We posted some photos and a quick progress update on the Easyboot Cuff System last week. For those of you who didn't see it, the Easyboot Cuff System is a below the hairline hoof boot that can be applied or removed quickly. The beauty of the system is that all portions of the hoof boot fit below the hairline and at the same time the boot stays on the hoof in the most difficult riding conditions. It's very similiar to our Easyboot Glue-On but has one major advantage over a complete glue-on shell, the Easyboot Cuff System allows the horse to be barefoot and boots are only used when needed.
The last Easyboot Cuff System blog post generated a bunch of comments and e-mails. I'll answer them here. Let me know if you have any other questions.
1. Why are you using a clear adhesive to apply the cuff? A clear adhesive allows you to see the trace line and apply the cuff in the correct location. In the past I used a black adhesive but it quickly covered my black trace line and the holes in the cuff and shell were hard to line up.
2. How will you prevent mud and dirt from getting in the threaded inserts? To my surprise this hasn't been a big problem. A small tool (nail or needed) breaks must of the mud free and the screw is pretty easy to apply.
3. How long will the "Cuff" last? I have tested the cuff on one horse up to 4 weeks. As the bare hoof wears the holes are harder to line up. I'm working on added elongated holes to the shell but believe the concept is still about a 3-6 week application cycle. Regardless the "Cuff" portion of the design will be inexpensive and new cuffs can be applied.
4. So, do you believe the perfect system HAS been invented or that it is yet to be invented? Your starting line says the second, but I think you mean the first? I believe the perfect hoof boot has yet to be invented but we are super close with the Glue-On, Glove and Easyboot Cuff System. We have some tweaking to do but it's amazing the advances made in the last 12 months alone. This system allows the horse to be barefoot but ridden in a below the hairline boot that stays on in all conditions.
5. When will they be available? I have the size #1 done now but have some testing to do with elongated holes in the shell, larger holes in the shell, larger washers, different adhesives, etc. I believe I will start getting testers involved in Feb or March 2010.
6. How have they been tested? To date they have been tested on EasyCare horses only. In 2009 they were tested in 2 50 mile endurance events. The events were one week apart and the horse was barefoot (cuff only) between the events. One of the things we learned from the last 50 mile event is that a thread lock needs to be applied to the screws before application.