Meeting Team Easyboot 2011 Members: Tami Rougeau

Just getting to the ride took huge support from family and friends and for that I am so thankful. This was our first ride back after yet another deployment and five months off for the mares. I was traveling again for the two weeks prior to the ride and would not be back to Reno until 10 pm Friday night. Going to this ride was quickly going into the too hard pile. 

Even though the trailer was already packed and ready to go, the thought of getting home late, loading up and getting to camp just hours before the start was a little daunting. When my husband said he would drive the trailer and horses to camp for me I knew I could not turn down the offer. I told my riding partner Lucy and she said she would be on the look out for him. 

When Thom picked me up at the airport he was still in amazement at the support he recieved upon arriving in camp. He likened it to having a Nascar pit crew, people were everywhere taking care of everything.  Before he was even out of the pick up the horses were unloaded, hi-ties up, hay bags hung, water buckets filled and horses groomed. He was really touched by the display of friendship and support. Huge thanks to Lucy, Renee, Russell, Carolyn and Dave and everyone else who made this possible. Endurance riders really are the best! Thank you all so much. The icing on the cake, though, was that Dave Rabe got May's boots on for me so I did not have to do it in the dark when I got in. 

May Nevada Derby Day 1

Last year, Lucy and I finished the Triple Crown with Uno and Fancy. Of course we have to try again and this year will be May's turn. She is the younger of the sisters and has had quite the life already. I got her at 18 months old and nursed her through nasty photosensitivity burns from an allergic reaction to alfalfa pellets she was being fed. Every white part of her was blistered and had to be treated for several months. This included all four legs. She healed up fairly well with only a little scarring but it left her terribly prone to scratches. Although she is smart and brave, she is also sensitive and a little emotional. So working her through the initial training years was a challenge at times.

One of our biggest challenges was figuring out how to make boots work for her, especially where gaiters were concerned, as any small rub resulted in huge nasty sores. After much trial and treatment we found that white vinegar and water was the trick to preventing the scratches and getting them to heal quickly if they did get started. Then we added in neoprene cuffs under the gaiters (thanks again Lucy and Leslie for the hot tip) to prevent any rubbing. We had a really great season last year without one episode of scratches and no rubs, YEAH!

This year we have Gloves with the more contoured gaiters that were introduced last year. In all the rush of the morning I had forgotten to put the neoprene cuffs on her. But with the softer gaiters it turned out she did not need them. Dave had the boots on beautifully - which is a challenge with her foot shape. Checking the gaiters regularly throughout the day, we never saw any issues. At the end of the ride I took a chance and washed her legs with just water since they looked so good.  She had no scratches at all, it was amazing. So we are really loving the softer gaiters.

The three of us who were "gloved up" had a wonderful day with no issues.  What a great day all around!

The Posse - Lucy, Tami, Sally and Renee

Day two was Fancy's turn. Renee and I decided to ride out together. Her boy, Little Bit, was on day two and it was Fancy's first ride back with minimal conditioning since I got home so we had a long, slow day planned. If only the horses had agreed to the plan! To say they were full of themselves would be an understatement. That first 20 miles was like holding back a rocket ship. Solid vet scores and a much-needed rest for the riders and we set out again only this time on much calmer horses. They paced together very nicely for the rest of the ride and once again we had a perfect boot day.

Fancy Nevada Derby Day 2

Unlike May, Fancy has feet shaped perfectly for boots. The Gloves fit her so nicely it is easy to forget about them. Since the pair that Fancy used were from earlly last year, they had the original gaiter so I used the neoprene cuffs to prevent any rubbing. She has never really had any issues but it is such an easy preventive tool I just do it. I am really pleased with the way the Gloves are wearing. They don't wear out fast so we get a lot of miles of them which is nice. We are lucky to have lovely sandy footing in our training areas so I tend to be a bit lazy and ride barefoot more times than not.

And so it came to an end. A really amazing weekend made possible by my wonderful friends and family. NASTR really puts on great rides, first class all the way! Even though we did not get to use the "good" trail this year due to snow in the hills, it was still a nice ride. The back-up trail incorporates mostly roads which can get long and boring but having really wonderful company to share the day with makes up for all of that. Thank you to everyone who made this ride possible for me. It is really good to be home!

Tami Rougeau

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 12 Days of Christmas, EasyCare Style

Submited by Gene Limlaw

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, some boots from the company that makes it Easy.
 
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, two Power Straps, and some boots from the company that makes it Easy.

EC Wreath

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, three HiTie systems, two Power Straps, and some boots from the company that makes it Easy.
 
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, four sets of Quickstuds, three HiTie systems, two Power Straps, and some boots from the company that makes it Easy.
 
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, five ride entries free, four sets of Quickstuds, three HiTie systems, two Power Straps, and some boots from the company that makes it Easy.
 
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, six sets of Glue-Ons, five ride entries free, four sets of Quickstuds, three HiTie systems, two Power Straps, and some boots from the the company that makes it Easy.
 
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, seven tubes of Goober Glue, six sets of Glue-Ons, five ride entries free, four sets of Quickstuds, three HiTie systems, two Power Straps, and some boots from the company that makes it Easy.
 
On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, $10,000 to AERC, seven tubes of Goober Glue, six sets of Glue-Ons, five ride entries free, four sets of Quickstuds, three HiTie systems, two Power Straps, and some boots from the company that makes it Easy.
 
On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, nine Stowaway Packs, $10,000 to AERC, seven tubes of Goober Glue, six sets of Glue-Ons, five ride entries free, four sets of Quickstuds, three HiTie systems, two Power Straps, and some boots from the company that makes it Easy.
 
On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, ten videos on trimming, nine Stowaway packs, $10,000 to AERC, seven tubes of Goober Glue, six sets of Glue-Ons, five ride entries free, four sets of Quickstuds, three HiTie systems, two Power Straps and some boots from the company that makes it Easy.
 
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, eleven great blog updates, ten videos on trimming, nine Stowaway packs, $10,000 to AERC, seven tubes of Goober Glue, six sets of Glue-Ons, five ride entries free, four sets of Quickstuds, three HiTie systems, two Power Straps, and some boots from the company that makes it Easy.
 
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, 12 reasons to go barefoot, eleven great blog updates, ten videos on trimming, nine Stowaway packs, $10,000 to AERC, seven tubes of Goober Glue, six sets of Glue-Ons, five ride entries free, four sets of Quickstuds, three HiTie systems, two Power Straps, and some boots from the company that makes it Easy!
 
Thanks so much EasyCare, for a wonderful 2010 ride season.

Gene Limlaw

Meeting Goals and Exceeding Expectations - Old Selam 2010

Wow, what a couple of weeks I have come off of! You know those times where it really rains? Not like a downpour, but a series of small storms- one thing after another, not necessarily tragic events, but enough bad luck ducks in a row to start to really frazzle ones self? Well that seems to have been my August. I won't bog down this blog with details, but I will say that everything is either resolved or well on it's way, and I am proud to say that I have been successfully able to make a good out of each bad. Here's another- there IS something good to aging- maturity and clarity seem to come much easier as the years pass! 

Thanks for the pic, Darlene! 

Considering the three weeks I had prior to our local endurance club's annual 2-day endurance ride, Old Selam, I didn't have much time to fret. You see, I had planned to take Khopy and complete his first endurance ride at this event two months prior, after I had gotten a sense of the natural talent this guy had on a training ride in early June. I figured with three months of serious conditioning, on top of the four months of dressage and trail riding I had been doing with him, would be sufficient to prepare him for a 50 at Old Selam, which is one of my most favorite rides! We faced a few challenges, were able to overcome. 

Khopy on his first real conditioning ride in May. We have come a long way. 

Sally and I hauled Khopy, alternating Sally's two geldings, every weekend. Along with our GPS and a bit of good fortune, we put together an amazing 17-mile loop in the mountains that we repeated weekly, each time going a bit faster, and recovering quicker. We rode 100% of the time in my Easyboot Gloves, most of the time with no tape and no powerstaps. I never lost a boot despite the steep mountain climbs, creek crossings, and lake wading. Khopy was comfortable in his Gloves and traveled easily over the rocks in the trails. Mid-August, I knew he was as ready as he was going to be, and committed to riding the 50 with a pal who owed me for babysitting HER earlier this year. It's great to have friends you can count on, and I really appreciated it on ride day!

Marking trail in July for the Pink Flamingo Classic. I threw everything I could think of at this horse! 

I had been planning on riding Khopy in his Gloves at the ride, but considering Sally was going to be gluing Easyboot Glue-Ons for the ride, I decided to glue with her and share my gluing technique using primarily Goober Glue with our own version of the Adhere Lock. She thought it was much easier than our previously used method of mixing the Goober Glue and waiting for hours for it to set. Sweet!! Both big grey ponies had boots stuck on good and there was no turning back now!

Goober Glue...


Adhere...


Twist...


Seal...


Ready to go! 
 
Now those of you who actually know me personally, know it is my nature to worry and fret and waffle on my decisions. I usually know what is right in my heart, but I seem to always have to fill my idle time leading up to the big day with "what-ifs" and "shoulda-woulda-coulda's." Given the events leading up to the ride, I only had a couple days to waffle, which worked in my favor. I was also a bit too tired from everything to put great effort into my second guesses and arrived at ridecamp Friday afternoon feeling good about my plans and the fact that if he was too tired to finish, we would pull and look at it as a great training opportunity. In hindsight, I just have to laugh!!
 
As I had previously camped with Khopy at two different rides, I knew I wasn't dealing with a wild card camping situation. He absolutely LOVES *his* Hi-Tie, which we found out on Sunday morning after I put him in Replika's pen for the night thinking I was being nice lol! He was pouty and crabby until I put him back on his Hi-Tie and he could look around the corner of the trailer. Um, ok, dude. It's all yours! I took Replika along also, as she was still needing daily bandage changes (told you things had been bad!!!). We vetted in leisurely, had a nice dinner and caught up with good friends. I kept thinking I should feel nervous, but every time I looked at this big, strong, grey horse, I felt confidence instead. I knew we were as prepared as we were and it was up to what would happen, to happen!

Khopy on *his* Hi-Tie

I got up Saturday morning and tacked up my horse, while the majority of the 50's were warming up their horses. Khopy watched calmly as the trail was opened, and I walked him over to our buddies. As I mounted up, I felt him tense up, but he lined out quickly and  we were off in good time. THANKFULLY the trail started with a great uphill that forced the ponies to think about what they were supposed to be thinking about. He lead like a champ and we had absolutely no silly shenanigans the entire ride. 


I won't bore with minute details, but I will say he drank at *every* water opportunity, ate like a cow at the vetchecks and on the trail, pulsed down upon coming into camp and never.once. asked to stop. This was a hard ride, which I never really realized before! There are certain horses in your life that set the bar, and as I had only ever ridden my old gelding, Fast Eddy, at this ride, I realized he made it easy! Not only is the milage100%, but there is a lot of climb, lots of super-cool technical cross country and single track and minimal road. My kinda ride! Apparently it was Khopy's kind of ride as well, because he never even broke a sweat! Seriously, if I can do right by this horse and not screw up, I think he is going to be amazing. 

Going through a rocky section after a creek crossing. Take note of Khopy in the lead!! 

This ride is by far one of my favorites, mostly due to the unique area in which we have the opportunity to ride. This is gold country! Mine tailings sweep the areas surrounding the creeks, which are necessary for gold panning! There are a lot of creeks and tailings, which if anyone doesn't know, are just huge piles of rock. With Khopy's Glue-Ons, I never once had to worry about anything other than taking the best possible care of my horse.  He never had to worry about anything other than taking care of me. Despite the long transition, he moved effortlessly over all footings. What a ride! 

Mine tailings along the trail. It is gorgeous!
 

We completed the ride late in the afternoon, with a pulse of 48. I don't remember what time we finished, but my GPS showed a moving time of 7:29. Not too bad for a tough, hottish, mountain ride- a first ride at that! What a feeling at the finish, knowing where Khopy came from, and the challenges we faced during the first few months together. Although he still challenges me, we have developed a relationship that works, and that is growing every day. It has been hard, and I won't lie- I wanted to give up several times! 
 
The Big Guy the morning after his ride. Looking good!

During the ride I guess there was quite a debate that happened. As I was fortunate enough not to have been present, I heard the nitty-gritty later on. Apparently a very passionate newbie decided to bully a few very experienced, um, oldies (??) about natural hoof care and different training methods. While I obviously agree with natural horse care and a barefoot lifestyle, I never agree with bullying and feel bad that there are people out there who chose to try and convert others using these techniques. I completely understand being passionate about something, but please, people, don't cram it down other people's throats! Don't bully and threaten people! There are so many more effective means of communication than that, and hurting other's feelings is never the right way to go, nor is it a smart way to fit in with a group. I'd like to think this particular person was just tired from their first 50 mile ride, and maybe suffering from low blood sugar (??) but I just felt like it was bad press for our beliefs. Not all of us are like that, but it is usually the negative people remember. 

Regardless, all I can say is it is wonderful feeling to meet the goals you have set some time ago, and exceed your expectations while doing so. After old goals are met, new goals are set! What a great way to live life! 

Happy Riding All- it's about that time of year that makes for some amazing rides. Hope everyone gets out there!

~ Amanda Washington
SW Idaho 

Chris Freeman's Holiday Shopping Guide - Week Four

What could be better than buying that someone special the best trailer tie system on the market?

The HiTie™ was developed to provide a comfortable and safe alternative to trailer tying and portable corrals. The HiTie™ gives horses free movement and access to an area equivalent of a 13 foot diameter round pen. This safe, controlled movement gives horses the ability to graze, eat, drink, roll and lie down while tied.



Quality and Durability
The HiTie™ is manufactured by a leading hitch and receiver manufacturing company. All components are made from stainless steel and will not rust. The fiberglass rod used in the HiTie™ system is also used in mooring whips designed to dock and protect boats weighing up to 72,000 pounds. The adjustable bungee tether can be adjusted to accommodate differences in trailer and horse height

Accessories: The HiTie™ Clip System
The Clip System for the HiTie™ is a two-part system allows you to use a standard lead rope (not included) instead of the Bungee Tether to secure your horse to the HiTie™ Arm.

The Clip features heavy-duty-all metal construction, with a spring clip on one end and an eye, guide and adjustable tensioner for fastening a lead rope on the other end.  

The Clip Strap connects the Clip to the HiTie Arm, and is constructed of heavy duty webbing with a hook and loop fastening system. The strap serves two functions:

1. It eliminates metal-on-metal contact reducing wear and eliminating rattling noises, and

2. It provides the same break way system as the Bungee to help keep your horse safe while tied.

The HiTie™ Replacement D-Ring Pin
The HiTie™ Ships complete with the heavy-duty D-Ring Pin and Safety Clip, which keeps the HiTie™ Arm securely in place when in use or stowed fro travel or storage. If you lose your D-Ring Pin, you can order a replacement.

The HiTie™ Bungee 
This all-in-one system includes everything you need to tether your horse to the HiTie™ Arm. It consists of an adjustable length strap attached to a heavy duty elastic cord. There is a bridle clip on one end, and a hook and loop system on the other end that attaches securely to HiTie™ arm which is designed to break free under heavy stress for horse safety.


Next week: stocking stuffers.

Chris Freeman

easycare-customer-accounts-manager-chris-freeman

Accounts Manager

I am responsible for the accounting at EasyCare. My responsibilities require me to manage accounts payable, accounts receivable, purchasing, receipt of inventory and international order processing.


Out With A Big Successful Bang!


My mind and body are still reeling from the weekend, which couldn't have been any more perfect. It all started a few weeks ago, when I heard rumor that the ride manager of the Owyhee Hallowed Weenies would put on a 75 if there were five or more starters. The wheels started turning, and my plan set into play. I immediately went to work recruiting riders, and before we knew it at least seven people had entered. I then went to work on my second plan... convincing my riding buddy that this 75 would be the perfect ending to her season. I had it all planned out; plant the seed, water it for a few days and then hit it with a major dose of peer pressure. Unfortunately she ruined my plan when I brought it up and she said "Sure!" Simple as that! Well I wouldn't complain, the weekend was on!


Coming into camp before our final 12 mile loop. Replika didn't particularly enjoy riding with "Spot" the Dalmation, but she dealt with it just fine. 

After the initial excitement of realizing that I would be getting 75 more miles on my favorite pony, I quickly realized that Khopy was coming out of his skin in fitness, and decided that he needed another ride before the long winter. At that time I thought it sounded like a great idea to ride Replika on the 75 on Saturday, and Khopy on the 50 the next day. I knew it would be tiring but was happy to give it a shot!!


Mounting up for the second loop on Khopy. The tutu is for YOU, Sandra!!! If you look closely you can see the broken Powerstrap on the left hind. I didn't mess with it and we had no problems the entire ride.
 

I had planned on gluing boots on Replika, and riding Khopy in his Gloves. Although I was a bit concerned about all the rain, I didn't have much time to really worry, and figured there wasn't much I could do anyway.

The week rolled on like a freight train, and I began to get discouraged! So much to do, no time to do it! Thankfully I had started using the Adhere/Goober Glue combo for gluing boots, so when I realized I wouldn't be able to glue Replika's boots on until Friday, I didn't panic. For all of you gluing on boots, I very much recommend adding a little Adhere to the process. I was able to glue on the boots, load up feed and a few extras, put the horses in the trailer and off I went without worrying about twisting or holding her still for an hour while the Goober Glue set. As always, the boots performed flawlessly throughout the day. 


Coming into the 65 mile vetcheck. Twelve miles to go!

Elly, who also uses Easyboot Glue-Ons, and I set out at the beginning of our 75 miles bright and early the next morning. We have ridden many miles together and were excited to embark on her and Jasper's first long distance ride. Jasper is a big-moving, goliath of a cross-bred gelding, and sports his size 2.5 Glue-Ons like a champ. Coupled with Replika's dainty self, they make quite the pair. We traveled over miles and miles of sand, rock, gravel and moondust, the horses never faltering. We kept ourselves busy making up ghost stories and trying to scare each other creepy tales. The day lent itself to creepiness, the erie desert landscape muted by late fall. The miles clicked by, and the day wore on. We arrived back at camp after two outchecks, at 55 miles. It was nearing 5 PM and we were sure to be riding at least a little while in the dark. Funny how the day seemed long at the time, but looking back, seems as though it went far too fast. We left camp before 6, and rode on into the dusk, cantering fresh horses into the dark. Although I worried about getting lost in the dark, getting cold in the late October evening and being too tired to give Khopy a good ride the next day, I never worried about my boots. Replika and Jasper picked their way through the dark, glowstick to glowstick, making each of us proud of all of us. It was a glorious day! 


Elly and Jasper cantering along a gravel road coming into the 50-mile vetcheck. I was bragging on my mad skills for being able to snap pictures while galloping along side. This is what Elly thought of that! 



The trail through the spooky canyon...



The hobbit wind caves....



And the gorgeous fall colors. All made for a memorable Halloween ride. 

After completing that night, we chowed down in the warm trailer and eventually fell quickly asleep. A good friend had vetted Khopy in for me earlier that day, and Robert and Elly's husband went to work installing Powerstraps on Khopy's brand new set of Easyboot Gloves. I woke up quickly the next morning, excited for the chance to ride yet another pretty cool pony. I popped Khopy's boots on, saddled up and was ready to start the last 50 miles of the year. Feeling fresh after standing on his Hi-Tie for two days and watching the front runners take off over the hill at the start, Khopy had a minor melt-down that was taken care of quickly on my part, and soon we were on our way. 


Khopy's first trip down by the river.

Khopy quickly hit his groove and kept a lovely trot and canter over the terrain, never slowing through the rocks or over hard ground. He trotted out beautifully at the vet checks and soon we were leaving on our last loop. This loop was the same loop that Elly and I completed the night before, halfway in the dark. On this loop, there was to be about 4 miles of gravel road, that seemed to go on and on, in the waning light AND in the full sun of the day. It wasn't until this point that Khopy started shortening his stride and becoming a bit mopey. Being only his second ride, I figured he would get tired at some point, and this was it. He kept up a nice trot but I wished I had taken the time the day before to put his Gloves on with Goober Glue as a sole packing. Lesson learned and I will be using Goober Glue with the Gloves for endurance rides from now on. Of course once we got off the gravel road and onto the trail into camp he picked up the pace and all but flew into camp. I'm pretty impressed by this guy!

 
The Gloves never budged during the entire 50 miles. The Powerstrap on my left hind boot broke, which seems to be normal for my horses and their hind boots! We had a little area of rubbed off hair on his hind ankles, which are white, but given the fact we went 50 miles I wasn't too concerned. I couldn't have been any more proud of my horses than I was at that moment. 

I have ridden 850 endurance miles this season, all in Easyboot Gloves of Glue-Ons. I have ridden countless conditioning and trail riding miles, and in Gloves or going completely barefoot. It has truly been a banner year. My horses look amazing, I feel like I have solidified my glue-on process and am 100% confident in the Gloves. Although I am a bit sad to end the season, I am content to bask in the glow of success at this time, knowing I have done everything I could to protect my horses' legs and feet throughout the miles. I also hope to put some time in on the baby, and let Replika enjoy a winter off. 


My most favorite view in the world.

What are your goals for winter? 

Amanda Washington
SW Idaho

Looking for Cheap Horse Boots?


Everyone loves a bargain so be sure to check out EasyCare's Bargain Bin. Although the inventory changes daily you can find some discontinued styles of the Easyboot Glove, Easyboot Epic and Easyboot Bare at 50% off the retail price as well as some boot accessories and EZ Ride stirrups.

All the items in the Bargain Bin are brand new but are not returnable or exchangeable. If you are purchasing boots please make sure you have measured the hooves accurately.

Bargain Bin orders are for orders placed through our on-line store only, no phone orders please. Inventory and sizes are limited so hurry and place your order now.  If you don't find what you need in the Bargain Bin, check out our on-line store for all your natural hoof care needs from our Save Edge hoof rasp to our HiTie system.

As always please call EasyCare customer service at 1-800-447-8836 if you have any questions.

Shari Murray

easycare-customer-service-shari-murray

Customer Service

If you call the customer service help desk, you’ll probably get me on the phone! I process repairs, returns, credits and exchanges that come into EasyCare.

Attention Endurance and Trail Riders of the West: The Redwood National Park is Paging You

Submitted by Katie Azevedo

If you happen to have similar interests as I do, you enjoy discovering the natural beauty that our land has to offer through the attentive ears of your best equine pal. That is my favorite aspect of endurance riding, if I had to pick just one. It’s the reason I bought my gelding Shrimp six years ago after falling in love with his stamina and animation. We both love the trail.


Renee and Barry take photos of each other. Photo by Barry Thorpe.
 
Shrimp and I reside in Northern California on the coast amongst the tallest living beings on earth. Fog is a redwood tree’s best friend, and we have lots of it. The local endurance club, Redwood Empire Endurance Riders (REER) organizes five AERC sanctioned rides each summer including the Redwood Rides in July and August. It was Shrimp’s and my first ride together in 2004, and was also our most recent one- August 7th 2010. This year the second ride in the redwoods was managed by Natalie Herman. It stages out of the fairgrounds in the small town of Orick that lies right on Highway 101. The entire ride is a magical journey through the moist and rich rainforest of the Redwood National Park (yes… national park!).


Towering Redwood.
   
On Saturday morning the riders ride out of camp on a levee that leads them to the entrance of this temperate rainforest. The climate changes to a more cool and humid feel. Huckleberry, thimbleberry, sword ferns, and other shrubs argue for space to grow and capture the light rays that enter between the sitka spruce and coast redwoods. The dirt path is the only spot where the ground is exposed.  It sure makes me feel small and insignificant when I realize that despite the thriving undergrowth, most of the vegetative mass is in the canopy way above me. One look to the sky will have me gaping in awe. It gets me every time!


Riders head for the forest.

The trail takes me up a slow but significant incline. I ride alongside Berit and Morgan who are riding their energetic mares. We are all smiles and laughs. As the trail starts to level out, the riders pass through groves of alders. The bright green colors are reviving and the air is crisp and fresh. After 6 miles or so, the single track trail opens into two parallel paths. I notice that laurels and tan oaks have joined in the mix. I advise Shrimp to let the mares push on and we set into a conservative trot behind a bay gelding named Little Bit and his rider Renee. They are riding alongside Michelle and her Rushcreek mare named Nikki. Shrimp and Little Bit conquered one of the 50’s at Bandit Springs together this year and Renee happens to be a great friend of mine, too. She is also a smart rider and good company on the trail. We end up riding the rest of the day together.


A skirt made of Redwood Sorrel.
 
Before long the flagging steers us right at an intersection. We are back on single track. The trail is windy and technical, going up and down and all around. The footing is nice soft dirt with some dips and undulations. The horses seem to love this type of rollercoaster trail and are plenty warmed up by now. Shrimp feels great and is minding the turns and the occasional root. We are also taken over several long bridges that bounce a bit when walked across. They are made of a composite plastic material. Fun!


Renee, Liitle Bit and a bouncing bridge.

This is deeper into the territory of some of the last-standing ancient old-growth redwoods since logging started here along with the gold rush in the mid 1800’s. It wasn’t until around 150 years later that Congress created this national park, and by then nearly all of the ancient trees were gone. Luckily our forefathers saved at least some of the enormous old growth- some around 2,000 years old. Redwoods contribute so much to their surroundings. They are a keystone species because of the way they create the localized climate and acidic soil that the rest of the unique ecosystem has evolved to rely on. Without them, this particular diverse network of flora and fauna wouldn’t have the means to thrive. Redwood National Park is just about the best bet for the preservation of this habitat, as the other parks, preserves, and logging lands are too small and fragmented to sustain the health of the whole eco region into the future. I notice rhododendrons, trilliums, and violets now and then as I ride through this trail. I hear plenty of birds conversing in song, too. It amuses me that these gigantic redwood trees are often skirted by a bed of tiny little redwood sorrel. The difference in the size of organism is remarkable! And oddly adorable… like a whale making friends with a group of plankton or something!


Shrimp gets his puse taken.
 
Both at the 15 minute hold and the 1 hour hold, there were no lines for the veterinarians. Ah… so amazing. I am also thankful for the volunteers that were making the ride happen! Shout out to Russell and Jefe for the extra help, too. The landing where the vet check was held is the most exposed area we ride into all day. Some sun feels nice and reassures me that the athletes aren’t as likely to cramp up. Once our time is up, it was back into the rainforest. Shaded, lush, yet still warm enough for me to prefer a tank top all afternoon.


Riders in the forest.
 

Riding back towards camp for the finish at 50 miles was the final highlight in the day. The horses know where they are headed and are as steady as ever. They kindly request to rip the trail up, but Renee and I have been rating them evenly all day. We joke about how Little Bit in particular would have liked to raced it. He just isn’t able to convince Renee yet. There are new exciting trail features like an uphill zig zag of tight hairpin turns… the trail version of Lumbard street. More beautiful creek crossings, a nice wooden bridge, more groves of redwoods followed by mixed deciduous groupings. It just doesn’t get better than this! There is a certain beauty and ambience about a forest with 250 foot tall, 15 foot diameter ancient giants that doesn’t begin to compare to a second growth redwood forest. When we emerge from the enthralling forest at 4 o’clock, the levee takes us to the finish line. We are greeted with smiling familiar faces. After vet through, Shrimp enjoys a nap in the sun (on his new HiTie, our favorite). I get to visit with friends a bit more, and relax the rest of the day at camp. I thank my wonderful horse for doing so much for me! Our horses are just astounding, aren’t they? Natalie and the ride crew did a great job today and I love my waterbottle with the RRII logo on it. I also thought it was great that Natalie gives awards to the last riders that come in- not just the first riders! That is refreshing for a change. Easycare had also donated some great prizes like Stowaway bags and E-Z ride stirrups. Wow!


Shrimp and me. Photo by Barry Thorpe.
 
If you have the means to visit this corner of the earth in Northern California, I think you should. It’s one of those rides that tends to stand out from the rest. You may find it the most beautiful ride you’ll ever do and perhaps understand why John Steinbeck wrote that even “the vainest, most slap-happy and irreverent of men, in the presence of redwoods, goes under a spell of wonder and respect”. I am grateful that REER has the opportunity host a ride in such a special area. REER rides in general have a relaxed and friendly feel to them- it’s a really welcoming crowd. They often have a 10-mile fun ride along with the 25 and 50 distances, too, like they did today. This distance is perfect for new riders and young horses just trying out what it would be like to ride LD’s or endurance.


Banana Slug crossing.

Do take one piece of advice along with you if you visit… offered from a Humboldt Coast native: it is worth it to steer around the banana slugs. Just in case you are faced with this instant dilemma, just go ahead and take my word for it. They won’t get out of the way, and they make for a gooey trailkill.
 
Katie and Bey Shrimp (RD Censashahnl)

Participants Needed: EasyCare Announces a Comprehensive Thermographic Study of Shod and Unshod Horses

EasyCare has formed an exciting collaborative partnership with Australian equine podiatrist and bodyworker Duncan McLaughlin to conduct a thermographic study of shod and unshod horses. Mr. McLaughlin and EasyCare representatives will be on location at the Bryce XP (Paunsagaunt) Pioneer event in Utah starting Wednesday, September 1, 2010. This portion of the study will focus on a comparative analysis of 12 horses shod in the traditional style and 12 barefoot/booted horses.

There are currently four remaining spots available in the segment of the study for shod horses. If you would like your shod horse to participate in this unique opportunity, please follow the instructions outlined at the bottom of this post.


About Thermography
Thermography is non-invasive and has no effect on the physiological status of your horse. Equine Thermography provides an alternative objective view of the circulatory and inflammatory status of your horse. Often, inflammation and changes from the usual patterns of circulation may indicate potential problems before they become apparent by more conventional means. For endurance horses, we find thermography is particularly helpful in identifying:
  • hoof imbalance - longitudinal and medio-lateral
  • inflammatory conditions of the lower limb - deep and superficial flexors and suspensory ligament strain and joint issues; saddle fit issues; and muscular overuse/underuse, to name the more commonly observed conditions.
About the Study
Our preliminary investigations warrant a much closer look. The study will compare any differences in the circulatory and heat patterns of the foot and limb between shod and barefoot/booted horses. To further examine these differences, we will record thermographic images of horses before and after competition in 50-mile endurance rides using various forms of hoof protection. We are looking for participants willing to have their horses undergo:
  • a full thermographic evaluation before the ride start (about 30 mins),
  • a quick lower limb evaluation immediately after completion (less than five minutes),
  • and a post ride follow-up later in the evening.
The pre-ride and and lower limb evaluations will take place at the EasyCare trailer. The fuller post-ride follow-up will be done where the horse is resting (HiTie, corral, trailer) after the ride and will disturb the horse as little as possible or not at all.

The Take-Away
We will provide any participants who wish it an electronic report, including copies at a later date of appropriate thermograms of their horse. These reports will highlight areas of potential concern such as saddle fit issues, one-sidedness, the potential onset of issues that may lead to lameness at a later date and avenues for remedial action.

A white paper will also be published following the extensive field research and will be made available publicly by EasyCare.

Please contact me at kmyers@easycareinc.com if you would like your shod horse to participate in this landmark study.

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.


Mendocino Magic Ride Report

Submitted by Leslie Spitzer

Over the July 4th weekend I had the privilege of attending the aptly named Mendocino Magic Ride. The ride was magic in so many ways for me. The weather was magical. July in Coastal California is commonly shrouded with fog and mist, but we were treated to crystal clear blue skies and warm, but not too hot, weather. It did get a bit windy Friday, but thankfully it wasn't windy the whole weekend.


 My horse, JAC Eagle Cap was magical to me. He really did well and I had a fantastic day with him. He has come back from a severe illness last fall and I finally feel as though he has returned to his normal self. My Easyboot Gloves were magical in the way they performed and stayed on all day without a problem. I was really pleased!

 
I went to the ride with friends from the bay area; Pamela, who rides Eagle's sister JAC Chico's Fortune (aka Fanny) and friend Kirsten, riding Canyon. I went to Walnut Creek Thursday to meet up with the girls as we would be taking Pamela's trailer on this trip. Both Pamela and Kirsten ride barefoot/booted as well. Pamela is in the process of switching over from a different brand of boots to Easycare Gloves. I fitted her mare and we had ordered her brand new boots.

Imagine our surprise when on Thursday we found Fanny's pasterns and fetlocks covered in little, oozy sores :(  Fanny is super sensitive and the best we could figure is she had a reaction to fly bites.  This left us in quite a quandary as to what to do with boots for her as surely anything rubbing on them would be a problem.

 
We had a trailer tire blowout on the way to the ride so we arrived at camp much later than we'd planned. Ridecamp was located in a grassy meadow on a bluff with a spectacular view of the ocean at Lari Shea and Harvey Hoechstetter's Ricochet Ridge Ranch. Parking was a bit tight and they were trying to get us all in to leave room for later arrivals. Since we had to hang horses on HiTies off both sides of the trailer we needed extra room. We finally were able to help somebody move a tent which gave us the room we needed. Problem solved! We were a bit stressed at that point with all we had to do with getting ready, sorting out boots, tack, etc. that unfortunately we missed the wine tasting and potluck that was held in the large shop/barn building at the facility. We did make it to the ride meeting though and cracked open our own bottle of wine which was much needed and brightened our moods!

 
I had decided to apply my Easyboot Gloves the night before the ride. I really wanted to make sure they worked well and I wanted to take the time to clean his feet well, apply athletic tape and get a good fit with the boots. I used Mueller Athletic tape and tried something new in using more tape than I have in the past. The boots were a very snug fit and I had a good feeling about them. We were still debating what to do with Fanny, Pamela's mare. Natalie Herman ended up foaming regular old Easyboots onto her hinds and Pamela decided to use the boots she was used to on her fronts as there was less contact with her sores. This combo worked well and all her boots stayed on all day. I have to give kudos to Natalie for taking the time out to help anybody that needed it. More often than not, every time I saw her she was helping somebody out with their horses feet or boots. Quite impressive to me who can barely handle getting my stuff organized and boots on my own horse without melting!
 
The next morning came very quickly and went even quicker since our alarm had failed to go off (oops!) and we woke up half an hour late. We did fine though and I was really really thankful at that point I'd booted the night before! We left after the big pack and soon were jogging along single track through ancient redwood trees and old logging roads through beautiful meadows. It was really indescribably beautiful. We did a lot of climbing, some technical trail and lots of single track. This was not an easy ride, but my favorite type for sure!


Our first vet check was 18 miles (or so) in. The check was in a beautiful meadow. We had a half hour hold there. All our horses vetted well and then quickly settled in to the smorgasbord of hay, carrots and mash that was provided. Cynthia had suggested that everybody should take a walk into the old growth redwood grove which bordered the edge of the meadow just to take in it's beauty. I did take a moment to step in by myself and I'm really glad I did. Having grown up on the California Coast I have a fondness for redwoods and this grove gave me a tremendous deja vu feeling of my childhood. It felt like a very spiritual place and I could have spent all day there, just sitting by myself. Again, more magic.
 
After the hold it was another 17 miles back to camp for our one hour hold. The trail back to camp was more of the same. Climbs, descents, single track, technical and many amazing ocean vistas. All day long we were treated to various wildflower displays, especially the abundant little daisy's. It's all one big blur of beauty to me. 


At the ride meeting the evening before Cynthia had mentioned one of the trails being called the Spectacular Trail. All day long we'd come to a beautiful trail and proclaim we must be on the Spectacular Trail and we'd "oooh" and "ahhhh". Then we'd come to another even better one and decide that no, NOW we were on the Spectacular Trail. This happened several times throughout the day!

At our one hour hold at camp all the horses again vetted well and we got them settled in with their mashes and hay and helped ourselves the the lunch provided by management (this was an ALL frills ride!) ala Duck ride style; premade sandwiches in coolers, tubs of candy and drinks. To me it is such a luxury to be provided lunch at a ride so I can grab and eat and have the time to care for my horse and even sit a bit. My boots were all looking good at lunch and I had totally relaxed about them at that point and quit obsessively checking to make sure they were still there.
 
We headed out for our last loop refreshed on on horses that were looking great. I think we moved out the fastest on this loop. Lots of trotting on wonderful, redwood carpeted single track and even a gallop up a steep hill! Lots of fun and my boots stayed put! Soon we were back at camp and our magical ride was completed.
 
I really had a great ride and my horse felt really good. He has been barefoot since Dec. 21st of last year and he has really thrived. Our friend Kirsten is a chiropractor for humans and horses.  She has treated Eagle in the past and treated the horses the evening after the ride and the next morning. She pulled me aside to tell me that when she had initially treated Eagle a year or so ago she really thought he was arthritic or had some degenerative joint stuff going on but now she finds that his joints feel like the joints of a young horse! I think this is really significant and the only thing that has changed with this horse is that he has gone barefoot and uses boots when he needs them.
 
I do want to mention that if you have had rubs from your gaiters, don't despair! Eagle had no rubs after this ride. In April I took him on the Nevada Derby and had to pull at lunch due to rubs making him sore. The lesson learned for me was to train more in boots. I had been using them occasionally but riding bare a lot. Their skin does adjust and toughen up to the gaiters. Also I learned it is probably not the best idea to use brand new boots on a ride unless your horse is really used to them. I broke my own rule by using new boots on the rear for this ride, but it went fine. I also have made simple neoprene wraps to carry in case of rubs. They work well.  If nothing else, making them and carrying them alone will insure you never have a rub again :).
 
After the horses were all cared for we took a bottle of wine and headed over to the amazing catered dinner and awards ceremony in the barn. The dinner included tamales, pork, chicken, a rice dish and yummy chocolate ganache cake for dessert. It was all very good and spicy! An award was given out for the first booted horse which I thought was really nice and a bottle of wine to the last 10 riders which I thought was really cool. The completion awards were nice ball caps with the ride logo on them.
 
It was fun relaxing after the ride with friends and chatting with everybody. It was announced that fireworks would be able to be seen from the arena in ridecamp, but us girls were so relaxed later in the trailer that we never made it over there but did see a few from the trailer. I'm sure it was a spectacular show.
 
Due to the length of our drive, we had elected to drive home the next morning. We got a leisurely start and hit Starbucks in Ft. Bragg. We must have been talking and enjoying our coffees a bit too much as we missed our turn off onto Hwy. 20 and decided just to keep driving on Hwy. 1 and cutting over at the highway which heads into Cloverdale. We ended up being extremely pleased as we were treated to a beautiful, crystal clear drive through Mendocino and along the coast. The highway up to Cloverdale was not nearly as bad as we thought it would be and took us through more beautiful country and some wine growing areas. It was tempting to stop at some of the wineries!  It was a beautiful drive home and I got to experience part of California I'd never even seen before.
 
I'd like to thank Easycare for my ride entry and for the technology which created my boots and allows barefoot/booted endurance riding to be really a doable thing. I'd also like to commend and thank Forrest Tancer and Cynthia Ariosta for putting on a ride that was nothing short of magical! 


They really did a great job and this ride is not to be missed in the future. I'd also like to give special mention and thanks to the land owners who allowed us to camp on and share in the beauty of their lands. Firstly, to Lari Shea and Harvey Hoechstetter for providing ridecamp and facilities at the Ricochet Ridge Ranch and allowing us to ride through their beautiful trails and also to the Jackson Grube Family, Nan Deniston (Parker Family), Campbell Hawthorne Timber Management, and Mike and Yvette Maguire. We'll be back for sure!

Leslie Spitzer