I Do Know Sik'em!

Submitted by Karen Bumgarner, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

When I was a youngster, a great friend of mine, Dan Petrequin, would tell us "You girls don't know sik 'em!", whenever we'd really mess up. It was a big joke because even the dog would go crazy and find something to chase when you said "sik'em!" Years later, I do know sik'em; just a different variety of Sik'em. It's a product known as Sikaflex. Easycare has carried it for some time but to me it's one of those good old stand-bys that I often come back to.

There are a few things I like about Sikaflex. One - I can use a regular caulking gun. Two - I really worry about getting the Adhere under the sole, on the heel or hairline and creating a bigger problem than I already have. Three - it sets up slowly so I don't have to rush. However there is a drawback there too ,as I have to keep the horse busy eating hay and tied for a couple hours. Fortunately, Brass he can eat all day! 

I've had Brass for about 20 months now. He was the "free" horse. Yes, that should tell you a lot right there. His hooves were terribly neglected. At seven years old, he had never been trimmed. He still has sheared heels. And if you trim him too much he goes lame for a few days. So while I know his trim job is not perfect, at his age you just can't change too much. Last year we used Easyboot Glue-Ons on his fronts, and he'd pop one off the smaller less than perfect hoof. I tried EasyShoes but his hoof walls were thin and he had a smaller gluing surface. My luck wasn't great. We used Easyboot Gloves with power straps at the City of Rocks and The Haunting endurance rides last fall and he did great. Just recently one boot began turning on him within just a few miles of trotting. I decided Sikaflex would fit the bill with him. It not only gives him extra protection from rocks but will fill in the gaps and be adhesive enough to keep the boot from turning.

So, proving anyone can do this, I stuck my Gloves in the wash machine as usual to clean them up nicely. They dried in the sun. I laid out all my tools and necessary items, clean Gloves for the horse and a pair of latex gloves for me to keep the Sikaflex from making a mess, all my trimming tools, caulking gun, and mallet. I cleaned and trimmed up the hooves real well, scruffing up the outside wall just like in Christoph Schork's blog.

I left the power straps on the Gloves to keep them snug. I then squirted the Sikaflex in the bottom of the Glove, in a V pattern where the frog goes. I also placed it up the wall on the quarters and the toes. I was careful not to get too much in the heal area because excess Sikaflex will squirt out and you don't want extra material there. Then I put the Gloves on like I always would, with the mallet, twisting it a bit to smear the Sik around, then attach the gaiter. 

Brass just pretty much stood there and ate his hay. Because the Sikaflex takes a while to set up, I'd recheck the boots to be sure he hadn't twisted one, and kept the hay coming. After a couple hours I put him in the round pen where he wouldn't immediately run and play with the other horses.

My plan was to leave the gaiters on so if the adhesive came loose at least the gaiter would keep the Glove on. The next day before we left the horses were all racing around, Brass was busy bucking and kicking and the Gloves stayed put. You could tell the adhesive was tight. It was time to load up and go to the Owyhee Tough Sucker ride and put the experiment to the 50 mile test.

A good friend, Beth Nicholes, rode Brass on the 50 through rocks, creeks and sand, the Sikaflex held tight and the boots didn't turn. This is Beth's last year as a Junior and she wanted a horse to ride. Brass was my best choice. 

Beth Nicholes and The Big Brass, going through the sand wash at Owyhee Tough Sucker 50, April 4, 2015. They are off to a great start with a second place Junior finish. This just could become the best way to do things for Brass. Each horse is different and we always have to keep trying new things, and sometimes return to old things. Ride on!

Tevis 2015: Meet Easyboot Elite Team Member Derick Vaughn

Derick started learning how to trim and nail on shoes from a local farrier near his home town in Humboldt County, California early in 2011. Always interested in horses, and a fan since childhood of day-long rides into the famous redwood forests of the area, Derick decided a career in the horse industry would suit him well. In September of 2011, he attended Red Rock Horseshoeing School and studied under Dave Abel. Derick wanted to expand his experience and learn more about alternative hoof care methods. He made contact with Megan Hensley, a barefoot trimmer based in the area. He tagged along with her for a day, and was so fascinated by the work and impressed by the results, that he decided to apprentice with her and colleague, Amy Thornbury. He eventually sold his anvil to start his own barefoot trimming business in Humboldt County. 

At work applying EasyShoes in Durango, Colorado.

He moved to Durango, Colorado, in September 2014, after two trips there to work with horses in the area. He appreciates the opportunities offered to him by living in close proximity to the the EasyCare research and development location because of the dynamic group of people he gets to meet and work with, including Curtis Burns and Dr. Ric Redden. In 2014, he applied Easyboot Glue-Ons to the Haggin Cup winning horse as well as Tevis Cup winning horse. In 2015, he glued EasyShoes onto a horse nominated for the famed Darley Award. Derick considers his area of expertise to be the application of glue-on composite shoes. His favorite classes at school were Ceramics and Wood Shop. When you watch him work, you might see some parallels in the balance and finishing techniques he uses. 

Riding the foothills at his favorite ranch in Humboldt County, California.

When asked to identify the three most influential people in his career path thus far, Derick credits Garrett Ford for teaching him to care about his work and to take special care around the details in the work often overlooked by others. He acknowledges Curtis Burns for an expression that Derick lives by: "Are you going to leave it like that?". Derick hears that question as he completes every trimming or gluing job he works on. He credits Megan Hensley for teaching him about hoof function, diet, mechanics, the difference between a farrier trim and a barefoot trim, and for helping him build a clientele in the sector that interests him the most. The biggest challenges Derick sees in his hoof care practice are staying true to the ten-year vision he has for his business, and managing to build a specialized practice in a small mountain town three hours from the closest highway. As well as developing his business in the Four Corners area, Derick regularly travels to Texas and Florida to work with clients from the Arabian horse racing world.

Looking ahead to the week spent with the Easyboot Elite team at the 2015 edition of Tevis, Derick is most excited about the honor of working with five of the best gluing hoof care practitioners in the country. He also hopes to be able to achieve his double cup gluing status for the second year in a row. 

A collage from Tevis 2014.

The Easyboot Elite team is a group of six gluing professionals from around the country who will spend the week before the 2015 edition of the Western States Endurance Ride gluing Easyboot Glue-Ons onto horses entered to compete in the ride. Together, they form the most accomplished and sophisticated team of gluing professionals in the world. To book your Tevis 2015 gluing appointment, please call any of our Customer Service Representatives at 1-800-447-8836, and be sure to read last week's blog about the appointment process.

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.

Tevis 2015: The Finest Gluing Team of Professionals is Available to All Competitors

Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the Western States Trail Ride promises to be a landmark event befitting Diamond Anniversary status. EasyCare has a long and successful history at the worlds most challenging 100-mile event. For the fifth year in a row, EasyCare enjoys prestige status as the official hoof boot of the event, and will be providing gluing application services to all competitors who wish to benefit from the competitive advantage Easyboot products are known for. 

Heather Reynolds and Hadeia riding through the town of Foresthill, California, on their way to a first place finish.

To build upon the success of past years' gluing activities, EasyCare has assembled a hand-picked team of the finest hoof boot gluing professionals in the country who will be on site at the Auburn Fairgrounds applying Easyboot Glue-Ons to more than one third of the competing horses in the 2015 event. The team is made up of Curtis Burns, Ashley Gasky, Jeremy Ortega, Deanna Stoppler, Pete Van Rossum and Derick Vaughn. Each of the hoof care professionals has been chosen based on their various successes and achievements in the hoof care world, and will be provided to the Tevis competitors at no cost. Scheduled to take place over two days at the fairgrounds in Auburn California, this hoof boot application will set new standards in excellence for hoof protection application at the 60th anniversary edition of the Tevis Cup.

Hoof care practitioners Curtis Burns and Ashley Gasky - two members of the 2015 EasyCare Elite gluing team for Tevis.

All competitors who wish to take advantage of the gluing team must make an appointment in advance. The 2015 gluing schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Auburn Fairgrounds 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Auburn Fairgrounds 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM.
Friday, July 31, 2015
No gluing.

Please note the following six items:

  1. Location - unlike prior years, gluing will only take place at one location: the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, California. There will be no gluing services offered at Robie Park this year. 
  2. There will be no gluing services offered on Friday.
  3. EasyCare will provide Easyboot Elite team members' gluing services at no cost. However, each rider is required to provide the boots and materials needed (new, unused and untouched Easyboot Glue-On shells; 1 tube of Adhere; 4 Adhere Tips; 1 tube of Sikaflex).
  4. Please bring a horse that has been trimmed within the previous five days. Angles, toe length, heel height, etc. should all be pre-determined and implemented well in advance of your arrival in Auburn by you and your hoof care practitioner. The Easyboot Elite team will not be making any such changes as part of your gluing appointment. No shod horses will be accepted for appointments.
  5. We request that all horses should have successfully completed at least one race in Easyboot Glue-Ons before attempting Tevis in Glue-Ons.
  6. No gluing services will be offered unless an appointment has been booked in advance.

Easyboot Glue-Ons dominated Tevis again in 2014: 

  • The 2014 Tevis Cup (first place) was won in Easyboot Glue-Ons by Heather Reynolds and Hadeia in 14h17.
  • This is the fourth year in a row for the first place Tevis horse to be wearing Easyboots.
  • The Haggin Cup (Best Condition) was won by Barrak Blakely on MCM Last Dance.
  • At 15, Barrak is the youngest rider to win the Haggin Cup. At 17, his horse is the oldest horse to win Haggin Cup. 
  • Five of the top ten horses to finish were in Easyboots.
  • Ten of the top 15 finishers were in Easyboots.
  • 25% of all finishing horses were in Easyboots.

To book your Tevis 2015 gluing appointment, please call any of our Customer Service Representatives at 1-800-447-8836.

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.

Tevis 2015: Meet Easyboot Elite Team Member Pete Van Rossum

Pete has been deeply involved in all aspects of equine hoof care with Ernest Woodward and their affiliation with Dr. Mark Silverman and the Southern California Equine Podiatry Center. His ongoing full-time apprenticeship with Ernest provides Pete with the opportunity to work with some of the top dressage horses in the country, both at home in San Diego and around the country. His experience includes traditional equine shoeing, barefoot trimming and booting, composite glue-on shoeing applications, and founder care/therapeutic applications. Pete lives in Ramona, CA and works throughout the San Diego area, including Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe.

Pete currently provides hoof care for between 100 and 125 horses every month. His primary focus when not working directly with Ernest is on working barefoot dressage horses, and therapeutic shoeing applications. The proudest moment in his hoof care career was being able to provide the options and support for a chronically lame retired horse to come back to full work with EasyShoes.

Ernest Woodward has been Pete's primary influence in understanding and applying a wide range of podiatry solutions for horses in a variety of working conditions. His association with the Southern California Equine Podiatry Center and Dr. Mark Silverman has been a priceless source of information and inspiration for Pete, as well as the frequent clinics they regularly present throughout the country allow him a larger perspective of podiatry needs in different environments. In addition, the influence of Pete Ramey's teachings led him from trimming his own horses to expanding his passion for equine podiatry as his main life focus.

When asked about the greatest challenge in his hoof care practice today, Pete says he needs to constantly keeping an open mind to adapt and change when new products, technologies and methods evolve and develop in the field. He also says it is important to make the time to attend clinics and meet peers around the world for exposure to the best minds and talents in equine hoof care. His third identified challenge is to keep the courage to try new things.

Looking towards the Easyboot Elite week at the 2015 edition of the Western States Trail Ride, he says the thing that excites him the most is the no-room-for-error, all-in opportunity to help Tevis competitors and their equine partners get the absolute most out of their partnership and the latest EasyCare technologies to realize their maximum potential at the event.

Pete has been a lifelong surfer, and as regularly traveled internationally to the Caribbean, Fiji, Hawaii, mainland Mexico and other destinations in the search of large and perfect waves.

The Easyboot Elite team is a group of six gluing professionals from around the country who will spend the week before the 2015 edition of the Western States Endurance Ride gluing Easyboot Glue-Ons onto horses entered to compete in the ride. Together, they form the most accomplished and sophisticated team of gluing professionals in the world.

New Hoof Boots and Better Hoof Boot Designs

You are either moving forwards or backwards: you never stay the same.  After 45 years in the hoof boot business, EasyCare continues to bring new hoof boots to the market place, improve current designs and continue innovating. Our goal is to keep hoof boot and hoof protection innovation moving forward. 

We just returned from a trip to see many of our international partners around the world.  The personal visits continue to be critical to our current partnerships and discussing new directions.  Our five new concepts were very well received and will soon be available through all our international partners.

1.  Easyboot Cloud.  The Cloud targets the laminitis, founder and rehab market, and is also perfect for transportation and horses spending time on hard ground surfaces. it is the first hoof boot to have an injection-molded EVA pad. 


2.  EasyCare Therapy Click System.  Developed by some of the best vets in the world, the Therapy Click System quickly adds a new series of bases to the Easyboot Cloud.  The system adds 5 degrees or 10 degrees of heel lift along with the ability to change mechanics when treating laminitic and founder cases.  The system also works with the Easyboot Glove, Easyboot Glue-OnEasyboot Glove Back Country, Original Easyboot, Easyboot Epic, Easyboot Transition, and the Easyboot Rx

3.  The new Easyboot Trail.  We will upgrade the Easyboot Trail into a much more complete hoof boot.  Still very easy to apply, but with added features to make one of the most versatile boots for the trail rider.  More to come in the June 2015 newsletter. Sneak peak below.

4.  The New Mac.  Like the new Trail, the New Mac is a new version of the popular Old Mac's G2.  We compiled many years of feedback to bring the horses a better boot.  Replaceable parts, added comfort and new materials are all features of the new model.  There is more to come in the June 2015 Newsletter.  Sneak peak below. 

These designs are complete and will hit the market later this summer.  We now have a new set of projects, boots, and urethane protection devices to finish before year end.  The goal is to introduce the Easyboot Y, The Easyboot Sneaker, The EasyShoe FlipFlop, The EasyShoe Flex and a new E-Z Ride stirrup line before year end.

The new E-Z Ride Stirrup should be the first on the list above to be released.  I hope to release it with a lifetime guarantee. 

It's fun keeping the brain engaged and bringing new products to the equine industry.

Garrett Ford


President & CEO

I have been President and CEO of EasyCare since 1993. My first area of focus for the company is in product development, and my goal is to design the perfect hoof boot for the barefoot horse.

CFGP: Certification Opportunity for Glue Practitioners

Every day I approach the horses I work on with enthusiasm. I love what I do. I love helping horses and I love the materials I am able to help them with: glue and composite shoes. I am excited to be able to share with you my experience earning a farrier certification with a well respected organization based on these progressive materials. The Equine Lameness Prevention Organization CFGP: Certified Farrier Glue Practitioner. 

I first became aware of the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization (ELPO) about six years ago at the International Hoof Care Summit. They are a fabulous organization made up of some of the most generous, open minded, and thoughtful people I know. Their mission statement is:  "Helping People Help Horses" which shines through in all of their actions and endeavors. The organization offers educational courses, certifications, support to their members and the community, and performs research about all hoofed animals. 

Years ago I was intrigued by the programs and certifications offered through the ELPO. I wanted to learn more, especially about the techniques they were using to address lameness issues, many of which use materials right up my alley: composite shoes of all kinds, clogs, plastics, glue. I was also interested in the certification programs that were available. Only one dilemma: at the time I wasn't using metal shoes in my hoof care work, and in order to earn credentials working with lameness, I needed to pass the basic farrier exam which was done with metal shoes.  

My career as a farrier has always followed a non-traditional path. First barefoot trimming, then growing in my education and skills, I recognized a need for support devices beyond boots. I dove into alternative materials: composite shoes, casts, and glue.  

I have a specialized skill set I can offer the horse with the tools I use, and am very busy just doing that, so chose not to expand my education into metal at that time.  

Years passed, and each Hoof Summit I'd talk to the ELPO members at their booth. In 2012, we decided to offer an ELPO hoof mapping and trimming course on the East Coast at Daisy Haven Farm in PA taught by ELPO President Steve Foxworth and fellow Instructor Jen Reid. It was a great time, and all 20 participants learned a lot.

The following year, in 2013, the ELPO again traveled to Daisy Haven Farm in PA, this time to offer a Level 1 and 2 Certification. Through diligent testing on assessing the horse, hoof mapping and trimming, 15 of the 16 test takers passed their exams, and created additional momentum for further educational opportunities with ELPO for those of us using primarily glue and composite materials as farriers. 

Then in June of 2014, I was invited to the ELPO Level 3 Farrier Certification Course in Penrose, CO. The ELPO leadership had decided to add to the existing structure of the Level 3 Farrier Certification by adding a glue and composite material option within the criteria for certifying. This course was specifically planned to sort out the testing criteria for glue and plastic.

Six years after I initially approached ELPO my dream was coming true. Many of the Level 5 Instructor/Examiners were present for the course. I gave a lecture and demonstration on glue and composite materials to the group, and the appropriate modifications to the Level 3 test were discussed amongst the Level 5 attendees. It was important the the core of the test was consistent between materials, metal and composite, and any changes made were only due to the differences specific to each. Very few modifications to the existing test were necessary, for example, foot preparation and finish for glue was added, and nailing made optional, although if you do nail on your test the same criteria as nailing for the metal test still applies.

At the end of the weekend I took my Level 3 exam. I was assigned a horse for my test in glue/composites out of many that were trailered in for glue work that day.

The other attendees began working on horses and practicing their glue work, except for one, the amazing farrier David Nicholls from West Sussex in the United Kingdom who was to examine me on my test. No pressure!  

After taking the written exam, my practical test took four hours. I assessed the horse, I mapped and trimmed the horse's feet, and glued EasyShoes on all four following the ELPO protocol to the best of my ability. It was a marathon of meticulous focus. I was aiming to demonstrate that I could successfully apply these principles with my glue and composite materials; the opinion I had expressed six years ago.  

I passed with flying colors and earned the first CFGP: Certified Farrier GLUE Practitioner. 

This landmark weekend has now paved the path for others to take the exam and earn this certification in glue and composites. I am grateful for the ELPO's forward thinking mindset, and demonstrated support for those that work in these materials. 

Since earning my CFGP, I have now also earned the CLS, Certified Lameness Specialist, and am working on completing the Level 5 CE/CI, Instructor/Examiner certification as well as completing the Level 3 Farrier Certification in metal.

I am truly grateful for the learning opportunities I have had because of the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization. I encourage you to take advantage of the progressive view of the organization, as I have. 

For more information about the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization, upcoming courses, and CFGP Certification, please see: www.lamenessprevention.org.


Tevis 2015: Meet Easyboot Elite Team Member Jeremy Ortega

Jeremy Ortega began trimming his own horses' feet in 2004, when his wife’s uncle, Hank Kuiper, a farrier from Colorado, came out and taught him. He met barefoot trimmer, Dave Fitton, a year later and apprenticed with him for two years. In 2007, Jeremy attended the Oregon School of Natural Hoof Care. Today, Jeremy prides himself in maintaining and achieving a sound barefooted horse. He trims 110-120 horses on a monthly basis.

Jeremy lives with his wife in the Mokelumne Hill, California area. They had been looking for a house and property in a rural area that was close enough to the Sierras to ride conveniently. They wanted to be in Calaveras County because it’s a small, sparsely populated county with a rich history from the Gold Rush era. It’s a perfect place to raise horses and enjoy what the outdoors have to offer. It also allows for easy travel so Jeremy can continue to support his clientele in the Bay Area.

Jeremy takes most pride in his experience of working with a well bred, well trained cutting horse suffering from chronic lameness due to navicular syndrome and rehabbing him into a sound, happy and renewed working horse.

We asked Jeremy about the greatest influences on his work. He acknowledges Dave Fitton, because he opened the door to the idea of the art of the barefoot trim. Before he met Dave, he was following a formula and trimming his horses to maintain toe length and heel height without understanding why. Dave started Jeremy on the path to understanding the dynamics of the hoof and its role in the health and well-being of the horse. He names Cheryl Henderson, explaining that it wasn't until he went to the Oregon School of Natural Hoof Care that he found like-minded people with a passion for hoof care and the horse just like his own. Cheryl's passion for teaching and sharing her knowledge was inspiring and her methods simplified trimming the hoof and took out a lot of the guess work. It gave him the ability to tackle harder and more challenging cases with more confidence. It also taught him that the distorted hoof can be trimmed back into balance, thus improving the overall health of the hoof and the horse. Jeremy's final nominee is Daisy Bicking, who filled the gap for him between the traditional farrier and the barefoot trimmer. As there are limitations in everything, he sees Daisy as bridging that gap so many hoof care practitioners need. "There were times in my practice that I felt in my gut if I had the ability to shoe a horse I could move it along quicker in its rehab regaining soundness in less the time."

When asked about the three greatest challenges in his hoof care practice today, Jeremy identifies client education and bringing awareness about the importance and depth of good sound hoof care practices, including nutrition, environment, exercise and the many options of hoof protection now available. He also says that working in a profession that is often misinterpreted and not always looked at as a viable, sustainable practice in rehabilitation by the veterinarian community and the traditional farrier create ongoing challenges for him. Although horses have been ridden and working barefooted for a very long time, the barefoot evolution is relatively new. Lastly, he says identifying himself in this profession as more than a barefoot trimmer, but a practitioner of hoof care.

When Jeremy contemplates the 2015 Tevis gluing activities, the one thing that excites him the most is having the opportunity work with Curtis Burns and his fellow team members towards the same goal of enabling the equine athlete and rider to compete at the level of the Tevis Cup.

If you see Jeremy in Auburn in July, be sure to ask him about his former career as an art director and graphic designer.

The Easyboot Elite team is a group of six gluing professionals from around the country who will spend the week before the 2015 edition of the Western States Endurance Ride gluing Easyboot Glue-Ons onto horses entered to compete in the ride. Together, they form the most accomplished and sophisticated team of gluing professionals in the world. 

Blowout Growing Out

Submitted by Karen Bumgarner

What does a year in the life of a hoof injury look like? If you ever wondered here is one case study of my own gelding with a pretty nasty injury to the coronet band.  

Late January 2014, Brass either had an abscess blowout or he stepped on himself. I never really knew which but I suspected an abscess. The ground had been frozen for a few weeks and I wasn’t doing much with him other than thinking of the riding I’d do when the weather got better. I was gone to PNER Convention for a couple days and came home to find a nice big hole in the coronary band of his right front hoof. The wound oozed and weeped, indicative of an abscess but I since I’d been gone I hadn’t observed the lameness that usually goes with it.

No sooner did that happen and the weather broke and we had mud everywhere and I was busy trying to keep it clean so it would heal. A couple days later we had a blizzard. The snow cleaned up the wound and two weeks after injury it was beginning to grow down the hoof.

Fortunately hoof growth allows the horse to renew the outer layer of his hoof. Just like our fingernails, the damage grows out and gradually gets trimmed away.

I was sure that once it grew down it would dry out and harden, no longer oozing. I kept a drying antiseptic powder on it. But at least once a week it would break open and crud would seep out of it. Injury or abscess, either way, it was a deep wound. Amazingly he wasn’t lame. The snow melted. The mud dried out. And it was time to start riding. The concussion from each ride would cause it to open and drain. It was probably best that it did drain out rather than build up pressure. It wasn’t infected or sore, it just needed to drain and clean its inner self out, and like most wounds it needed to heal from the inside out. I just kept treating it with a tea tree oil wash and adding antiseptic wound powder to scab it over.

It took nearly two months for it to stop breaking open and draining. I put Brass on a high Biotin supplement for hooves to try and speed up hoof growth plus give us healthier tissue.

This is how it was looking 2 ½ months after injury. The injured area was remaining dry but I had a big lump on the hoof wall about the size of a dime.

Here it is in mid-April, still a lump but growing farther down the hoof. This process was taking forever.

And it wasn’t long afterwards, mid-May, that he went lame again. I suspected another abscess as he had some hoof wall separation.  I mudded up the hoof with Sore-No-More clay, used a baggy over the hoof to hold it in place and put an Easyboot Glove over that. Within two days he was sound again. There was no blowout from the top so this one must have drained out the bottom.

As seen in the photo there is a small whole where it probably drained out. The thin broken out hoof was another reason for the biotin supplement to improve and strengthen his hooves.  But the idea of taking him to an endurance ride the end of May was dashed. I had to be sure that he’d stay sound. I feared concussion over 50 miles of dirt and rocks could cause the hoof to begin hurting.

In late June was the Eagle Extreme 50 mile ride. He’d been sound with no apparent problems and I’d been riding him in either Gloves or Epics. Ted Nicholes had planned to ride Brass so we glued on some boots and he did just great for 50 miles! We should’ve photo’d the Glue On’s!

By July the nub left on his outer hoof wall had grown down far enough where it couldn’t be seen wearing gloves. I added power straps to pull the boot tighter over the knob so the Glove wouldn’t come off. This system works well for him and he went through another ride and completed in October.

This is the same hoof a bit over a year after injury, Feb 10, 2015. You can see the U shape of the old blowout near the bottom of the hoof. It is almost grown out but not quite. On each side of the “smile” is a shallow crack that despite my efforts to stop it continues to grow upward. I haven’t decided exactly why but I believe it is because the wound created uneven pressure upon the hoof wall. Or it could be the edges of the wound have just weakened that area of hoof wall. Perhaps I need to notch the lower portion of the wall and unload it to get the crack to stop. But that’s another story. It will be another year before all these cracks and marks go away. 

The Art of the EasyShoe Sport, A Few Tips From a Pro

Submitted by Tennessee Lane, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

This past weekend I had the pleasure of having my EasyShoe Sports applied by Derick Vaughn. I just want to share some pics I took during the process and make note of some tricks that I, personally, had not yet picked up on, although it was pointed out to me that "it's all in the pamphlet," LOL.  These pictures were taken at this past weekend's Antelope Island Endurance Ride. The horse (Bluff,) did the 100-miler there wearing these EasyShoe Sports and finished strong and sound.  He encountered everything from steep to flat and extremely rocky terrain (like REALLY rocky,) to hard packed roads, to perfectly shallow sand, to deep sand, to firm dirt. He covered the 100 miles of diverse terrain at all gaits, steady slow climbs and descents, galloping climbs, long cantering sessions, long trotting sessions, even some sideways running through boulder fields and sagebrush (because he's still learning, and we might have had some disagreements on pace, and so briefly lost brakes and power steering on a few occasions until we came to an understanding.)

I have glued this product on several times before with great success using only adhere and a rasp, they have protected my horses' feet through several multidays and 100's that way. That's easy and awesome but Derick did an AMAZING job so here are the main differences... (Pictures will follow with corresponding #s.)  If you haven't already been through this process then you should consider watching the application videos for this product, because I'm not going through it all here, I'm just noting a few things that definitely got my attention while watching a pro turn my simple trim into a work of art. I thought I would share since some of you might want to raise the bar on your process.

My observations:  #1 He used Adhere (fast set up) on the bottom and Bond (slower set up) on the wings.  #2 He used a "Buffy" power tool that greatly reduces work/time while improving everything from functionality to aesthetics. I've been thinking that I could live with out one, but I was wrong, it's official, I can't live without one.  #3   He used a hoof nail, driven into the toe of the EasyShoe, to prevent the hoof from slipping forward when it was first set down after the bottom was glued. He was sure to place that nail in such a way that the breakover was exactly where he wanted it. (This was the most important trick I picked up on, I'm not sure how I missed that on the first go'round.) #4 Did I mention the Buffy?  #5 He sealed the edges with super glue to prevent "the beginning of the end," and keep all the bond-to-hoof edges sealed tight. Beautiful overkill and much appreciated by Bluff and I. Thank you, Derick, for your attention to detail and for enlightening me! You're an artist!

#1 The white glue used on the wings is the Bond (finished product shown)

#2   Using the Buffy as an extra step in the hoof prep routine, it was later used to clean up the glue job once everything had setup. 

#3  The nail keeps the hoof from sliding forward for that brief second when it's still wet and they put weight on it, where you place it allows you to adjust breakover.

#4 The Buffy beautifies...

#5 Super Glue polish job

Absolutely beautiful! 

AND IMMEDIATELY AFTER 100 MILES...still fabulous!

The "Sports" are an awesome product, I've been testing them for a year or so now and I plan to use them them again, and often. I did feel a bit naked on the rocks, with his little frogs and soles unprotected and unsupported, when they usually are protected and supported in products like Gloves, Glue-Ons and the EasyShoe Performance.  Regardless, they protected my horse's hooves in extremely rocky conditions very successfully so I STILL have no complaints to think of. I would especially consider them at rides where, instead of worrying about rocks, I'm worried about traction on turf, or in mud, snow or sand. They're also great to leave on for a full trim cycle. Love them!


Tevis 2015: Meet Easyboot Elite Team Member Deanna Stoppler

Submitted by Ashley Gasky, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

Deanna Stoppler AF is a member of the 2015 Easyboot Elite team. She is among 5 other elite professionals charged with the task of gluing on boot shells to equine competitors at the 2015 Tevis Endurance race.

Deanna began her hoof care career in 2011, riding with a local farrier, then completing a semester at Mission Farrier School(MFS) in May of 2012. After MFS, Deanna began coursework with Daisy Haven Farm: School of Integrative Hoofcare and has 137 hours in coursework to her credit. Currently she maintains a busy schedule; trimming, shoeing in metal and plastic, glues on shoes, and sizing for EasyCare boots. An average month will have her working on upwards of 160 horses. 

Deanna lives and works in Fairfax, Vermont with her husband, Dave, three dogs, and two horses. Growing up in Alberta, Canada she has an affinity for the cooler northern climates, and actually complains about the hot summers of Vermont, though she appreciates having four solid seasons and the awesome autumn landscape. 

Living in a rural community has provided Deanna with a sense of small town loyalty and camaraderie."You can find good coffee almost anywhere in the state; small general stores that have been around for over 100 years, where owners know their customers by name and it's easy to find fresh baked cinnamon buns if you stop first thing in the morning", she claims.

From the small family farms, bounty of horses, and rugged scenery to look at as she drives from barn to barn, or to explore on days off, she enjoys the sweet offerings of Vermont life. Maple syrup is a Vermont tradition, and one that Deanna and family are happy to support.   

When asked to choose three of the greatest influences to her hoof care practice Deanna names Mark Plumlee, Daisy Bicking, and Esco Buff. Mark Plumlee, owner and instructor of Mission Farrier School, taught Deanna everything she needed to know to get out in the workplace and start a farriery business. "He taught me confidence, how to speak to clients, and how to manage a successful farrier business." she notes. 

Daisy Bicking, owner of Daisy Haven Farm, "advanced my trimming skill set and helped me approach founder in a new way" says Deanna. "She taught me more about gluing on plastic shoes and how to approach my trim using radiographs as a tool".  Deanna and Daisy traveled to Lagos, Nigeria in 2013 to shoe polo ponies and educate the local farriers. 

Deanna credits Esco Buff with continuing her radiography skill set and helping her think about trimming and shoeing in regard to whole horse balance.

While the challenges of being a farrier, and running a hoof care business are many, Deanna lists three she perceives to be the most influential:

1. Horse obesity and founder as a result. If I can teach the owners to be proactive before their horse has a problem, that’s most of the battle, often though I find that horses that are obese are not necessarily viewed by the owner as obese. It’s difficult to change that owner mind set.

2. Moisture. We live in a very wet environment in Vermont. The feet take a beating with humidity and wet conditions. I look forward to working on CA feet at the Tevis Cup. Dry hooves=heaven!

3.Trying to help the horse while navigating through different theoretical approaches about hoof care with veterinarians. Not all approaches are the same and it can be tricky meeting on common ground."

In the excitement building up to Tevis 2015 Deanna is most excited to experience the camaraderie of the elite team. Stating "I’m very excited to spend the days working side by side with professionals as passionate as myself. To focus on a common goal with a group of talented farriers. To feeling the excitement as prepare horses' feet for the grueling 100-mile race. Team memories being made. Can't wait!"

The proudest moment of Deanna's hoof care career came as a result of her trip to Nigeria. 

"After I returned home, one of the farriers that I had worked with, Bello Gali, sent me an email with a photo of a foot that he had mapped and shod. I was very proud that he was reflecting on his work and felt it was important to share with me. From the photo is was obvious that he had retained the information I taught him. I will never forget the happiness of seeing that photo and how proud I felt."

You may have met Deanna, perhaps more than once, or even had her work on your horses, but did you know she HITCHHIKED from Maine, USA to Alberta, Canada during a college break? It was an exciting, frightening, and unforgettable journey. Be sure to ask her why this is her favorite song.