I have been using composite shoes since 2005 and since then I've played with and applied every kind of composite shoe I could get my hands on. Some have been easier to use than others, and some have become a larger part of my daily work than others. There are very few problems I can’t solve for the horse with plastic shoes, some glue, nails and sometimes a bit of hoof casting.
When I heard EasyCare was coming out with a new composite shoe, I felt like a kid in a candy store. I eagerly awaited any information on it, and it couldn’t come soon enough! My chance showed up when EasyCare announced that they were looking for a host for an East Coast EasyShoe workshop. The email wasn’t open for more than five seconds when I messaged everyone I knew at EasyCare asking them to allow Daisy Haven Farm to host. Pick me! Pick me! The comment I received was "We were hoping you’d volunteer”. Success! Not only was I going to get training in the EasyShoe, but it was also coming here.
As part of the preparation for the clinic, I had the privilege to go to Durango, Colorado and get some hands on training in the EasyShoe with the EasyCare staff.
I learned how much energy and effort went into the EasyShoe’s development; quite a lot!
I was able to experiment with different application techniques, glueing with both Vettec and Equilox and also nailing. So exciting! Seems there are a lot of possibilities!
I was even fortunate enough to get sent home with a suitcase full of EasyShoes which I promptly put on every horse around me. I found the application easy and the horses are sound and happy in them so far.
A few weeks later, it was time for the EasyShoe Clinic at Daisy Haven Farm - it was a huge success! A fantastic group of participants, auditors and instructors. Each Instructor gave a demonstration of how they would apply the EasyShoe with specific glue and/or nailing techniques. We were fortunate to have Curtis Burns, Garrett Ford and Kevin Myers all here to teach us.
I also demonstrated the way I would apply the EasyShoe for rehabilitation purposes. Each instructor's application varied slightly, however, we could all see how each application method had an appropriate time an place: whether Vettec or Equilox glue, with or without nails.
After demonstrations, the participants split into groups and each instructor (myself included) took teams of eight. Everyone got to trim and prepare a cadaver foot for the EasyShoe, practice fit and shoe placement, and also glue a shoe on.
Participants also got to practice nailing the EasyShoe, either on the Blacksmith Buddy or on their cadaver feet. For those that didn't know how to nail, we did a nailing tutorial and everyone got to practice their accuracy and tool use.
Overall everyone had a lot of fun. There is so much excitement and energy around the EasyShoe! I'm excited to continue to use it and learn the best tips and tricks for successful application.