Breaking Out the Big Guns

They're here. 

The boots you've been waiting for, to fit the horses who's feet are bigger than most people's heads. The iconic Easyboot Glove will soon be available in GINORMUS sizes! Rock on! 

For all you big horse lovin' peeps, Gloves are now being made in sizes 4.5 and 5. That is huge, folks! For myself and my fairly standard 0.5 Gloved horses, I have a hard time wrapping my head around a size FIVE! Please, send pics. I have to see this. Given my only experience with what I thought were humongous Gloves revolved around a largish Shagya gelding who wore a whopping size 3.5 Glove, I am stoked to see all the big boys and gals who can now get some of their own Glove Love. Big, Bigger and Biggest don't have anything on the new Huge and Huger. 

 

Easyboot Gloves and Trails on a Cattle Drive

The following is from Kelly Robinson:

Just wanted to send some pictures of our Morgans on the trail in their Easyboots. If you remember, last fall you helped me find protective hoof boots (and in a hurry) for my husband's Morgan, Red. My husband was a tough sell on these boots, but last fall, he knew if he wanted to go on a cattle drive, he'd need to boot his horse. It was the end of riding season and shoeing Red would have been a big waste of money, not to mention that I felt shoes were compromising Red's laminitis-compromised hooves. I was impressed that you remembered that my husband has a medical condition and needed a boot that not only would stay on, but that would be easy on and easy off as well.

I am happy to report that your recommendation of the Easyboot Trail was a huge hit for both my husband and his horse, Red. The cowboys and cowgirls on the cattle drive gave him the typical ribbing, but by the end of the two days, they all ate a little crow and admitted that the boots were functional and never once came off, even when they rode through a muddy, marshy area.


Red is celebrating his one year anniversary of being a booted horse and he has not been lame once since being barefoot. David is sold on Easyboots and is looking forward to getting Red a pair of the new Easyboot Back Country boots next spring.

Thanks again for all of your knowledge and professional help. I had given up on trying to convince him to let Red barefoot.

PS - I've had Pearl's Easyboot Gloves for three years now and they are still going strong!

 

Dee Reiter

easycare-customer-service-dee-reiter

Customer Service

When it comes to life’s adventures: Never pull back on the reins and remember: The world is best-viewed through the ears of a horse!

 

Home From Joshua Tree (In Which We Get Back to the Slop)

Joshua Tree National Park was  - as always - a blissful week of riding on twisty trails with amazing views and spikey vegetation. 

Getting out of the slop and into the dry desert air was a welcome respite, despite the freezing temperatures.

Both horses had had two months off, so we took it easy, going out for short, fun rides - with lots of walking in deep sand washes - just what they needed to build up fitness again. During the week we rode a little over 55 miles and climbed approximately 9,000 ft.

The footing was about as perfect as it could be and we never bothered to boot once. I did touch up both horses' feet with the rasp for minor chips, but was very pleased how well their hooves held up - especially given the wet, muddy conditions they'd been living in for weeks prior to their desert excursion.

The footing as about as perfect as it could be... most of the time:


 

Photo: Kaity Elliott

The crisp, cold temperatures caused them to stay very cheerful indeed the entire week - particularly one of the days we ended up riding in a snowstorm - first time I've experienced that in the desert and it was very pretty.

Riding in the remains of the snow the following day made for yet more cheerful horses, pink cheeks, and great memories.


 

Photo: Kaity Elliott

All in all, a great start to the year.

Unfortunately, we're now back in the real world with mud-covered, pink pones. It's time to get the Bobsey Twins up and running again after 14 months off, with the hope of getting them ready for some 50 mile rides later in the year. With my limited riding time, in order to get them both out I've lots of ponying ahead of me to ramp up their fitness. The first outing went well with no histrionics or unwanted excitement. 

Here we go again - 2013. Happy New Year to all.

--
Lucy Chaplin Trumbull
Sierra Foothills, California

 

The Dynamic Hoof Part II

The most enjoyable part of my job is educating owners and seeing them have those aha moments. This is a follow up email I received in regards to the boot fit analysis that was discussed in The Dynamic Hoof.

"Had a new farrier here today and he was surprised at how many things my other farrier had skipped – not just done wrong, skipped!  He was not only shaping the foot wrong, but he was not trimming the sole at all which led to one cavity on each front hoof that had dirt and some thrush in it. Had that not been caught, it would have easily become an abscess. Because of the cavities, he trimmed a bit more than he normally would have liked to. My old farrier was also not completely trimming the frog.  Bottom line is that I am very thankful that you saw the issues and politely pointed me in a better direction. It was so nice to have a farrier that eagerly answered all my questions as I watched him work – something I will be doing lots more of.  

We also discussed how I can keep the mustang roll on his hoofs between trims and he will be checking back on his progress in the coming weeks (he works on my neighbor's horses as well, so its easy for him to stop by)."

The owner wanted to verify what size he should use for the Easyboot Glove Back Country now that his horse had been properly trimmed. He sent some new photos with the same size boots on and it was amazing to see the difference in fit after only one trim. I did recommend that he purchase a half size larger boot for the right hoof (not shown) because there was still some bulging in the 2.5. The owner was glad that he only needed to purchase one new boot and was thrilled with the knowledge he gained through this experience.

Caudal before trimCaudal after trim

Caudal views before (left) and after (right) trim.

Dorsal before trimDorsal after trim

Dorsal views before (left) and after (right) trim.

Lateral before trimLateral after trim

Lateral views before (left) and after (right) trim.

 

Alayna Wiley

Alayna Wiley, EasyCare CSR

Customer Service

As one of the customer service representatives, I am happy to help get your horse into the right boots. I have plenty of hands on experience since my horses have been barefoot and booted since 2003.

 

A Simple Guide to Team Pride

I am so proud to be a part of Team Easyboot. Looking back at 2012, it isn't so much about the miles or awards as it was for me in the past, but rather the unique connection to riders and the experiences shared in using and promoting Easyboots.

My season began with Easyboot Glue-Ons and the Owhyee Fandango Ride.  EasyCare gear from head to hoof, RSI Moniet Leattie and I met the challenge and finished with Team Pride!

A perfect view of our Glue-Ons as Leattie and I completed the Pink Flamingo Rides. You will notice the Original Easyboot clipped on to my saddle.  Back in the day, my T-shirt read, "Carry An Easy Boot or Get a Sense of Humor"!  This boot is approximately 20 years old and it is quite the good luck charm and conversational piece on the trail.

You will see that after 375 miles, this one pair of Glue-Ons look brand new. With patience and a new learning curve, I have become quite educated in the fine art of removing Glue-Ons and popping out goobers!

This "Dave's Easy Tool" was made by Dave and Mellissa Smith, my own personal trimmers. I rely on Dave and Melissa for the barefoot care and triming of all my horses.  

Leattie in full stride after pulling off boots and another 155 miles under her girth: the perfect image of team pride. A darn good horse, proper feed and care, consistant hoof care, dedicated conditioning to finish endurance rides, and representing EasyCare!

Sharon Ballard

Easyboot and EasyCare Top Ten of 2012

Another year has passed and the barefoot, booted horse is several steps closer to the mainstream. Take a quick look at several of EasyCare's 2012 highlights.  Counting down in order from #10 to #1. 

10. The booted passion continues even stronger in 2012.  Although politics and religion are the hot buttons in society, EasyCare has seen an increase in the amount of firey debate in the EasyCare Newsletter, EasyCare Blogs and Easyboot Facebook pages.

9.  Easyboot Star Sightings.  Easyboots are seen with Shania Twain, Martha Stewart, and are often seen on CBS during 2 Broke Girls

Shania Twain in Old Mac's in Vegas

8. The Easyboot and Easyboot Epic get a facelift in 2012.  A new buckle design and a more aggressive tread pattern.

The new 2012 Easyboot Epic

7.  EasyCare partners with Curtis and Diane Burns at Polyflex

EasyCare and Polyflex are putting are ideas together for new forms of urethane hoof protection.

6.  Little girls and horses.  Alyxx gets a pony in 2012.

The bond between a young girl and her first horse.  A refreshing reminder of how lucky we are at EasyCare to work with horses and the people who share their lives with them.

5.  EasyCare owned horses race in Colorado, Texas and Delaware in a new prototype, urethane, flexible glue on horse shoe. 

The Easyboot prototype race shoe hits the flat track in Delaware, Colorado and Texas.  EasyCare is making progress on a flexible, urethane option for the flat track industry. 

4.  Heather and Jeremy Reynolds compete and finish the 160K World Endurance Championship in England.  Both of the Reynolds mounts were barefoot and fitted with Easyboots.

Heather Reynolds on Marvel and Jeremy Reynolds on Kutt.  The Reynolds were two of the five person team representing the USA at the World Endurance Championship in England.

3.  The Tevis Cup is won for the second year in a row in Easyboots.  Tevis is considered the toughest 100 mile horse event in the world!

Lisa and Garrett Ford cross the finish line 1st and 2nd in the 2012 100 mile Tevis Cup.  Both are riding barefoot Easybooted horses.

2.  The Haggin Cup is won for the third year in a row in Easyboots.

Rusty Toth and Stoner win the Haggin Cup at the 2012 100 Mile Tevis Cup.  The third year in a row the Haggin Cup has been won by a barefoot booted horse. 

1.  Shannon and Steffen Peters have success with the barefoot horse and hoof boots at the highest levels of dressage.  The Peters have transitioned many of their top level dressage horses to barefoot and hoof boots in 2012.  Look for an article in the 2013 February Dressage Today that talks about the journey. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sossity Gargiulo, Shannon Peters, Garrett Ford pause for a quick photo after watching a barefoot Ravel work in EasyCare hoof protection.  I usually rub horse slobber off, I rubbed Ravel's slobber in!  What an amazing horse and unforgettable opportunity to work with people the caliber of the Peters.  

To an amazing 2012!  Looking forward to what 2013 will bring.

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President & CEO

I have been President and CEO of EasyCare since 1993. My first area of focus for the company is in product development, and my goal is to design the perfect hoof boot for the barefoot horse.

 

A New Year, A New You, A New Hoof

The New Year is always an appropriate and marked point in time to take stock and make adjustments that will better yourself, your life and the world around you. It's always a time I look back at what I've accomplished throughout the year, but mostly I look ahead to what ideas I can put into action to make things better. I am not one big on resolutions, I think I've posted that before, but I do like to make goals and generally always meet them. Of course the key to meeting goals is to make them achievable and realistic, but challenging enough to be satisfying to work towards. I try to develop better habits throughout the year that will stay with me for a lifetime. I won't bore anyone with all of my goals for the year, but here are a few you can borrow that will make life with your barefoot performance horse a little nicer. 

1) Four Week Maximum Trim Cycles

Stop being lazy and just do it. Seriously. I have had my competition horses on a four week cycle for the past year and haven't regretted it once. This year I plan to keep everyone on a four week cycle despite the horse being in full work or not. Yes, I know sometimes it's hot. Yes, it can be cold. Sometimes it's rainy, windy or muddy. Build a bridge and get over it! Trimming is easier when it's done frequently, boot retention becomes a non-issue with a consistent, constant hoof shape and you are able to bypass many common hoof problems such as high heels, low heels, long toes and medial-lateral imbalances. 

This foot would take months and months to fix on a regular eight week trim cycle. Take three steps forward every time you trim.  

2) Back Up Those Toes

This is difficult to maintain without frequent trims and goes hand-in-hand with #1. Back up those toes until you think they are short enough, and then go further. I made a point to get aggressive with Topper's toes last year and am thrilled with the results. We have more concavity, thicker soles and no flare. I used to think I had a good handle on appropriate break-over, but I didn't. If you're scared, invest in a couple digital radiographs the next time your veterinarian is out. The pictures will be invaluable and a good reference point for future changes and improvements.

3) Trim Frogs

This is something I have never put much stock into and usually quickly skimmed over during my trims. Unfortunately I have been doing a disservice to my horses by skipping this as it is also one of the easier things to do. In just the short time I have been doing this, I have noticed good things. By cleaning up the edges of the frogs, both the outside edge and the central sulcus, you prevent nasty stuff being stuck in there under various flaps and dead material. By keeping this area open, I haven't seen any thrushy-type stuff and the frogs just look healthier. 

4) Ditch Your Bar

Branch out to new bars down the road. Ok, that's not really the kind of bar I was talking about, but to each his own, eh? The bars have always been one of those things for me. Do I leave 'em? Do I take 'em? Do I pretend like they aren't there and just kinda ignore them? The answer is no. So sharpen up your hoof knife, charge up your power tools, whatever, but take care of those bars. Letting them overgrow and lay over will not only create pressure and pain for your horse, but the bars can influence the hoof wall by creating flares and can trap debris if left untrimmed. 

5) If It Isn't Working, Fix It and Don't Give Up, EVER.

This is a general goals that can be applied to every aspect of my life. Maybe what you're doing is working OK. Sure, you could get by. You could skate along with mediocrity like so many do, so many different ways, but you're better than that! Strive for greatness, not "meh." Stop making excuses and go for broke. Don't forget that most decisions you make aren't permanent and can be changed. But no one ever achieved greatness by laying in bed, eating junk and making excuses. Get up, get going and make good things happen. This is a permanent goal of mine and I'm a better person for it. 

The Gloriousness of the Easyboot Glove in Snow

Whether your horse is barefoot all year or for just the winter months, hoof boots are always a viable option. In the short video below, The Fury is being ridden in standard issue Easyboot Gloves. Snow does not ball up under the hooves, and there is no accumulation whatsoever of snow inside the gaiter, even in the deepest of snow.

If you have to ride in icy conditions, consider adding QuickStuds to any of the trail riding boots in the EasyCare product line. I've been getting some training miles in over the last couple of months in the southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico in some varied snow and icy conditions and I've been very pleased with the way the Glove performs in these conditions.

Stoner on his free-ponying experience near Gallup, NM. He had no saddle, no bridle, no boots and no lead line.

On Sunday, I met up with a couple of friends and rode Far and free-ponied Stoner. I took advantage of the fact there were three other horses for him to hook up with, and it worked well for the most part. We cantered and galloped about ten miles. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable doing it completely alone - Stoner was less dependant on the other horses than I expected him to be.

Have you had any experience in riding boots in snow? How did it go for you?

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.

 

When All Else Fails, Try a Few Fit Kits

I've written several blogs about Julie from Action Rider Tack and her and her horse, Kalena. Our discussions have taken us to a whole new area and, thus, together we have created another blog. Thanks Julie.

Dialogue:

Julie: Here are the pix. Easyboot size 0 Glove Regulars bruise her (Kalena) heel bulbs. Size 0 Glove Wides are much better, but a bit too wide. I think that I will try them anyway with (Mueller's Athletic) tape. I measured her three times and her measurements don't fit into either boot - 106W by 105L. I think what happened is that with the trim that I was doing before,the 0 Glove Regular worked just fine. Now, I am trimming a little differently and her hoof is wider and shorter.

Julie - Kalrena's heel bulbs

Dee (that's me): It's hard to tell from the pictures because we just have the back of the boot; however, I think (with these measurements) that an 0 Glove Regular would fit width wise, but would be sloppy in length. That is probably what is causing the bruising. You know, like when people wear shoes that are too long, it causes blisters because the shoe is slipping up and down on the heel?

But, with these measurements, I don't know why she's fitting into an 0 Wide, it seems way too big.

Julie: I guess it shows how subjective measurements are. The 0 Wide is a little too big,but I am going to try it. I will let you know what happens. Her back feet, which are longer, of course fit with no rubbing into a 00.5.

 

Julie - Kalena 0W
 
Dee:  You are so correct. That's why we always suggest Fit Kits before actually purchasing the Glove boots. We (at EasyCare) are dealing with a flat size chart and our customers are dealing with a round hoof. With EasyCare's other styles of boots, like the Epic or the Trail, the boots are more forgiving in fit and they can be adjusted. But, with the Glove, it is so dependent on what the hoof looks like and the way the horse is trimmed. And, obviously, we can't see through the phone and even pictures can be misleading depending on camera angle and distortion.

The weekend comes and goes and now it's Monday morning:

Julie: I tested the 0 Glove Wide over the weekend in mud and wet riding conditions. I used the knowledge that we gained before and put a comfort pad in the boot. Even though her hoof measurements say there is no way - the boot stayed on just fine and there was no heel rubbing. Up hill, mud, down hill - it all worked just fine.
 
JULIE CAMPBELL
 
Dee: Are you kidding? How is that possible with your measurements, that the 0 Wide Glove would fit? Did you use (Mueller's Athletic) tape?

Julie says: (smugly) (just kidding Julie) No, I only used a comfort pad, although I carry the tape with me.

Julie goes on: I think the take away lesson here is to keep trying, even if your horse doesn't fit into the charts. I won't give up because I will never put shoes back on her (Kalena) again and she needs hoof boot protection.
 
The moral of this story: You may have to try multiple Fit Kits to get a good fit. And if all else fails, call Customer Service at EasyCare and let our friendly, helpful staff help you.
 

Dee Reiter

easycare-customer-service-dee-reiter

Customer Service

When you call EasyCare, I’m one of the folks that will answer. I’m also one of the cowgirls in the group. (Heck no, I don’t show, I Rodeo!) When it comes to life’s adventures – never pull back on the reins, and remember: the world is best-viewed through the ears of a horse!

 

Ben's New High Tops

My six-year old Percheron, Obsidians Tick Tock, or Big Ben, got his first pair of Easyboot Epics a couple of weeks ago. As a draft, shoeing is not only expensive, but its hard to find a farrier who really wants to work on the large feet. So after much research, I decided to try the Easyboot Epics, and he loves them. I actually think he would rather have them on then not.

This past weekend we entered our first Trail Challenge. The picture is of him before we started, and he was so comfortable and sure of himself we managed to place 3rd. I am very proud of him and feel so lucky to have found the right horse hoof boots for him.

Name: Jocelyn
City: Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
Equine Discipline: Trail
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Epic