Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold... Keep Your Adhesives Just Right

Everyone continues to rave about the results they are having with EasyCare's glue on products.The EasyShoes are rocking everything from rehab to flat track racing and virtually everything in between. The Easyboot Glue-Ons continue to work outstanding for rehab as well as established as the hoof protection of choice for the toughest of endurance races. However when it comes to their applications the biggest learning curve seems to lie with the adhesives. I know some of you are rolling your eyes and saying, "Duhhh, tell us something we don't already know!". After meticulously prepping the hoof and shoe applied the last thing you need is for your glue bond to fail. An often overlooked element of any glue-on application is managing these sometimes fussy adhesives. Managing temperature extremes in the summer and winter can prove to be very challenging yet essential, but what can you do? 

Most jockey adhesives in the summer with some sort of soft side cooler or ice chest. In the winter, on the truck dash, setting it in the sun, bundled up in a heating pad or bathed in heat from a heat gun. All these can work but what about the temp of your application tips, your shoes or shells? Is your glue truly warm or cool or does it just feel that way from the outside of the cartridge? 

EasyCare dealer, Dick Teachout owner of Preventive Hoof Care Services shares with us his secret weapon to help aid in perfect applications no matter what Mother Nature throws at you. Dick resides in Leonardtown, MD where the summers are hot and humid and the winters can be bitter cold. Dick manages the temperature extremes with ease with his amazing little tool. Behold, its beauty!

Here are the details. The unit will either heat or cool depending on how you have it programmed. The cost is around $120  dollars and you can keep your adhesives, other gluing products and shoes all at a stable temperature as you determine. Dick likes to keep his temp at 80 degrees in the winter and runs it in the house overnight before moving to the truck for his workday. He keeps it running all day ensuring that everything that he is using is at a known temperature and is warmed all the way through. The unit will not run down your vehicle's battery as it cycles on only when the temperature drops. In Dick's case about 78 degrees and turns off when it reaches 80 degrees. He keeps his shoes, mixing tips, adhesive and super glue etc. in the unit so that all materials are the same temperature. Genius!

How you say?  Dick selected the cooler based on the capacity.This unit can hold 4 pair of shoes (size 0 through 2), 2 tubes of adhere and 2 tubes of Vettec CS and a handful of mixing tips in it. The exterior size fits easily behind the seat of a truck. It is also the correct size to hold a large tube (420cc) of EasyShoe Bond. He also says that you could use any cooler/heater that runs on 12vdc.The only thing that needs to be done is to drill a hole into the interior of the cooler/heater to insert the temperature sensor probe and then plug the hole after the sensor is passed through it. You can plug the hole with anything that is pliable – chewing gum, caulking, adhere etc. A wiring diagram is included when you purchase the controller as are the programing instructions.The first one Dick made he used Velcro to attach the controller to the outside of the cooler/heater case. His current unit he found a place in the case to cut a hole and mounted it in the case of the unit. He said the Velcro worked just fine and easier to install. 

This unit fits perfectly in the backseat of Dick's vehicle

Dick stresses that it is very important to load the cooler/heater the night before and let it run in the house overnight so that everything is heated or cooled all the way through. He uses this power converter to run the system from a 115VAC household outlet. He knows that every time he does a glue on application everything will be the same temperature and takes that often frustrating factor completely out of the equation. He further expressed that in his experience the unit has been essential for quality work especially when the temps are below freezing. He likes the results so well he has resolved to use the unit all the time regardless of temperature.Taking this additional step has been a game changer for Dick and makes the process consistent resulting in consistently excellent results! 

Ready to roll at the job site.

 

Want one too? Here's were you can get the goods.

1. Cooler - http://www.amazon.com/RoadPro-RPSF5235-SnackMaster-Deluxe-Family/dp/B004H4ALIQ 

2. Temperature controler - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C4TEEF2/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

3. Power Converter - http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-AC-DC-Power-Converter/dp/B000FIY08U/ref=pd_sim_auto_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0YCHNJDG694N3ZC2NPXA

 

Debbie Schwiebert

easycare-vet-hcp-deaaler-accounts-manager-debbie-schwiebert

Vet Dealer & Hoof Care Practitioner Accounts

I manage the hoof care practitioner and veterinarian dealer accounts at EasyCare. An integral part of my job is to stay current in all areas of barefoot hoof care, which enables me to serve this vital group of EasyCare dealers at the next level.

Long Distance Success With Easyboot Gloves

Submitted by Sue Basham, Team Easyboot Member

Late winter in Wyoming teases us with temperate days and little snowfall. Just as we become accustomed to the nice days winter returns with a vengeance. Single digit & below zero temperatures, accompanied by wind driven snow, do little to encourage me to ride. Instead its time to clean tack, go through gear to see what needs to be replaced or replenished and make plans for the upcoming ride session.

In early 2012, my good mare Tayyara showed some lameness which was diagnosed as heel pain with navicular changes in her front hooves. Tayyara is a 1000+ mile horse with two Tevis completions so this news was devastating.

I immediately pulled her shoes and began researching navicular syndrome. My farrier and veterinarian both told me her feet did not look like typical navicular hooves and they were uncertain why it occurred. All my research pointed to giving her an easier break over and encouraging a heel first landing. I used Gloves to protect her soles as she transitioned back to barefoot on my gritty ground. Frequent trimming maintained her hoof angles so keeping her barefoot made sense. She spent most of 2012 turned out on pasture and has only been ridden lightly the past couple of years. Although her hooves have really toughened up on my decomposed granite ground, I use Easyboot Gloves with great success when the trails are rocky. I plan to bring her back into condition and competition this spring. Easyboot Gloves will be the mainstay of my hoof protection for her but I also plan on trying the EasyShoe. I'm hoping the EasyShoe will give her the most optimal break over, a more cushioned impact and help return her to her previous performance level.

My other mare, Kismet Cognac, came to me in shoes shortly after Tayyara's diagnosis. I took her to the Shamrock ride, a wonderful ride just north of my home in Cheyenne, with the intention of riding all three days. Shamrock is notoriously hard on steel shoes but I couldn't find a farrier on short notice to replace her shoes with new ones. At the end of the second day, with no farrier onsite, it was obvious we were done unless we pulled the shoes and went with boots.

Luckily, I had four Easyboot Gloves in her size from an early venture into boots with Tayyara. With help from knowledgeable friends we got KC trimmed and booted up that night and we went on to complete the 3rd day. Although I'd recommend training in boots so the horse gets used to them, in this case they performed flawlessly and  KC was awarded Overall Champion & Best Condition. Since that day she has competed exclusively in Gloves or Glue-ons. The Gloves are great for our training miles and some of our 50s but I love the Glue-ons for 100 milers and multi-day rides.

Like I said earlier, this wintery weather is a good time to check through my gear and see what's needed. I've had such good success with my Gloves and Glue-on shells that its easy to get complacent and just go with what works, but there are lots of options to try with the EasyCare product lineup. I ordered new Gloves, shells, power straps, pads, packing material, etc. All kinds of cool stuff to try this summer. Now if spring will just hurry and get here, I'll get out on the trail and try my new stuff.

 

Cattle and Deer and Alpacas: OH MY!

You know when you’ve been at a tradeshow for a few days, the first thing you want to do when you get home is pack up for a race right?

Garrett, Kevin and I had a fantastic time at the International Hoof Care Summit, sharing new product prototypes and hosting gluing contests for all walks of farriers.

Garrett had a couple of horses that he wanted to get through a 25 miler and invited me to ride Djustify, a talented 4yr old chestnut.

I met Djustify while riding with Garrett and Lisa in one of the washes in NM. I was on Durham, a bay gelding of theirs and Lisa was on Djustify, so I got to watch him from an exterior view for much of the ride. We happened to have with us a particularly spunky pony, who was loose.

If you’ve ever taken a baby or youngster with you and intended to turn them loose, you know you’ll have to be up for pretty much anything. What were NOT expecting was our happily loose pony to go rogue and try herding us and racing us. Where did the winter-wooly portly pony go? We were left with a wild stallion who darted off into bushes, assessing danger and then bursting back through the brush to herd us into a tidy group.

Halfway through the ride Lisa and I switched. We swapped saddles on the two horses and I was now on Djustify. He was very forward yet very controllable. I had a hard time believing he was 4. Even with a loose horse and other riders ahead or surrounding him; he was super sane.

Of course I wanted to ride him in his first race.

We drove out to NM and landed late in the evening. We popped up corrals in the dark and watered and fed the boys and went to bed. Early morning saw a beautiful sunrise over the grass-riddled desert and I couldn’t help but get some pictures.

We vetted in for the 25 amidst the milling 50-mile starters. Djustify was at 36 heart rate and didn’t get frantic if his buddy wasn’t near him. He was soaking it all in.

Garrett had glued a new prototype boot, the Slipper, on the front feet of his ride, Nouveau. We would be putting Mueller tape and Gloves on his hinds and the same on all four of Djustify’s feet. Garrett had also drilled holes in the boots to add in Equi-Pak Soft.

Djustify, rocking his cushion-filled Gloves.

He had already done a pour-in cushion with Shufill Urethane Medium for Nouveau’s fronts when he applied the Slippers. (Note, this product was given to us just days before at the International Hoofcare Summit by Stephan Van Der Heijden of Glue-U, who says this product is a hybrid that works well in cold and sticks to the hoof. It is different than their other sole product line which are silicone.)

As you can see, the Slipper is the love child of the Glue-On and the EasyShoe Performance.

Tacked up and race started, we stayed at the back and walked to warm up the horses. We picked up a jog to loosen them up and then picked up more of a working trot. Quite soon, we were in the front. This wasn’t meaningfully in the front, as we were treating the day like a training ride.

We hopped off at water troughs and got Djustify used to the pleasure of being cooled on the trail, albeit, I was just scooping water onto him with my hands. At one point, Garrett used his helmet as a scoop and the amount of water made Djustify’s eyes light up. YES PLEASE!

We alternated leading and the 4 yr old surprised me again with being a very forward and spook less youngster. I have to say, horses off the track have been ridden a lot! You have to forget that mental age as they are big boys now with a job.

We walked up a canyon and then hopped off to hand-walk them down the other side. Mounting and dismounting on the trails and scooping water and hiking were all part of the job and Djustify was going to see the support that his rider-mate would offer him during a race.

Practicing leap-frogging on the trail so both horses could pass and be passed.

It was rocky too. I was off walking and having trouble not rolling my ankles in my little, leather, heeled riding boots. I was watching Nouveau’s hinds and marveling at the way the tread capably covered the rock strewn ground. It was also neat to notice that they didn’t “pound” the ground blindly.

 

I could see when Nouveau stepped on a rock directly and would not put full weigh on the foot and sort of softly go over it. He could still feel the terrain and take care of his soles, which was nice to see.

Hopping back on, we climbed back out of the small canyon and headed into camp.

Sure, she's a fixer-upper, but look at the views!

We vetted through wonderfully and let them roll. Djustify was trying to figure out if we were done. How is this a group ride when everyone is coming and going? Am I done? Where are THEY going? I sponged off his saddle grime and got the sand out of his nooks and crannies. He then settled into eating his mush and diving into his hay. This is not a bad deal.

"Where are they going? This is the strangest training ride."

We stayed in camp a few extra minutes, as we weren’t in a rush (read: I don’t really keep track of time and I wanted to wolf down a yogurt before I saddled up). When we left camp, Djustify was so excited that he twirled a bit while I was getting on. Rather that, than a horse that doesn’t want to leave camp.

We hit the trails with a plucky trot and took turns leading again on the single-track that followed the ranch fence line. We had seen no real wild life, but were now approaching a pasture of cattle. I don’t know about you, but reading cattle is dicey. I can’t tell if they are happy to keep sitting in the shade, or they are going to stampede. They have the same look either way: intently watching horses, totally frozen.

Nouveau saw them first and gamely trotted up the next rise. Djustify saw them and his instinct was to do the baby thing: stop and face the cows and assess. It would’ve been a stand-off, as the cows just stand and stare too. So before he could decide to have his OK Corral moment, I headed him up the hill after Nouveau.

We saw deer next, with not much fuss, even when they left. The footing was getting better, but randomly deep where there were odd gopher holes. They say everything is bigger in Texas, well the gophers in NM must be the size of small cars, because these mounds were impressive. I was equally impressed that I didn’t pop off any of my Gloves and they didn’t collect dirt.

Garrett and Nouveau on Loop 1. I was digging the tread pattern on his Slippers and Gloves.

We turned a final corner on the fence line we were following and were about halfway through the loop and officially “heading towards camp”. As the trail left the single track and picked up on the wide road, Djustify dug in and wanted to canter. Picking up an easy lope is really enjoyable on a racetrack horse. They really know how to use their hind end and know how to do lead changes nicely. They work one side of their body and switch gears to the other side when needed.

We came over a rise and Garrett asked me what that was in the distance. Not having glasses on, I hadn’t the foggiest. I had to get relatively within distance to note that it was two, lone alpacas.

"I didn't choose the alpaca life, the alpaca life chose me."

One circled around and came between us and the 2nd one. We immediately understood that he was the male and she was “his”. Garrett slowed up to a walk, but the look on Nouveau’s face read, “If that thing comes any closer, I’m getting BOTH of us out of here.”

Our intrusion lead the alpaca to snake his head down and then the ears went back. He started jogging in a flat, confrontational manner at us. Garrett made a few whoops and hollers at him and it was enough to deter his charge. He turned and pranced back to his missus with his head held high. I might've gotten a picture of him at the beginning of his dance, but I got both hands on the reins and ditched the pictures once he started coming our way.

We get it buddy. She may be 87 years old and missing a tooth, but she’s the only female in all of the ranch and she’s YOURS. You can have her. Djustify thought it was all so exciting.

Cattle and Deer and Alpaca: Oh MY!

We hit the final water trough on the trail and he happily cameled-up.

We now had oncoming traffic from horses leaving on the 50-miler loops and he did great with that. He saw the white trailers and camp in the distance and I could almost hear his thoughts, “Snackie time! Holly is going to sponge bathe me! I get mush! I get to see the vet! I get rolling time!” Everything is so exciting to a happy horse, or maybe all my internal monologues occur in that tone.

It’s really nice to take the time to ride a race right, to ride a race for the horse, to let it be his introduction to the world of distance riding and to make it leave a sweet taste in his mouth. We strolled across the finish line and pulled tack as we passed the trailer. We walked to the water trough at the P&R area and let them have a drink, then P&Red to officially finish. Djustify was at 40. With his vet check and trotting out and back, he was still at 40. What a guy! All vetted through; we let the boys have a celebratory roll. We finished in 1st and 2nd and both horses looked absolutely ready to go out again.

All four Gloves still looking pretty.

Djustify drank eagerly and dove into his food. I could tell he thought he was actually still racing and he was tanked up and ready. I laughed and let him know we were done. The look in his eyes said, “Please, one more loop!”

"I think we're still going out again. Other horses are doing it!"

I was happy to report we lost no boots and had no sand or rock accumulation in them. We also saw a number of people using Easyboots and Easyboot Epics on their horses. One guy had Epics on over the top of his shod hooves, as he knew the trail was rocky and wanted solar protection. He had done the first 2 days of the race and was on his 3rd 50-mile day. I really loved seeing Garrett meet up with people and answer questions about boots. If our ponies were happy, their ponies should be happy.

Djustify and me.

Until the next ride!

EasyCare 2015 AERC Convention Gluing Contest

Will you be attending the annual American Endurance Ride Conference gathering in Reno, NV, on March 6 & 7, 2015? If so, you should enter the EasyCare 2015 AERC Gluing Contest.

With $1,000 in cash prizes, this could be your chance to pay your way to the the AERC Convention. Simply apply an Easyboot Glue-On to a Blacksmith Buddy foot. We will have with us all the materials you need to make the best gluing application of the whole competition. Enter by signing up at tinyurl.com/k9f3xy6.

Contest Details

  • All tools and supplies will be provided to the contestants at no cost.
  • Vettec Adhere and Sikaflex will be used for gluing.
  • Cash prizes: $500 for 1st place, $300 for 2nd place, and $200 for 3rd place.

Judging Criteria

  • Hoof prep technique.
  • Quality of fit to the Blacksmith Buddy foot.
  • Overall gluing application skills, including volume of glue used, neatness of application.
  • Quality of final finishing.
  • How closely did the contestant follow the required gluing protocol?

Contest numbers are limited and gluing appointments will be assigned based on availability of appointments, so do not delay. Sign up at tinyurl.com/k9f3xy6.

We look forward to seeing you in Reno.

Kevin Myers

easycare-marketing-director-kevin-myers

Director of Marketing

I am responsible for the marketing and branding of the EasyCare product line. I believe there is a great deal to be gained from the strategy of using booted protection for horses, no matter what the job you have for your equine partner.

If You Don't Change the Process, You Won't Change The Result

Submitted by Ashley Gasky, 2014 Team Easyboot Member

Thanks to the American Association of Professional Farriers Mentor-Mentee program I’ve been able to work with seventh generation farrier Timothy Cable, APF.  

Tim began his farrier career at 13 years old, apprenticing for his father, just as the previous generations of Cable shoers had. He has a large client base of Standardbred race horses, as well as dressage horses and Show Jumpers all over the United States and Canada.

 

Tim and Hall of Fame Blacksmith Red Renchin

The Cable family is responsible for awe inspiring pieces of blacksmithing, and the horses they’ve shod have found success in any discipline you can think. Succinctly, they are a very skilled group of professionals.

Chrome Horse Shoes crafted by Phillip Cable

My business, Precision Hoof Care focuses primarily on non-metal horse shoes, effective glue techniques, and healthy bare hooves. I've been successful at what I do, selected as an EasyBoot Elite team member for Tevis 2015, but I am always looking to learn new things.

 In developing a Mentor-Mentee relationship with Tim, I sought to learn about ‘how the other half lives’, that is to say, farrier fundamentals and blacksmithing. I’ve had the opportunity to visit world class Equine facilities in Connecticut and Florida as part of the arrangement, meet world class professional horsemen and hall of fame farriers. I have a video gallery of forging techniques I’m years away from attempting, and several notebooks filled with hints and wisdom to show for the experience. Throughout this, I’ve even done a bit of teaching myself. I had the opportunity to introduce him to Easyboots and EasyShoes.

You see, Tim is something of an innovator, and has been using non-traditional tools and techniques in his every day shoeing for a long time. For example he designed an attachment for his shoeing caddy to simplify the process of gluing on horseshoes.

It’s been very exciting for me to watch someone so steeped in tradition, with blacksmithing engrained from a young age, nail on a pair of Performance N/G's, measure a hoof for accurate fit of an Easyboot Glove, or shape glue on EasyShoe Competes at his anvil.

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Traditional steel and aluminum horse shoes certainly have a place, and so do the professionals who use them exclusively. However, seeing how readily Tim and his clients accepted the change in shoeing material gives me hope for an open minded future. I am just as excited to learn how to move metal as I am to watch alternative hoof wear go mainstream. The market for these products is growing and the horses using them are succeeding.

It is not always a pleasant journey when you are swimming against the current. Perhaps some of you can relate. Therefore it is important to celebrate victories and accomplishments no matter how small. I helped a talented farrier find tools to help certain horses in his care. These small steps are what I believe to be the seeds of change, germinating towards a bright future for horses and healthy hooves. For me, that is what it is all about!

The EasyCare Therapy Click System, The Easyboot Cloud and The Easyboot Zip!

EasyCare is happy to announce three new therapy products that will hit the equestrian market in early 2015.

The EasyCare Therapy Click System-  The series of Therapy Click plates will snap on to many of EasyCare’s popular boot models, giving an owner, veterinarian or hoof care professional the versatility of using whichever boot is most comfortable to the horse, while offering the right therapeutic angle or break-over for their recovery process. They simply snap into place and then be secured with four screws. Therapy Click bases can be interchanged throughout the recovery process for the ease of the owner and benefit of the equine as it recovers. The same base quickly attaches to the Easyboot Cloud, Easyboot Transition, Easyboot Rx, Easyboot, Easyboot Epic, Easyboot Glove, Easyboot Glue-On, Easyboot Back Country and the new EasySlipper.  The brilliance of the system is in the simplicity and versatility. 

The video and flyers below explain the system and show how it's already helping horses.

 

Vets and farriers have been attaching bases to boots over the 45+ years EasyCare has been in the hoof boot business.  What makes the Therapy Click system unique is the channel system and how it quickly fits into the tread pattern of nine hoof care devices.  The system has been developed by a vet and used on many successful laminitis/founder cases.  The base system allows mechanics to be applied to a removable recovery device. 

 

The Easyboot Cloud.  The Easyboot Cloud will be launched as a therapeutic system to give comfort to thin soles, abscesses, laminitic stages, stresses of shipping, recovery after workouts and stalling on hard surfaces. This product offers traction and variable inserts to create comfort for recovering horses and performing horses alike.

The Easyboot Cloud provides instant and ongoing relief for horses suffering from chronic laminitis, founder, lameness and general lower limb or hoof problems. The boot can be used to aid movement and reduce recovery time after injury or surgery. The Easyboot Cloud may be used in conjunction with the Therapy Click System.

The supportive sole of the Easyboot Cloud is designed to allow the horse to stand more comfortably by reducing pressure on the sensitive areas of the hoof and lower leg. The increased comfort level stimulates blood flow and a faster recovery time from many lower leg pathologies. Each Easyboot Cloud comes with an integrated EVA comfort pad to provide the necessary comfort and support within the boot. Replacement comfort pads are sold separately.  Many of you may recognize the bottom molds and a resemblance to the Boa Horse Boot?  We actually used the old Boa Horse Boot molds and added a new tread pattern to accommodate the Click System. 

 

The Easyboot Zip- The Zip is a simple slip-on boot designed to protect the hoof. Safe and easy to apply, the Zip is a better alternative to clumsy foot wraps for medicating the hoof or keeping the hoof free from dirt and oils. The removable internal leather sole helps pull moisture from the hoof and can be easily removed for cleaning.

• Protects the hoof from dirt and oils
• Safe and easy to apply
• A better alternative to awkward foot wraps
• Allows the hoof to breathe
• Keeps the hoof clean
• Ideal for medicating the hoof
• Removable leather sole insert
• Machine washable
• Available in 5 sizes

 

 

The EasyCare Therapy Click System, The Easyboot Cloud and The Easyboot Zip should round out our therapy line very well and lend a hand to vets, farriers and podiatrists in 2015.  EasyCare is also launching several new products on the performance side.  Our March newsletter will highlight our new performance launch and how some of the therapy and performance products can be used together.

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-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 protection for the barefoot horse.

February Dealer of the Month: April Volling

This month we head south to Florida were we jump in the truck with EasyCare Dealer of the month April Volling. April joined our dealer network in 2012 and each year continues to exemplify excellence in product knowledge and application. She resides in Micanopy, Florida located just south of Gainsville where she serves clients from Ocala to Alachua.

April Volling with 3yr old Dutch WB Glamdring, 13yr old Oldenburg Windsor.

As a horse crazy little girl, April took in all things horse. She attended the University of Florida in 2001 majoring in animal science with a focus on the equine industry. She joined the University of Florida Horseman's Association and through the group became involved with the Horse Protection Association of Florida. She quickly found her niche there and began volunteering to get her horse fix where she would care for the horses, ride and work with a natural horsemanship trainer. After graduating from college April met KC LaPierre and says she was hooked after her first class. A few short years later, she graduated from the Institute of Applied Equine Podiatry and began her journey as a professional hoof care provider. Today, she maintains a clientele of approximately 230 horses and still helps out at the rescue where there is now roughly 70 horses. Most of her business has come the old fashioned way, by word of mouth but she also has had the good fortune to work with some fantastic veterinarians. Now April only takes on new horses who have been vet referred. 

April says becoming an EasyCare dealer has given her more tools to deal with hoof issues and enables her to offer her clients a range of hoof protection options. She consistently stocks the Easyboot Glove Back Country for her trail riding clients and attests to their staying power on the Florida trails. She also favors the EasyShoe Performance glue-on shoe, with which she has had great success.

When asked about her thoughts on the EasyShoe, she feels they are a great option for horses and quotes her vet, "A lame horse is an expensive horse." She feels the extra work and cost are a small price to establish and maintain a sound horse. They are perfect for our hot, humid and wet summer conditions. It is these very conditions that tend to create flat, thin-soled feet. It is just not always practical to keep a horse bare, especially a performance horse, and this is where the EasyShoe shines. April loves having these options and really has enjoyed the journey of learning how to apply the EasyShoe. Because you can rasp and mold the shoe, she feels the possibilities are endless. April can create balance and proper breakover while at the same time creating correct movement, protecting the hoof and encouraging proper growth.

What has helped April become such a success? She attributes patience, a passion for learning and organizational skills. Patience with the horse will always go a long way, she says. Giving them the benefit of the doubt and helping them be comfortable will allow you to get the work done and more than likely they will be more willing the next time you visit. Passion for learning: April feels like everyone has something to teach you, including the horses, as long as you are willing to listen. Keep an open mind: this allows you to remain creative and solve problems effectively. And finally, make a solid commitment to continued education. Hone your organizational skills: April acknowledges being organized, keeping notes, scheduling clients and stocking supplies can be challenging. She loves the QuickBooks app on her iPhone and iPad and can keep track of all her invoices, email them to clients and track expenses. She is not 100% digital yet but it is her goal to be so by the end of the year. She is diligent with record keeping so things don't get lost or forgotten and knocks out her to do list as soon as possible to prevent worry or being ill-prepared. She is a stickler for rescheduling clients before she leaves which allows her to schedule ahead of time avoiding overloaded work weeks and ensures clients stay on a consistent schedule.

When asked about where she see the future of hoof care, she acknowledges that things are definitely moving in a healthier direction. Products like EasyCare hoof boots and the EasyShoe help her keep her client's horses happy while developing a healthier hoof.

April enjoys her three horses which all have their own set of Back Country hoof boots for protecting soft feet from Florida's rock and root, riddled trails. She is passionate about dressage, natural horsemanship, trail riding and the beach.

April puts the finishing touches on a full set of EasyShoes.

 

Club Hoof? Macgyver Glue-On to the Rescue

Submitted by Lisa Morris, Team Easyboot 2014 Member

It is the time of the year when horse owners can look forward to new foals gracing their barns and pastures!  A beautiful, healthy, sound foal doesn’t just “happen.”  Often years of dreams, research, care, time and finances are wrapped up in that new baby! Good horse breeders have chosen their good mare with excellent conformation with an equally good mind. They have used the services of the best stallion that they can afford that will complement and improve the faults and strengths of their mare. Unfortunately, every horse does have conformation faults and sometimes foals inherit conformation faults from their ancestors that the parents may not have themselves.  Last spring, a local lameness veterinarian contacted me to help solve a conformation problem that would potentially lead to a soundness problem in a well-bred Warmblood Sport Horse foal.  This beautiful foal was full of potential but had a congenital club hoof that required surgical correction.  We turned to hacking an Easycare Glue-On to help!  

Sometimes we have to think outside the box.  

Originating at the forearm, the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) runs down the back of the limb and terminates at the back of the coffin bone. The strong inferior check ligament (IFCL) originates in the front knee region and attaches to the DDFT at the middle back of the cannon bone. Excessive pull on the deep digital flexor muscle and tendon unit causes a pull or flexion of the coffin joint.  Foals with this condition are unable to fully extend their lower limb joints.  The condition of the deformity can be minor or so severe that the foal cannot touch its heel to the ground.  Foals with a club hoof tend to land toe-first, and their heels growth rate is faster than the toe growth, causing hoof distortion, hoof wall dishing and ridges.  The toe is worn away and the heel grows unfettered.  The frog often recedes, the heels contract and the frog is narrow and hidden.  Instead of the frog and digital cushion receiving primary landing impact, it shifts to the hoof wall and the coffin bone, often leading to lameness issues.

The method this Veterinarian chose for correcting this issue was an “Inferior Check Ligament Desmotomy.”  This is a surgical procedure in which the Veterinarian transects the DDFT to relieve the strong tension on the coffin joint.  The Vet kept the foal hospitalized at his clinic to heal and be rehabilitated while the ligament scars and the leg strengthens.  During this time, careful hand walking and corrective farriery is critical.  This Veterinarian chose to do his own hoof trimming utilizing radiographs and skilled observation to lower the heels just enough to promote proper movement and healing.  While the foal was being hand walked and was bandaged on stall rest, the Vet was not concerned about the hoof reverting to wearing down the toe and growing too much heel, but he was concerned about the next step.  He wanted the owner to turn out the foal when it went home to have as much healthy movement as much as possible but he needed some type of hoof protection that would allow the toe to be protected from wear but would allow the heels to be trimmed down with careful, frequent touch ups.  He didn’t really want to nail on a forged steel toe plate.

The beginning of the Macgyver boot chopping process.  Gloves on to keep the boots clean so the glue sticks!

This vet always liked Easycare products and I am sent to fit boots for his clients.  We have a good professional relationship.  His idea was brilliant, and worked so well; I thought I would share it here so others may benefit from it. We took an Easycare Glue-On Shell and adapted it to protect only the toe.  First I fitted the foal to an Easyboot Glue-On Shell utilizing the Fit Kit.  Next, I took the correct size shell and we cut it down utilizing a chop saw.  My husband helped me with this process, because I had never used that tool, so he is the family expert.  Care was taken to use gloves so hand oils would not detract from the hoof glues that would be used to adhere the adapted Glue-On.  Next, the Vet reviewed the Glue-On and decided that the boot tread was still too high and would leave the foal with a negative palmar angle.  The solution was to use a bench grinder to level off the remaining tread on the shell.  The foal was pretty buzzed up from being on stall rest for so long and we really needed it to be very still for the gluing process so the Vet administered light sedation.  The Vet Tech is a “foal whisperer” and did a lovely job keeping it very still while I glued the adapted Glue-On in the stall.  First, I cleaned the hoof very well and rasped with the soft side of my rasp just to “rough up” the hoof wall where the boot Glue-On Shell would be glued.  Next, I used a heat gun to dry the (very clean) hoof.  The actual gluing was very quick and easy!  I used SikaFlex 227 on the toe callus part of the boot and Vettec Adhere on the walls of the boot.  I set the hoof down on a foam pad and picked up the opposite hoof for a few minutes while the Vettec Adhere quickly cured.  I put a bead of Adhere around the top of the boot and used my finger to create a water tight seal.

The Glue-On curing on the foam pad before the opposite hoof was picked up.

Lateral image of the Macgyvered Glue-On Curing!

Almost done, a little drunk from light sedative...  Years of productive, sound life ahead of her!

This was an Easycare Glue-On Shell hack that helped this foal, the happy Veterinarian sent it home the next week and was able to maintain keeping the heels trimmed low while the “adapted” Glue-On was in place, until it was time to come off.  Removal was simple with a flat head screwdriver.  Because only the toe of the hoof was in the closed environment, leaving this package on caused no long-term harmful effects to the health of the hoof.  The Vet was pleased and will call me again if he has new surgical club hoof cases.  The warmblood foal has an excellent future as a sport horse.  Have you chopped or hacked an Easyboot Glue-On to help a horse?  Do you have Macgyver gluing and adaption techniques? Please share your experience! 

 

Glue a Shoe and Win All the Money

Will you be attending the International Hoof Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio, on February 4 & 5, 2015? If so, you should stop by at the EasyCare/No Anvil booth #723/725 and enter the 2015 EasyShoe/No Anvil Gluing Contest presented by Blacksmith Buddy.

With $2,000 in cash prizes across two gluing divisions, this is your chance to pay your way to the IHCS. Come get your glue on with us. Choose to apply a Polyflex Horseshoe or one of the four EasyShoe models to a Blacksmith Buddy foot. We will have with us all the materials you need to make the best gluing application of the whole competition. Enter either the Polyflex or EasyShoe division by signing up at: easycareinc.wufoo.com/forms/easycarepolyflex-gluing-contest-registration/.

ESP.jpgpolyflex turf shoe.png

Contest Details.

  • All tools and supplies will be provided to the contestants at no cost.
  • EasyShoe Bond Fast Set will be used for gluing.

Judging will be based on the following: Cash prizes: $500 for 1st place, $300 for 2nd place, and $200 for 3rd place in each division.

  • Hoof prep technique.
  • Quality of shoe fit to the Blacksmith Buddy foot.
  • Overall gluing application skills, including volume of glue used, neatness of application.
  • Quality of final finishing.
  • How closely did the contestant follow the recommended gluing protocol?

Contest numbers are limited and gluing appointments will be assigned based on a first come, first served basis, so do not delay. Sign up at easycareinc.wufoo.com/forms/easycarepolyflex-gluing-contest-registration/.

We look forward to seeing you in Cincinnati!

Kevin Myers

easycare-marketing-director-kevin-myers

Director of Marketing

I am responsible for the marketing and branding of the EasyCare product line. I believe there is a great deal to be gained from the strategy of using booted protection for horses, no matter what the job you have for your equine partner.

The Sik Method: How to Glue on a Pair of Used Gloves, Just Sik'm On There

Submitted by Tennessee Lane, 2014 Team Easyboot Member

For those of you who are intimidated by the Glue-On Process, this is a great, easy, and cost effective alternative.  I have referenced an old blog about this "ghetto" style glue job so many times that I have decided to bring the topic back to the surface.

First and foremost, please bear in mind that the guidelines Easy Care provides for gluing boots on cannot be beaten, it is by far the safest and most effective way to glue your brand new Easy Boot Glue-Ons or EasyShoes.  You will notice that when it really matters, for example at Tevis, I follow their prescribed method to a "T."  There are times when you just don't want to mess around or take any risk.  Feel free to find out a little more about how I, personally, decide which product to use for each challenge by reading The Way I Do It - by Tennessee Lane.  The Sik Method is not my first choice, but it quickly becomes my first choice when my usual first choice gets knocked off my menu of options, or if I'm feeling lazy... or cheap.

However, I have used the Sik method many many times with great success.  Yes, I have done multi days (multiple days of 50 milers back to back,) and even 100-milers in a set of broken-down old Gloves.  As I mentioned, I use this method out of necessity, laziness (because it is VERY easy and stress-free,) and if I have an old set of Gloves ready for retirement.  How do you do it?  You just Sik'm on there!

Above, Tennessee gallops Shazam out of the vet check at the North American 100 mile Championship ride, having used this Sik Method.

Scenario:  You've been training/riding your horse while he wears Easyboot Gloves, maybe you've been racing in them too, they still have some useable tread on there but they really are a little tore up.  The gators and hardware are trashed, they're stretched out, they've got holes in the toes, they've done some hard time, and it's time to order up a new set.  Don't throw them away!  Use this Sik method to glue them on for your next multi-day!  Go ahead and order your next set of Easyboot Gloves while your at it, this will be your old set's last hurrah.

You will need: Your horse, your hoof trimming equipment, your old EasyBoot Gloves, a caulking gun, 1 tube of SikaFlex 227, 1 popsicle stick, 1 phillips screwdriver (also great to have rubber/latex gloves, alcohol in a spray bottle, a tall Gin and Tonic.)  This process must be done at LEAST 1 day prior to riding your horse.  For example, do it the evening before your big ride so the glue can set up over night.  This is NOT an option for a horse that will stand and paw afterward, he will paw off the boots.

Sik Method Step 1: Prep your old EasyBoot Gloves

Toss them in a bucket of soapy water to soak.  Scrub them out thoroughly.  Use your screwdriver to scrape out any dirt that might have gotten compacted in the toe.  Rinse them out thoroughly to insure the soap, dirt etc is off.  Set them upside down to dry like dishes.  Consider spraying the insides down with alcohol, totally optional though (don't wipe them down with alcohol, the remnants and dust from your paper towel is no bueno for glue.)  Set them upside down to dry thoroughly and leave them upside down until you are ready to put the glue in them, this will insure that all the dust from your horse moving around doesn't settle on and stick to your nice clean boots.  

Step 2:  Loosen the screws

This is important!  Take your screwdriver and loosen all three screws of each gator on each boot.  You just need to break that super-tight seal that you usually strive to have on a new set of Gloves.  Sometimes the screw heads are so worn down from action that its hard to get enough bight on them.  You want them to hold lightly, but you REALLY want to make sure you will be able unscrew them once glued to your horse (below.)

Step 3:  Prep the hoof

Make sure your horse is trimmed as you would usually trim him before your ride.  Easyboot Gloves are meant to be worn over a nice fresh trim so they fit like a GLOVE.  Use a wire brush to scrub/scrape any dirt from the hoof wall.  The hoof should be dry but this process will even work on a damp hoof as long as it is very clean.  Consider spraying the hoof wall and sole down with alcohol, helpful but not necessary to this process.  This prep is the same as the usual Glue-On protocol, however, the Sik method is much more forgiving, for example it will work fine on hooves and boots that are not immaculately clean or dry.  Just do the best you can under your circumstances and don't stress about it.

Step 4:  Sika Flex

Put on your rubber/latex gloves and use your caulking gun to apply SikaFlex 227 in a triangle at the base of the boot where the frog will be in contact with the boot.  The more concave the hoof, the more glue you will need to fill that concavity.  It is important to fill the concavity of the frog but not overfill it.  That part is exactly the same as the approved EasyBoot Glue-On Protocol, but here's where the Sik method diverges...  Squeeze SikaFlex onto your popsicle stick like you are putting toothpaste on your toothbrush.  Use the popsicle stick to "paint" a solid layer of SikaFlex on the inner vertical wall of the boot.  The layer should be about as thick as a dime and should cover the entire wall which will soon be in contact with your horse's clean hoof wall.  Take your time, have a seat, have a sip of that gin and tonic.  You are working with SikaFlex, not Adhere, so time really isn't of the essence here, chillax.  One tube of SikaFlex will be perfect for all 4 boots.

Step 5:  Apply boots

Put the Gloves on your horse like you always have.  They will slide on and twist around a little easier than they normally do because there is a slimy layer of SikaFlex lubricating everything.  Once it's all the way on, twist it back and forth a couple times (clockwise and counterclockwise) just a 1/4 to 1/2 inch to make sure the glue has effectively smeared onto the hoofwall.  Make sure the boot is on straight and set the hoof down.  Velcro the gators on tight.  If you put way too much glue in the frog, it will squirt out the heel, wipe it out or this glue will attach the gator to the horse's heel bulbs and the back of his pastern which is no bueno (you'll end up "waxing" him when your remove the gators, youch! Yet still functional with bald heels LOL.)  Excessive glue will also cause the boot to slide around and twist excessively but don't worry, it's salvageable.  The Sikaflex takes a while to set up.  If the boot twists, just calmly pick the hoof up, straighten it out and put it back down.

Step 6:  Observe 

Let your horse stand there, maybe feed him for entertainment's sake, and allow that glue to set up a little bit.  Unlike adhere, this glue will be setting up for the next 8 hours.  If he twists a boot, just straighten it out.  Have a sip of that gin and tonic, talk to your neighbors, play fetch with the dog, call your mom, clean a stall, just give it a little time, at least 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on him and if he twists, straighten it and re-tighten the gator.  It's easy to waste time around your horse for 10 minutes or even an hour to check on him.

Step 7:  Walk away

Put your horse back in his run (or back on his HiTie or load him in the trailer for your 6 hour drive to the race,) with the glue still wet and his gators on tight.  It seems crazy, I know.  But it works.  Just walk away.

Step 8:  Remove the gators & Voila!

When the glue is set up (6-8 hours later) use your screwdriver to unscrew all of the hardware on each boot and tear those nasty old gators off.  Retire them permanently, or if you're really a hoarder, then keep them around for spare parts.  Voila!  You've got boots glued-on for your ride, no gators to worry about.  Yes, the screw "backings" remain behind and are harmless hitch-hikers.

PROOF #1 The NAETC or North American Endurance Ride Championships (Picture at top in blue Gloves.)

I traveled through an ice storm and -37 degree temps to FL to represent the mountain zone at a championship 100-mile ride.  I was very sad to find out shortly before the race that my adhere had frozen and gone bad.  It was too late to acquire new Adhere but I had what I needed to Sik'm on (a full set of Easyboot Gloves that fit him and a tube of SikaFlex.)  I Sik'd them on Shazam in the pouring rain, threw him in the trailer with wet glue for the last leg of our journey, and he stepped out of the trailer ready to race.  We ran 100 miles in 10hours wearing ghetto, Sika'd on gloves and he was the fastest mountain horse to complete.  The only problem was that I had packed nice new Gloves as my spares so 1st of all, I wrecked a perfectly new pair of Gloves, and 2nd of all, I totally forgot to loosen the screws and had to cut the rubber to get the gators off.  But the boots were in great shape at the finish of the 100 and were difficult to remove even weeks later.  I spared you the pictures of me gluing them on in the rain and mud.

Proof #2 Mt Carmel Multiday

My beast of a mare thinks it's her job to test the strength of gators.  There's no way I was going to make this set of old glove last 3 days of extreme terrain attached to the hooves of a freight train.  I Sik'd them on and she smoked through 3 days and 155mile of rough terrain and high speed in a pair of gloves that were literally about to go in the trash, in fact two of them even had large holes in the toes - it doesn't matter once they're glue-on, as long as there's amply tread to protect the bottom of the hoof.

Proof#3 

I slapped these babies on a horse that was totally freaking out and I was in such a hurry.  There was glue everywhere.  It was the shoddiest job I've ever seen.  I was so "over it" and I had to go so I just threw him in the pasture, the boots were so sloppy and still making sloshing noises, and the horse was FREAKING out back in the pasture, literally pacing at a gallop.  I figured they would be off or worse - glued on backwards the next morning.  But they weren't.  The next morning (yes there was glue EVERYwhere) the boots were on fine.  I unscrewed the gators, tore them off, and rode the ever-loving snot out of that horse for the next 6 days in a row - hard, steep, mountain work.  Boots were fine, horse was even better.

I'm not really sure where to stop with the proof because I have done quite a few 100s and tons of multi days with ancient, tore-up, old Easyboot Gloves that I just Sik'd on for one last hurrah.  It's crazy the mileage you can get out of these things, and this is the best way to get some awesome final mileage out of a set.  It's not artwork, but it's a great alternative for someone looking for alternatives.  Although I always use new Glue-On shells and follow the extreme protocol for important rides, I do this "Sik" method often, and I feel like I'm cheating.  Give it a try, it's so Easy!