Postal Hoof Protection

Submitted by Mari Ural, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night" will stay this boot...they deliver!  Easyboot Glue-Ons kept old and new riders heading down the trail at the Virgin Outlaw five day ride.  We had rain, which turned to snow and a blizzard.  It was complete with plenty of mud in the first days and beautiful sunshine on the last days the horses took to the trail.


Quest passed his 7,000 mile mark (thank you again EasyCare!) and introduced Dana Landale's new girl Tika to her first 50.  She liked it so much she did two more 50's during the week!  Another newby was 15 year old McKell Rex, the granddaughter of J.B. Rex, endurance rider, farrier and EasyCare representative.  She had a great time on her first 50 atop her grandpa's 18 year old Arabian, Red.

Tika's first 50 and she had a snow storm, mud and wrangling cattle down the trail.  McKell's first 50 and she got to go up Thunder Mountain, which started by crossing an itsy bitsy ridge line.  A fine rider and horse, no flinches were witnessed. McKell and new horse Tika had already traveled through the wilderness of Hancock and Casto Canyon in the morning hours, so this rocky ledge trail was a piece of cake for them in their Glue-Ons.

A wonderful time was had by all and the boots never failed. Thanks to super photographer Steve Bradley and his death defying adventures to find great photo shots.

National Championship 100

Submitted by Leah Cain, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

The National Championship 100 miler was a good day for me and my gelding OT Dyamonte Santo. He had been well prepared with plenty of conditioning and good, consistent hoof care.  We applied my favorite boot for 100's and multi days, the Easyboot Glue-On. We applied the Glue-Ons after the normal prep with Adhere on the hoof wall and Sikaflex on the sole. The ride had some great footing but also some really rocky, I mean sharp rocks upon sharp rock sections that I knew we would do at least a few times. I felt it very important to have plenty of concussion support and protection from those nasty rocks. I find that protection in the Glue-On.

The ride started out very fast. We knew the course so I let him pick his path and I made sure he didn't go too fast. I rode all day with Pam Bailie and junior Anya Levermann. What great riders and great company!  Monte pulsed down immediately every time we came in to the vet check and vetted out with A's so I knew he was doing well. He kept up the pace all day! 

We left three minutes before the next riders at the last vet check. Monte knew he was headed home and took off at a full on gallop!  I was so thrilled I was crying as I let out a "YeeeHaa!!!!" and got out of sight.  When we finished first feeling great, I knew we had a REALLY GOOD DAY! 

The next morning Monte looked like he hadn't done a thing and his legs where cold and tight. Great sign and a tribute to the awesome Easyboot Glue-Ons. Monte trotted out great, looking loose and fluid in his stride.  We received the Best Condition and won 1st in the National Championship!

Many, many thanks to EasyCare for all your support. What a wonderful EasyCare family that I belong to. I wouldn't be where I am today with out the best hoof boots available out there! You ROCK EasyCare!

The Spanish Peaks Endurance Endeavour

What a privilege it has been for me being able to join Tennessee Lane, ride manager and dear friend, together with other well known riders for the inaugural Spanish Peaks 100 mile endurance ride last week. The location was very close to La Veta, Colorado; in fact, just a few miles outside of this marvel of a small town in southern Colorado.  After the National Championship Ride in Utah three weeks ago, (I wrote a Blog about it last month) this ride was another highlight of the season.

The base camp is situated at over 8000 ft with the magnificent Spanish Peaks as a background. I am using the present tense, because this base camp has been permanently installed with buildings, water wells and electricity by the Lane family and will serve as base camp for all future rides there. All pertinent info for present and future events there can be found on the SoCo Facebook page.

The Ride Manager and Team Easyboot Member Tennessee Lane at Base Camp

As to be expected, the management and organization were first class, trails perfectly marked. Exquisite catered dinners for riders and crew were the reward for everybody's efforts and labor. 

An LD, a 50 miler and a 100 miler were offered. Trails were tough, no doubt. Many vertical feet had to be climbed and descended to reach the finish line.  Lots of rocks on the trails forced riders to really go slow and take good care of their horses. Many got off and walked the really steep and rocky sections. Truly an endurance adventure, somewhat opposite to the just recent WEC in Slovakia.

Slow going during the third leg of the course. 

The scenery is truly unique, even for the spoiled Colorado crowd. 

Where do you get to see a sight like this? An old lava formation that has pushed up through some cracks in the ground millions of years ago to build this great wall we can see today.

A Mini arch or hole within that lava wall.

The geology is just fascinating:

"The Great Dikes were formed during the same period of volcanic activity as the Spanish Peaks, Mt. Mestas and Silver Mountain.
At the time these vertical granite formations were formed by molten rock, they were located several thousand feet underground, below and among many layers of sedimentary rock. Over time, as the ground rose and the softer rock was eroded away, these igneous intrusions were exposed.There are essentially three different sets of dikes in the area. One set emanates radially from the West Spanish Peak. The second set emanates radially from Silver Mountain. The third set crosses the landscape in a roughly N80E direction. The dikes in this third set are roughly parallel to one another and are the longest and oldest of the dikes. This third set of dikes was formed about the same time as the Sangre de Cristo Uplift, the event that pushed up the Sangre de Cristo Mountains." (Excerpt from the Geology Formation Site).

Completion rates were average for the distances, 90% for the LD, 80% for the 50 and 55% for the 100 miler. Personally I elected to withdraw after 60 miles from the 100 miler because of a slight inconsistency in my mare's gait, but this decision did not take anything away from the fact that this ride is a 'must do' in my book. What really made it so special is the fact that the first place award for the 100 miler was the Wahatoya Cup, donated by Nelson and Neecee Lane, and the Best Condition Award was the Kevin Myers Memorial Cup, named after our dear friend Kevin Myers, who left us all way too early. We miss you, Kevin and will always remember you now with this Trophy named after you.

The BC winner this year and in the future years will have their names engraved into the cup. Kerry Redente, riding Bluff, received these honors.

First Place Winner again here with the Wahatoya Cup:

In the end, only 5 riders finished the 100. Four out of the 5 were equipped with Easyboot Glue-On hoof boots.  With the abrasive terrain and footing, these boots were the hoof protection of choice. These results were another testimony in favor of the Easyboot Glue-Ons. Kevin would have been proud.

Tina Gottwald from Germany and visiting Global Endurance Training Center in Moab, receiving her Completion Buckle from Tennessee. She was riding TC Mounshine, a veteran 100 Mile horse from the GETC stable. TC Mounshine was also equipped with EasyCare Glue-On boots, just like the overall winner and BC Award winner.

A group photo with all the finishers of the 100 mile ride.

A memorable endurance event came to a happy ending. We are looking forward to next year, where Tennessee Lane will again be organizing three endurance races, one in each month of June, July and August. I, for sure, will attend all three again. Hope many of you will as well.


From the desk of the Bootmeister

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center.





Modifying EasyShoes for Leverage Management

How to use glue and composite shoes 101:

  1. Study the materials and hoof preparation steps  
  2. Gather the necessary materials and tools
  3. Select the best shoe size for the foot in front of you
  4. Apply the shoe and glue with attention to detail.  

These steps will lead you to success!  The shoe will stay on, and your horse will have excellent foot protection. 

I often ask myself:  Did I do everything I can to help the horse?  Some horses may need more than a basic application.‚Äč One of the biggest components of glue and composite shoes, like the EasyShoe, is the height they provide to the foot and shoeing package. That height needs to be considered when applying the shoe, it can be used to benefit the horse in a myriad of ways in performance and therapeutic applications.  

You may remember a quote from Dr. Hilary Clayton at the PHCP Conference I blogged about before:

"If the Reaction Force vector does not pass through the center of rotation of the joint it creates a torque around the joint that the soft tissue has to oppose". Dr Hillary Clayton, PHCP Conference 2016

In a large portion of the horses I work on, small details of shoe placement and leverage can greatly impact their short and long term level of soundness. This especially helps horses diagnosed with navicular and arthritis.  If the break over is a bit too far forward, or leverage is extended medial to lateral, the horse may not be comfortable, let alone sound.  This horse is a good example of how leverage reduction, determined by using the Krosscheck Leverage Testing Kit, can greatly help the farrier determine how to help the horse best: Broken Down May Not Be So Broken.  This horse is still sound and being ridden, jumped and evented now, three years after that blog was written.


Here is an example of how a shoe can be easily modified to help prevent the break over from being too far forward.  Remember because the foot is a cone, when you add height to the foot, the footprint moves forward as well.  This horse has a very forward footprint, and the shoe can be applied to either continue the forward footprint, or help the footprint move back under the center of mass of the limb, assisting with leverage reduction:

By rolling the toe of the shoe back, and extending the heel support with dental impression material we moved this horse's footprint back significantly.  
Because the shoe is composite material, the modifications can be easily done with a rasp or grinder.

I'll routinely bring the break over back in the toe, and soften the heel landing depending on the horse I'm working on.  It's also easy to add medial/lateral leverage reduction in the quarters. The pink dotted line here shows the change in where the shoe is contacting the ground. Even these small modifications can make a big difference in the comfort level and soundness of the horse. 


This is an example of a foundered horse from this blog here, who benefited from leverage reduction all around the entire shoe, creating a "ball bearing" effect.  This helped minimize the torque on her very damaged laminae:

And don't forget sometimes you want to prevent the break over from wearing too far back. 

I hope this gives you some additional ideas on how the EasyShoe can be modified to help the horse you're working on. Wedges and lifts can also be added to the bottom of the shoe, as well. In reality, you are only limited by your own imagination when it comes to modifying EasyShoes to help the horse.

For more information about this kind of work see our website:


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


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.


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. <>.

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


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.