EasyShoe Clinic Provides Hands-On Learning

Last month, I had the privilege of attending an EasyShoe Clinic at Arroyo Del Mar, an outstanding facility in Southern California run by Steffen and Shannon Peters. Shannon was a gracious host and has her own personal experience with the EasyShoe, as Garrett Ford discussed in his last blog, Why Do We Do This? For Successes Like Squishy's!. The level of expertise at this clinic was quite phenomenal. Daisy Bicking of Daisy Haven Farm led the clinic along with Garrett, Ernest Woodward and Paige Poss of Anatomy of the Equine. The clinic kicked off on Friday evening with a presentation by Garrett and Daisy. After that, Paige performed dissections on two different hooves. It was very interesting to see the differences in the various structures of the hooves.

Garrett and Daisy begin the clinic with a presentation.

On Saturday, we began the hands-on portion of the clinic by first selecting a cadaver hoof. Next Daisy discussed her preferred technique of hoof mapping and we marked our hooves accordingly. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and although I have experience trimming my own horses I am definitely not a trimmer. I won't go into too much detail so if you would like to learn more about hoof mapping and EasyShoe application, attending one of Daisy's clinics is a must!

Untrimmed hoof before and after mapping.

We had the opportunity to take "before" x-rays and then we went to work trimming our cadavers. I was one of the last people to select a cadaver and the "more interesting" aka challenging hooves were selected by the trimmers and farriers in attendance. I was glad to have a hoof that was straight forward since I do not have any experience trimming pathological hooves. After trimming, we took our "after" x-rays before we prepared them for gluing.

X-rays before (left) and after (right) trimming.

The most important key to success with the EasyShoe is a thorough preparation. If you want your shoes to stay on, please do not rush the prep! The video below shows the steps necessary in a proper preparation.

On Saturday afternoon there were demonstrations on live horses. We saw the application of the EasyShoe Performance with Vettec Adhere and EasyShoe Bond and an application of the EasyShoe Performance N/G. The presenters did a great job of explaining the steps in their application and they were happy to answer questions.

Sunday was glue day - it was time to put all of this newly acquired knowledge to the test. Participants were allowed to choose which glue they wanted to practice with and were then divided into their respective groups (Vettec Adhere, EasyShoe Bond using the dispensing gun, EasyShoe bond mixed in a cup with copper sulfate). I have a small amount of experience with Vettec so I chose the EasyShoe bond/copper sulfate group. Once in our groups, we were allowed to practice one at a time under the guidance of our instructor. My group was led by Ernest Woodward; he was a wonderful teacher and I have a deep respect for his knowledge and patient nature. My application is definitely a novice effort but the experience was very insightful.

Solar view of my trimmed cadaver (left) and EasyShoe application (right).

Lateral view of my untrimmed cadaver (left), trimmed cadaver (center) and EasyShoe application (right).

The next EasyShoe clinic is less than a month away and will be held south of Charlotte, NC at the Anne Springs Close Greenway. We have participant and auditor positions available however space is limited so we encourage you to register ASAP if you want to attend. For the full clinic agenda click here: EasyShoe Clinics. To register click here: EasyShoe Clinic Registration.
 

Alayna Wiley

Alayna Wiley, Marketing and Sales

Marketing and Sales

I assist the marketing and sales departments at EasyCare with a special interest in hoof care practitioner and veterinarian dealer accounts. My horses have been barefoot and booted since 2003.

April 2014: Rachel Rezos

As most of the United States patiently awaits Spring, EasyCare dealers out West are starting to enjoying “hair in the air weather” brought on by longer days and warmer temps. EasyCare’s April 2014 Dealer of the Month lands us in a sunny state with our spotlight shining brightly on hoof care practitioner Rachel Rezos of Martinez, CA. Rachel joined EasyCare's dealer network in April of 2010 making this her fourth year anniversary as a mover and shaker with EasyCare.

Rachel’s story is a familiar one. Her interest was piqued in 2007 by trimmer and EasyCare dealer Marylynne Nicholson. Through their interaction Rachel became interested in the trade. Yet another example that mentoring  matters, Rachel is grateful to Marylynne for giving her a career that she loves. "Mary invited me to join her on her rounds and I apprenticed with her for two years. These days I am trimming about 170 horses. Sometimes I think perhaps it's time to stop taking new clients but I admit I'm just not good at saying 'no'. I simply love to help people and horses."

An EasyCare dealership has helped Rachel to provide options for her clients and make barefoot living easy on the horse and their humans. Rachel currently stocks the most popular sizes in the Glove and Epic and says the Glove is a customer favorite. As for Rachel, if she had to choose, the Glove takes all. She is excited about the new EasyShoe line and believes this is a great new tool for achieving healthier hooves. Rachel feels this product will have an especially strong appeal to those that understand the drawbacks of fixed metal shoeing but are unable to go without twenty-four hour protection.

Rachel is truly passionate about helping problem hooves improve and particularly enjoys connecting with troubled horses. She says, “I get a charge out of the 'conversation' that I have with them as I do my work. Many of them lift their feet with only a look or gentle stoke down their leg. I challenge myself to see how soft I can ask and have them respond and I feel their appreciation." She recalls watching a 20 year old Quarter Horse with navicular stride out and land heel first in his Epics with Comfort Pads. The horse had been landing toe first in steel shoes but after two strides in the boots and pads he relaxed and totally changed gait, moving properly most likely for the first time in years.

Horses dominate Rachel’s life as they are both her livelihood and favorite hobby. She loves natural horsemanship, attending clinics as often as possible and is passionate about connecting and communicating with horses. When Rachel can drag herself away from horses she spends time with her husband enjoying comedy, sci-fi, cooking and enjoying great food. Rachel currently owns a draft cross, PMU gelding and Azteca mare. She loves to hit the trails whenever possible and is currently a member of the Pacific Hoof Care Practitioners.

The foundation of Rachel's success are these key concepts: listening closely to both the animals and their guardians, the love of learning and patience. Words of wisdom indeed!

Holly Jonsson - EasyCare's New Director of Sales

It's official! We've hired a new Director of Sales and she's already hard at work. Originally from the Bay Area in California, Holly spent the last four years based in Austin, Texas, where she held the position of VP, International Sales, at Natural Vitality LLC. As the lead team member for all sales of the EasyCare product line, Holly is responsible for planning and implementation of all national and international sales activities from EasyCare’s Durango, Colorado location. 

Holly on her first 30K run.

Holly brings with her more than eight years of international sales experience from a supplement and vitamin company whose revenues grew by 80% while she was there. She has also demonstrated extensive and impressive results in training and project management in the international manufacturing and distribution field. 

After a ride in the San Juan mountains near Durango, Colorado.

Holly is no stranger to the equine world. She has completed more than 3,000 miles in official endurance horse competitions, and has owned and trained a variety of horses, from a 9 hand mini to a 19 hand Shire horse, including three stallions. As a barefoot running enthusiast, Holly has completed 10K runs, five half marathons, five 30K ultra runs and one 50K run. She has summited Half Dome in Yosemite National Park no less than eight times. 

Holly’s infectious motivation combined with her communication and training skills, makes her the perfect candidate to lead the EasyCare sales team into the most important chapter in the evolution of EasyCare. The launch of the four EasyShoe models last month have exploded the scope of EasyCare’s customer segment reach. 

EasyCare is not only the most prolific horse hoof boot manufacturer in the world: it now offers a unique new product that bridges the benefits of barefoot and booted system with the ease of permanent device that can be glued or nailed onto the hoof and left for the entire trimming cycle.

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.

"Horse Crazy" Infects 10 Out of 10 People Exposed to Horses

Hello! My name is Holly Jonsson. I have huge shoes (or boots, I should say) to fill as the newly appointed Director of Sales at EasyCare. While I come from a background in international sales, domestic sales, training, R&D, quality control and everything in between, I am first and foremost a horse lover. It doesn't matter the breed, the discipline, the size of horse, or the country your horse is in: I love them all. For me, it started very young...and it has made me happy ever since.

I had a 9hh mini stallion that I would take jogging in my neighborhood. He hung out with my Weimaraner and I would often come home to find them both passed out on the cold tile floor in the room adjoining the back yard. My little stallion taught all my dogs that apple slices were worth begging for.

While I had ridden a little over 3,000 miles in endurance and even more on trails, for the first time I had to rethink shoeing my "horse". Who made shoes that tiny? I figured leaving him barefoot wasn't that "bad" because he didn't weigh as much as a normal horse, so probably wouldn't hurt his feet with no protection. Little did I know.

Queue my largest horse, a 19.2h Shire rescue.

For the first time in my life, I had a horse that weighed a literal ton and feet the size of frying pans. When I first went to "try him out" I saw his feet were a mess. "Of course they were! He had no shoes on!" But seeing as he was happy and sound and his feet needed loving, I held off on shoeing him. In my mind, I invented excuse #2, "If you aren't riding them much, you probably don't need shoes." I thought I was being cheap. Little did I know I was doing the right thing. He was the first to show me that, regardless of size of horse, they were happier barefoot.

In fact, it wasn't until I had seven horses and the cost of shoeing was a bit too much did I take a step back and try to confront feet. I knew of no horse owners who tended to their own feet and felt like a foreigner. I was lucky to have a familial mentor who showed me the basics of mapping a hoof and lent me a book by Pete Ramey. I was hooked.

I trimmed nearly as often as I cleaned out hooves. It became second nature to just tidy up feet. While my horses were in decent sized turn-outs, I knew that they needed a bit of assistance with light rasping, especially for my girls that weren't being ridden.

When I got Emmitt, a 2 year old halter show filly, they advised me that she really "sparkled" with the right help. That "right help" being a 5 quart bucket of Diet Coke and a large bag of Doritos. She was like flying a kite on a string. I figured I already had my hands full with her, so why not bite the bullet and be her trimmer too? I quickly found how happy a horse could be, once their toes (and diet!) were happy.

She taught me so much in her behavior and with her feet (all four were different: who'da guessed!?) that I knew I would never go back. She was the most happy and easy-going horse I've owned and she was never shod with steel shoes a day in her life.

Along my path I accumulated three PMU foals, a Friesian stallion, a Gypsy stallion, more Arabs than you could shake a stick at and several Gypsy mares and crosses. I currently have my first ever Quarter Horse! I am very passionate about the happiness of the horse and it is abundantly clear to me that happy feet are the start of it. I've seen so many different feet, shapes, and health conditions that affected the hooves. 

Whether you are jumping, doing dressage, doing gymkhana, endurance or simply enjoying your horse on nature trails as a team, I will strive to keep you and your horse in partnership and happy. As Winston Churchill said, "There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man." While I know not everyone can have a horse, it doesn't keep me from thinking everyone should. Just as there is a hoof for every horse, there are a number of great hoof function, performance and protection products that I am now very happy to be partnered up with.

To a great 2014! Kiss your horse, get muddy with your pony and, if you don't have horse hair on your clothes; the happiest part of your day is yet to come.
 

Holly Jonsson

easycare-sales-director-holly-jonsson

Director of Sales

Through a lifetime of "horse crazy" and the fortunate experience of riding nearly every shape and size of horse, I got to see a wide array of hoof shapes and sizes. No Hoof, No Horse is very true to me. I want to ensure that horses on every continent have a variety of footwear to pick from, to ensure the best match is found. I want your partner to be happy from the ground up!

The Slickest EasyShoe Application Contest

Do you have the best EasyShoe application? Enter The Slickest EasyShoe Application Contest to win cash prizes! 

Submit photos showing four views of an EasyShoe application. The required views are a solar view and a lateral view, taken after the hoof has been trimmed and prepared for the EasyShoe application. Also, a lateral and a dorsal view after the EasyShoe has been applied. You may enter the Glue Application Category or the Nail Application Category. Three winners will be selected in each category with the following prize amounts: 1st place - $500; 2nd place - $350; 3rd place - $100. 

All entries must be submitted by May 16, 2014. Winners will be selected May 26, 2014. To enter the contest click here: The Slickest EasyShoe Application Contest.

The pictures below show the views that are necessary for the contest. When taking pictures please remember to:

  • take photos on a clean and flat surface.
  • take photos in natural light, shaded areas are preferable to full sun.
  • take the dorsal and lateral views from the ground level.
  • take the solar view with the camera parallel to the sole (do not tilt the hoof).
  • label your photos by foot and view (for example "RF lateral" for "right front lateral").

Solar view of trimmed and prepared hoof.

Lateral view of trimmed and prepared hoof.

Lateral view of finished EasyShoe application.

Dorsal view of finished EasyShoe application.

If you have any questions please give us a call at 1.800.447.8836 and we will be happy to assist you.
 

Alayna Wiley

Alayna Wiley, Marketing and Sales

Marketing and Sales

I assist the marketing and sales departments at EasyCare with a special interest in hoof care practitioner and veterinarian dealer accounts. My horses have been barefoot and booted since 2003.

Mustangs Need Hoof Boots?

Not all mustangs need hoof boots, but they do if they compete in endurance. Here is a picture of my seven year old mustang mare, Amazing Grace. She is from Nevada and while she ran free, there's no doubt her hooves were as hard as rocks. But now that she's living in the mountains of North Carolina, she needs a little help from me. Because I trim my own feet and believe in the natural hoof, I use Easyboot Gloves. She has a wide foot, so I ordered the Fit Kit to be sure I ended up with the correct size. Here we are at our first LD ride at the Biltmore in Asheville, NC. She did really well, and the best part was that the boots fit well and stayed on the entire ride, even through mud and water. Plus I love that they come in blue, which happens to be our color! Thanks EasyCare for making a great boot!


Name: Elise Rogers
City: Columbus, NC USA
Equine Discipline: Endurance
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove

Four Months of EasyShoes

Is everyone sick of hearing about the EasyShoe from me yet? If so, I apologize, but the EasyShoe has truly been a game-changer for myself and this particular horse. I don't believe it's a one-size-fits-all miracle, but for my situation, it has bridged the gap between barefoot/shod and sore/sound. In the past few months, while the product has been prepared for launch, there has been much ado. There has been criticism, judgment and some nasty words. I chalk the nastiness up to misdirected passion, from people who believe so strongly in keeping horses barefoot and as natural as possible. I truly believe the naysayers feel any form of semi-permanent hoof protection is a sure demise in the integrity of the bare hoof. They say any horse can be "fixed," with a better, more competent trimmer, a more natural environment, a lower sugar diet, more exercise, less civilization, magical lotions, potions and more. In reality, most of us ride the horse we have. We do the best at providing the horse with good, if not superior-to-most hoof care, we make improvements to living conditions, we consult other trimmers, friends, veterinarians. We stuff slow-feeder hay nets, feed three times the amount of grass hay when we could be feeding much less alfalfa and diligently read and learn all that we can. Yet, sometimes, our horse fails to read the book, and doesn't thrive the way we think they ought to. 

The EasyShoe has added a piece to the puzzle for this particular horse. My horse, Topper. He has spent the last four months in EasyShoes, and every time I think it's as good as it's going to get, he gives me more. In some ways, I feel awful for not recognizing that he truly needed more support. In others, I am just thankful for doing the best I could, and even more thankful for having a better option for him at this time. I'll be the first one to admit that keeping a horse in shoes is not absolutely ideal, however, I think the EasyShoe is going to be an amazing tool for a lot of horses, in a lot of different situations. 

Four weeks in this set of EasyShoes, applied by yours truly. 

At four weeks on the second set of EasyShoes, I am about where I was at this point on the first set applied by Christoph. I feel a little itchy to get my hands on Topper's feet and give him a good trim. The hoof capsule is getting a bit long and his ever-running-forward-toes could be shorter. Is this the end of the world? I sure don't think so. And if you did, you could easily remove this set, trim the foot and re-apply a new set, or, remove the shoes, lightly trim and let the horse spend a period of time barefoot. Either way, Topper has grown some foot, still has his hoof wall in-tact due to the lack of nail-holes and is very, very sound. He has been able to gallop, trot and play over the rock-hard frozen ground, while the other horses have cautiously moved about. I haven't observed him appearing to have less traction than the rest and he hasn't gotten the nasty snow-balls like the rest of them. Winning! 

Observing the beginning of the Great Spread, on both the left and right front. His hind feet are bare, and don't appear to bother him at all. 

After a month of frozen ground that was literally as hard as concrete, we have been blessed with a tropical heat wave of above-freezing temps, which, while delightful to the body, has given us standing water, mud and slop. I'll admit it, I haven't actually cleaned out Topper's feet more than a few times in the past month, but upon closer inspection tonight, they don't appear to be holding up too badly. For those who have asked about how the glue holds in wet conditions, my preliminary opinion is GOOD! Despite standing in wet for the past week, and maintaining a pretty solid work schedule for the last month, the Adhere bond is solid and the EasyShoe shows no sign of detachment. After cleaning out his feet, I sprayed a bit of copper sulfate product in the opening as a precaution. From what I can see of the sole, his feet appear no different than my other barefoot horses. And, just like last time, the EasyShoe is moving with Topper's hoof as it grows, spreading at the heels, a feature that I believe is the ticket for horses who require long-term hoof protection. No contracted heels here! 

Happy Topper, playing in the snow without a care in the world. 

My opinion on the EasyShoe has surpassed my expectations. I found the application totally doable and have been thrilled with my horse's progress. Will I put them on all of my horses? No, but I sure like knowing they are available if needed. I have been blessed with horses who handle being barefoot and competing booted very well, but I'm not about to make any blanket statements about never putting "shoes" on any of my horses. I am so excited for the EasyShoe to hit the shelves next month! Just think of all the horses that may be helped! Thank you, Garrett, for continuing the think outside the box and standing up against the naysayers. It takes people like you to give us more and more options. Cheers to the EasyShoe - may the Year of the Horse be rockin'! 

Mariah, Your Equinista

Making the transition from maintaining the traditionally shod horse to a holistic, barefoot/booted one may seem like a leap of faith for the common horse owner. The practice of natural horse care is immense and uncustomary, even though it has been applied for over 30 years. I am a recent recruit to the “barefoot movement” and have been madly absorbed in all areas related to it, such as equine anatomy and physiology, nutrition and diet, and hoof care practitioner trimming styles. I have sought out information available to me in the form of articles, books, DVD’s, and case studies. Where does one begin?


This past month, I have gained insight on which foundations are most important to establish in order to effectively understand the concepts and successfully transition a shod horse. My blog series will integrate many highlights of the information I have been so privileged to acquire. I am a devoted wisdom-seeker of the many aspects of overall equine health, following the most recent trends and discoveries in the well-being of the horse. I am your Equinista.


Comprehension of the anatomy of the horse, with special concentration on the hoof and lower limb, is imperative in being capable of answering the questions that come to mind while researching. As an introduction to my blog, I believe it is beneficial to put equine anatomy in perspective with relation to our human lives. At my first visit to the chiropractor, he stressed the importance of posture in sustaining proper spine function. At first appearance, he constructively criticized that my shoulders were rolled forward, hips were advanced, and knees were locked. I quickly corrected my stance as he simultaneously asked me, “Are you flat-footed?” Indeed, I am. He attributed most of my posture shortcomings to having been formed by my “fallen arches”.

The significance of this situation relates very directly to horse hoof maintenance. A horse with underrun heels places stress on ligaments and on other structures of the hoof such as the navicular bone. As the soreness inflames, breakover becomes delayed, ligaments become sore, and the shoulder progresses anteriorly among other various complications. As horse owners, we should remember that the hoof is a layer of hardened skin that protects numerous internal structures, much like enamel on our teeth.

My future blogs will break down hoof anatomy part-by-part. By keeping the comparatives in mind that I have referenced, and by incorporating your own unique associations, the uncustomary ideas of rehabilitating the shod horse to a more holistic one may become more gratifying.

-Your Equinista

Mariah Reeves

easycare-customer service-mariah

Customer Service

As one of the customer service representatives, I am happy to help get your horse into the right boots. I promote holistic methods of equine care and will assist you with finding the perfect fit for horse and rider.

 

Ouch! - Hoof Abscess

It’s your day off from work and you have special riding plans with your friends. You venture out to halter your horse and he’s lame. Not just a little lame either, head-bobbing-I’m sore-lame! He was fine yesterday, try not to panic. One of the most common causes of sudden lameness, besides getting kicked by another horse, is a hoof abscess. If your horse has no swelling to be seen on the lame leg, then you have to consider the hoof. Your horse’s hoof on the lame leg may feel much warmer than the sound side. The digital pulse, located at the base of the fetlock joint, may be increased due to internal inflammation within the hoof itself. 
 
 
An artery runs along the groove of the Suspensory ligament and down over the long and short pastern bones.
You can detect the pulse here with your fingers. Under normal conditions there is not a strong pulse. But under
inflammatory conditions the pulse will be stronger and if you compare to other legs you can detect the difference. 
 
An abscess occurs when bacteria enters into the hoof wall or sole via a small puncture, tiny gravel that works up into the wall, a bad nail from shoeing, and/or poor trimming or management practices, are a few potential causes. As the bacteria builds up it forms a localized infection or quite simply, a pus pocket.  As the infection builds up, the sensitive laminae become tender and swollen. Yet due to it all being inside a hoof capsule, the swelling is contained and has nowhere to go. The pressure just continues to build up and your now lame horse, doesn’t want to place weight on that foot.  
 
You can call your vet or your farrier for further diagnosis. They can use hoof testers to detect the location of the soreness and then decide on a treatment plan. Sometimes the vet or farrier can find the puncture area where the bacteria entered the hoof, opening up the hole and allowing the abscess to drain out. Other times the pocket can’t be located without x-rays. Your vet may prescribe a round of antibiotics to help with the infection.
 
I have found that normally within a couple days the abscess will push out through the wall and break out up on the coronary band. Once the abscess breaks the horse is usually much better. However you still have to take care of it and keep it clean. Generally soaking the hoof is the easy way to try to open the hole and allow it to drain out. Often the veterinarian will have you soak the hoof a few times a day with hot water and Epsom Salts and vinegar to draw out the bacteria. A person can use a poultice and a treatment boot for the same action. No matter what treatment you use, the hoof needs to remain in a clean environment between treatments. Allowing more manure and debris to pack into the sore hoof or opened up hole is only going to complicate matters.
 
 
Sometimes even old dry abscesses can still cause lameness. Here I used “Sornomore” clay on both hooves as
this horse had been kept in dirty conditions plus his hooves had been neglected. Within the hoof were several
old abscesses as the bacteria had worked in through separations in the hoof wall and at the time had gone
untreated. The baggy holds the medication in and the hoof boot keeps it there as well as keeping the hoof clean.
 
I am not a veterinarian but my favorite protocol for this problem is partially allowing nature to take its course. In a couple days the horse will usually be back on the road to soundness. I like to initially soak the hoof in a bucket filled about halfway with hot water. I add a ¼ cup of Epsom salts and a ¼ cup of vinegar which acts as a drawing agent to pull out the bacteria. Tea Tree oil works well also. After soaking I do a bit of scraping the sole to look for an entry point or for hoof wall separation - if I find something, I’ll dig a little. If it’s deep then I’ll quit because I’ll expose too much soft tissue. Some will disagree but it’s what I prefer because it seems to work for me. Then I will use a poultice, commercial or homemade, which I place over the entire sole and frog of the hoof. I then take a quart size plastic bag and place over the hoof followed by a tough bandage or sized up Easyboot or treatment boot. I’ll leave this on for a day and change it out the next day. By day two the horse is usually not limping around.
 
 
The new Easyboot Transition boot is ideal as a treatment boot and also for keeping the hoof clean as your horse recovers
from his abscess. The cushioning of the sole will aid in keeping your horse more comfortable as you return to riding. 
 
Once he’s not limping that means the pocket has drained out the bottom some place or you may find an open wound at the top of the coronary band where it drained out. You still need to keep the hoof clean and away from debris so the abscess can continue to drain and dry out. I know I have said this three times but cleanliness is the key to recovery.  
 
With a very bad abscess your veterinarian may prescribe flushing the infected area out with an iodine solution or a product made for such things like Clean Trax. Flushing not only deep cleans the abscess channel but introduces a bacterial fighting agent into the infected area. This of course requires an open hole from either the bottom of the hoof or the coronary band. And would only be necessary with a serious abscess that just doesn’t want to give up.
 
In a matter of days you should be back on the trail enjoying the scenery once again! 
 
Karen Bumgarner

 

November 2013: Solely Equine

November finds us with cooler days, changing leaves and wild and wooly horses. November also brings Thanksgiving. A time to reflect and be thankful for friends, family and our hoof care professionals!

This month's EasyCare's dealer spotlight has landed in Arlington, WA, the home of hoof care professional Laura Rice of Solely Equine. Laura is a relatively new dealer teaming up with EasyCare for her booting needs in 2012. Her business savvy, skill and attention to detail keeps her in high demand and going full throttle maintaining around 300 head of barefoot horses.

Laura Rice of Solely Equine feeing right at home.

As many in the hoof care field will tell you, you don't choose hoof care rather it seems to choose you. Laura had no intention of becoming a full time trimmer but destiny had other plans. Her cousin introduced her to natural hoof care and the journey began with six of her own horses, an old rasp, a spent knife and a few trimming tips from her farrier. Attending a Horse Expo she learned from a trimmer presenting about Pete Ramey and dove into learning all that she could. Laura who was working full time never considered trimming as a vocation but rather a means to maintain her own herd. Again destiny called. It has been six years in the making but Laura has worked her way out of the office and out into the field as a full time trimmer.

There is nothing like a good referral and Solely Equine was built on word of mouth advertising. Happy horses equal happy clients and the rest takes care of itself. End of story. Part of the happy horse/ happy client equation is having a good working range of hoof boots with her at all times. Doing so enables her to meet her customers hoof care protection needs on the spot and her customers take notice. Punctuality is also a priority and her customers appreciate that they can set their watch by her timeliness. Laura treats each horse as it it were her own and her horse handling skills win her big kudos with her clients. Employing natural horsemanship methods makes her job easier and the horses happier. She humbly admits some of the most rewarding experiences as a trimmer is trimming the un-trim-able. Staying calm with uncanny patience goes far with these horses and they respond. Laura admits it is not easy but the job will be done in calm manner that is respectful to the horse.

Laura loves that hoof boots keep evolving and that EasyCare is making boots increasingly durable and easier to use. She feels this continued evolution is encouraging a greater number of horse owners to make the move to natural hoof care. Laura has been using the Easyboot Epics for about seven years but these days the Easyboot Glove is her favorite and best selling boot. She also stocks the Easyboot Glove Back Country and the Easyboot Trail. She sees the barefoot industry growing leaps and bounds and has several vets in her area that are acknowledging the benefits and results horses are achieving barefoot. She says horse owners are definitely becoming more informed. Owners are researching their options and educating themselves on hooves, barefoot hoof care and diet and how all tie in with accomplishing healthy hooves and a healthy horse.

We all love success stories and Laura shares one of her best. A previously foundered mare came to her with shoes and pads all the way around. The owner was looking for options and wanted to give natural hoof care a try. Laura was called, pulled the shoes and set the horse up in boots. The plan was boots for turnout and riding, then gradually used just for riding. Things were going well but the owner thought about moving back to shoes. The owner had other horses being shod and when approaching her farrier about shoeing the mare he refused, saying the horse's feet had never look better. He advised the owner to keep doing what she was doing and so it went. Recently Laura received a call from this owner saying she was on her way home from from a weekend riding trip with the mare. Outfitted with Back Country boots on the front and Gloves behind, the owner was thrilled with how comfortable the horse was moving and that the mare was feeling like a whole new horse. Mission accomplished! 

Laura is a member of  Pacific Hoof Care Practitioners and you can find her at solelyequine.com and on Facebook.

EasyCare is thankful for all of our amazing dealers and customers across the world.  We wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!