Although "Imitation Is The Sincerest Form of Flattery" It's Time to Move On. New E-Z Ride Stirrups are Here

The majority of the endurance riders in the United States and many abroad either use or know a friend that uses the E-Z Ride Stirrups.  The wide base stirrup, based on an early US cavalry design, supports the foot for long miles in the saddle and is very lightweight.  Bob Walz started making the stirrups in his Tucson home in the early 1980s.  My mom was his first dealer buying and selling many stirrups for Bob.  The stirrup design grew in popularity with Bob adjusting his manufacturing and machinery to keep pace.  Bob moved to Pilot Hill, California, to be closer to the Tevis Trail and his children in the late 1980s.  His desire to ride more prompted him to sell the machinery, trademark and know-how to EasyCare in the early 1990s.  Bob was a long time family friend and sponsored me as a junior twice at the 100 mile Tevis Cup.

EasyCare took over production in its Tucson facility with Bob's equipment and opened molds for an injection-molded version.  Our distribution grew and we started selling to more endurance and trail saddle manufacturers.  As time went on, many of the companies we sold to copy Bob's original design but made them with inferior manufacturing techniques.  If you do a Google search for "Endurance Stirrups" and then click on images you will see pages of endurance stirrups that resemble Bob's design.  Many of the copy designs designs are hard to tell apart and over the years we had many returned to EasyCare that were not manufactured by EasyCare. Although "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", we have decided it's time to introduce a new model with several patent pending features.    

A Google search shows pages of distance stirrups that copy Bob Walz's original E-Z Ride Stirrup design

The goal of the new design was the following.

1. Wide base to support the foot over long distance and long hours in the saddle.

The E-Z Ride Ultimate Ultra in black.  Also comes in silver.

2. A very strong hoop that will hold up for years.

3.  A pad system that offers cushion, traction and can be easily changed as they wear.

The new EVA pad.  The pad will be used in both the E-Z Ride Ultimate, E-Z Ride Ultra and E=Z Ride Nylon designs.

E-Z Ride pad and base before assembly

4.  Top bar system that integrates with different stirrup widths.  

The 1", 2" and 3" top bar system.  Top bar is designed to accept many different leather widths and half sizes like 2.5" or 1.5".  No need to change top bars when you switch top bars to a new saddle.

5.  Removable Cage.

Cage pops into place with four male pins.  Pad holds it in place. 

Cage in place ready for EVA pad.

The new E-Z Ride Stirrup will come in two different price point models.  We will offer the top shelf E-Z Ride Ultimate Ultra and the lower priced E-Z Ride Ultimate.  The Ultimate Ultra is a 100% machined aluminum design that will hold up with the most aggressive riding and abuse.  This stirrup is built to last for your lifetime and is priced to be the last pair of stirrup you will buy.  The Ultimate has the same indestructible hoop but uses a ABS injected base that is a bit lighter in weight.  Both designs accept an EVA pad that snaps into place with four male plugs.  The male/female plug system in the pad an base allow the pad to be changed as they wear. The system goes together with two bolts. No glue or rivets for the pads or cages.

Two screws hold the design together.

All designs (with the exception of cages) are in stock and ready to ship.  Cages will be here in a month.  These will be the premium priced stirrup on the market and we will continue to sell our nylon version.  

I really like how this project has come together and believe the new design is a great one.  Both the non cage and cage versions have been tested on mnay endurance events and both finished top ten at the 2015 100 mile Tevis Cup.  Bob Walz would be proud.

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.

Secrets of the Savvy - October 2015

The changing of seasons and wide temperature variances throughout the day are prime reminders to make sure adhesives and other gluing materials are handled with care. Glue and horses are a lot alike-take care of them, and they’ll take care of you.  Let’s go over a few general guidelines to keep you gluing like a boss all year long.

Manufacturer’s guidelines for set and cure times for adhesives and pour in materials are usually based on a 70 degree ambient temperature. Optimum temperature range for gluing is between 65 and 85 degrees. These timeframes will speed up in the heat and slow down when it is cold. Take the guesswork out of how much by keeping cartridges, tips, shoes and shells in a climate controlled environment.

As always, hoof prep is critical to gluing success-no matter the temps. Remember to organize your materials (don't forget your Zips), prep feet thoroughly, and take your time. Fluctuations in temperature can wreak havoc on your adhesives and packing materials. Store these items in a cool dark place and use within a month once opened. Stay aware of expiration dates and rotate stock using FIFO: first in/first out.

Thanks for joining us for the October edition of Secrets of the Savvy! Feel free to contact us to find out more about our wide variety of adhesive and packing materials or to place an order:

Debbie: 800-447-8836 ext 2224

Rebecca: 800-447-8836 ext 2232

As always, we welcome your comments and want to know what you've learned from your experiences in the field!

Secrets of the Savvy

Secrets of the Savvy: your source for inside information on all things EasyCare. See you next month!

Inspired by Innovation and Perserverance

Before coming to work for EasyCare, I knew nothing much about horses, and even less about their feet and how they function. Now here we are, more than a year later, and I cannot say enough about how much I have learned or how inspired I am by Garrett's ability to press forward in this industry.  He always puts the horse first, often times going against the grain, to provide options for all types of horse and rider situations, as well as options to help improve the quality of life for lots of horses that may otherwise be looking at a different fate.  

In Garrett's most recent blog, he says, "One of the things that keeps me going is innovation and bringing new products to the equine industry."  In the past year, I have personally seen him out-do himself time and time again with his creations, working with people like Curtis Burns, Rick Redden, and Pete Ramey, just to name a few.

We hear success stories from all types of riders, including this one from Heather Reynolds about the EasyShoe Ultra Prototype: "The EasyCare hoof protection held their own once again! The EasyShoe Ultra Prototype was worn on Bound For Honor's front feet with Glue-Ons behind. The AHA Championship was at the Big South Fork ride in TN. It was a very challenging hill course through sand, mud and rock with multiple deep river crossings. There was a very competitive field. 

Without the EasyCare products I don't think it would have been possible for Honor to train for and compete in this event. Honor was 14 minutes behind, leaving the last check in 4th place. He went on to win by a healthy margin in a ride time of 5:10. Thank you EasyCare and Garrett Ford for producing amazing products that help our horses have that extra advantage."

6th and 7th graders pushing forward in the face of challenges. 

To look into the face of challenges and find ways to grow and advance is something that I can absolutely get behind.  When I am not working at EasyCare, my other job is coaching kids and adults on mountain bikes.  Every day I witness them being faced with challenges and finding ways to use those challenges as a vehicle of change.  They persevere and push forward with bravery and courage, going against the grain of what they have told themselves is capable.  Without pushing those limits, there is no evolution, as a rider, or as an inventor, or as a community.  For me, it is admirable and inspiring to watch people like Garrett, and the athletes I coach to keep on pushing forward.  When we create change, within ourselves and within our communities, we become the helpers in the world.  With each new product EasyCare creates, we help another horse and rider. I am grateful to be a part of that.   

Tina Ooley


Customer Service Representative

As a member of the EasyCare Customer Service Team, I am here to assist you in fitting and choosing the best hoof protection for your horse. I believe in natural, holistic hoof care and its contribution to sound horses and happy riders.

Holdin' Ground With Glue-On's

Submitted by Devan Mills, EasyCare Customer Service Representative

The equine world is very diverse, as you all know. It amazing and humbling the tasks our four legged friends are capable of. At EasyCare we get to talk with owners and help horses involved in all types of events and many times we get asked, “Will this boot or shoe work for this or has anyone had success using a boot or glue on this way?” I enjoy being able to provide accurate information with everyone I speak with which leads me to wanting to test the products on my own horse in different situations, which I have also done with the Clouds and the FLIR camera.

I have most recently been experimenting with the Glue-On’s. I enjoy the benefits of running (barrel racing) my horse barefoot but unfortunately the quality of footing outside of the arena at most of the venues I attend is very rocky and many times has shards of glass, auto body parts, tools, pieces of metal, you name it, it is most likely sitting out there waiting to get your horse. I was concerned she was going to get injured by something running in and out of the arena. Us rookies took it upon ourselves to glue on shells using the same protocol that is shown in our gluing video, that is available on the web page for the Glue-On. It was not quite as pretty as what we would have hoped for but by the end of the night my horse had four shells glued on and she felt great.

I had four days to exercise and work her in the Glue-On’s before I was going to run her at our next event, since I am typically a Glove user I knew that my horse would have no issue adjusting to the Glue-On’s. My main concern was how well they were glued on. We had also been talking about if there was going to be enough traction with the standard Glue-On Shell. When Pete Ramey came to town he had shown me some modified shells that were being used for speed events to allow for more grab but I wanted to try it with an unmodified Glue-On. I have never had a problem with traction in my Gloves when working her but I would be lying if I told you I was not worried one bit about making a run in the Glue-On’s. I was apprehensive when running to first but after she inhaled that barrel all worries were gone.

She had absolutely no problem holding her ground around the barrels and leaving the barrels she did not struggle with traction what so ever. Needless to say I will have complete confidence the next time I make a run in Glue-On’s and will have confidence when someone asks me about running barrels in the Glue-On’s.

I also believe this will be a great option for those barrel horses that do not hold shoes well, or for owners that are looking for other types of hoof protection for their barrel horses. There are so many ways to modify these shells. The possibilities are endless. Depending on how your horse works around the barrels, you can modify the boot to exactly what is needed. Have a horse that is recovering from a hoof wall injury or needs a way to keep an abscess completely covered while still being able to compete? The Glue-On is your ticket!

Do You Need Boots When You Ride?

Submitted by Asa Stephens, Hoof Care Practitioner

Here are a few hints that will tell you that you do.

In desert environments and in places where horses are stalled in small enclosures, you rarely get a horse that can handle sharp gravel on a trail ride.

A healthy hoof is short and has most of the bulk in the back part of the foot. It has a flat, dry, large frog. This frog rarely sheds and has no bacteria pockets.

A frog that gets paired away or is shedding at every trim or almost every trim, or has bacteria pockets in it, is not healthy and you should ride in boots.

A healthy sole will callous nicely. Dead shedding sole material does not accumulate in a healthy hoof. If this happens between each trim, the foot is not healthy. Ride in boots.

The bars are hoof wall that turns in alongside the frog and collateral grooves. They help stabilize the back of the foot. They are short and grow only halfway down the frog. If they grow out over the entire bottom of the foot between each trim, then the foot is not healthy. Ride in boots.

When you pick the foot up and look out over the heels and the hairline, you want to see thick hoof wall forming the heels and bars. They do not taper out and get thinner. The hairline should be pretty straight over the heels. If the hairline and heel bulbs form a W, the hoof is not healthy. Ride in boots.

A healthy foot will have air-tight seams between hoof wall and sole. An unhealthy hoof does not. It has separation where little gravel and dirt gets in. Because of the dry environment, the dead sole will often dry up and curl inward, making the separation worse. In the desert area, the sole has the same color as the sand and dirt so most people do not know this separation exists. The dirt is so packed in between hoof wall and sole, so you can’t see it. You will have to take a very sharp hoof pick and dig in the white line area to find it. If your horse has this separation, ride in boots. If your horse is not tender on gravel just before he is due for a trim but always after, then ride in boots.

A healthy foot should not feel a maintenance trim. When using boots while riding you ensure a healthy heel first landing which will help the horse grow the healthiest foot he can get in his situation. Adding a pad to the boot is even better as it stimulates the frog each step. 

Does your horse land heel first or at least flat at a walk? This can be hard to see and if it is difficult, look for a forward motion with no hesitation, with very little dust in front of the hoof when landing. Check that the fetlock is at its lowest before landing (not coming down after hoof is on the ground). If he doesn’t land flat or heel first, ride in boots.

A little misleading. The picture on the left is a toe first landing at a walk. The picture on the right is a heel first at a trot. 

A farrier does not trim or sculpt a healthy foot. The correct diet, exercise and the right environment build healthy hooves, and a good farrier maintains them. There are many variations of unhealthy feet.

Some are unfortunately permanent, if internal structures are too damaged. Some can rehab quite nicely. Some are inherently stronger (some breed of horses have an advantage because of thick hoof wall and massive frogs). They can sometimes go completely barefooted even with lack of sound “housekeeping”.

Remember, it is the internal structures that need strengthening, not so much the outer shell. By making your horse run around landing toe first battling the gravel in order to “toughen up his feet”, you most likely will never get the healthy feet you and your horse were hoping for. You are only hurting your horse. 

There are many boots on the market, and if you have patience you will find the right one. Try to be there when the farrier comes to trim if and when you need boot help. The farrier would love to help you find the right boots. If you are in any of the situations mentioned above and don’t want to use the boots, you can either try glue on shoes or shells, or go back to traditional shoeing.

So if you can’t fulfill all the necessary requirements for healthy feet (most boarding facilities in Nevada have few options for 24/7 turnout), the boots are an excellent way of protecting your horse’s hooves while riding. The boots will not cause damage. They let the hooves work the way nature intended. They can be taken off after the ride when the horse goes back to his stall.

If you think boots on a horse is a sign of failure, then I have truly failed you as a hoof care provider. Try to see boots as today's hoof protection in a sometimes imperfect situation: a way to have the cake and eat it too. Your horse’s hooves will continue improving while you ride and have fun.

I Went to Tevis an EasyShoer, I Came Home an Easybooter

Submitted by Ashley Gasky, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

I'll admit it, I've gone Easyboot Crazy.

In June, I watched Pete Ramey use Easyboot Gloves and Glue-Ons to rehab problem horses.

In July I was lucky enough to travel to Tevis as a member of the Easyboot Elite Team. 

When I left for California, I had some barefoot horses in my practice, some in composite shoes and a select few in metal. Some of my clients used boots on their barefoot horses, that was their choice. 

If a horse in my care needed hoof protection, I would generally default to some form of horse shoe. I still recommend shoeing for horses who spend more time in their boots than barefoot, but am outfitting more horses for boots lately.

EasyShoe Competes on an FEI horse.

After spending a week observing elite equine athletes who train in Easyboot Gloves and compete in EasyBoot Glue-Ons, my perspective changed. This first hand experience gave me a whole new appreciation for what hoof boots are capable of. See the results for yourself!

The first week after Tevis I was asked to fit boots left and right. Knocking the dust off my fit kit, I got to work.

When I tacked up my own riding horse, she wasn't shod, she was booted. 

Being around the best booters in the business, I picked up some tricks.

For example: using Mueller Athletic Tape to enhance the fit of hoof boots. 

 These are Easyboot Glue-Ons fit and applied using Muellers tape. They stayed in place for a 45 minute dressage school in a grass arena. This idea was courtesy of the BootMeister, Christoph Schork!

Following the advice I found here, I've been using Dental Impression Material in place of traditional pads inside boots.

I wanted full protection for a day long trail ride and chose Easyboot Glue-Ons up front, and our trusty blue Gloves behind. I loved not worrying about bruised feet, or missing hoof wear!

Close-up of our Gloves after riding through the mountains of Vermont. Again, Muellers athletic tape helps keep boots in place... No booters tack box is complete without it.

In a few weeks, I am attending a clinic with out of the box thinkers (and booters) Pete VanRossum and Ernest Woodward. I'm thrilled to find more creative ways to use the tools EasyCare has to offer.

Important Things You Should Know About the ZIP

If you know anything about Glue-ons, and EasyShoes, you know how critical the hoof prep is. This is the phase that will make or break the gluing job. Even with your glue and shoes (or shells) chillin’ in a climate controlled environment, your arsenal of glue-guns and tips at the ready, and all of your tools strategically laid out, it could all be for naught if your prepped pristine hooves are compromised by dirt, oils or even horse drool. Time is money, so why risk ruining that beautiful, immaculate, perfectly prepared hoof surface? You worked hard to get it just right. Protect it!

Enter the new ZIP. (Choir of Angels)

With its easy and secure closure system, five generous sizes, and light, breathable construction, this boot is the perfect solution for protecting the fruits of your hard labor, and ensuring a flawless gluing experience.

The ZIP comes with leather pad inserts to draw moisture away from the hoof. These pads can be easily cleaned and reused time and time again. They are also replaceable.

The ZIP takes gluing to a whole new level by eliminating the need to deal with messy wraps and greatly reduces the chance of contamination. This is true especially when working against the clock in that heightened state of concentration. Timing is critical, so every second counts. 

Everyone that sees the new ZIP boot is intrigued. They often ask if the ZIP can be used for riding, turn-out, or trailering. The answer is no. This boot is specifically designed to protect the hoof from dirt and oils during pre-gluing hoof prep. It’s also great for medicating the hoof, instead of or in addition to using wraps.

The ZIP is considered a short term boot, meaning it should be on the hoof for no more than 12 hours at a time. Because the ZIP was designed with less bulk and a non-rigid construction, this boot should not be used over shoes or aggressive footing, and does not support soaking.

The tread pattern on the bottom provides a grippy secure feel on most surfaces, and provides adequate traction under normal conditions.

Cleaning the ZIP boot is easy. Simply remove the leather pad and toss it in the washing machine.  We suggest cold water and a mild detergent. Then allow it to air dry.

To clean the pad, remove it from the boot and allow the pad to dry. Use a brush to get any caked dirt off, then wipe it down with a damp cloth.

The new ZIP is a specialty boot designed and built for specific uses. When those situations present themselves, trust me, you are going to be very happy you have it.

Jean Welch

Jean Welch, EasyCare CSR

Customer Service

Originally from New England, I finally heeded the advice of my inner cowgirl, packed up my horses and moved west to Arizona. Here I learned the finer points of hoofcare and successful booting techniques. I can help you select the right EasyCare product for your specific needs. p>

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


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.



Department of Employee Services. A Well-Oiled Machine?

Merriam Webster (2015). Dictionary. Retrieved from


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

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.