long toes, misshapen hoof walls, high/low heels or flares will not usually hold boots. A competition is not the time or place to experiment or try something new. And honestly, there is no shame in keeping shoes applied until you have enough time to give to a proper transition and the learning curve of using hoof boots. We definitely want everyone to share the same success with natural hoof care and boots that we have, but at the same time, it isn't usually instant gratification. That said, it's completely worth it!

'Till Next Time,
Amanda Washington
SW Idaho

The Gaiter Experiment

A few months ago, I decided that I was going to go about a few things differently this year than I have in the past. Given the fact I own the most sensitive, red-headed mare that ever existed, I know I have to plan things a bit differently than I have in the past with my other horses. The main area I wanted to change was my boot situation for the upcoming endurance ride season. Because Replika has shown herself to be incredibly thin-skinned and prone to irritation and scratches on her lower legs. She doesn't handle things like a simple scrape or laceration like most horses and has shown irritation with the gaiters. 

boots

Booted up to go for a ride. This was our first long ride of the season with Gloves.

Last winter I worked on riding her completely barefoot. She came to me in the fall in shoes and we spent a lot of time rehabbing her feet by riding barefoot. By the time ride season came around, I tried using Gloves for a few long hard rides, and while she did ok in them, I didn't feel comfortable using them on an endurance ride. Because of that, I opted to glue on boots for every ride last year. Of course the Glue-Ons work beautifully, but it always felt a little overboard gluing on boots for a one-day 50. 

boots

If anything, gluing on boots for every single ride last year perfected my application. 

I decided that I didn't want to be glued to gluing on boots for every ride this year! I also knew that because of her skin issues we would have to work up to doing a ride in Gloves with a long period of training rides in Gloves. You know the old adage, don't change anything before a ride! I wanted to start long before a ride. 

I started in January, choosing the longer of the week's conditioning rides to use boots on. It's a fine line, because it's so dang important to ride these horses enough barefoot to develop those beautiful bare feet, but I also needed to toughen up her skin to be able to tolerate gaiters for 50 miles. So from then on, we have done all of our longer weekend conditioning rides in Gloves, and I am happy to report that things are going really well! While she had a little irritation the first few rides, the last few have been wonderful! No rubs, no scratches and no more "squishy heel syndrome" despite a few wet and muddy rides. We'll knock on wood that we don't develop anymore of the above anytime soon! 

boots

The reason for the squishy heels... 15 miles in mud and muck. Easyboot Gloves are the mud tire of the hoof boot world.

Although I have been using the Gloves for the past couple of years, I always continue to learn more and more about fit, application and other adjustments. I don't think I can stress enough how important it is to have a good fit as well as utilizing Power Straps and athletic tape to improve upon success. 

Another important area to examine is the bottom of the boot. While the newest model Gloves sport the shortened factory break-over, some horses need a little extra help. I have had horses wear their own break-over in their Gloves after a few short miles, while others take longer to adjust. After a few training rides in her Gloves, Replika was still forging pretty significantly. I also noticed that she was collecting sand in the toe of the boot, which prevented the boot from properly fitting around her foot and even further changing the natural break-over! I had to further look at the entire picture. 

boots

Rasping in an exaggerated break-over.

I first took my rasp and exaggerated the break-over of the boot. Hard. I didn't so much rasp into the top of the toe, but I really focused on the bottom of the boot and the edges of the tread at the toe. I then decided that I was going to *really* seat the boot on the foot. I wrapped her front feet with athletic tape and picked up my trusty mallet. I swear this boot thing has me using tools that I never even knew existed! Usually I twist the boot on the foot with my bare hands, but decided that the foot must not have been fully seated in the boot due to the sand building up in the toe. So after I twisted on the boot like normal, I used the mallet to make sure there was no space in the front of the boot. Well DUH! All the sudden the Glove looked like the second skin of her natural foot, and we had no more forging!! 

boots

New and improved break-over. You can see the rough area in the below photo, which is where I focused on rasping. 

boots
We have the first ride of the season next weekend. I am confident in using the Gloves for her back feet, and am working towards feeling comfortable using them on her front feet. Because I have spent so much time treating scratches, I am obviously worried they will crop up before the ride and force me to use glue, but so far, so good! 

Have you found anything that improves the fit or function of your Gloves? I would love to hear your ideas!!

Until next time,

~Amanda Washington
SW Idaho



Dealer of the Month: Eric Knapp

When Eric Knapp gets a new client, he starts by evaluating the needs of horse and rider alike.  He enjoys passing on knowledge and ideas to help the horse. He assesses environment, diet, hooves and physical needs.

Eric believes the hoof care industry is in great flux and that as boot technology evolves, therapy horses, pleasure horses and working horses are all able to live their lives more comfortably without shoes. "People are learning that boots can do the job of traditional shoes and that they last longer," says Eric. "My clients are often surprised to find that the boots of today are much easier to use than prior models."

Eric lives in central Illinois with his wife and two children, but his trimming business takes him from Chicago to Missouri and from Indiana to Iowa. After 20 years of driving a semi, he turned his dream job into a reality four years ago and started trimming horses full-time. He is now a member of the American Hoof Association and specializes in the natural trim.

The Knapp family currently owns five horses that they taking out camping and riding throughout the Midwest. When asked about his favorite event, Eric doesn't even hesitate: "Each year I ride with a group of people to the Fort Madison Rodeo in Iowa: the trip is about 115 miles. The first year I went barefoot, but the second year I used Easyboot Glue-Ons with Goober Glue. The boots gave my horse added protection and comfort. In fact all 17 horses on the ride were booted, barefoot and happy."

17 Happy Ones

If you ask Eric what he attributes his success to, he'll tell you it that much of it comes from a good product that is user friendly. "Your boots are easy to put on and simple to modify so it makes my job easier." As an EasyCare dealer, Eric likes to carry Glue-Ons, Gloves, Epics, and Easyboot Rx. He also keeps a supply of comfort pads in all densities and sizes, power straps and spare boot parts. "By far my best selling product is the Easyboot Glove: people like how simple, easy to put on, and durable it is." He prefers the Rx boot for therapy and the Glove as riding boot. For people transitioning their horses from steel to boots, he usually recommends the Epic.

Crossing The Mississippi

Eric's great success story was a Cushing's horse that had foundered and had a rotated coffin bone when he first met it. He gave him a natural trim and put him in Rx boots with a pair of comfort pads. He cut a hole in the pads where the tip of the Coffin bone was and it gave the horse instant relief. "When I drove up, the horse could barely walk: it was in obvious pain.  But by the time I left he was walking considerably better.  That's a good feeling to know that you brought some comfort to a horse in pain."

Looking forward, Eric believes the barefoot trim is the healthiest option for a horse.  "I believe horse hoof boots are the horseshoe of the 21st century.  You can do about anything with a boot that you can do with a horseshoe.  The new Glue-Ons and Gloves provide endless options for horse owners."

The Big Picture

Big picture

The year 2010 was sure remarkable in many ways within the horse industry and the hoof care market. Never before have we seen such a revolutionary development occuring.

The Background
For over 2,000 years now, horses have had iron horse shoes applied to their hooves. Yes, the form and shape changed from something more crude to more modern shaped keg shoes. But basically horse shoeing stayed the same for 2,000 years.

mongolian shoeing

Here, horse shoeing the old way, in Mongolia.

For every shoeing, the blacksmith or farrier needed to be called. No rider or horse owner dared to trim their horses hooves, not to mention nail iron shoes on. Suddenly, after 2,000 years, what changed?
  • Blacksmithing and farrier work is hard, fewer farrier enter the profession.
  • Horse owners having an ever more difficult time scheduling shoeing.
  • Farriers are often late for their appointment or do not show up at all.
  • Costs for shoeing are ever increasing.
  • Horse owners and riders are getting more educated and question traditional methods.
I have traveled all over the world, Europe, Asia, all of the Americas, and the issues are the same everywhere.

As a logical consequence, barefoot riding is becoming more and more the norm. Don't get me wrong, horses have been ridden barefoot for thousands of years. But then it was out of necessity, because either there was too much snow or no farriers were available. One might say it was a necessary evil to ride bare. Only during the last few years have notable pioneers like Pete Ramey (there are many others, of course) studied and researched bare foot trimming. I mention Pete Ramey, because he comes from a farrier background and researched the horses hooves like no other. Furthermore, he is closest to my trimming philosophy, he is non judgmental and open minded like no other person in the hoof care market that I know of.

This is the first time ever, that hoof care is now possible for every horse owner and rider.  Available hoof trimming clinics, bare foot trimming seminars, natural hoof care clinics are becoming ever more popular.

So, where do the boots come in, what does EasyCare have to do with it?

One might say, EasyCare was at the right place at the right time when the hoof care revolution began. But that would not be the whole truth. Real leaders are shaping history. And EasyCare truly shaped the history of hoof care and hoof protection. Leading the way with research and development, endless testing and studying bare hoof mechanics and methods of protecting hooves without the invasive nailing has been of utmost importance for EasyCare and its staff.

From the original 'spare tire', where the old style easyboots were used for, EasyCare boots like the Epics, the Bares, the Grip, the Edge, the Gloves and Glue ons shaped the future of the hoof protection market like no other. In my opinion, EasyCare will lead the way for years to come.

Easyboot samples

Traditional Easyboot, Epic, Glove and Glue-On.

On 5-12-2008, Pete Ramey wrote:

Ramey

I have no doubt that Pete is right on with his conviction. I share his belief, as Bootmeister and as avid endurance rider. And the numbers prove it:

In 2010, new records were broken all over the world:
  • Horses with Easyboots completed over 41.000 miles just in the Easyboot contest during AERC endurance rides. Total numbers are likely to be twice that high. These numbers are only for the USA and Canada.
  • Hoof trimming clinics all over the world are at an all time high with participants. In Germany, Bernd Jung with Hufcheck conducts innovative clinics and has record high sales in protective horse boots. His clinics are exemplary and future oriented.
  • Global Endurance Training Center horses completed a total of 5510 endurance competition miles and won 21 BCs.
  • Dian Woodward had more completions than ever before, placed in the weight division and won 7 BCs
  • I myself set a new world record by winning the 200th endurance win. I had a total of 34 wins, 10 BCs during 50 starts and 50 completions. Stars Aflame won the national War Mare Award, Double Zell and Stars Aflame were first and second overall in the Mt Region Region Championship. All GETC horses were ridden exclusively with EasyCare Gloves and Glue-Ons.
All new records. Is that a coincidence? I think not. A big, if not decisive factor in this success are the new hoof boots from EasyCare.

Endurance riders are at the fore front in hoof care. In no other sport is proper hoof care, trimming and hoof protection of such a critical importance. Endurance horses are being tested to the limit and when EasyCare Hoof Boots are being used in ever higher numbers by endurance riders, I think it is save to say, they passed the test with flying colors and should and can be successfully used and applied by all other equestrian disciplines. Trail riders, Backcountry horsemen, Trail rider community organized in ACTHA, mounted police, parade and rodeo riders, all these millions of riders and horses out there will benefit from using the product line of EasyCare.

The trend is set, the revolution continues. For the first time ever, the horse owner can easily take care of their own horses hooves by learning how to trim and apply protective boots.

coltMongol shoe          

This young colt from GETC won't ever experience this kind of shoe.

The future is here. Thanks to EasyCare leading the way. Horses hooves are improving, we are trimming for soundness, protecting with EasyCare boots for protection.

Let's charge ahead, continuing the hoof care revolution and make 2011 an even better year for all our horses worldwide.

Express charging

Charging Ahead: DWA Express

I wish you a successful 2011.

Your Bootmeister

Back in Time or Back to the Future?

Natural Hoof Care, protective hoof boots, bare foot trimming, seems like hoof care is evolving at an ever faster pace. We are learning more everyday, we are understanding more with every hoof we trim.

Just came back from a two week trip to Germany, where I had the honor to conduct a couple of hoof care clinics. The first one was in central Germany, near the town of Kassel in North Hessen. The area is famous for the old medieval castles and forts, the area where  the Grimm Brothers wrote all their famous children's stories like Snowhite, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood. In the second one, I had the privilege to assist Bernd Jung from Hufshop in a two day clinic for hoof care practitioners. Bernd conducts regular seminars to teach natural hoof care and hoof protection. His program is very unique and provides in-depth knowledge about horse hoof trimming and protective horse boots.

Bernd Jung and the Bootmeister

Bernd Jung and the Bootmeister

The clinics  included anatomy of the horses leg and hoof, history of hoof care, Natural Hoof Trimming demonstrations, applications of Easyboot Gloves and Glue-Ons with Vettec products.

Horses and participants getting ready for demonstrationHoof drying















Horse and participants getting ready for Glue-on demonstration: Drying of hoof

Christoph 1

Using the rubber mallet to set the Glue on onto the hoof.

Christoph 2

CS Equipak is being injected through pre-drilled holes for sole support.

I also demonstrated the use of Vettec Superfast to build a temporary shoe. Below, the material Superfast is added to the hoof wall, plantar and dorsal. Hoof is placed onto a foam board.

Superfast

Then the dried material is rasped and shaped to whatever form desired.

Hoof is rasped

finished hoof

The trimming and EasyCare hoof boot application was performed on a variety of horses from various breeds and various hoof shapes and conditions. The weather was typical for Europe in November, cold and wet. But with proper preparation and diligence, we had great success in Glue-on application.

The equestrian industry in Germany is growing at a very fast pace. There are ever more horses year after year and the demand for educated hoof care practitioners is huge. The enthusiasm of the participants was contagious, everyone is eager to learn and has a lot to contribute. As always, when I teach hoof care clinics, I'm the one who is learning the most. It is fascinating what we can learn when we are open minded.

Surprising, at first, is the fact that founder is very widespread. I did not understand why it is so common, till I learned that the pastures where nowadays horses are grazing, were until recently used by dairy cattle. The grass was heavily fertilized and genetically altered to increase milk production. This resulted in a 220% increase in milk production. Fewer cows were needed and pastures opened for the horses. Needless to say, horses have a difficult time with the altered and super rich grass, thus the high occurrence of founder.

So, more than ever, horse owners and riders are looking for remedies to help their foundered horses. We know that barefoot trims are helpful, so is frog and sole support. It is only logical that hoof boots in conjunction with Vettec products for sole support are in very high demand in Germany. Natural hoof care is being embraced more in Germany than in any other country I have visited.

A special "Thanks" goes out to Martin Boesel, who did the on site preparation and organization and provided logistical support for the clinic in Hessen, Christoph Mueller, the VETTEC Area Sales Manager for northern Europe, Garrett Ford and Kevin Myers for their tireless support and advocacy for Natural Hoof Care and finally, Bernd Jung and his family for taking such great care of me during my stay in Oberrot, where his business and home is located.
 

Medival knight castle near Amorbach, northern Bavaria

Medieval Knight's castle in Amorbach, Northern Bavaria. Here is also the location of the oldest known residential home still standing. The house below was built in 1291.
 

Oldest existing home in Germany

Your Bootmeister






 


The Healing Power of Barefoot featured in Equus Magazine

Congratulations to Barefoot trimmer and EasyCare dealer, Karen Reeves of Keno, OR. whose work was recently featured in Equus Magazine. The magazine ran a nice article titled Healing a Hoof Crack, "A Hoof Made Whole". Karen as many of you already know has quite a reputation for trimming and booting mules as well as hoof rehabilitation. In this article written by Robert Sproule, Karen takes on a gelding with a nasty crack that ran from the coronet band to the ground. The gelding's persistent crack stemmed from an old injury to his coronary band. After exhausting all other means to rectify the situation and running out of options; the owner, although skeptical contacted Karen for her opinion. After a lengthy consultation the decision was made to give barefoot trimming a shot. Karen's plan was simple, get rid of the thrush, return the hoof to it's natural form and let the horse heal.

Big's hoof crack, shown here with glue in attempt to hold the hoof together. Photo by Karen Reeves

The photo above shows the condition of the hoof when Karen started. The hoof was shod and crack glued in hopes of offering some stabilization. All photos are courtesy of Karen Reeves.

Solar view, shoe freshly pulled. Photo by Karen Reeves.

Shoe pulled, before the White Lightning soak. Glue is still in the right heel area near the base of the frog.

With a balanced barefoot trim it took just three months to see the owner had made the right decision and they indeed were making progress. In just seven months of diligent horse owner care and natural barefoot trimming the horse had grown in a solid hoof wall that was crack free. There were ups and downs along the way but as you can see by the photos below, Karen's assessment was spot on.
 
Healthy hoof, with crack grown out. Photo by Karen Reeves Solar view of the now healthy hoof,  Photo by Karen Reeves

Karen's photos along with a few quotes were used in the article and Karen was very happy to see this national magazine was open minded enough to print this kind of story. She feels barefoot trimming has come a long way and is being widely accepted. Karen says that taking a horse barefoot is not quite so foreign to the horse world as it used to be. A lot of this has to do with the advancements in protective hoof boots . New designs in hoof boots make the transition from horseshoes to barefoot much easier these days for both horse and rider. 

Our hats of you to Karen for the fantastic work you did restoring this gelding and for helping Equus readers discover the amazing benefits of natural hoof care and horse keeping. 

Many times problems like these stem from hoof imbalance. Does your horse have good hoof form? Not sure? Check out Karen's thoughts on a healthy hoof form

Trimmers, Karen's presentation is an excellent educational tool and one you might find helpful to your clients.

Debbie Schwiebert

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

Vet Dealer & Hoof Care Practitioner Accounts

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


Thinking Positive!

There are two ways to look at things- you know, the whole glass half-full, glass half-empty saying. While I try to look at things in a positive manner, sometimes I find myself focusing on the negative and dismissing any silver lining as tarnished. I recently caught an early case of the winter blues, and even more quickly decided I was going to be miserable if I let them take hold *this early* in the winter!! Truthfully I think part of my "blahs" could be attributed to the huge bang I ended my endurance season with, and much like "post-marathon depression," I was feeling it. I am a very goal-oriented person and while I had some thoughts and plans for the winter, I needed to put some goals into place. I urge you to do the same, and please share!!


Topper looking lovely in his gorgeous summer coat. Said coat is now long-gone and covered snugly in his winter blankie. 

I decided my first priority this winter is working with Topper, who I posted about here. Topper is now four and a half. I purchased him in July of 2009 as a young three-year-old, and have been battling a strong flight response and a flared quarter on the right front foot since. Having three horses going might not be much for some people, but for myself, it has been difficult, and Topper has continually been put on the back burner, which is fine given his age. Giving Replika the winter off is the right decision, and that frees up "Spot #1" for The Topster. Not only am I going to be working on his foot with my hands and tools, I am going to be working on lateral work and gymnastics to improve and equalize strength in case there is something further up in the body that is causing or exacerbating the flare. We will also be trail riding regularly and working on exposing him to new things. Ahhhh the joys of bringing up baby....


I know I showed this before, but I still can't believe I brought this horse home with feet like that!! August 2009



One year later.

 
My next major is goal is to get Khopy's feet perfect! They have come so far. The more you watch horses move, the more educated your eye becomes, and the more obsessive you can be. Yay for me ;-) I am working very hard on balancing him, and will be getting radiographs done in the very near future to check my work. 


Khopy when I first looked at him to buy. I knew we could balance him up in no time! January 2010.



July 2010.

Those of us who use natural hoof trimming are extremely lucky. Our horses' bare feet (and yes, I do believe my horses are barefoot despite the fact I use Easyboot Gloves and Glue-Ons for competition and long training rides) show us so much more than what is happening near the ground. Much like the cheesy phrase, "The eyes are the window to the soul," the hooves are the window to the horse. We can observe and adjust conformational anomalies, loading and breakover patterns and possible lamenesses, some even before they fully manifest. The other brilliant aspect of barefoot trimming is that the horse is free to adjust the trim as needed. Nature at its best! If you shoe an unbalanced foot, the hoof remains unbalanced throughout the entire shoeing cycle of six to eight weeks- the horse is not able to wear off the imbalance as though they would if left barefoot. I shudder to think of what would become of Topper's tendency to flare if shod, or even Khopy and Replika's propensity to have a higher and lower angle on the fronts, which is totally normal and 100% manageable with regular trimming. I remember admiring my horses freshly shod hooves, before I knew any better, and also remember thinking about how poor their feet looked four or five weeks later. If you're on the fence about pulling shoes, observe carefully, and even take pictures every two weeks. Careful though, you could become one of the "barefoot crazies!" 


So.. point of this looooong-winded point is to use the winter to your advantage! I think we get so caught up in the moment, the season, the game, that we forget to slow down and look at the bigger picture. I am using this down-time to re-paint my big picture. While slowing down isn't appealing to some (myself included), I am going to enjoy the slower pace, bond with my youngsters and use the dark, cold nights to read and learn even more about natural horse care and barefoot trimming. We just won't tell the natural horse-care Gods that my guys are snug in their Rambos and hanging around the feed tubs like welfare ponies, instead of foraging for their dinner :-) 

Make some goals!

~ Amanda Washington
SW Idaho