The Best Soaked Hooves You've Ever Seen or Your Money Back!

Are you tired of trying to trim those rock hard and dry hooves? Your knife just kind of scrapes over the surface and nothing happens? Your rasp feels dull even though it's new? You don't like having a mud hole and do not have a place to tie a horse so their hooves can soak first? I have a solution that may help you but the title lied  - no one paid me so you don't get any money back but you get the idea...

First you need four old Easyboots (a perfect reason to not throw well used boots away). If they are boots that are a size too big that is even better. I happen to be using Easyboot Gloves here but you can use other boot types as well.

Next pour water into the boot. You may not think much actually goes in the boot but it does and runs down under the hoof. You can add water every so often while you are doing other things and just allow the hooves to soak for at least 30 minutes (an hour is better). 

After soaking and removal of the boot you now have one soggy and softened hoof. 

Now I can actually scrape out some dead sole and clean up the frog which was too hard to do before soaking.

Diamond thinks it's a great idea as the hoof passes her inspection. I hope you think it's a great idea too!

Karen Bumgarner, Zapped Ranch

Bigger is Not Always Better

I've seen it numerous times, horse shopping for myself, horse shopping with my friends and especially when speaking to people new to boots or barefoot trimming. 

"My horse has huge feet!" 

With the exception of a few true anomalies to the breed at hand, most horses have average-sized hooves. Generally when someone is bragging about their horses' big-enough-to-mention feet, they are merely overgrown. 

I remember one particular incident where I accompanied a friend on a horse-shopping escapade. The horse was perfect on paper, lovely in photographs and had the coveted "big bone, big feet." On one hand, the seller wasn't technically lying. The horse would have probably measured into a size 2.5 Easyboot Glove. Did I mention he was a 14.2hh three year old? Those suckers were splayed out like a platypus. Big does not always equal better. 

Recently life has been overfilling with exciting and time-consuming changes. Moving, getting things ready to bring horses home and actually riding on the trail! I went three weeks without even seeing my gelding who's boarded at a lovely dressage barn only 20 minutes away. For the first time in my life, I have literally not had the time to go see my poor Topper (who's probably thrilled with his vacation). Last week, I made a point to get out to see my boy and, oh my, was I surprised at how BIG he was. Standing back, I had to giggle. Not only does my formerly lean, mean, racing machine look like a beached whale, his feet looked huuuuuuuuuuge. Oh yeah. My horse has big feet. 

Putting my ego aside (I pride myself in meticulously caring for my horses' feet), here is what my horse looks like on an 8-week trim. It's pretty bad, folks, but good to remind myself a) why I slave over pony feet every week, and b) just how significant two months of growth is and how there is no way his normal boots would even begin to go on if I tried at this point. 

I'll take a nice little pair of perfectly trimmed 0.5's over a platter-foot size 2 any day! How about you? Does your horse have "super big feet"? While eight weeks is definitely not the end of the world, it certainly impacts boot fit and retention, and I feel like movement is compromised by all that extra growth. In another two weeks, Topper will be home and back on the Trim Nazi's anal trimming schedule and his foot size will shrink. We'll take it.

iBoot and now iGlue too!

I just wanted to share my success today with Easyboot Glue-Ons. A few days ago, I decided last minute to take my six year old Tennessee Walking Horse on his first 30 mile competitive trail ride. I've been using Easyboot Gloves, Edge, and Bare on both of my horses, but decided to try Glue-Ons for the first time for this ride. I trim my own horses, so I simply trimmed, bought the boots and glue, watched the video, and did the deed. It was easy, even though I had to do the heat gun step because of the wet environment here. Well, I just got home after the ride. It rained for two days solid. We finished with all four boots still firmly on despite punishing Vermont hills, mud, wet grass, hard gravel, and more mud. I had great traction and finished with a 96.75 body condition score. When we got home, my horse, Charlie, celebrated his success with a victory gallop around the pasture in his Glue-Ons. I'm impressed with how easy it was to do the gluing, and how well the boots held in rough conditions.


Name: Michelle Grald
City: Plainfield, New Hampshire, USA
Equine Discipline: CompetitiveTrail
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glue-On

Thinking About Rocks

While riding with a friend last weekend, it came to mind how my outlook has changed in the past couple years about riding my horses over rocky ground. This thought jumped into my mind while I was watched her gelding travel across rocky roads and washes in his Easyboot Gloves, while Chief was going bare.

Chief was a pony horse at a Thoroughbred track in New Mexico before he came into my life. He had been kept shod all the way around his whole life, had been worked over soft surfaces and kept in a 10' x 10' stall when he wasn't working. Taking him to a sound, rock crushing barefoot horse has been quite an adventure. About a year after taking Chief bare I could tell within a few steps if a boot came off because he would immediately gimp down the trail. Mind you this was on a pretty nice surface with not many rocks. Obviously I did not have his boots fitted properly which is why he kept losing them, but that's another story.

About 2 years ago I started riding with an endurance rider that has 16,000 competition miles under her belt. She showed me the primitive ungroomed wildlife trails the Spring Mountain Range has to offer, rocks everywhere, but as Claire puts it, "it's soft rock", meaning it moves when your horse steps on it. I started booting Chief on all 4 feet and started learning to trim my horses myself because the various farriers I tried over the years weren't doing what my horses feet needed.

Plenty of turnout time on dry lot which isn't a problem in southern Nevada, 20-35 miles of riding a week getting those feet to work the way they should and I could see major changes taking place. After being barefoot for four years, I couldn't believe the difference a proper trim made in the way his feet progressed. There came a day when he could move comfortably with no hind boots and then the day came when we could hit those same rocky trails totally bare and comfortable. Now I boot when we're going to be on rocky hard pack for any period of time and go bare when possible. It's simply amazing to be able to "feel" your horse striding out happier down the trail!

I actually caught myself telling someone there wasn't much rock on the trails we were using, and the next time we hit that trail I said oops, I lied, there's plenty of rock, in fact the trail is covered with rock but I don't pay attention to it anymore because my horse is finally comfortable traveling over them. No stopping Chief now, no matter how much rock the trail has to offer.

Elaine McPherson

Keys to Selling Hoof Boots

As a retailer, there are a quite a few things a business must do to be successful. Below are some of the keys to success.

  • Have a clear vision and core customers.
  • Evolve your offering/product line.
  • Execute the value proposition (make your customers experience one they value).
  • Address a need.
  • Provide solutions.

I could go on, but I am sure you get the point. It is a lot of work that takes dedication and time. Selling hoof boots is no different.

One way you can make sure you're successful when selling EasyCare hoof boots is by having a boot in each category:

We have put our boots into three categories to help our retailers and consumers narrow the scope of which boots are needed. This helps ensure that both horse and owner get exactly what they need. So, if you're not currently stocking a boot in each category, you may be losing sales to other retail outlets. Give us a call today, we can help make sure you have a hoof boot solution for almost any situation.

Congratulations, by reading this blog you are eligible to receive $100 off your next order! The winner will be selected Friday, June 7th.

Brian Mueller

easycare-sales-manager-brian-mueller

Director of Sales

As the director of sales, I am responsible for identifying new dealer opportunities and building on existing relationships to foster ideas and create additional growth.

 

June 2013: Hadley's

Congratulations to Hadley's, EasyCare's Dealer of the Month for June. Hadley's is located in Canon City, Colorado and they are very early in their EasyCare Dealership career. They just became an EasyCare Dealer on February 25, 2013, but they have taken EasyCare Hoof Boots to a whole new level.

When Shay-Lee Hadley first contacted us to become an EasyCare Dealer, we were somewhat concerned. How could our EasyCare products fit with a company that was now manufacturing banners, providing embroidery services and dealing with some equine products? But, they also manufacture Barrel Wraps, which are barrel covers that provide advertising for barrel racing events. This should have been a clue to us. After talking with Shay-Lee by phone, she was so enthusiastic, convincing and engaging, that we approved them.

When a dealer is approved by EasyCare, we encourage them to stock a few of each of our best selling boots. Shay-Lee would only order the Easyboot Rx and EasySoaker. Again, we were a little concerned. No need for concern - she and her husband, Jack, had it all under control.

We found out that they were bringing the EasySoaker and the Easyboot Rx to barrel racing events and were selling out of them at every event.

When they were on their way to BBR Finals in Oklahoma City, Shay-Lee called for an order of Rx boots and we were back ordered on size 3. We suggested bringing the Easyboot Trail. They enthusiastically brought the Trails with them and sold out of them the day before the event started. They called us and we did a direct ship of Trails right to the Oklahoma Fairgrounds. They had horses lined up at their booth waiting for fittings to buy the Easyboot Trail.


Jack doing fittings at the Oklahoma Fairgrounds.

A barrel horse sporting his Easyboot Trails.

And they sold out again! On their way home, Jack was driving and Shay-Lee called for seventy-two more Easyboot Trails that they had taken orders for on the last day of the finals.

It turns out that Hadley's have recognized a strong niche for hoof boots for barrel racers. Shay-Lee said that she had previously used a competitors boot on her horse and found that they were just too heavy and clunky. She did some investigation and liked the Easyboot Rx and then the Trails. These athletes are most often standing on cement floors in stalls for two or three days, waiting to go in for their 16 second run. What a better way to protect their legs and give them comfort than to have them wear EasyCare hoof boots with foam comfort pads. They also recognized that the Easyboot Trail gives these horses great traction when trailering.

Next the Hadley's are headed to NBHA (National Barrel Horse Association) in Mississippi and after that they are off to Las Vegas. Let's see who can keep up with the Hadleys!

Bear Dog is Haldey's best EasyCare hoof boot promoter.

Win a Free Ride Entry to Cooley Ranch Rides

What?
EasyCare has an ongoing partnership with various endurance and CTR events across the country. As part of this Win/Win program, EasyCare is proud to give away two complimentary ride entries to the Cooley Ranch AERC ride. Competitors can choose to ride either 25 or 50 miles on June 8, 2013 or 30 or 50 miles on June 9, 2013. Ride camp will have ample water for horses. There will be a "Happy Hour" and pot luck on Friday night, complete with a casserole contest. On Saturday and Sunday, dinner will be included with the ride entry. There will also be wine tasting of new vintages from Foppiano Vineyards. Additional dinner tickets can be purchased in advance.

Where?
Ride camp is located at Cooley Ranch, a beautiful 20,000 acre private ranch west of Geyserville, CA. The ride is challenging with over over 7000' in elevation changes each day. If your horse is less fit, please consider entering the 25 or 30 mile rides. The trails consist of jeep roads, with some riding through creek beds and challenging hills. Hoof protection is required. There is an abundance of water, mostly creeks, with some water troughs out on the trail.

How?
If you would like to attend this ride, EasyCare would like to offer you one of two complimentary ride entries. Enter HERE: http://woobox.com/m6kf5k before 12:00 pm PST on Friday, May 31, 2013. All competitors will have the opportunity to win EasyCare product awards at the ride. Out of respect for ride management, this offer is not open to anyone who has already registered for the event.

Alayna Wiley

Alayna Wiley, EasyCare CSR

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.

 

Do You Want Fries With That?

When you pull up to the McDonald's window, you expect to hear, "Do you want fries with that?" This is how McDonald's sells millions of fries every year. And people like fries - they are yummy, so it's a win/win situation.

Every penny counts these days and businesses are asking their front-line workers to step up efforts to encourage customers to take an extra or two that will benefit the customer and add to the sale.

Employees at Old Navy are now trained to put together and sell customers on an entire outfit, not just a top or jeans. The goal here is to have more direct contact with the customer while they shop, to help the customer, and to improve the bottom line.

If your employees are putting the needs of the customer first and being sensitive to what the customer really needs, it will help that customer and help your bottom line. Once again, a win/win situation. Caution: A customer can sense when someone is trying to "up-sell" them versus when the sales staff is truly concerned with what is best for them. Always have the customer's best interest at heart.

Let's look at EasyCare products. If you are selling Easyboot Gloves, your staff should be suggesting the customer also get Power Straps for challenging riding. The Power Straps give the Glove a snugger fit and thus, will help the boot to stay more secure. If your customer indicates that they are purchasing boots to make their horse more comfortable, your staff will want to suggest Comfort Pads.

If the customer is buying a saddle, your staff should be talking to your customer about installing EZ-Ride Stirrups that will provide comfort for their knees, back and help prevent overall fatigue.

Your staff should also be talking about Stowaway Packs. The EasyCare Stowaway is the most advanced innovation in the "no-bounce" saddle pack design. These packs work for every riding style, and once again, will be of benefit to your customer.

What else can you think of that will improve your customer's purchase as well as your bottom line?

Dee Reiter

easycare-customer-service-dee-reiter

Retail Account Rep

I am the Retail and New Dealer Account Rep for EasyCare. I will be happy to help you with ordering, selecting the most popular styles and sizes of EasyCare hoof boots to stock. Let me help you with suggestions on merchandising and provide training for you and your staff, at your convenience.

 

 

Washoe Valley and Loose Screws

A few weeks ago, I had the very great pleasure of attending the Washoe Valley two day ride in Reno, Nevada. This is truly one of my favorite rides and one that holds a lot of sentimental value. This marked the 9th year I have done this ride and the 8th year for Fancy and I. In 2000, this was the last ride I attended with my old friend Mac before he was retired. The following year, it was the first 50 mile ride that I attended with Fancy. This year marked the 10th year that Fancy and I have shared trail together. Interestingly, I have only done this ride in May one other time, as her second ride. This year was a particularly beautiful year for the Washoe Valley. We had some early rain that had the desert peach, bitterbrush, mule ears, paintbrush and lupine along with many more wildflowers that I don’t know the names of in full bloom. The desert was really alive.

We rode the first day with our good trail buddies Renee and The Bite. Fancy and Bite make a bit of an odd couple to look at (he a tad lacking in stature but big on personality and go; she of the legs that go on and on with a personality that can at times be lacking). The morning was perfect and crisp. We climbed up the first big hill letting the horses move out calmly. About five miles past the first water stop, we saw the telltale sign of a rider with a situation – rider bent down holding up her horse’s right front foot. As we approached, we asked if she was OK, she said “Yes and no. The gaiter came off my boot and I can’t get it to stay on”. She had not packed a spare because she had never lost a hoof boot. This is where you get to use your imagination and insert the hero theme song. Renee and I are both Team Easyboot members and never leave home without spares. So Team Easyboot to the rescue, good boot on in a jiffy and all three of us riding off, discussing the need to remember to tighten your loose screws before heading out on an endurance ride. Literally and figuratively!

I always tighten the screws when I take new boots out of the box the first time. Sometimes I even remember to dab a bit of loctite on them but after that I tend to never think about them again – at least until Dave Rabe is at my trailer and starts inspecting my boots and invariably tightens things up. Another great thing this year – Dave is back! He was helping out all day and looked great. I'm so glad he will be back with us on the trails again very soon.

The rest of the day was uneventful. A very well paced and enjoyable day on the trail with good riding buddies. The finish awards were handmade pottery made by another local friend Debbie Anderson; very nice awards, unique, beautiful and very useful.

So now the story begins to change as around 1:30 AM Sunday, I awoke to the very distinct sound of rain on the roof. I jumped up out of bed to get rain sheets on the girls and check the weather – EGADS, possible rain all day. I have done this ride in torrential downpour previously with Fancy and we slid down one steep area on our sides (only her amazing athleticism kept her from sliding down on top of me, scary). To say I was a bit worried about going out in the rain is an understatement but this is endurance. We were a few minutes late starting but we trotted by Gina Hall at the start with smiles. Fancy set out like she was on a mission. Before long we were at the photographers and I could feel her building up - she broke into her dreamy canter right on cue. Talk about a horse having a good time. She passed by a few more intrepid true endurance riders on her way to her most favorite of all ride photographers, Bill Gore. I swear she poses for him.

After about seven miles it seemed that Fancy was more inclined to treat this as a “trot between bites of wet green grass” ride so I took out her bit and that is how we spent the next 43 miles – bitless, eating, drinking, trotting and cantering. We spent the day in our own bubble it seems, never really seeing those in front or those behind except from a distance. It was like riding in a dream. It drizzled rain off and on all day but it never seemed to matter. It was one of those days where you are riding as one and everything clicks.

Fretting over the mud and slipping was not anything we had to worry about. We never slipped once and in all the slipping, sliding hoof marks we saw, none of them were bare or booted prints. Fancy was in Easyboot Glue On’s all around. They all stayed on and we had no issues. This is a really tough rocky ride and a true test for boots. Besides being just plain rocky, there are also steep up/downs and on day two – wet, muddy trail.

 

Like all good dreams the ride did come to an end and at the finish we were told that we were top ten. Wow! That does not happen very often for us. In fact, it was only our 8th top ten in ten years.  We headed into camp, stripped off tack and headed to the final vet check. Fancy finished all A’s and the best CRI of the weekend. As it was starting to rain again I elected not to show for BC but in hind sight it would have been nice to see how she scored. After all, this was her second day; she is now 17 years old, has nearly 3,000 competitive miles and has been my dream partner for ten years. All of this accomplished barefoot and wearing Easyboots.

Tami Rougeau

Ol' Reliable

Sometimes we just need to stop and smell the flowers. 

Time goes by quickly and it is easy to forget our "older" things. I have a crate full of these dusty old EasyCare hoof boots sitting out in my barn. Remember these?

With all the upgrades and new hoof boots that EasyCare has come out with to make our lives easier, why would we still need and or use these?  

Recently, I attended a multi-day endurance ride in Skull Valley, Arizona. I saw a couple riding together, and on their horses' front hooves, were plain Original Easyboots. I did a double take, looking for gaiters, tape, foam but they were just on those hooves, plain as day.  I did not get a chance to talk to them, but wondered why they would use these boots as opposed to all the other tested and tried endurance boots. After thinking a while, my conclusion was that these boots worked for them.  

I still have my Original Easyboots in that crate in the barn. If one of my horses has a hoof issue, I dig them out. They are perfect for protecting a graveled hole, putting/keeping Ichthamol on a healing abscess or just protection for tender soles while in turnout.  I particularly appreciate the bonus of the boots' easy design feature of cleanly coming off if the horse gets silly.  Old reliable indeed!

Sabrina Liska