Tevis 2016: Easyboot Elite Gluing Team At Your Service

Celebrating its 61st anniversary this year, the Western States Trail Ride will take place on Saturday, July 23, 2016. As the official hoof boot of the event, Easyboot has enjoyed a long and successful presence at the world's most challenging 100-mile event. For the fifth year in a row, EasyCare will be providing gluing application services to all competitors who wish to benefit from the competitive advantage Easyboot products are known for. 

Jenni Smith and Auli Farwa, on their way to a Haggin Cup win.

To build upon the success of past years' gluing activities, EasyCare has assembled a hand-picked team of the finest hoof boot gluing professionals in the country who will be on site at the Auburn Fairgrounds applying Easyboot Glue-Ons to more than one third of the competing horses in the 2016 event. The team is made up of Daisy Bicking, Josh Bowles, Jeremy Ortega, Deanna Stoppler, Pete Van Rossum and Derick Vaughn. Each of the hoof care professionals has been chosen based on their various successes and achievements in the hoof care world, and will be provided to the Tevis competitors at no cost. Scheduled to take place over two days at the fairgrounds in Auburn California, this hoof boot application will again set the highest standards in excellence for hoof protection application at the 61st anniversary edition of the Tevis Cup.

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

  • Wednesday, July 20, 2016 Auburn Fairgrounds 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM.
  • Thursday, July 21, 2016 Auburn Fairgrounds 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM.
  • Friday, July 22, 2016 No gluing.

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

Members of the 2015 Easyboot Elite gluing team.

Easyboot Glue-Ons dominated Tevis again in 2015:

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

To book your Tevis 2016 gluing appointment, please call any of our Customer Service Representatives at 1-800-447-8836.

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 horse.

SOS May 2016-Stuck? Pro Tips for Removing Glue-Ons

We have quite a bit of content about how to glue like a rock star. Everything from hoof prep to using different materials to modifying glue-ons for any situation. We even address aesthetics in our quest for gluing perfection. By now, you probably have gluing down. Keeping the shoes and boots on is no issue-the trouble is getting those things off.

EasyCare Elite Gluer and all around great guy Pete Van Rossum of Ramona, CA helped us out with some pictures of a quick and simple method for removing glue-ons. Thanks for the great photos, Pete! 

Rasp through the cuffs and around the edges of the EasyShoe then rim or score the edge of the shoe with the edge of your rasp.

Using your pull-offs, start at the rear of the shoe and carefully roll it forward. Inching it along will ensure it's just the shoe that comes off. Go slowly. Better leave that hoof wall on the horse where it belongs.

Once the shoe or boot is off, all you need to do is clean up the remaining adhesive and cuff material with your rasp and hoof buffer.

So there you have it. One pro's method for getting unstuck without a fuss. Of course there is always more than one way to skin a cat. If you'd like to see more you might like Christoph Schork's blog about removing the Easyboot Glue-Ons or Garrett Ford's video showing two ways to remove EasyShoes.  

If you've come up with a different way that works for you we want to know about it!

Debbie Schwiebert 800-447-8836 ext. 2224 or dschwiebert@easycareinc.com

Rebecca Balboni 800-447-8836 ext. 2232 or rbalboni@easycareinc.com

Secrets of the Savvy

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

Flip Flop Suitability

The Flip Flops have been tested now in several endurance races. Absolutely no failures whatsoever! They have been working better than expected. Garrett Ford, owner and CEO of EasyCare Inc, posted on his FB page how the Flip Flops were on one of his horses hooves for over 8 weeks now and are still totally intact. On my blog from last month, Flip Flop In Action, I outlined the success I have had with them during the last few months, in training and in endurance races.  Since then, another one of Global Endurance Training Center's horses, Medinah MHF, won the Antelope Island 50 Mile Endurance event and also was awarded Best Condition, wearing the Flip Flops.

Trotting out Medinah MHF wearing Flip Flops for the BC showing.

So we now know and have proven that the Flip Flops work well. But why would we want to select a Flip Flop, and how do we choose from all the excellent EasyCare products which hoof protection to use for any particular horse? Why select a Glove over a Glue On, an EasyShoe over a boot, a Performance N/G over a Compete or a Sport, just to name a few? What criteria are we using for this selection?

To compare the suitability of all the EasyCare hoof protection products would cover too many pages to make it feasible for a single blog. So I will restrain myself to explore the suitability of the Flip Flops for today's blog.

What kind of hooves and what kind of hoof characteristics would benefit the most from the application of the Flip Flops? Before making an educated guess, let's quickly review the advantages of the Flip Flops:

- Only the dorsal part of the hoof wall will get glued. Therefore, at least half of the hoof wall is exposed to air.

- The Flip Flops come with a healthy amount of heel extension. This is supportive for the tendons.

- The Flip Flops are easier and faster to apply compared to the Glue-Ons.

Hooves that are soft and would strengthen and benefit from increased exposure to air could be good candidates. Horses with soft and long pasterns will receive additional heel support and prevent the over flexing of the pasterns and tendons.

When drawing the plum line through the center of the coffin bone, we see that the (red) plum line falls behind the heel support. Not an ideal situation. 

With the Flip Flop, the center of the canon bone is supported now. The pasterns are less likely to over flex and risk tendon injury.

Here is a different example of a hoof that could greatly benefit from a Flip Flop:

Hardly any heel growth observable here and the bulbs are almost flat with the heels. A Glue-On boot would be less favorable, while a Flip Flop will give not only support, but might also foster heel growth.

On the other side of the spectrum, let's look at this hoof and fetlock:

When drawing the plum line through the center of the canon bone, it comes out well ahead of the heel. Hooves like this, with more upright and short pasterns don't necessarily 'need' the heel support of the Flip Flops. They will do really well with Glue-Ons or Gloves or, like in this case, with EasyShoe Performance N/G.

When applying the Flip Flops, there are several options in regards to the sole. The fastest and easiest way is to just leave the sole as it is, not applying any sole glue whatsoever. I did use the Flip Flops without adding any padding, glue or other fillers to the sole. It worked very well. I never had a rock or any debris get stuck between the boot and the sole. I believe that the constant movement of the Flip Flop is helping to keep the sole clean. Furthermore, the sole is getting exposed to air and will stay hard and conditioned. Although I never had anything get stuck there, for endurance races I personally prefer to fill the bottom of the sole with some fillers, just to guard against the odd occurrence that a rock could get wedged in there and cause me some headache. I have a 'zero tolerance' policy in place for endurance rides. Nothing left to chance, I will safeguard against anything that I know could possibly happen.  I tried the Sikaflex and it worked okay, but it is a little cumbersome to deal with the Sikaflex squishing out from under the boot for a few hours and having to confine your horse for that reason. A better solution is the use of Vettec Equipak, Equipak CS or Equipak Soft. The Soft is designed for really sensitive hooves. It does not adhere quite as well to the sole compared to the other two Equipaks. For most horses, the Equipak and CS work really well. I like the Copper Sulfate added to keep the bacteria at bay. Because of the copper sulfate added,  the CS stays softer after being cured when comparing to the regular Equipak.

After the application of the Flip Flops with the Vettec Adhere, the Equipak can get injected. Most of the time you can just bend the Flip Flops back and inject the Equipak. Again, the EasyCare Educational Videos on the website show that very well. Should the space between Flip Flop and sole be too tight, one can drill a small hole into the bottom of the Flip Flop and inject the Equipak through this hole.

Below an example on how a Flip Flop will look with the Equipak CS applied to the sole.

These boots are still in place now after about four weeks of application and two endurance races.  No separation or seam breakage visible at any place. No real reason to take them off, would it not be for the fact that the hooves need trimming again soon. 

From the Bootmeister 

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center

www.globalendurance.com

 

A Tool for Everything

Submitted by Rusty Toth 

Meet Delilah, she is a 16.1 h former race horse I was introduced to to help her become sound again. She is a sweet and kind mare with some issues from less than stellar shoeing practices in her past. She has a low heel, long toe and very flat thin soles.

After a discussion with the owner, we decided to try the EasyShoe Performance. The frog stimulation, I believe, will help grow sole while getting her off the rough hard decomposed granite that is our ground in the Phoenix area. She was so tender standing on a mat she could not load one foot long enough to either directly or indirectly glue on the shoes. Poor girl gave it an honest try, but she just couldn't do it. Now what?

In trying to problem solve the situation, I remembered a blog from Christoph some time ago about modifying a shell into a shoe. Bingo! With the Adhere being so quick to set, the shell encompassing her hoof wall, she could set the bugger down quickly and with gusto, and I knew the boot would remain in place.

We truly have an excellent group of people collected with EasyCare. A quick call to Christoph to ascertain the size of hole required for the size of shell and we were off and running. I used a three and a half inch hole in a size #2 Glue-On shell. She needed the support of the base and frog.

Knowing how sore she was, I did not apply any glue to the sole surface, and applied Adhere to the wall of the shell only. Using a duct tape damn, I applied Vettec Soft to make her immediately comfortable. Knowing this product has zero sticking quality we will remove the packing in two weeks time to allow the sole to breath.

The owner reported the next day that Delilah was walking sound, landing flat and even heel first for the first time in a long time.  Problem solving at its best. I am grateful to be part of such an incredible team of people collected, using amazing products with an infinite ability to be used to solve any problem. Thank you EasyCare.

 

EasyCare Boots Bring Us Together

Submitted by Leah Cain, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

Have you ever thought about how boots have brought us all closer together?  I am talking about the human and the equine kind. Getting hands on with your horses hooves and the protection of them can make for a whole other level of intimacy.  From their exercise programs to their diet, to their trims and watching them move every time you are with them.  It is so exciting to see horses change for the better and see their owners take great pride in being a part of the positive change.  I have had the pleasure of helping many navigate the world of booting but the most recent boot inductees have been especially exciting.  

The most recent was a gelding whom had been neglected for quite some time.  The horse rescue never thought he would be able to be put to any real work.  He had hooves that didn't grow much, with thin hoof walls and every kind of distortion you could think of.  He was very short-strided and looked ouchy just about everywhere.  With a good trim, good fitting boots and an exercise program in place, he was making progress.  I was able to get a real, normal trim done on him today and his hooves are growing and coming back to what they should be.  His owner has high hopes of getting out to do some endurance and I am positive she will get them there!  They did the Intro Ride at the Antelope Island Endurance ride and with just a little more conditioning time, they will be out there!

The next new booter came with trepidation about being able to do boots on her own and if she was protecting them enough.  She has learned how to apply the boots in no time flat and has got down the taping technique too.  She has been able to get out in all types of terrain and conditions and learn as we go.  She too has taken charge of her horses whole body health which includes hooves.  She did the Intro ride as well and then went on to do the LD at Antelope Island.   Next we play with glue-on boots, glue-on hybrids and shoes!

Oh yeah, and they want me to mention that they are old and could be my Mother, so no excuses!  Get out there and make a difference in your horses life for the better! 

Sikaflex in My Sole

Submitted by Karen Neuenschwander, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

When something is working for me, I tend to want to stick with it. For most of last year's ride season, Gloves with power straps got my mare, Brooke, through many a mile with no problems. This year, I decided it was time to play with some new skills in order have more "tools in the toolbox," so to speak. I have wanted to try the "sik method" of gluing for awhile, and our first ride of the season seemed like a good time to experiment. Leatherwood is a challenging mountain ride that would adequately test the boots, but with decent footing and all vet checks looping back into camp in case of any boot losses.

My plan was to use a set of boots that were worn but still had plenty of tread, the kind I would normally relegate to conditioning rides while using newer boots for races. Unfortunately, my procrastinating nature got the best of me, and as ride day approached, it became clear that my new Gloves would not be ready in time. Time for plan B!

With a tube of Sikaflex still begging to be used, I decided to try out another method I'd seen in a video with Kevin Myers a few years ago. By applying the Sikaflex to the sole of the hoof, I'd get some extra concussion absorption and sticking power to keep the boot in place. Additionally, I could leave the gaiters on so that the boots could be used again without having to detach and then re-attach the gaiters.
 
Brooke happily munching away while I use her as a guinea pig.
 
I cleaned each hoof thoroughly with a wire brush, then applied the Sikaflex directly to the sole where there was concavity. Next, I smoothed the glue with a popsicle stick so that there wasn't a lot of excess to squish out the back of the boot. Then I applied the boot as I normally would, tapping it in place with my rubber mallet and fastening the gaiter. The video had the top of the hoof wrapped with athletic tape, but my boots had Power Straps, so I skipped the tape. That's it! I left Brooke on her overhead tie at the trailer, peeking at the boots before bed to make sure nothing had twisted, and allowed the Sikaflex to set up overnight.
 
 
The boots performed beautifully, going up and down 50 tough miles of mountains and through mud and water crossings the next day. Brooke's vet scores were all A's, and she looked great at the finish.
I learned a couple of important lessons when it came time to remove the boots. After some prying and maybe a few bad words, I discovered that the boots come off much more easily without the Powerstraps attached. I also found that I probably overdid the glue in a couple of the boots. However, it was fairly easy to remove leftover glue from the inside of the boots, leaving them ready for the next ride. 
 
One boot after removal with some glue still attached.
 
I would definitely consider using this method in the future, especially on muddier boot-sucking rides or rides with a lot of hard footing where some extra concussion absorption is helpful. It's great to have so many different ways to use my Gloves!

Flip Flops In Action

It has only been a few weeks now since the Flip Flops were released to the horse world. At the AERC Convention last month in Reno, the Flip Flops were the center of attention with the trade show visitors. Lots of questions were asked and lots of answers given by Garrett Ford, Kevin Myers and myself at the EasyCare booth.  During my last month's blog, EasyCare and AERC, I described the usage and application methods of the new Flip Flops. The EasyCare website also has a great educational video on how to apply the Flip Flops to the horses hooves. You can click on the link to watch it. It is over 18 minutes long, but very worthwhile watching. And it is much more detailed and better than I could ever describe it to you here. Therefore I will not describe the application method, but rather give you a report on how the Flip Flops performed in the field test.

A new Flip Flop, ready to be applied.

Flip Flops applied, ready for action.

Everyone is always interested to know how they wear and what kind of experience we had with them in real life, like equestrian events, trail riding or endurance racing. Garrett Ford had used them in some 50 milers last year, then this spring, I had the opportunity to apply them on two of GETC's endurance horses, Medinah MHF and GE Seastar. I competed over 200 miles in them, two 50 Mile races on each horse. The images below show the  Flip Flops that have been on the horses hooves now for over four weeks.

These are a few aspects of the Flip Flops, applied to GE Seastar, after completing two 50 mile endurance races, one at 20 Mule Team in California, the second one at the Old Pueblo in Arizona. These Flip Flops have now been applied for 4 weeks. Notice how well the borders are still intact. There is no separation of the seams whatsoever.

Now, I could leave these boots on for another two or three weeks and enter the Antelope Island 50 in a couple of weeks. But it is spring time, the horses hooves grow very fast and the hooves are growing faster  already anyway when using EasyCare products, be it the EasyShoes or the boots that are permanently attached, like the Glue-Ons or these Flip Flops. Through the constant stimulation of frog and sole, hoof growth is accelerated. That is a good thing. So, I decided to pull them already now and apply new ones for the new events in the future.

The wear of the soles of the boots is very minimal, just like we are accustomed to from all the other EasyCare boots and shoes. The trails on both races were a mixture of sand, gravel roads and rocks, so relatively abrasive.

I'm very happy with the wear of these soles. Are you?

The EasyCare Flip Flops are designed to also be used with the Therapy Click System.

The Flip Flop (with the Therapy Click System) and a Glue-On displayed together at the AERC Convention Trade Show.

At some point in the future we will discuss this system as well. It has worked very well for rehabbing foundered horses.

A couple of pointers for the application that might come in useful when you are applying the Flip Flop for the first time. As mentioned above, take the time to learn about the application method by watching Garrett Ford's video. Then, when placing the FlipFlop with the glue applied onto the hoof, hold it for a few seconds before placing it gently onto the ground. It helps if the tip of the hoof is placed onto the ground first so the dorsal hoof wall stays well inside the boot. Because there is no rear support, with some horses the hoof might slide backwards out of the shell. Also, because the hoof is only surrounded by the shell in the dorsal half, the horse can twist the hoof much easier inside the boot and loose the alignment. Keep the horse's leg very quiet till the glue sets and avoid any kind of twisting.

So, what is next on the agenda for me? I now want to enter a 100 miler with them and see what results I might get then. I will keep you all posted.

These Flip Flops are really growing on me. I have always been a great fan of the Glue-Ons, but I just might have to move the Flip Flops to the top of the list.

 

From the desk of the Bootmeister:

Christoph Schork

Member TE 2016

Global Endurance Training Center

PHCP Conference 2016: Packed Full of Gold

Several months ago I saw an event post on Facebook regarding the 2016 Pacific Hoof Care Practitioners Conference in San Diego, CA. When the event information came across my news feed, I felt compelled to attend. The lineup of speakers looked phenomenal featuring Dr. Deb Taylor, Dr. Hilary Clayton, nutritionist Carol Layton, Garrett Ford of EasyCare, and more.  The venue was set to be top notch, in sunny San Diego and located in large part at the beautiful Arroyo Del Mar, training facility of Shannon and Steffen Peters.  

Top that off with the opportunity to visit with friends and colleagues, this conference was too good to pass up.

This educational event was a hoof care provider's dream. I was incredibly impressed with how smoothly the conference ran, and how lovely San Diego is this time of year.

I was also impressed with the diversity of attendees. Veterinarians, barefoot trimmers, farriers, body workers and more. The information presented was diverse in subject matter, and valuable not only for my own personal knowledge, but also gave me a broader understanding on several topics that will directly help me help my clients' horses as well. Here are a few of the gold nuggets I took home.

Among many wonderful topics, Dr. Deb Taylor discussed negative palmar P3 angles and brought with her 3D-printed digital cushions. Note the difference between the digital cushion on the left, lacking mass and substance, and the digital cushion on the right, which is more robust. It was a fantastic way to fully visualize how important the mass of the digital cushion is to the foot of the horse. If my horse's foot had the digital cushion of the model on the left I'd have a lot to worry about. A robust digital cushion is critical to a healthy palmar P3 angle and straight hoof pastern axis.

Dr. Hilary Clayton discussed several interesting topics, one of which was "Biomechanics of the Hoof-Ground Interaction". There were two statements she made that stood out to me in particular.

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

This statement brings home the importance of a balanced trim and how a thorough understanding of anatomy and locomotion for the hoof care provider is critical to the health and soundness of the horse. 

'The Distal Interphalangeal Joint is largely responsible for accommodating irregularities in terrain or farriery but not day after day, step after step'. Dr. Hillary Clayton, PHCP Conference 2016. 

This statement by Dr. Clayton highlights our responsibility as hoof care providers to respect the living tissue of the horse, and to remember how our work significantly impacts not only the soundness of our animals today, but long into the future.

Garrett Ford's demonstration of some of the latest and greatest glue-on composite shoe options for horses was enlightening. Any one of us can take a boot or shoe and apply it with success to the foot, but the benefit of watching an expert like Garrett apply a specific product can take a good application by any one of us and make it great. It's the small details that make the difference. I appreciated watching his shoe selection when applying the new Flip Flop, especially how he adjusted the back of the shoe for appropriate fit with a buffy. It was also helpful to watch how he applied the Glu-U Shufill packing to the front half of the foot, leaving the back half open so dirt and debris wouldn't get under the front of the shoe, but could still easily fall out of the back.  

Carol Layton discussed nutrition for the horse and diet, especially as it relates to Insulin Resistance and PPID.  

'Horses are designed to be trickle feeders, the worst thing we can do is feed them sporadically' Carol Layton, PHCP Conference 2016.

She showed us photos and video of the micro-organisms with their anatomical parts, searching and eating, living their life in the horse's gut. It was fascinating, and highlighted the importance of having the right micro-organisms in the digestive tract of the horse. Especially as it relates to the insulin resistant horse being on a "diet". Commonly, these horses are on calorie-restricted diets, which means they don't eat all day long. She emphasized the importance of using an appropriately low ESC + starch forage fed at a rate of 1.5% of the horse's body weight per day in a slow feeder net so they nibble constantly. 

There are too many gold nuggets of information to highlight them all here. I encourage you to consider attending the next PHCP Conference in 2018. 

www.DaisyHavenFarm.com
www.IntegrativeHoofSchool.com

That's My Story and I'm Stickin' To It: The Learning Curve

Submitted by David Landreville

That's My Story by Collin Raye was a popular song in the 90's. I don't know how many times back then I would hear someone finish their sentence with the line, "That's my story and I'm stickin' to it." I feel sorry for Collin Raye as I'm sure he never escaped his fans shouting this line at him. What I find interesting though, is how a hit country song aimed at self deprecating humor quickly became a national anthem that seemed to "stick." This method of "tweaking the truth" has become very prevalent in our society and has become an every day part of my personal experience with horse people: Veterinarians, farrier/trimmers, trainers, and horse owners. It's easy to judge the success of a concept, or product, by your own experience, but not very productive to just stop there. Here's a self deprecating story about my learning curve with EasyShoes.

I've spent many years developing a predictably successful trimming protocol. The trouble is that success is like money, and it seems that you can never have enough. When the EasyShoe first came out, I have to admit, my first thought was negative because it looked too much like the demon I'd been fighting for years. A funny thing happened, though. Over time, the closer I looked at it, the more interested I became until I was modifying Glue-On shells to mimic the design (because they weren't available to the public yet). I started gluing them on my own horses and immediately had some positive results. They improved the movement and the integrity of the soft tissue in the back of their feet.  I was excited about this and couldn't wait for the EasyShoe to become available. As usual, when trying something new, there will be a learning curve. My problem was being able to make them last for a full trim cycle. I was getting anywhere from a day to a month. I still saw hoof improvement as long as they would stay in place. I was afraid that I wouldn't be very successful using them on my client's horses if I couldn't reasonably predict how long they would stay on.

After a few brave souls offered to be experiments, I slowly broadened my experience and learned to improve my success rate. I achieved good changes in the hoof but only moderate success with them staying on the feet. To be honest, it was very close to a matter of doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Something finally changed but it wasn't for the better. A new client asked me if I would apply them to her horse as she was going on a 50 mile endurance ride in the upcoming weekend. She seemed thrilled at the chance to be getting to try this new product. After applying them she took photos and proudly posted them on Facebook. One of the comments read, "not enough glue"... from Garrett Ford. A nagging feeling crept in and I couldn't get rid of the sense of foreboding. I was terrified that they were going to come off during her ride. My internal dialogue took over from there. I couldn't wait until the weekend was over. I called her on Monday hoping to hear that she had a great time and all my fears were over nothing. Instead, they were confirmed. She had a horrible ride, losing all but one shoe by the forty mile mark. She had no way to remove the last shoe and for fear of hurting her horse she got off and walked him to the finish line. I'm sure my name came up more than once in that stretch of the trail. I apologized but wasn't sure that would be enough.

After a futile attempt at justifying the failure with rationalizations such as, "these shoes just don't work on a well trimmed hoof" and "if the horse had better conformation there wouldn't have been so much torque on the shoe", but I knew other people were having more success than I was. I decided to reply to Garrett's comment, "I would appreciate any tips that you might have." Garrett graciously offered to show me first hand the protocol that he had developed for predictable adhesion (the same protocol that is available on the EasyCare website). After spending a day gluing shoes on his horses, I realized that what he was showing me and what I had been doing were a universe apart. Garrett advised me that, if you don't develop a strict protocol, you'll never be able to look back and see why you were successful or where you failed. This made perfect sense to me because I felt the same way about trimming. I'm grateful for the lesson and now I am very proud of my shoeing results. As a matter of fact, I've had to develop my own protocol to remove them in a timely fashion. If you're not having good results with something that other people are, you may just be the variable.

Well, that's my story and I'm sticking' to it...for now.

A Rookie Went Gluing: Flippin' Success with the Flip Flop

Spring is finally here and that means a lot less snow and ice, more hours in the saddle, sunny weather, long days, cold drinks, sun burns and flip flops. All my life people have been telling me flip flops and horses do not mix, finally they are wrong.  They may have been talking about me wearing flip flops around my horses but that is a moot point, flip flops and horses DO mix. 

As you all know we just recently released the new Easyboot Flip Flop, if you didn’t know this you are really missing out, or living under a rock. Since we have released the Flip Flop I have been dying to give them a try on my horse but the weather had been delaying me from doing so. When the weather started making a change to spring I got all of my supplies ready, let all my cohorts know I was going to be gluing and made a plan to glue on a Saturday. Well, Saturday turned into Sunday and everyone I had invited to help me glue had spring fever and other things they wanted to on the beautiful spring day. Heck, I don’t blame them, I would of ditched me too. 
I will admit, I was slightly worried  freaking out about gluing on my own. Remember our past blog as to how we were unsure who the hot dog was and who was the bun? Ya, we are still not positive, I think I may be the hotdog, as I was quite uneasy about gluing without my security blanket, AKA the bun. I was determined that if I took my time and was very prepared, I would be just fine gluing solo. The weather was perfect for gluing, not too hot, not too cold, the sun was shining and there was only a slight breeze. 

So the gluing process began, well actually it started the day before when I added four quick studs to each Flip Flop. The horse I was gluing these on I use for barrel racing but we do very little to no arena riding. I will be using the Flip Flop to get her fit this spring and wanted a little added traction when I’m out riding, I typically ride her on single track trails and grass at a long trot.

That morning I started out by giving her a fresh trim and cleaning up the hoof with my hoof pick wire brush, then I put the Flip Flops on each foot and marked where I would need to trim them down. I also made sure they were marked left and right since the lengths were slightly different. I then turned her back out, as I was going to take my sweet time making sure the Flip Flop was trimmed correctly and I had all my supplies out before I brought her back up. She and I were both going to need a full tank of patience to make this a success.

I do not own a set of nippers or a power saw so I had to be creative with trimming down the heel of the Flip Flop. I left the plastic bag on the cuff of the Flip Flop to make sure I did not compromise my gluing surface, I then placed a wooden block on the base of the Flip Flop along the line that I needed to cut and secured it with a clamp to the work bench. Using a hand saw I cut along the line I had drawn. The Flip Flop cut very easily once I got it started, I did not even need to clean up the edges. If you wanted to, you could use the fine side of your rasp or a piece of sand paper to smooth everything out.

The thing I liked best about the Flip Flop is that I could do a lot of the hoof prep on the ground. My horse does not mind the Buffy, wire brush or the rasp but the open flame we are still working on. She likes to pull back especially when you have her foot up on a hoof jack, so the more I can leave all four feet on the ground. the safer it is for all parties involved.

Once I had the hoof wall prepped, I cleaned up her sole with my wire brush and also used the torch to make sure it was dry. I then put a Zip on her, which is not necessary, but since I was taking my time and there was a breeze I didn’t want to have to worry about contaminating the hoof with any dust.

I was now ready to actually glue the Flip Flops. I gathered everything up so it was arm’s length from my horse: my glue, the Flip Flop and also my rubber mallet. I put on my rubber gloves, got my Adhere ready, put the tip on, purged a little and then grabbed my Flip Flop.

Applying the glue evenly, only to the upper part of the cuff, I picked up her foot, removed the Zip and slipped on the Flip Flop. One thing I did add to my process was that I tapped the toe of the Flip Flop with my rubber mallet, this is not a make it or break it step, but it did make me more confident that her toe was to the front of the shell. I then placed her foot down, toe first and ran a bead of Adhere around the top of the cuff. I did this all without switching tips on my Adhere, this is a huge deal considering the first few times I glued I would run though at least two tips before I could even get a shoe or boot glued on the horse. I did one full foot at a time, I prepped and glued and then move to the next foot. Once I was done with the second foot, the first was set up and ready to be cleaned up. It is nice that the Adhere sets quickly and there is virtually no down time.

Once I was finished cleaning them up with the buffy, I added EquiPak Soft for my pour in pad. (Side note we do not recommend using Sikaflex as a pad, unless you want to stand with your horse for the next 12 hours so it can set.) Once the EquiPak was set I finished them off with some Super Glue, and bam, we were ready to go. I let her stand tied for about an hour and then took her on a long ride. We crossed water, went through sticky mud, over rocks, sticks, sand and down the paved road. I am lucky enough that where I live I can pretty much cover any terrain I might like right out my door.

I knew I would like the Flip Flop, but I did not realize how much. The Flip Flop was extremely easy to glue without any assistance. It actually made me feel like an old pro, I didn’t glue myself to anything my horse wasn’t covered in black Adhere and I didn’t feel like drinking a pitcher of margaritas after. Really, the part that I valued the most was how comfortable and well my horse moved with these on. I firmly believe in every single one of our products and love them all in their own way. It may be that I have spring fever, but the Flip Flop is certainty my new favorite.