The AERC Nationals

Last weekend the AERC National Championships were held at Antelope Island in Utah. Every year, endurance riders compete for national honors in 50 and 100 mile endurance events. The locations rotate from the eastern half of the USA to the western half. So during odd calendar years the Nationals are held in the East, during even years in the West.

Antelope Island, a Utah State Park within the Great Salt Lake, had the honors to be the host of this years Nationals. Some riders prepare all year for this event. It might not draw the numbers that Biltmore or Tevis can showcase, but it is a prestigious event, no doubt. 

Jeff Stuart was the Ride Manager and with a wonderful support group, he put on a first class event. Top notch veterinarians helped horses and riders to get through. As a result the completion rate was high and there were absolutely no treatments necessary.

At the vet in: Suzy Hayes and Atlas and Christoph with GE Pistol Annie.*

The trails were a mix of flat and rocky stretches with some substantial climbs. A lot of riders chose hoof protection to safe guard against stone bruises. As always at important events, EasyCare boots were seen on many horses. And among the various EasyCare hoof protection, the Glue-Ons were the most used boot among the riders.

Some of the more rocky uphill sections of the trail.*

Antelope Island is a relatively small island, but home to 600 buffalo and hundreds of antelopes.* 

When the buffalo came to close to the Vet check to snatch some hay or feed, the ride managers job included keeping them at a safe distance from the horses.

Team Easyboot member, Kevin Waters giving his horse Rio a break during one of the uphill sections.*

Kevin and I leaving vet check two during the 100 Mile race. Both horses wearing Easyboot Glue-Ons.*

For the readers who keep stats, here are the numbers of the finishing riders wearing Easyboots:

  • Top 3 Finishers and BC horse of the 50 Mile race all wearing EasyCare Glue-On boots
  • 5 of the top 10 wearing the Easyboot Glue-Ons
  • Top 3 Finishers and BC horse of the 100 Mile race wearing EasyCare Glue-Ons
  • 6 of the top 10 horses were equipped with Easyboot Glue-Ons

Now these are stats that no one can argue with. Numbers speak!

If you are interested in more stats, you can read up on Garrett Fords blog about Tevis finishers wearing boots a couple of months ago.

The jewel award, the National 100 Mile Champion title, was earned by Team Easyboot Member Leah Cain, riding OT Dyamonte Santo.

Leah Cain with the National Championship trophy and her crew. Congratulations to an awesome job done. 

Jill Haunold accepting her winning trophy from AERC president Michael Campell and RM Jeff Stuart (left).

Kevin Waters won the Heavy Weight Championship title in the 100 miler, myself the Middle Weight, Anya Leverman the Junior title; all wearing the Easyboot Glue-Ons. In the 50, similar picture: Jill Haunold was the overall and Featherweight champion, Barry Waitte the Heavy Weight champion, myself the Middle Weight Champion, so all the weight division winners were also wearing Easyboot Glue-Ons.

Any more questions?

 

From the desk of the Bootmeister

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center

*Photo credit for photos 1,2,3,4,6,7,8 goes to Merri Melde from endurance.net

 

DHF Case Study: Laminitis and Canker

This is one of those cases that stays with you; that you think about even when you're not with the horse.  The initial description from the veterinarian was "Every time the owner picked out her feet she would bleed.  When I saw her feet I thought, OH MY".  I get called in by veterinarians typically for one of two reasons: either the horse doesn't have enough foot to nail to and they need performance glue work, or like in this case, the horse's feet are significantly distorted with pathology and they need help with rehabilitation.  It's never good when the vet says "Oh my!" when they see the horse's feet.  So I was expecting a train wreck.

When I met this mare I thought helping her would be pretty straight forward.  It ended up being a little more complicated than I was expecting.  She had some significant hoof capsule distortion typically found with chronic laminitis complicated by contracted heels.  All of that is pretty easy to address.  My biggest concern was the description of "bleeding when her feet were picked out", and was thinking about the coffin bone penetrating her sole or a deep abscess track in that area. Here are her feet when we first saw her:

The veterinarian met us at the appointment and took radiographs for us.  

The veterinarian diagnosed the pony with chronic laminitis with rotation and sinking.  Our plan was to pull the shoes, apply a de-rotation trim to re-align her hoof capsule with the internal structures, addressing the phalangeal and capsular rotation.  Oh, and to figure out what the bleeding when the hoof was picked was about. 

After pulling the shoes, CAREFULLY cleaning out her frogs, and applying the de-rotation trim, the bleeding was not coming from where we expected. 

We were looking at canker.  This poor mare, foundered, with contracted heels, chronic thrush, AND canker.  We determined she was going to need daily attention to her feet to eliminate the canker, and help her regain soundness.  We brought her to our Daisy Haven Farm Rehabilitation Center to facilitate her care.  Of course with the additional benefit of addressing her underlying metabolic problems through diet and environmental management.  

There are many different ideas on how to treat canker.  We see a fair bit of it in our area with so many draft horses going though auction, as it seems most prevalent in draft breeds although occurs in all breeds.  I also saw a lot of canker in Nigeria during my trips helping horses there.

Canker is generally thought of as an infectious process that leads to a proliferation of abnormal tissue originating in the frog.  Why it happens and why only to certain horses is not known, however, it is generally associated with excessively wet conditions, poor hoof management, and possibly a poor immune system.  It's described as having a cauliflower appearance, typically highly sensitive, bleeds profusely when trimmed, and often has an associated putrid smell.(1)

In this case we worked with veterinarian Dr. James Holt of Brandywine Veterinary Services in Glenmoore, PA.  His go-to method of treatment for canker consists of debridement as needed, followed by topical application of oxytetracycline (oxytet) on cotton padding against the affected tissue with pressure, changing daily, then weekly Clean Trax soaks.  When it looks like the canker has been eliminated, continue treatment for an additional two weeks to help prevent regrowth.  We applied the oxytet to the cotton padding, wrapped the foot in a diaper with vet wrap to hold it in place.  Then applied a Cloud Boot with antimicrobial powder to prevent any sweating inside the boot in our humid environment.  

This worked quite successfully for this mare:

We were also able to get her metabolic problems controlled during her stay with us, and returned her to her owner at a new boarding barn, quite comfortable, and with a management plan in place to prevent future recurrence of either the laminitis or the canker.

www.DaisyHavenFarm.com

www.IntegrativeHoofSchool.com

References:

1: O'Grady, Stephen E., BVSc, MRCVS, and John B. Madison, VMD, Diplomate ACVS. "How to Treat Equine Canker." Equine Podiatry. Northern Virginia Equine, 1 Jan. 2004. Web. 02 Sept. 2016. <http://www.equipodiatry.com/canker1.htm>.

For the Love of the Glue-Ons!

Submitted by Leah Cain, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

I love riding a horse with Glue-On boots!  I have had a lot of success with them.  My horses travel freely and are confident over varied terrain in them.  In the past, I have only used them for 100 mile endurance competitions and multi-day rides.  I like using them so much that I hate to have to pull them off after a couple weeks to keep the hoof healthy.  I was thinking that if I had access to the sole of the hoof in order to keep it dry,clean it out and apply iodine, I could keep the boots on longer.  After speaking with Kevin Waters and Christoph Schork, and reading Christoph's blog about cutting out a big hole in the bottom and some of the benefits, I decided to try it myself. 

I took clean, unused glue on boots and cut a hole in the bottom using a 2 1/8 hole cutter (the one that you would use to cut a hole in a door for the door knob.)  I secured the boots to a piece of wood to hold them still. Also, make sure you are using clean gloves on your hands to ensure that you do not get the boots dirty.  Once the boots have the proper holes, you are ready to glue on boots as normal except you do not need Sikaflex in the bottom of the boot.  I did also use the EasyShoe Bond for this application simply because I realized that I didn't have any tips for the Adhere. 

I kept the boots on for 8 weeks.  In that time, I did many miles of conditioning and one 50 mile endurance competition.  We experienced lots of mud, gravel roads, sand and just about everything in between.  Surprisingly, we never picked up a rock. 

The last two photos are the boots and hoof after eight weeks. I definitely have found my new favorite way to use Glue-On boots!

 

The Elite Team

Tevis is arguably the most prestigious and toughest endurance race in the world. Even people who have never heard of the sport endurance riding have heard of the Tevis. The ride is being followed all over the world. This year marks the seventh year that EasyCare has provided a free gluing service for interested riders at the Tevis. In December 2008 Garrett Ford and I rode the Easyboot Glue-Ons at the Las Cienega Ride in Arizona for the first time ever in an endurance race. Garrett and I finished first and second that day and GE Cyclone, this years Haggin Cup winner, received the BC honors. 

From then on, we never looked back. We knew that the Glue-Ons would have a future. Starting in 2009 EasyCare organized and provided the Tevis gluing service. The numbers of interested riders are increasing every year and it  became harder and harder for Garrett and I to glue boots on dozens of horses before Tevis and then ride the next day. Often we both were so tired and suffered of aching backs before the ride even started that I was surprised we even made it through and finished at all.

Last year, Garrett had the great idea of forming an Easyboot Elite Team for Tevis, consisting of qualified farriers and hoof trimmers who would not enter the Tevis themselves. Interested individuals filled out applications, these were then screened and after interviews, the Elite Team members were selected. 

Kevin Myers wrote a blog last year after Tevis with some stats on how Easyboot Glue-On riders fared compared with riders using various other hoof protection methods. You can read up on this by clicking on this blog. Just a short statistic here, last year the completion rate for non Easyboot riders was 42%, Easyboot riders finished at 55%.

So, how does it compare to this year? This year, the completion rate was an astonishing 76% for Easyboot riders! The highest percentage ever! Haggin Cup winner was again in Easyboots. You can see the full history of results in Garrett's Tevis recap.

The Easyboot Glue-On is certainly an outstanding product. But without the proper application of these boots, the numbers would certainly not be that good. Only the professional and meticulous glue on procedure guaranteed this success. There is no better group of hoof care professionals in this country than the Easyboot Elite Team, with this years members being listed alphabetically here: 

Daisy Bicking

Josh Bowles

Jeremy Ortega

Pete Van Rossum

Deanna Stoppler

Derick Vaughn

These individuals did such an outstanding job gluing boots on, it was a pleasure for me to watch. If my memory serves me right, not one single Glue-On boot applied by this team was lost during Tevis. 

Elite Team members worked at three stations, gluing three horses at the same time.

The hoof is structured with the rasp to increase the adhesion of the glue.

An Elite Team member is checking the size for proper  fit.

After the glue is applied and the boot attached, the borders are sealed and smoothed out. With a hoof buffy, the boot is then finished for a crisp and clean look. 

Tevis has come and gone. We are all looking forward now to the National Championship in September this year at Antelope Island. Will riders with Easyboots again take home top honors?

 

From the desk of the Bootmeister

 

Christoph Schork

www.globalendurance.com

 

Mentorship with Garrett Ford

Submitted by Deanna Stoppler, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

In 2015 I applied for the American Association of Professional Farriers (AAPF) Roy Bloom Scholarship by submitting a case study entitled “A Team Approach to Treatment of Recurrent Abscessing Resulting From Solar Keratoma in a 14-year-old Quarter Horse”. As one of two recipients of the scholarship, I received the grand prize of a two to three day paid mentorship to take place with an AAPF mentor of my choice.  I chose to mentor with Garrett Ford, President and CEO of EasyCare, the leader in hoof boot technology.

Ford is an innovator, businessman, endurance rider, athlete, and breeds and races horses in the Arabian racehorse industry.  He is married to an amazing athlete, could-be professional chef, and physical therapist, Lisa Ford, and is raising a 9-year-old hard-as-nails, feisty daughter, Alyxx Ford. They have three dogs—one that is quite crafty and does all kinds of tricks, another who is an up and coming cattle dog (and wreaks havoc on the horses and foals, in a good way) and another miniature guard dog whose bark is much bigger than her bite. And they have a lot of horses. Arabs.  Ford trims and shoes his own horses for pleasure, endurance competitions, and for the racetrack. 

Ford’s experience in the hoof care industry, wide range of interests and talents, and ability to manage his career and personal life were all reasons for my selection. 

Traveling across the country from Vermont to Colorado was nothing new—every year I travel to Alberta, Canada to visit my dad—but still when I exited the plane in Durango I was amazed at the dry air.  Vermont is a humid place; even when we lack rainfall, it is humid.  Colorado was dry.  Cloudless sky.  Bright sun.  Like Alberta, like home.

My first evening at the Ford ranch was spent settling in, eating delicious sushi in downtown Durango (I liked the appetizer of fried brussel sprout chips best), and planning the next two days. 

Enjoying sushi with a feisty Ford!

In the days to come I would learn about trimming in a dry environment; glue on tips-and-tricks; new ideas for glue usage; basic information about Arabian breeding and racing; and endurance riding (hands on—we went for a 17-mile ride in the mountains, trotting and cantering the entire ride).

17-mile ride with Garrett and Lisa Ford.

Day 1: Can you glue a shoe?

If you think you know all there is to know about gluing try spending the day with Garrett Ford.  His mind constantly challenges the status quo.  He and his friend and colleague, Curtis Burns, continually test new ideas for shoe designs and for glue prep and use.  After numerous courses with various well known glue practitioners and spending a week as a team member of the 2015 Easy Elite, gluing shoes on competitors’ horses for the Tevis Cup 100 Mile Endurance Ride, I would say I know a thing or two about gluing but as farriers we can never learn too much and Ford is a prime example of pushing the boundaries and not allowing ourselves to settle in the comfort zone.

We played with shoeing using a technique that allowed us to tack the shoe on with Vettec adhere only from the heel to widest part of foot portion of the shoe, alleviating any possibility of glue pressure in the tip of P3, and tying in the cuffs and toe region of the shoe with Equilox tinted with black concrete dye.

Equilox tinted with black concrete dye.

We talked about the importance of heel prep and making sure the periople is removed prior to applying glue and how critical it is to glue the vertical height of the heels, not just the sole side.

Importance of heel prep.

We applied a dual nail/glue system and cut the cuffs down to account for slight flaring in the foot. 

A conversation about aesthetics and finish led me to realize that the smallest of details, like consistent finish in all four cuffs, separates better from best.  Ford talked about his mantra when finishing a foot—Curtis Burns once said to him: “Would you leave it like that?” And so he says it to himself after every trim, glue job, boot removal…would you leave it like that?  If in doubt fix it; do it to the best of your ability or don’t do it at all.

Day 2: Trimming a few, and a few more.

Trimming in a dry climate was in some ways like taking a breath of fresh air.  The work can be more difficult when trying to remove embedded bar and sole material but the feet are rock solid, literally. In Vermont feet are in a constant cycle of wet to dry to wet to dry to mostly wet, soggy, like a sponge. I might be exaggerating a bit but you get the idea.  Even though Ford’s pastures are irrigated daily, the horses’ feet are dry.  The air is dry. The ground is dry.  Feet: dry.

The balance of backing toes, leveling heels, leaving vertical height, straightening bars, removing exfoliating frog material, all of it applies to Colorado feet but Ford’s horses had healthy, dry feet instead of healthy wet feet.  Looking at the feet in Colorado versus Vermont wasn’t earth shatteringly different but I quickly realized that dry West feet could handle a bit more trimming than soggy East feet. In Vermont it feels that I am constantly balancing taking just the right amount of foot; not leaving so much that it will chip in the next couple of weeks of growth but not taking so much that if we hit a dry spell the horses will be sensitive on hard ground. 

During our day spent trimming Ford and I talked about the Arabian breeding and racing industry and what I got from those conversations is probably not what you’d expect, the retention of facts of sires and dams and bloodlines.  Instead it was the fact that a person can specialize in and pursue various areas of interest and still be successful.  Sure it is important to have a place in the market for your talent and skill set but that doesn’t mean solely focusing on only that area to be successful. 

Ford’s ability to network in various aspects of the horse industry reminded me of a web with many threads that all weave together into an intricate design, making the entire web stronger. 

My mentorship taught me that if you have passion, a willingness to work hard, an open mind, and aim to do things right the first time you will succeed.

If you understand that the most important thing in life is caring for your loved ones and staying true to who you are deep inside—to look in the mirror and be able to answer to yourself—then success is easy.  Success is and will always be yours.  Success is more than reaching a specific goal; success is a way of life.

"E" is for Epic and "K" is for Kevin

Submitted by Jordan Potthoff, EasyCare Customer Service Representative

On Saturday, July 16th I went on a ride with my mother, Cathy, and our two Wisconsin cowboy friends, Daniel and Vern. Cathy, Vern, and I are members of the Back Country Horseman in La Plata County. This group does trail work in wilderness areas where horses have access to ride. It is "Trails 2000" for Equestrians. As president of the Durango Chapter my mom decided we needed to scope out the Crater Lake trail that goes up past Andrew's Lake, near Silverton, Colorado, before the work crew came in the following week. It was a fun day ride and we were all happy to get out and enjoy the beautiful Colorado weather.

We looked at the hiking guide to gauge our time and mileage. It stated, "5.5 miles to the lake" then of course 5.5 miles out. I had done a 5 mile ride on my 4 year old mare, my first young horse, and I felt she was ready for a longer ride. This would certainly be a challenge because it was twice as far as we had ever gone. There would be many challenges on this ride that would test her and I as a team. Needless to say, according to our GPS tracking the day went from a 11 mile ride to a 14 mile ride. If I was looking for a ride to challenge and train my young horse, boy did I find it.

I wasn't sure the footing of the trail so I decided on my Easyboot Epics for the ride. I am new to the barefoot world and natural hoof care. My horse, Pistol, has spent the riding season in shoes and the off season barefoot. When I joined EasyCare I pulled her shoes and began the journey into barefoot hoof care.

So far I like the Epics. The way that they open up allows for easy application and I still get a snug fit because of the cable and buckle system. This is a great starting place for me since both Pistol and I are new to booting. My hope is to make believers out of my riding group for this trip and future ones. I did spend part of the ride talking about EasyCare and all of the different boots we have to offer, as well as Glue-Ons and EasyShoes. I enjoy talking about the boot because I truly believe in our product. It doesn't work for every horse but the owner and CEO, Garrett Ford, is always looking to increase sizing options and created a better boot. 

My horse had some reservations about our first few water crossings. Somewhere during that time of trying every avenue possible to avoid the water she tore the gaiter on one of her boots and the boot came off. The boot buckle didn't release so I need to examine the boot and see if the cable is broken. I will also measure her feet again to make sure I have the correct size. I think what happened was I tried the fit kit and found the correct size for the Glove. But without checking measurements ordered the same size in the Epics. This is a common mistake. Our boots are not all sized the same, so we always tell our customers not to assume that if they are a size in one model they will be the same size in a different model. What probably happened is that this boot was too big and the clamp didn't tighten enough around the hoof to stay on during her frantic moves across the water.

When I did remove the boots I found that very little water stayed in the boot. I know that some people worry about water building up in the boots and sloshing around during a ride. This boot allows most of the water to squish back out after going through a stream.

The Epics have moderate traction and break over on the toe. The trail up to Crater lake was a mixture of dirt trail and big rocky sections. As we passed over large slabs of rock I noticed that Pistol had better traction in most instances and had less of a tendency to slip out compared to the other horses who were shod with steel shoes. Pistol has not developed a disciplined, cautious step yet, so I know that she wasn't getting better footing because of better foot placement on the trail. I was also happy for the gaiter protection around the heel bulbs because two of the horses experienced small cuts from sharp rocks.

We saw this butterfly at the end of our ride. It made me think of Kevin. Butterflies to me symbolize rebirth and transition into a new state of being. For me I think it could have been Kevin joining me in my successful ride. I had looked forward to riding with him this summer. I know that I would have learned a lot from him and my horse would have as well. He was always approachable when I had questions or wanted to learn more. I know I will still learn from him, his memory, and his experiences through the many many lives he impacted. 

Although I did not have the pleasure of knowing Kevin Myers for very long, he immediately inspired me to challenge myself and expand my riding experience. Both his and Garrett's passion for endurance riding was infectious. I have dabbled in many disciplines and their passion has sparked my curiosity for this new one. Well let me tell you I have a long way to go! Kevin would have called my 14 mile stroll a "recovery ride". HA! I was the one who needed to recover after that ride. It was my longest ride in a long time. But he was always very encouraging and was great at celebrating victories no matter how small.

He was on my mind during my first big ride. I know that he had a habit of doing a hand stand in great places so in his memory I did a hand stand in victory. Here's to you, Kevy. "K" is for Kevin. Happy Trails.

Kevin And The 300

It is very hard for me now to pick up a pen and write a new blog after the tragic event that occurred within our EasyCare Family. It just hit too close to home. I am still extremely sad and in pain to the deepest level in my soul. 

 

 

And now what? We are all supposed to pick up the pieces and keep going. I guess we have to. Life is going on and we cannot keep staying in a state of sorrow forever.  It is unhealthy and also not fair to others close to us who might not have had the privilege of knowing Kevin Myers.  But make no mistake about it, it is hard, very hard. Tevis is happening this week, then the Nationals and other rides.  EasyCare will develop new products and life will continue. But Kevin's memories will stay with us and that is a good thing. Sooner or later we all shall be united again with him.  Hope it will be quite a bit later.

To learn more about what Kevin meant to all of us within the EasyCare Family, you can read up on the last couple of blogshttp://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/horse-boots-customer-help/postcards-to-kevin, and here: http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/easycare-admin/wish-you-were-here.

One of the best blogs about Kevin was written by Garrett Ford. A magnificent tribute to him. I just love Garrett's thoughts about Kevin. 

Kevin was very interested in the success of his friends. He was always supportive of me and helped me achieve my goals. He was so looking forward to me reaching the 300 mark of wins in the endurance sport which he himself loved so much. It is sad that he missed that day and event, which happened during the Doubloon Ride, managed by Tennessee Lane of Remuda Run

Riding GE Pistol Annie at day 2 of the Doubloon ride to achieve the 300 win mark.

While the spirits were dampened by the passing of Kevin, and we all were not really in celebration or partying mood, it was nevertheless a big event that had not been reached by any endurance rider in the the world. 

Merri Melde from Endurancenet wrote a very nice article about it, to be read up here.

Trotting out for Completion after the finish of the Doubloon on day 2.

Okay, so far so good,  but what does EasyCare have to do with it all, one might ask.  Quite a bit, I will answer. 

A lot of these wins were actually accomplished using various EasyCare hoof protection products:

By far the most used boot was the Glue-On. In over 100 wins the Glue-on boot were used. Simply a reliable hoof boot that gets the job done. Love that boot. Easy to apply and lasting.

Ria McCarthy from Heber City, Utah, just rode with her dad the whole length of the state of Utah from the border of Arizona to the border of Idaho, 605 miles with countless vertical feet over many mountains during her 28 day trip. She and her horse used only one pair of Glue-On boots for the whole trip, and there are still some miles left on the tread. Just incredible performance. No iron shoe would have lasted that long.  Ria shared these two photos of the bottom of the Glue-On boots with me:

What a testimony for the Easyboot Glue-Ons. No need to say anything more. These photos say it all. 

So we all move on, with a heavy heart, no doubt. I hope time will heal us all and make us better people because of Kevin. We all shall look out more for each other. This will be his legacy he left for us.

From The Bootmeister

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center

Flip Flop Forgiveness

Submitted by Mari Ural, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

Even if your horse doesn't have the perfect foot, give the Easyboot Flip Flops a chance.  Especially for those people who want to go barefoot, but feel they can't, Flip Flops are the perfect solution.

Heart's feet do not have the perfect shape for Glue-Ons or Gloves.  He does use them with help from a power strap, tape and extra glue because the shells tend to get a gap at the "v".  His foot just seems to be narrower towards the coronet band than at the base, although the trim looks great.

We decided to give the Flip Flops a whirl.  Knowing there would be some gapping we simply stuffed more glue into the gap.  It has worked out great.  He's been out in sand, rocks, gravel and even some nice footing!  He's quite happy in his Flip Flops.  He strides out and the Flip Flops are totally secure.  The best part is that nothing collects in them.  After the ride, there is no debris stuck inside the Flip Flops, they are clean as a whistle.  When we were in mud, some did squish into the boot.  However, when it dried it came right out again.

For those folks who wish to leave them on for a full trim cycle they are perfect.  All the fresh air any hoof could want. Thank you, EasyCare.

 

 

EasyCare Goes Cavalry at the Old Dominion

Submitted by Karen Neuenschwander, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

The Old Dominion 100 is a bucket list ride for many. Rocks, big climbs, heat, humidity, and more rocks make “the Beast of the East” a fitting nickname for this ride. To add to the challenge, there is an option to ride “Cavalry.” The rider must carry with them everything for the horse and rider (except for water) for the entire ride. I’ve been fascinated with the idea of attempting this challenge since I learned about it several years ago. When it came time to take my mare, Brooke, on her first 100 miler, I knew she’d be a good candidate to give it a try. She’s strong on mountain trails, tolerates heat and humidity well, and takes great care of herself without being too high maintenance.

Hoof protection was a big consideration since any gear for lost shoes or boots had to be carried. Easyboot Glue-Ons were the obvious choice for us. The key to Glue-On success is proper application to DRY hooves. In our damp, swampy Southeast Virginia climate, getting those hooves dry can take a little extra effort. Brooke and her buddy, Legalas, had a sleepover in my barn’s stalls the night before we applied the boots for some extra drying time. “Legs” will be doing Tevis next month in Glue-Ons applied by the EasyCare gluing team, so he did the 50 miler at Old Dominion to try them out. The next morning, I glued everyone’s boots (with lots of extra hands to help things go smoothly), and we headed to the ride.

A night in the stalls keeps everyone's hooves nice and dry before gluing.

Although I tried to minimize the amount of stuff that I carried, some necessities needed to be packed along. I used the EasyCare Deluxe Stowaway Pack to carry some grain, two spare Easyboot Gloves, and electrolytes. I had planned to use the Deluxe Pommel Pack for more storage in front, but upon trying it out, discovered that I actually preferred something a little smaller. One quick call to EasyCare, and the standard size pack arrived a couple of days later. It carried my drink bottles and Brooke’s all-important carrots! I carried my food in a small backpack designed for ultra-runners, and we were all set to tackle the ride!

Sporting our Glue-Ons and all of our gear.  Photo by Becky Pearman Photography
 
Our goal was simply to get a completion. We made time where the footing was good, trusting that the Glue-Ons would absorb concussion on the miles of forest service roads. Brooke was able to do her awesome power walk over the crazy rocks and up and down the steepest climbs, her boots providing great traction and protection on the uneven footing. In the end, we completed the ride in fifth place, making us eligible to compete not only for the Cavalry Trophy, but also the Old Dominion Trophy, which is judged similarly to Best Conditioned.
 

During the judging the next morning, Brooke trotted out sound and looked great for the vet exam. I was shocked and honored at the awards ceremony to learn we had won both the Cavalry and Old Dominion Trophies! I am so grateful to EasyCare for offering products that helped make our ride such a success!

 

Thunder's 5000th Mile in Repurposed Gloves

Submitted by Karen Bumgarner, Team Easyboot 2016 Member
 
My plan was simple: Order some comfort pads to put in Thunder's Gloves and go ride three days at Oregon Outback's beautiful Hallelujah Trail, put on by Dennis and Linda Tribby. Only I messed up and ordered 12mm pads and not the 6mm, which I have since returned and now have 6mm pads for the next time. But I needed something for this time. Never fear, I have a tube of Sikaflex to goop some boots on with. Hmmmm, I scrounge through my collection of used Gloves and come up with two that have some mileage on them that are still plenty good. Plan B, Sikaflex the Gloves on and take the gaiters off and voila - good as Glue-Ons.
 
 
One thing I love about Sikaflex is that it doesn't set up real quick. I can take my time and not hurry, I like that. So my first step is to loosen the screws on the gaiter because I will take it off eventually. Then I take the Glove and fill it with a generous amount of Sikaflex, smearing some up on the sides inside the boot too. I set the boot aside and do the last minute touches of being sure the hoof is clean and ready. With Sikaflex I don't have to buff the hoofwall and such like you do with Adhere, I like that too. Then I just put the Glove on as I always would, tapping it into place with the mallet and hooking up the gator. I have him ties eating hay which keeps him quiet for awhile as the Sikaflex sets up. After an hour or so I put him back out with his buds. The next day I remove the gator and head for the ride.
 
 
Thunder chowing down at the vet check on day one. Our Sikaflexed Gloves are performing well.
 

Thunder after the first 50, looking happy and ready for another day. (Photo by Trish Frahm)

Mid-day trotting down the great trails and enjoying life! The footing was awesome and we wouldn't have needed those comfort pads on this ride anyway. But it was sure nice to not have to worry about any rubs or irritation from three days of gaiters and Gloves. Thunder completed his AERC 5,000 miles with day two. And we finished up the weekend riding the third day and being a Pioneer.
 
 
Now here we are six days after "sikking" them on and I have the chore of removing the boots. They are still nice and tight.
 
 
The best way I know to get them off is find a spot to insert a flat sided screw driver and just start working it around the hoof and pull the boot and such away from the hoof wall.
 
 
It takes a few minutes of working the screw driver around the hoof but soon the boot is coming free of the hoof.
 
 
After loosening the sides all around, I insert the screw driver blade under the boot, working through the heel area, and it pops right off pretty easily.
 
 
‚ÄčAnother great thing with using Sikaflex is all the material is in or on the boot and your hoof is clean and has no debris stuck on it. We'll be ready to trim and Glove for the next ride, and go for more miles.
 

Editor’s note: the opinions expressed in this blog do not represent EasyCare’s official recommended gluing protocol for hoof boots. To learn more about the recommended gluing protocol, please see http://www.easycareinc.com/Our_Boots/Easyboot_glue-on/glue-on_fitting.aspx. Following the steps outlined by EasyCare will increase the success rate of any glue-on product.