Slow Change is Better Than No Change for the Equine Industry

One of the things that keeps me going is innovation and bringing new products to the equine industry.  Products that can better the lives of our horses and improve the human/equine experience.  Sometimes little tweaks make the difference.  Other times products need to be scrapped and you need to start over.  It's frustrating for me to see other industries advancing quickly and the equine industry continues to limp along.  

I continue to look at the advancements in the cycling world over the last 10 years and compare them to the improvements in the horse world.  A bike that was manufactured 10 years ago is now a relic.  Wheels have changed, most all frames are now carbon, tires and traction have improved, tubes are becoming obsolete, drop posts on many bikes, the weight of the bikes comes down each year, disc brakes on road bikes and now there is electric shifting. 

I don't believe the equine industry will ever keep up with the changes we are seeing on the cycling, snow sports or auto industries but it's fun to improve the products in EasyCare's small niche.  Here are some things in testing or in our immediate future.  

1.  New E-Z Ride Stirrup Pads.  We are moving to a new EVA molded E-Z Ride Stirrup pad that offers more comfort, better stability and longer life.  The new pad has a raised dimple pattern that conforms to the footbed of most riders shoes and boots.  The non compressed dimples lock the riders foot in place and require less rider effort to keep the foot positioned correctly.  The new pads will be available in the immediate future and should start shipping on stirrups early September.  

E-Z Ride Stirrups pictured with old pad on the left and new pad on the right.

Close up of the new dimpled design.

2.  E-Z Ride Ultimate and E-Z Ride Ultimate Ultra.  EasyCare will be launching a new stirrup design in mid September.  The E-Z Ride Ultimate (Pictured below) is manufactured with an aluminum hoop, urethane base and an EVA pad.  The base quickly attaches with two bolts and the pads snap in without glue.  A cage system also snaps into place without bolts and hardware.  The E-Z Ride Ultimate Ultra has an aluminum base and will come with a lifetime guarantee. Both versions are Tevis tested and finish in the top ten.  

The E-Z Ride Ultimate pictured above.

The E-Z Ride Ultimate Stirrups after the 100 Mile Tevis Cup.  Cage and non cage options in the photo.  

4.  EasyCare Comfort Pads.  We have changed our manufacturing process on our comfort pads and have just completed new EVA molds.  The new system will have less part numbers and will fit all EasyCare boot models.  Although the molds are very expensive the EVA molds give us the ability to make a much better product and offer different densities.  Getting a horse comfortable and moving is many times the key to life and death.  The new pads will save lives.  Look for the change soon.  

5.  EasyShoe Ultra.  Curtis Burns (Polyflex) and I have made progress with our EasyShoe line and have seen success in endurance, dressage, sport horses, and eventing.  Even with the progress we have come to the conclusion that many farriers will never embrace adhesives or learn the skills necessary to become successful with glue-on shoes.  In addition the glue-on process is many times cost prohibitive. We believe there is a need for a urethane nail-on shoe that allows hoof mechanism.  We have been testing several prototypes with major success.  It's been great working with Curtis and bringing new concepts to the market!

The wide web version pictured above.

Jeremy Reynolds and Honor place 2nd at the 75 mile North American Endurance Championship in the new prototype.  Honor had the new shoes front and back.  

6.  Flip Flop.  This concept is actually one of my favorites. In essence, the idea amounts to a flip-flop design with a conventional upper that extends backward only roughly to the widest point of the hoof. The widest point of the hoof has the least amount of movement in both the vertical and horizontal planes. Because of this lack of movement, the bonds between the shoe and the hoof hold much tighter and are much less likely to fail than at the heel. As a result, it is surprisingly more durable than shoes bonded along the entire sides of the hoof. The absence of an upper in the rear half of the shoe ensures that the heel and the entire back portion of the shoe is not connected to the hoof. As a result, the heel is allowed greater movement in all directions, which, in addition to improving the durability of the bond between the upper and the front portion of the hoof, also allows more movement of the hoof which in the long run results in a healthier hoof.  The design has now won several endurance races, best condition awards and continues to stay in place for a full trim cycle.  

The current mold design.  The longer length allows them to be trimmed in the length.

An early install of the Flip Flop.  Off to win a 50 mile race.

7.  EasyShoe BMF.  A bit different take to the EasyShoe.  Full front cuff ease the installation process and give horses that don't do well in direct glue applications another option.  Ernest Woodword and team have played with the concept a bit and have done some trick installs.  Ernest named them the "Bifurcated Motion Footware".  The BMF also has a tread that accepts the EasyCare Therapy Click System.  

The current molded product.

Modifications and install made by Ernest Woodward and team

8.  Easyboot Sneaker.  A boot for trail riders with a unique patent pending feature.  The boot has an floating heel counter that pulls the hoof forward during application.  The heel counter locks the heel into place and helps push the toe forward in the boot for correct breakover.  The boot is testing very well and should hit the market in early 2016.  We have finished molds on a very small boot that will fit a foal or mini with feet 50mm in width.  

9.  Easyboot Glove and Easyboot Y.  Some of the most exciting test results are in the new Easyboot Y and Easyboot Glove.  The Glove was a game changer in the equine boot world when it was released in 2009.  The new versions will make another big leap forward.  More to come soon.

Some great changes and additions for EasyCare's line.  We are working hard to complete testing and manufacturing so we can help improve the human/equine experience.

Let me know what you like, dislike or what you would like to see in the future.

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 boot for the barefoot horse.

Tevis Cup Easyboot Elite: Working Toward Common Goals

Submitted by Deanna Stoppler, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

“Team guts will always beat individual greatness.” −Bob Zuppke

My first Tevis Cup experience has me thinking about teamwork and camaraderie. Horses, riders, crews, volunteers, veterinarians, and farriers—all working together toward the common goal of completing a grueling course through the Sierra Nevada Wilderness, 100 miles in one day.

As a member of the Easyboot Elite Team—a group of farriers selected by EasyCare, Inc to glue shoes on Tevis competitors’ horses—my objective was to work hard, perform quality hoof care, support my team members and the horses that we worked on, and to absorb as much of my first Tevis experience as possible. 

We got a bit dirty on Day One.

Day one consisted of team training and days two and three were live glue days.  Our team of six farriers was divided into pairs.  I was paired with California farrier, Pete Van Rossum. The other teams consisted of New York farriers Ashley Gasky and Curtis Burns (who divides his time between NY and FL); and Derick Vaughn paired with Jeremy Ortega.  Derick resides in Kentucky and works for Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital as a farrier assistant, and Jeremy is a farrier who works out of California.  Garrett Ford, Kevin Myers, and Christoph Schork led the training, sharing their tips, advice, techniques, and experience from past Tevis Cup races.  Gluing techniques were meticulous and methodical.  Before wrapping up the training day we set up the layout of our stations and prepared our equipment for the following day.

Pete Van Rossum and I working hard and having fun.

Days two and three were game face days, time to work on live horses, preparing them for the most difficult ride of the year. Pete and I decided to switch off roles after each horse; so if he prepped the feet for glue and I prepped the shoes, we would swap for the next horse and I’d prep the feet while he prepped the shoes.  This method worked well and allowed us to recover between horses.  The work wasn’t difficult but the 100’F temperature kept us on our toes.

Work station set up.

Glue prep involved a step-by-step process that was thorough and consistent.  Tools required for glue prep include the following:

  • Wire brush and hoof pick 
  • Drill and buffy attachment with 60 grit sanding paper sleeve
  • Sharp rasp
  • Small table top trigger start propane torch
  • Rotary tool with a 9931 Dremel bit
  • Pair of Easyboot Zips 

Ashley Gasky ready to glue.

To begin prepping the feet for application of the Easyboot Glue-Ons we used our wire brush and pick to remove any loose debris from the sole side of the foot and brushed dirt from the outer hoof wall. Using fit shells, we sized the horse prior to prepping the foot. Hoof prep required the following steps:

  1. Buffy the outer hoof wall from heel to heel.
  2. Use side edge of the rasp to notch the entire hoof wall surface, creating ridges horizontally across the wall.
  3. Torch the outer wall then wire brush.  Repeat.
  4. Dremel the entire sole side of the foot.
  5. Torch the sole side of the foot then wire brush.  Repeat.
  6. Apply Easyboot Zip to prepped foot.
  7. Prepare Easyboot Glue-Ons for application.

Garrett Ford and Derick Vaughn work to prep the foot.

Clean shells, fresh out of the package, were applied to the foot. Using Sikaflex for hoof packing, we created a bead of product along the bottom inner edge of the shell and built a frog along the foot side of the shell to fill any concavity in the hoof.  Then we applied Vettec Adhere to inside of the shell before application.

Easyboot Glue-Ons, completed and ready for Tevis Cup.

Pete and I worked like a well-oiled machine, communicating our needs, preparing tools and product for each other, cleaning up tools tossed aside after use, reminding each other to breathe, hydrate, and refuel.  We were confident in our skills and eagerly used our new techniques learned from Garrett, Kevin, and Christoph.

Kevin Myers and I prepping the foot with a rotary tool.

After three days of working together, sharing meals, and spending time exploring Auburn and the local swimming holes, it was clear to me that I had been a part of a unique group of professionals. Each of us had complimentary skills and our personalities meshed as if we had known each other for a long time. We had just enough comic relief to make the experience fun while maintaining professionalism and focusing on the importance of our task.  All of us stayed for the race after gluing was completed and participated in portions of the event.

Team members met at Robie Park to watch vet checks and aid in preparations for the race. On race day Curtis, Jeremy, and Derrick crewed, and Ashley volunteered.

Jeremy Ortega helping a rider while they register at the check-in tent.

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines teamwork as “the work done by people who work together as a team to do something” and camaraderie as “a feeling of good friendship among the people in a group”. Teamwork, when done well, creates camaraderie and successful team leaders create a lasting sense of accomplishment that spans time and space.

After our Tevis Cup experience, each of us returned to our farrier businesses, families, and regular lives and with us we carried the “feeling of good friendship”, a sense of accomplishment for achieving our goal, and new knowledge to share with our clients and horses.

 

References

Department of Employee Services. A Well-Oiled Machine? https://www.lakecountyfl.gov/documents/employee_services/training/team_building.pdf

Merriam Webster (2015). Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary.

 

Rookies Go Gluing: Two Week Update

Everybody knows that we tend to learn more from our mistakes and failures than from when everything goes right. Yet we spend most of our lives making sure we look perfect from the outside, presenting our good side and leaving the not so great parts in the shadows, hidden away from our Facebook walls, Instagram posts, and EasyCare blogs. I want to buck the trend and share with you one of my bungles. I learned from it and hope that by sharing it you can too, perhaps the easier, less expensive way.

Remember my blog about applying EasyShoe Performances to my horse? Two weeks out from application and my worst suspicions are confirmed. Left shoe looks great but the right shoe not so much. I knew it when I applied the shoe and saw (and felt) the Adhere was setting up before I could even get it smeared all the way around the shoe.

At the time I thought about putting my Adhere and a fresh shoe back on ice and letting them cool down before starting over but opted instead to roll with it. I knew that my hoof prep was bulletproof and was curious how much effect the partly cured glue would really have. Turns out, it had a lot of effect. Check out two days after I noticed the heel popped, the toe has come undone, the cuff has sheared in two, and while technically the shoe is still on the foot, it's obvious that this glue job is not long for this world.

But look at the left side. Exact same protocol followed to a T. The only difference is that I did the left side first when the glue was straight out of my cooler. Having the Adhere a little cooler than the ambient 90 degrees bought me that 30 seconds so critical to the success of the application. That's it. That's the only difference. A couple of degrees and just a few seconds was all it took to throw a wrench in my glue job.

The moral of the story here is that with the EasyShoe Application, one little thing can have big consequences on the outcome and longevity of application. Truthfully, I was bummed with my mistake but had already predicted it. As it turns out, pulling that shoe was still a bear! I wonder how many more days it would have made it on its own. We will never know as I had to get those shoes off to take Rosie to the Durango Pete Ramey clinic the following day. I guess if you are going to screw a gluing up, it may as well time perfectly with a long awaited clinic!

 

Rebecca Balboni
easycare-customer-service-representative-rebecca-balboni

Customer Service Representative

A lifetime of riding and showing sport horses has given me a deep appreciation for the importance of soundness and comfort on performance. Let me help elevate your equine experience by finding the right boot for your horse and unique situation.

Reading The Boots

After the gluing of Easyboots to the hooves, the question in our minds is often: "How well did I do the job?". Then we wonder, or worry, for a while. Unfortunately, often we do not get a good answer till either a Glue-On shell comes off before we want to remove it or till we actually decide it is time to take them off. If one or two boots come flying off prematurely, we get our answer: somewhere something was not right. Possibly the hoof or boot was contaminated, be it that the glue was too old, had been left in the summer heat too long, or the boots were applied in too slow a time. Study the hoof wall and boot to investigate the cause of the failure.

If the normal time comes to remove the boots, EasyCare recommends 10 to 14 days after application, we get a a second chance to evaluate our previous work. How easy it is to drive the screwdriver between the hoof wall and shell? How easy or hard is it to pry the boot off the hoof? Obviously the harder it is to get the boot off, the better a job we did gluing it on before.

Best way to really get analytical, though, is when we take the time to really critically examine the glue left in the boot after removal. A lot to learn can be learned by 'reading the boot'.

Below a few examples of pulled EasyCare Glue-On boots. In the first blue shell black Vettec Adhere was used, in the following ones beige Adhere. Easier to interpret the glue script with the beige Adhere, especially in the black shells.

Not a bad glue pattern: half of the glue is left in the boot, the other half on the hoof wall. Hoof wall and boot shell were properly prepared before gluing, glue has appropriate thickness. In the toe hoof wall/sole area, the Sikaflex used in the bottom of the boot has pushed up slightly.

Similar picture, one can be happy with this kind of glue picture.

Different scenario in the one below:

Looks like we were a little slow with this one: the glue had already started to set before it was applied.

Next case below:

The glue here was probably either applied a little too thick or too low on the wall of the shell: excess glue ended up in the sole area. With a thin soled horse, this could cause pressure on the sole with resulting lameness. Something to be avoided at all cost.

Too much Adhere in the frame below as well?

The white stuff in the sole here is not glue. It is dead sole that is now stuck to the glue in the boot. Quite normal. That hoof had a little more dead sole left before the application. The sole of the hoof was obviously well prepared, dry and clean.

The residual glue in the toe area is a little thick. Possible causes could be:

-the boot was not set back properly, the rubber mallet was not used hard enough

-the boot was a little too big and could not get pushed back enough

-the dorsal hoof wall was not straight

All the glue is on the inside boot wall. Check the hoof wall, if there is no glue left on it, we can draw conclusions that the hoof wall was either not totally dry or otherwise contaminated.

At first glance, it looks like a good gluing job: partial glue left inside the boot. A closer look reveals smooth glue edges. Probably not enough glue applied to the wall. More dorsally we also notice too much glue in the sole area. An uneven glue application.

If your Glue-On boots show any of these patterns, it might be a good idea to revisit the video from EasyCare regarding gluing on Glue-On boots.

For tips and tricks on how to clean out residual glue, please visit my blog from last month.

 

 

From The Bootmeister

 

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center

 

4 EasyShoes, 3 Weeks, 2 CTRs

Submitted by Stacey Maloney, Team Easyboot 2015 Member
 

In the middle of July I took on the task of applying EasyShoe Performance to my Competitive Trail mare for our upcoming CTR's. 

Last year I had an experienced gluer apply the Performance to her front hooves for CTRs and it was a great learning experience being able to watch the process in person. I'm a very visual learner and even though I can read about it all day and watch the videos provided by Easycare, being able to see it all first hand made all the difference to me. 

This time I was on my own but I was confident we could get it done. I started with her back hooves with the theory that if I was struggling with my Adhere and technique, hopefully by the time I get to the front hooves I would know better what I was doing and at least the front ones will stay on. I needn't have worried. Everything went as planned and I followed the directions provided by Easycare and remembering everything I had watched in the online videos and what Lane had shown me, I successfully applied 4 EasyShoes to my freshly trimmed mare. True, I had glue everywhere, including her rump where I gave her an appreciative "good girl" pat (oops) and being that we don't have a barn there was grass in my adhesive. It all cleaned up well with a quick rasp of her hooves (no more grass!) and proper grooming to remove adhesive from all furry areas of my equine. 
 
Still nervous of my novice skills I was thrilled to see all 4 EasyShoes still firmly adhered to her hooves after a day of rowdy turnout. She was ready to hit the CTR trail.
We headed south in a cold, wet storm toward the Montana border to Milk River for the Hills of Home CTR. It rained hard all day Friday and we didn't even get to vet in until Saturday morning before the ride because of the weather. The trails through the coulees were very slick due to all the moisture but we were still able to complete our first loop of 17 miles in 2 hours (a blazing time for us). Cleared through the vet check we completed the final 8 miles of our 25 total at the required pace and finished with a sound, energetic, happy horse. At the awards ceremony that night it was announced that we had won our Intermediate Lightweight Division by quite a few points. Woohoo red ribbon for us.

We headed home on the Sunday and Marina enjoyed 2 weeks pasture time interspersed with moderate workouts. 
I was really impressed how the EasyShoes made her feel as we conditioned those few weeks between CTRs on our regular gravel roads. My mare moved freely and with confidence and once we were home there wasn't even a single rock to be picked out of her shoes. 

August 1st had us a little up north at the Wild Timber Ranch competitive trail ride. It was hot and dry and the trail had many miles of the familiar gravel roads we knew we could rocket along on. We climbed grassy hills and splashed through many (MANY) mud puddles as well, all the time feeling great about our choice of hoof protection. At this ride my mare was feeling so good she willingly took the lead about 2/3 of the time in our little group powering down the trail - this was a huge personal accomplishment for us as she would regularly prefer to be tucked in behind and has earned herself the nickname "Little Chicken". We finished this ride with a horse feeling great, 4 EasyShoes in place right where we left them and a 4th place ribbon against tough competition. 

Another week in the pasture and I finally had time to reassess her footwear and decided to pull the shoes and give her a little barefoot break. It was really interesting to look at my handy work all these miles and weeks later - you could certainly tell which order the shoes went on by how well adhered they still were (or in spots weren't) after these few weeks. The ease in which the shoes came off was also in accordance to the order in which they were applied. Shoe #1 came off "rather easy" compared to shoe #4 which had me sweating and swearing. Practice certainly makes perfect when it comes to gluing the EasyShoes on and I expect my next attempt to have me blue in the face trying to remove shoes #5-8.

We'll be conditioning the next few weeks barefoot and in our Easyboot Gloves in preparation for our planned back to back Intermediate 25 mile CTR's at the Battle River CTR the weekend of September 4th which we'll compete in the EasyShoes once more.  

Rookies Go Gluing

When Durango EasyCare customer service reps Devan and Rebecca (that's me) decided to go gluing it was a bit like the hot dog leading the bun. Never you mind that we STILL have yet to decide who is the hot dog and who is the bun in this dynamic duo. We got curious about what it might be like for our gung-ho customers out there who buy the supplies, watch the videos, and tackle a DIY EasyShoe application in the "real world" so we did it ourselves. With a lot of things up in the air, one thing was certain: what we lacked in experience we more than made up for in enthusiasm!

The set up. Do we really have everything we need? Guess we are about to find out!

Ever wonder what's in the EasyCare break room fridge? No? Well now you know. It's horse shoes, adhesive, and jam.

Thanks to Devan, hoof prep went off without a hitch. She was on top of being ready with the next tool, picking up opposite feet, slipping boots on, cracking jokes,etc. I'm pretty sure this experiment would have gone quite differently as a solo mission. We took plenty of time and double checked every step. The Hoof Buffy outfitted with a 60 grit sleeve and my cordless Dremel with 9931 bit made cleaning and roughing hoof surfaces a breeze. The new Easyboot Zip made keeping feet clean and ready for glue a snap. Shoe sizing, the size 5 with 16mm spacer couldn't fit better. Nice and tight on the foot, good contact with the hoof wall around the whole cuff, and nothing hanging off the back. Truly a glass slipper!

Size 5 Performance Shoe with a 16mm spacer-it doesn't get any bigger than this!

There is a special kind of adrenaline rush that comes with using Adhere on a hot day. Despite knowing I had allowed myself some extra time by storing the glue and shoes in the fridge all day and then transporting them in a cooler on ice, it was still readily apparent that time waits for no man. Or EasyShoe.

Giant feet=lots of glue. I was liberal in my application and it took almost a full tube of Adhere to do just the front feet. Next time I'm getting a horse with smaller feet. At least my mare is an easy keeper and gets fat just looking at hay. Less feed, more glue-I guess it all comes out in the wash! For all you lucky ones dealing with normal size feet you can expect 4 shoes out of a 180cc cartridge.

There was only one trouble spot and it was the result of the glue getting warm on such a hot afternoon. The warmer the materials, the less time you have. I noticed the Adhere setting up before I had applied it to the outside third of the shoe (I worked outside to inside). It was harder to pump through the tip and looked a little pasty and dull. Remember the adrenaline rush thing? Yeah-at this point I was feeling like I could relate to the gazelle trying to outrun the lion. I got the shoe glued to the foot and it looked good enough, but deep down I knew it spelled trouble. My suspicion is that the outside heel (where the glue was pasty) will pop off early. Stay tuned for the ending of that cliff hanger.

The only other hiccup was blowing a buffy sleeve off when the bladder heated up and expanded. Fortunately Rosie wasn't nearly as amped on adrenaline as I was and didn't tear the barn down spooking at the very loud bang. Good horse.

The Buffy is totally addictive. I love this thing!

The finished product. Good but next time will be even better!

The takeaway from the whole experience for us was really the temperature thing. The Glue, the Shoe, and ideally the hoof all need to be around the same temps. The only thing we would have done differently was to cool the glue before tackling the second shoe. I can only imagine how important that would be if we had glued all four! Everything else went smoothly and we were talking about when we could glue Devan's horse before Rosie was even done. This EasyShoe thing is actually really fun! We will keep you posted on how our little experiment turns out.

 

Rebecca Balboni
easycare-customer-service-representative-rebecca-balboni

Customer Service Representative

A lifetime of riding and showing sport horses has given me a deep appreciation for the importance of soundness and comfort on performance. Let me help elevate your equine experience by finding the right boot for your horse and unique situation.

Tevis in Easyboots = Confidence

Submitted by Jenni Smith

I rode Tevis for the first time in 2002 on a horse in steel shoes with no pads.  I went over Cougar Rock like that.  Makes me marvel, looking back.  For my next six attempts it was all steel shoes, the later ones did have pads that lasted, oh, maybe half the ride.  I distinctly remember watching the sparks shoot off of my riding buddies’ horses in front of me as we careened through the darkness.

2011 was the first year I rode a horse in Easyboot Glue-Ons.  It was BA Bearcat, a horse belonging to Barry and Jennifer Waitte.  Jenn had fairly recently switched all of her horses to boots and the most dramatic change was seen in Bear.  He’d been a terrific tripper in steel shoes, really kind of scary to ride and petrifying to contemplate as a Tevis mount.

Bear and me on Cougar Rock. Photo credit: Bill Gore.

In boots Bear was a new horse, confident and comfortable on his feet.  I rode him in 2011 and 2012, finishing 16th both times, and other than having my arms pulled out of their sockets (also a puller that Bear) both rides went very well.  He finished sound and we never fell down.

For these last five Tevis rides I have ridden fairly fast horses, placing top 20 or better, all of them in Glue-Ons.  I firmly believe there is a connection.  If you go into that ride, knowing that you are going to ask your horse to move out at speed, you need to think long and hard about the footwear you plan to put on.  And I was able to ride fast on those fit-for-the-speed horses because their footwear allowed me to.

Tevis 2015.  Photo credit: Lynne Glazer

My experience, on top-notch Tevis horses as well as my own backyard pony, is that Easyboots give both rider and horse confidence through better performance.  Better traction (admitted, in some circumstances that isn’t the case but you don’t see wet, green grass during Tevis), better protection for the sensitive portions of the hoof and better cushioning and concussion absorption over distance.

My own little mare is clearly more confident on pavement and rocky trails in her gloves.  The added bonus that she spends 98% of her time barefoot - the way she was meant to be - is not insignificant. 

Receiving the 2015 Haggin Cup Award with Far's owner, Kevin Myers.  Photo credit: Ron Osborn

Far was no exception for the 2015 Tevis.  It was his sixth Tevis attempt and his sixth completion.  Once the Glue-Ons were on, I never spared another thought for his feet.  I’m that confident.  It frees me up to worry (because of course I’m going to worry) about everything else.

 

Tevis 2015 Easyboot Statistics Prove It Again

The 60th anniversary edition of the 100-mile Western States Endurance Ride, aka the Tevis Cup, took place on Saturday, August 1, 2015. 

Jenni Smith and Far on their way to winning the 2015 Haggin Cup. Photo by Lynne Glazer.

200 horse and rider teams started the event at 5:15 AM at Robie Park, just a few miles from North Lake Tahoe. Weather conditions were not as hot as predicted, but the humidity and changes in barometric pressure created challenging conditions for horses and riders alike. This was the sixth year in a row that Easybooted horses have won the Haggin or Tevis Cup, or both. This was also the inaugural year for Easyboot Glue-On application services to be provided by Easyboot Elite, a team of the finest hoof care practitioners from across the country. 

The Easyboot Elite team assembled on site at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, California. Left to right: Christoph Schork, Pete Van Rossum, Jeremy Ortega, Garrett Ford, Derick Vaughn, Ashley Gasky, Kevin Myers, Deanna Stoppler, Curtis Burns.

Auli Farwa, rider Jenni Smith, and owner Kevin Myers at the presentation of the Haggin Cup award.

Tevis 2015 Statistics

  1. The Haggin Cup (Best Condition) was won by Jenni Smith on Auli Farwa wearing Easyboots.
  2. Four of the top ten horses to finish were in Easyboots.
  3. Nine of the top 20 finishers were in Easyboots.
  4. Overall completion rate: 45%.
  5. Non-Easybooted completion rate: 42%.
  6. Easybooted completion rate: 55%.
  7. 22% of all starting horses were in Easyboots.
  8. 27% of all finishing horses were in Easyboots.

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.

EasyShoe Sport Maxed Out

Submitted by Tennessee Lane, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

"The only way to know how strong you are, is to keep testing your limits." - Man of Steel

Back in the lab, we would always do a failure test. It's not that we wanted something to fail, it's just that there was no way of knowing what the absolute maximum was until we reached it. Of course, a lot of mice died, but hey, a lot of people lived. Those people lived without fear because they knew what the maximum limit was, and how to avoid it, and so they survived - and thrived, even while being treated with deadly chemicals for horrible illnesses.

Sure, that's an extreme comparison but that's how my brain works. I was reluctant to slap a set of EasyShoe Sports on for more than 100 miles because I didn't know how long they would last. Then, I figured, I probably wasn't the only one wondering what they were capable of.

Just for fun, I tested the EasyShoe Sport to failure. Now we all know the Sport's limits.

Test Subject:  "Bluff," a compact, heavily-muscled Arab gelding.

Product:  EasyShoe Sport applied with EasyShoe Bond, all 4.)

Duration: Well over 200 rugged miles at speed, and nearly 4 weeks of wear (3 weeks and 4 days.)

Summary:  The Sports were glued on (using bond) the day before the first event, a very rocky, two-day 100-miler at Antelope Island near Salt Lake City in Utah. That mileage was completed without a hitch. The shoes remained in exceptionally good shape; very functional, and well adhered to the hoof. They continued to protect Bluff's hooves for the next two weeks at pasture, where it rained nearly every day. Those Sports protected Bluff's hooves through an additional 100 miles of rugged, technical terrain at the Mt Carmel XP, but failed on the last day at a total mileage of approximately 230 miles, most of which was covered at a trot or canter, in rugged, mountainous terrain.

Observations: The point of failure was along the edge of the wing, where it connects to the "sole" of the shoe. That area may have been 'buffied' a little bit thin when we put the shoes on and prettied-up the glue job. Although there was considerable wear, the shoe itself could have endured another day, and the wings were still firmly glued to the hoof wall, all except for the very back of the heel which is always the first to break away. The sole simply sheared off from the wings that were holding it on the hoof, on both fronts, and the backs were not far behind. Bluff had absolutely zero hoof tenderness. It should also be noted that, in milder conditions like turf or sand, the wear will be greatly reduced and the shoes will likely last much longer, all the while providing the benefit of extra grip. The conditions I tested these in were truly arduous.

Conclusions: Time, distance, and trail conditions, among other factors, all play a role in how long a product will last. The EasyShoe Sports are an awesome weapon in my arsenal. They can take just about anything a trail can dish out, I absolutely love them, and will be using them a lot in the future.  However, if you really want to go ham on mega-miles of rugged trails, you should consider the original EasyBoot Glue-On, my choice for rides like the 100-mile Tevis Cup. 

Smoof.

After 100 miles.

After 100 miles - solar view.

 

Miles...

Cantering at 200 miles.

Point of Failure.

Happy Trails!

Mile After Mile in EasyCare Boots

Submitted by Sue Basham, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

Easyboot Gloves and Glue-On shells have taken the worry out of one aspect of competitive riding for me. I like that my mare has bare hooves most of the time yet I don't have to worry about hoof bruising no matter what terrain we cover when training or competing. Gloves are my go-to for everyday rides and training. Glue-On shells are my go-to for most competitions. Fortunately, I cross paths with Christoph Schork (Global Endurance Training Center) at many of my endurance competions and I always make arraignments ahead of time for him to glue on my mare's boots. 

Sometimes people complain that they lose boots (of all brands) but I have yet to lose a Glue-On boot. Meticulous hoof preparation and boot application are key to successful Glue-On boot use. Christoph and the EasyCare Elite Gluing Team at Tevis are very particular in following the EasyCare protocol. I learn a lot watching them apply KC's boots!

Early in June KC and I traveled to the City of Rocks ride in Idaho. Christoph glued her boots on Thursday and we rode the next three days through some pretty spectacular country. KC won and BC'd the overall 155 mile Pioneer! I credit her Easyboot Glue-Ons with protecting her hooves as she traveled all those miles.

Our next ride was the Strawberry Fields Forever Pioneer in Utah just 2 weeks later. KC's boots were still firmly glued on and we did all three days through lots of rocks, bogs and mountainous terrain. Once again KC had the fastest time over 3 days/160 miles and received the Pioneer BC. Her boots did a great job and provided superior protection for her hooves in tough conditions. Its so nice to not worry about hoof bruising or losing a boot. 

I was curious how KC's boots would look after more than 360 miles through the mountains. When I got home I was pleased to find all of them still firmly attached although a bit worn. The bead of Adhere at the top was a little ragged but after all the miles, mud, rocks and downfall, I thought they looked pretty good! You can see how much her hoof grew during those 3 weeks so it was definitely time to take them off (EasyCare protocol recommends removing the boots after 10 days at most).

The bottoms of the boots, although worn, still had adaquate tread and I never felt any slipping on the trail. 

She did wear through the left front toe so it looks like I have a trimming issue to address. All in all I am very happy with how the Easyboot Glue-Ons performed!