Easy Learning at the EasyShoe Clinic

I have been chomping at the bit to get a hold of the new EasyShoe ever since I saw the first test reports. I feel pretty comfortable using Adhere with the Easyboot Glue-On having glued for myself and for many endurance riders over the last few years. I figured I could work out gluing the new EasyShoes easily enough by watching the instruction videos, so at first didn't see a need to attend the EasyShoe Clinic. Then I saw it was to be much more than a simple demonstration of how to apply the EasyShoe. Daisy Bicking of Daisy Haven Farm was going to present hoof mapping and trimming instruction. I have been following her online for some time now, and really wanted to take one of her clinics but flying to Pennsylvania was out of my budget. Then on top of that, Paige Poss of Anatomy of the Equine was also going to be a presenter. I had seen her give a presentation at the PHCP conference in November and was totally blown away by both how much she knows about the anatomy of the hoof and leg, and by how well she can do a dissection. Those two giving a weekend full of hoof information sealed the deal for me!

Derick, me, Paige, Megan, and Daisy. Go Team Humboldt! (Katie had to leave early)

My long awaited shipment of EasyShoes arrived about a week before the clinic date, and it was all I could do to not glue them on my mare. They were so pretty and shiny...new toys, oh my! They kept whispering to me to take them out to play but I managed to keep them in the box long enough to get down to the clinic and learn how to do things right. I was excited to find out that I was not the only one from my area. My fellow endurance rider and owner/trimmer Katie Azevedo was coming down to audit. Megan Hensley and Derrick Vaughn, local trimmers as well, were coming to the clinic too! Wonderful to see more local hoof care providers wanting to further their education. Team Humboldt would be rocking the first EasyShoe Clinic!

Bob, Paige, and Kevin getting things set up for our Friday night activities.

This clinic had sentimental value as well, I was coming full circle this weekend. I started my hoof care education at Pacific Coast Horseshoeing in 2005, and it gave me a wonderful foundation on which to build my hoof care career. To be back again and learning something new was absolutely wonderful! By hosting this clinic in a very traditional farrier school, Bob Smith really showed how the two worlds can and should come together to provide the best in hoof care and I greatly applaud him for it. As hoof care providers we need to learn to work together, not bicker about who is doing what better or worse. The clinic was attended by trimmers, farriers, and owners, and we all had a great time and learned from and with each other.

Friday I headed down to Plymouth arriving just in time to grab a bunk and stash my gear, before dinner and the evening's activities. After everyone gave a brief introduction of themselves, Kevin Myers and Daisy Bicking gave a rundown of the EasyShoes and the pros and cons of the different gluing methods (Adhere or EasyShoe Bond). Questions were asked and answered as to the varying performance and therapeutic uses of the different shoe models and glue and/or nailing applications. This was followed by Daisy's presentation hoof mapping/trimming and Paige's brilliant dissection. It was so interesting and informative!

Inner workings of the hoof...

Saturday started in the classroom with some more questions and answers and an overview of the day to come. Then we moved out to the work area, where Kevin and Daisy went over tools and glues, then did an excellent demo of both gluing methods on a live horse.

Kevin showing the fit, prep, and application of an EasyShoe Performance with Adhere.

 

Daisy showing us the proper application process with dental impression material and EasyShoe Bond.

After lunch we began work on our cadaver hooves, learning to map, properly trim to the map, and fitting the EasyShoe.

Working on my cadaver leg...it was weird to work in this position on a limp leg.

We followed this with a wonderful group dinner, where we exchanged many more ideas, discussed things we were still struggling with, and had many laughs! Sunday we were back in the classroom in the morning, then moved back out in the work area where Daisy did a nail and gluing demo with the Performance N/G.

The Performance N/G both glued and nailed on with EasyShoe Bond and a few nails.

After the live demo, we retrieved our cadaver legs and finished up any prep work. We then split into groups depending on with application method we wanted to try. I chose to try out the Adhere method of gluing and Kevin led our group. 

The results after I cleaned up my glued hoof. Not too bad for a first try!

Finally, those of us who wanted to, were given the opportunity to practice nailing on our cadavers. Considering I haven't nailed in years, except the occasional lost shoe at an endurance ride for someone, or very occasional application of other synthetic shoes for a client, my nailing practice didn't turn out too bad. A tad low, and I was lacking the proper blocking tools, but overall I see I haven't forgotten how to do it!

Afterwards we wrapped up in the classroom with final thoughts and questions. The most exciting news at the end? We got to keep our cadaver legs if we wanted, to take home and dissect ourselves! I scored two other legs from participants that didn't think it was so awesome to take home several day old cadaver legs. I know, I am a nut to get excited over dead things, but they are comfortably chilling in my freezer right now, and I can't wait to find some time to pull them apart. A few nutty friends already expressed interest in watching as well.

I learned so much at the clinic! I suggest anyone with any interest in learning (of any kind related to hooves, not just gluing on shoes) attend one of the EasyShoe Clinics. You won't regret it. I walked away pretty confident I could at least start working with the shoe, and with a lot of good information about hoof anatomy, function, and new ways to trim. I just glued on a set of four shoes on my mare today, and did a crack-repair with a pair of front shoes on a POA as well. Though it took me more time than I would like, that is to be expected with any new skill you learn. I was quite satisfied with the end results of both gluings.

Natalie Herman

Report from the First EasyShoe Clinic in Plymouth, California

I had the honor of attending the first of the EasyShoe Clinics last weekend at the Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School in Plymouth, California. Presented in collaboration with Daisy Haven Farm and EasyCare, Inc., clinicians came from as far north as Washington State and as far east as Colorado. To hold the inaugural clinic at a renowned horseshoeing institution was proof positive that the EasyShoe is building bridges to new markets and building appeal to a wider customer base. 

Applying an EasyShoe Performance onto a live horse.

We all gathered around a salad and lasagna dinner before heading into the classroom and making introductions so we could get to know our fellow attendees. Most people there were trimmers or farriers, but we also had a good number of horse owners. Some had prior gluing experience, but many did not. Most trimmers were eager to expand their current business models into therapeutic work and saw the EasyShoe as a good tool to help them expand their client base in that direction. The last couple of hours on Friday evening was spent huddling around Paige Poss of Anatomy of the Equine while she mapped two cadaver feet before beginning the fascinating process of dissecting each of them all the way down to the coffin bone. It was mesmerizing to see how all the pieces connect, how they are attached, and where everything sits within the hoof capsule. 

Paige Poss begins the dissection of a cadaver hoof.

On Saturday morning, we reviewed lessons learned from the dissection exercise and discussed the benefits of mapping a hoof before trimming it, and how to set things up to prepare for applying the shoe. Daisy did an excellent job of demonstrating the biggest differences between trimming for a barefoot/booted protocol versus trimming for application of a permanent hoof protection device like the EasyShoe. With a barefoot trim, the practitioner is managing a subtractive process, whereas applying an EasyShoe is an additive process and requires a different methodology for trimming.

Explaining the importance of following each step methodically.

As the clinicians moved into the barn, we used a live horse to demonstrate two applications of the EasyShoe Performance. Daisy led a brief hoof mapping exercise on the horse before I went through the step-by-step process of gluing on a shoe using Vettec Adhere. The process requires a lot of cleaning and drying of the hoof capsule and sole, but if followed meticulously, the user can enjoy a virtually risk-free use of the shoes throughout the full trim cycle. Daisy followed up with a demonstration of applying the EasyShoe for a therapeutic application using EasyShoe Bond, the methacrylate glue that can also be used with the EasyShoe for any application. 

Understanding the hoof. Understanding the EasyShoe.

After lunch, the clinicians each used their own cadaver leg to begin the hands-on process of preparing and cleaning the hoof for applying the EasyShoe with their chosen method. Each cadaver foot needed first to be mapped, then trimmed appropriately. They then measured the hoof and assessed the appropriate size for their hoof. The day concluded with a recap of lessons learned, which particular challenges they had overcome, and which areas they felt needed to be addressed in anticipation of the gluing or nailing application the next day.

Megan Hensley working with her group using the EasyShoe Bond method.

On Sunday morning, another live horse was used to demonstrate preparation, application and removal of a more challenging case. Clinicians then broke into groups sorted by their desired application method (gluing with EasyShoe Bond; gluing with Adhere or nailing), with each group led by a team leader to work on the specific application process. Clinicians worked methodically through each of the steps and had many questions and moments to perfect their applications along the way. Each student benefited from the group setting and were able to apply lessons learned by others as well as themselves. 

The clinicians from the Plymouth, California event.

The clinic wrapped up on Sunday afternoon with a review of lessons learned, discussions about best practices for application and removal, and a look forward to each clinician's plan for next steps. Everyone who attended felt confident about their application, excited about the new markets and opportunities with the EasyShoe product line.

Three of the clinicians like their experience so much that they modified their schedules so they can attend the upcoming clinic in San Diego this weekend. The event, which will be held at the famous Arroyo Del Mar facility owned and run by Shannon and Steffan Peters, will feature presentations from Daisy Bicking, Ernest Woodward and Garrett Ford, as well as the dissection of a lower leg by Paige Poss. A few spots are still available if this is an activity you think could benefit you as a horse owner or as a hoof care practitioner. On-line registration forms are available by clicking here: EasyShoe Clinic Registration Form.

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.

California EasyShoe Clinics in March

Have you heard the news? Daisy Haven Farm will be offering five EasyShoe clinics across the US. Each 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. Space is limited so make sure to reserve your spot today. Participants may sign up using this on-line form: EasyShoe Clinic Registration. Please contact Daisy Bicking with any questions at Clinic@DaisyHavenFarm.com. Next month we are holding two EasyShoe clinic in California:
 
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
 
 
Friday Agenda
4:30 PM: Registration and Dinner
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 Agenda 
8:30 AM: Breakfast and review of previous day, Q & A
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 Agenda
8:30 AM: Breakfast and review of previous day, Q & A
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.
 
 
For additional information on the EasyShoe, read Garrett Ford's blog, Launching the New EasyShoe, and Kevin Myers' blog, Eight Things Everyone Should Know About the New EasyShoe. Additional clinics will be held at the following locations:
 
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
 

Alayna Wiley

Alayna Wiley, Marketing and Sales

Marketing and Sales

I assist the marketing and sales departments at EasyCare with a special interest in hoof care practitioner and veterinarian dealer accounts. My horses have been barefoot and booted since 2003.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

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.

 

Crossing the 2011 Tevis Winning Hoof Boot With The 2011 Preakness Winning Shoe

What do you get when you cross the hoof boot that was used to win the 2011 100 mile Tevis Cup with the polyurethane horse shoe that was used to win the 2011 136th running of the Preakness

A new tool for farriers and hoofcare professionals.  The new glue-on urethane shoe is a collaboration between EasyCare and No-Anvil.  The combined efforts have produced a new urethane hoof protection device that blur the lines between boots and shoes.  The urethane hybrid device absorbs concussion, is held securely in place for a shoeing cycle without nails, is lighter weight than most all nail on shoes and allows the hoof to expand and contract as nature intended. 

Shackleford wins the 2011 Preakness in Burns Polyflex shoes

Shackleford at the 2011 Kentucky Derby in Burns Polyflex Polyurethane Horseshoes
.

Jeremy Reynolds wins the 2011 Tevis Cup in Easyboots

Jeremy Reynolds wins the 2011 Tevis and Haggin Cups in Easyboots.

Below you will find a couple photos showing the collaboration between No-Anvil and EasyCare.  The freshly filed patent includes some of the following features.

1.  Glue-on urethane hoof protection.
2.  The urethane shoe has an internal moldable skeleton for structure and shaping.
3.  The integrally molded cuff increases the gluing surface area.
4.  The urethane shoe and cuff allow the hoof to expand and contract.

EasyShoe.  Half Easyboot, half Burns Polyflex

The EasyShoe.  Half Burns Polyflex and half Easyboot Glue-On.

EasyShoe In Action

Initial EasyShoe prototypes getting some hard core testing.

Stay tuned for more updates and news on the collaboration. 

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.

January 2012: Epona's Natural Hoofcare Services

If you've ever met Natalie Herman, you will know her to be dependably positive and honest. Since she started her business in 2005, she believes there has been an explosion of booting options, both in the growth of new boot brands and within EasyCare itself.

Natalie hard at work.

Natalie attributes her success to her burning desire to learn. She finds she can learn something from everyone. Even if she does not agree, there is always something that might cause her to approach a problem from a different angle. She credits her reputuation to the power of word of mouth and her conscientious approach to customer service. "I do some marketing, but it is a fairly tight community around here. If you want to be successful, you need to have people talking about you in a good way."

Natalie says Easycare makes working with their dealer networks and boot users a pleasurable process. "They have a friendly, helpful, knowledgeable staff; they have favorable return policies, and when a product is shown to need improvement, they modify the product instead of sticking with the same old thing."

She uses the same philosophy in her own business: "I am very helpful and giving with my knowledge. If a client has a question, they never hesitate to call or email me with it, and I try and help them. A good trim is just the tip of a large iceberg." She studied horseshoeing first, and credits that time with learning the principles of anatomy and a balanced trim. She feels strongly that evolution is just as important in hoofcare as it is in the boots that protect those hooves.

Natalie is quick to compliment EasyCare: "I love how inovative Easycare is, always trying to come up with new solutions to existing boots, or totally new boots when the need arises. Instead of insisting that the user is at fault, or the trims are incorrect, EasyCare tries to find a solution to boot failures by either modifying the boot design, or coming up with a design that fits the activity of that user. She says she's still waiting to see a sliding plate boot, though. "It just amazes me how fast things are changing in the industry," says Natalie, "and I am loving it."
 
Natalie currently owns three horses: a 13 year-old Morgan/Quarter Horse mare that was her first horse and, she says, her best horse. "I tried about everything with her, and she is currently being leased to a friend's daughter. Together they won the state championship for CSHA Trail Trials in their division this year, bare and sometimes booted with Gloves. She was also her experimental horse for getting into barefooting. She always needed shoes with pads in the front, having long toe/low heel issues, and wore the outside branches of her hind shoes to nothing in six weeks. Natalie was skeptical of taking her barefoot. "Her feet became so much better that I decided to completely convert my farrier business to natural hoofcare." She has never looked back.

Natalie & Storm.

Natalie and Storm.

She bred the mare to the top AERC mileage and Hall of Fame stallion, DR Thunder Bask, and this year her six year-old daughter completed her first endurance season. She has been bare her entire life, and performed wonderfully in Gloves, Epics, and Glue-ons at rides throughout 2011. "She is also my 'thinking outside the box' booting horse. I have had to modify boots and how to apply them to the hoof with her, as she tends to have a lot of torque on the hind end." Having a challenging horse in booting has helped her help others.

Natalie also has a 13 year-old Kentucky Mountain stallion. "He is my 'soul horse' and I love everything about him."

Natalie and E.

Natalie & Eowyn.

As a small business owner, Natalie keeps a minimum stock for clients, and appreciates the fact that Easycare does not have a minimum order policy amount. Her best-seller is still the Easyboot Glove and Glove Wides. "Most of my cients love them as they are so simple to use. The next best-selling models are the Epic and Easyboot Trail, as both allow a greater range of fitting for clients unable or unwilling to keep the hooves trimmed as frequently as the Gloves require.

Her most rewarding experience as a trimmer was treating her first founder case. "I knew the theory, and had trimmed a few mildly laminitic horses, but not a really bad case. When I called the vet for a consult and to go in and see the radiographs, the vet had basically written the horse off and told me to expect to see the coffin bone coming through the sole." She never did get sole penetration on that horse, but there were months of abscessing. Today the horse has textbook hooves. "This case got me started on the path to working on laminitic horses and it boosted my confidence in the barefoot method."

Natalie's most memorable hoof boot success story is the 2011 XP 2,000 mile ride. "There were a good number of barefoot and booted riders already, but there were also many shod horses competing." The barefoot horses proved to be most of the highest mileage horses on this ride, with over 1,000 miles each during the two-month span. Riders with shod horses discovered the benefits of barefoot/booted protocols, and many of them solved lameness issues during the race by pulling shoes and applying boots. "So much for an extended transition from shoes," said Natalie ironically.

Natalie's Calling Card

Natalie's calling card.

Natalie's prediction for the future? That a barefoot and booted lifestyle will become the norm instead of a fad. "More and more vets and long-time farriers are becoming interested in it. As boots become easy to use and effective as hoof protection, more people see barefoot and booting as a viable option for their horse's hoofcare.

For more information on Epona's Natural Hoofcare Services, visit Natalie's new Facebook page. For more information on becoming a dealer, visit the Dealer's Corner on the EasyCare website.