A Reply to New Tracks - What Will They Think

Submitted by Joanne Pavlis, Team Easyboot 2012 Member

Back in the December 2011 Newsletter, Garrett Ford wrote to us about the concept of “New Tracks”, and asked us the question “Have you ever thought about what tracks you leave”?

New tracks

As a licensed race track trainer, riding instructor, endurance competitor, and equine wellness foundation founder, I think about this all the time. Whenever I contemplate the vision of “New Tracks”, I recall the remarkable journey I embarked upon with this new EasyCare concept and product. MileMakers has played, and continues to play, a small part in the overall EasyCare evolution of change, as we all move ahead with our new found knowledge and product development. When I think of what Milemakers does on a daily basis, it seems relevant as an answer to the proposed question.

MileMakers began seriously promoting EasyCare products and educating our local horse community about the benefits of equine hoof boot protection in 2011. It has been the best transformation we could have made for our horses health, while giving us the added benefit of exposure to the latest science and technology to better educate those owners who had been sitting on the fence between old school & new school thinking.  EasyCare is constantly improving their product to better the wellness of horses, and they do it by using sound research while listening to the horse’s response.

Time and again, I lay witness to the fact that people will not change unless they fully understand the reasons behind the need for change. That is why, at MileMakers, we believe in promoting the education behind the EasyCare concept as we develop one knowledgeable customer at a time. Each newly educated owner/equestrian represents a “new track”. And each “new track” represents a seed of knowledge that has been planted and will continue to grow.

When the new EasyBoot Racing Shoe concept came onto the horizon, there was a lot of head scratching, questions, and a whole lot of “what if” scenarios. Some race track officials and commissioners didn’t know how to react to this new product because it was a divergence from their zone of comfortable knowledge. Other racing officials embraced the new concept, and were able to easily see the benefits for the future of horse racing, and overall equine foot health. No evolutionary journey is without its setbacks. The key is to remain confident with your concept despite those who want to drag you back down to “what has always been” and “we’ve been doing it this way for the last 200 years”.

In 2012, MileMakers will walk our talk. We plan to take our 3 year old colt, Defying Magic, (a.k.a. Indy) to the race track.

Defying Magic


He has been barefoot his entire life, and will only wear the new EasyBoot Race Glue-Ons, while running races, due to a Colorado Racing Commission ruling which calls for all race horses to wear hoof protection. He is the first foal we ever bred, and we will not trust his feet to any other type of hoof care product or ideology.  

The journey one must take when laying down “new tracks” will never be an easy one. But by using education and proven results we can progress one step at a time. That’s why at MileMakers our motto is “Not just a destination, but a journey taken one hoofbeat at a time.”  With “New Tracks” I am excited about what I do as a Team Easyboot member, and we plan to leave a lot of “New Tracks” in 2012.

“Sometimes you’ve got to run away and see if they follow” - Manfield Park.


Tracks


EasyCare will accept applications for Team Easyboot 2012 until midnight on Wednesday, February 8, 2012. Visit the Team Easyboot section of the EasyCare website for more details and to complete the application form.

Procrastination

procrastination


Pro - cras - ti - na - tion
(proh-kras-tuh-ney-shuhn) - the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.  

I'm sure nobody really needs the definition of the word procrastination spelled out, I know I don't - this blog was due two weeks ago! Everyone procrastinates sometimes, over 20% of people are chronic procrastinators. Did you know that procratination and perfectionism go hand in hand? Here are some reasons for procrastination:
  • Fear of Failure
  • Because we are too busy
  • Over-or under-estimating the degree of difficulty the task involves

Does any of this sound familiar on reasons why you have not tried to take your horse barefoot? There is so much information available today regarding natural horse care, using hoof boots and barefoot trimming, it can get overwhelming. EasyCare has a whole section of our website devoted to articles to help educate you and get you on your way.

Ways to overcome procrastition:
  • Get a buddy to do the barefoot transition with you.
  • Challenge your myths regarding shoeing and do some research.
  • Get a new attitude.

So, take a deep breath and dive in. Remember the worst form of procrastition is reading an article about it, feeling the guilt and not doing anything about it. (I will have to remember this when my next blog is due.)

Shari Murray

easycare-customer-service-shari-murray

Customer Service

If you call the customer service help desk, you’ll probably get me on the phone! I process repairs, returns, credits and exchanges that come into EasyCare.

Transition Tuesday: Wait That's the Wrong Guy!

Everybody know that transitioning a horse from shoes to barefoot is supposed to be hard, and taking one that's already barefoot should make for a seamless transition. NOT. If you've been around horses for any length of time, you will know that there are never any "givens" when it comes to horses! 

Back in November, I brought two new horses into our herd. The first was Breve, a big old moose of a 7yr. old Shagya, who had been barefoot for years. A few weeks later, we introduced Nero, a 10yr. old Arab who has been in shoes for the "on" season since he was a youngster. Naturally, he was going to be the difficult to transition where Breve would seamlessly continue in his work with no issue. 

ponies

Can you really call taking a barefoot pasture horse to a barefoot performance horse a transition? I think you can. There are major differences in a "pasture trim" and a good barefoot trim, and unfortunately many people don't understand these differences. Does your trimmer understand it? Breve had been recently trimmed prior to coming to Idaho, but came with too long of wall, too long of toe and some serious imbalances in all four feet, it was obvious some major adjustments were necessary. Because I knew his feet would be making some serious changes, I waited a while to order boots for him, planning on trimming conservatively and letting him do some natural wear during our frequent rides through November and December. I backed his toe up some and balanced him, but was not aggressive in his trim. Even so, after about a month of riding twice a week, he started to hesitate over the rougher, harder and rocky ground. I wrote a few weeks ago about fitting him for boots. Since we've gotten his boots, I've alternated riding barefoot and booted in the last month. About a week ago, I attacked his feet and am very pleased with how they look at this time. Look at these changes! 

From this...

brev

... and this

feet

To this...
this
feet      feet

... and THIS! 

B

We're well on our way! 

Now for Nero. Nero, Nero, Nero. Wouldn't you know it he hasn't taken a bobble? I don't even have anything to write! After pulling his shoes, I rounded the walls and left him for a week. Truthfully, I was afraid to do too much and have the ground freeze, leaving me with a sore footed pony. He just has his shoes pulled for gosh sakes! Of course until now, we've had perpetual fall, so no frozen ground to battle with. That is all changing tonight. But I digress. Nero looked great, and when I started to ride him the first part of December I was shocked! This guy doesn't miss a step! After almost a 600 mile endurance season in shoes, he hasn't skipped a beat. I really appreciate this guys toughness and inherently beautiful feet. While I am not foolish enough to expect a completely seamless transition to competing in boots, I am pleased with how things are going. I have also come to fully respect a good farrier, because I am certain our transition wouldn't be where it is today had Nero been shod poorly. Barefoot or shod, a good trim is imperative, and we should appreciate it when we see it. 

Poor Nero's transition has been so unremarkable the only pictures I have are of his ridiculously perfect little face. I guess that's the difference in getting a horse from someone who cares for them as you yourself do! No crazy physique changes, no dramatic before and afters, just an easy pony to love. I have been enjoying our weekly gallops to keep me sane and Nero legged up without pounding out too many miles. 

He is spoiled with us! Never a dirty bed, dinner on a silver platter, and a mint on his pillow at bed time. Oh wait. He really hates mints. 

Nero

Here shortly, I will be fitting Nero for his own Easyboot Gloves. I anticipate needing a very good fit in the front as I have watched him carefully and he appears to twist a bit in both fronts as he places his foot down. Luckily, he has beautiful wall quality, absolutely no flaring and appropriate heel height. If we have problems (and stating this as public record guarantees we will), they will be my fault. I plan to be prepared! 

Nero

That face! 
How are your transitions going? 

~ Amanda Washington
SW Idaho 

My Boot Buddies (in which I grow attached to a pair of boots)

During November, Uno and I were on the final 30-day period of his suspensory rehab, at the end of which--provided all went well--he would be pronounced "healed".

November's instructions were to "add terrain" so I was to gradually introduce hills, uneven footing, etc, instead of having to find creative ways to "trot for six continuous minutes on the flat" (no mean feat when you live in the foothills of the Sierra). It finally started to get fun.

Throughout his rehabilitation I have been riding him booted in front and barefoot in back. This was mostly because we have to negotiate my long large-rock-gravel driveway, followed by a mile or so of gravel road every morning. The few times I tried him un-booted, he'd invariably get a rock lodged up the side of his frog, causing funky-lameness and a small melt-down on my part until I discovered the culprit. Wearing boots is easier on both of us.

The most interesting thing is that during this time he has been wearing exactly the same pair of Gloves on exactly the same feet (right/left). And from that I've been able to see the wear pattern from how he travels. Although he's wearing down the medial (inner) part of the toe quicker than the distal area, I was pleased to see that the wear is even on both feet. He's no longer travelling like a banana which was a problem last year.

This pair of boots are like old friends.

The underside of Uno's 600-mile Gloves


I did the math and if you add in the two 50 milers at the Washoe Valley endurance ride in May, some Tevis Trail pre-riding, the 25 miles of NASTR 75 that we managed to complete before he injured himself, followed by the 450 miles of "little and often" over the last 120 days, these boots now have approximately 600 miles on them - nearly all of the last four months on abrasive gravel roads and pavement. And they are looking pretty good.

(In the same time period, if he'd been shod in steel shoes, we would have gone through four sets of shoes. Hmm.)


The topside of Uno's 600 mile Gloves


His left Glove (on the right in the above photo) still has the remains of the yellow duct tape we plastered on it way back in May during the the Washoe Valley ride when Uno's flared toe was causing gapping at the top of the boot and he was scooping in sand, which in turn was filling up the front of the boot and causing it to come off. Unfortunately at that point his foot was too big to squish on a brand new boot with a PowerStrap so we added the duct tape assuming that it might stay on for the next 20 mile loop. In reality, it took about 500 miles for the tape to fall off - not bad for a "quick fix".

However, after six months it's definitely time to add a PowerStrap as I can now push this boot on with one finger. It's a good fit, but not a tight one and I anticipate the upcoming varied terrain will put more stresses on the boots than trotting on the flat has*.

(* note it didn't - final month of rehab now completed -- and I still haven't gotten around to putting on the PowerStrap).

Uno, post-morning ride


Now we are into January, Uno is at the "healed stage" I can finally turn him out with his buddies, which in turn means I get to take a break from daily riding. Whilst I loved it when I was out there every morning, it really didn't balance well with my 60-hour work weeks. Time for me to take a month of vacation before gearing up again for the 2012 endurance season.

Lucy Chaplin Trumbull
Sierra Foothills, California

Team Easyboot 2012: Now Accepting Applications

We're excited to announce applications for Team Easyboot 2012 are now open. Team members will be selected based on their knowledge of the EasyCare product line; their diversity of riding activity, and their influence in their community. Team Easyboot 2012 membership will be limited to a total of 75 people.

Team Easyboot 2012


Expectations of Team Easyboot Members

If accepted onto Team Easyboot 2012, members are requested to participate in at least 7 of the following 12 items:
  1. Represent EasyCare in a professional and positive manner.
  2. Be fully knowledgeable about all EasyCare products and help others in the field.
  3. Keep information available and on hand to help answer people’s questions.
  4. Be available to assist in boot fitting and advice in person and on line.
  5. Provide feedback on product as needed.
  6. Actively promote the EasyCare brand in person.
  7. Submit bio, photo and monthly schedule of activities and availability to help others.
  8. Blog once a month on the EasyCare corporate blog.
  9. Actively participate with positive interaction and product advice on the Easyboot Facebook page.
  10. Wear Team Easyboot attire at events.
  11. Display Team Easyboot logo on tack, trailers and vehicles.
  12. Consider hosting boot fitting clinics in conjunction with hoof care practitioners.
Summary of Benefits
  1. Access to discounted EasyCare product for personal use.
  2. Access to EasyCare management team for help and guidance.
  3. Access to broader team members for general booting education and problem-solving.
  4. Advance access to product information and new products.
Note: Product purchased through the Team Easyboot discount program cannot be resold.

How To Qualify

In order to submit your name for consideration, all you have to do is answer a few basic questions in an online application form. Applications will be accepted until 12 midnight Mountain Standard Time on Wednesday, February 8, 2012.

The Selection Process

75 Team Easyboot 2012 Members will be selected by a panel of EasyCare staff. The new team members will be announced on Tuesday, February 14, 2012.

Over to You

If you would like to be considered for membership in Team Easyboot 2012, please click here and then click on the Application Form button. Remember to submit the form before Wednesday, February 8, 2012 to be considered.

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.

Fit On The Fly: The Top 4 Most Common Mistakes When Using Easyboot Gloves

I’ve had the good fortune to attend four endurance events since the end of November. It is always fascinating to meet people out in the field and to see what the current practices are – for better or for worse. Listed below are the four most common mistakes I've seen in the last two months.

Mistake # 1
One of the most consistent things I see at events and on the trail is people using the wrong size Easyboot Gloves on their horse. I often see Gloves that are one or even two sizes larger than the foot requires.

This boot is too big! This boot fits very nicely.

A boot too big. A boot just right.

The oversized boots obviously work for people - to a certain extent. But I think the addition of water uphill or speed added to the equation would probably cause a boot loss. When I ask people about the sizing choice, they often say they go up a size to allow for changes throughout the growth cycle. My experience is that you do not need to allow for the growth cycle. It is important for the boots to be snug – very snug – not loose. A simple rasp of the toe area every week or two will keep the boot fitting nice and snugly. Any barefoot trimmer would be delighted for their customers to do a little hoof maintenance between visits because it would also help maintain a healthy hoof.

Mistake #2
People often make the mistake of thinking that adding a Power Strap will offset any size deficiencies. Or perhaps that it will offset any issues around flare, long toes or high heels. Whilst a Power Strap helps keep the top of the boot snug, it will not solve all fit issues. And if you are new to boots, the Power Strap will often mask what is going on inside the boot.

Power Strap fitting nicely.

This boot fits well. Even with the Power Strap, you can see that the V is still spread.

Mistake #3

People are going up a size because they can’t easily apply the boot to the hoof, or they are not putting completely putting the boot on the hoof. When I ask if they use a mallet, some people cringe at the thought of banging a boot on. As a point of fact, the forces exerted when a horse trots or canters on hard ground are going to be significantly greater than the amount of force you can exert by a few bangs of a rubber mallet.

This boot is not quite on yet.

This Glove is not quite on yet. Note the gapping at the base of the V suggesting the toe is not fully inserted into the boot. Note also the gaiter appears to be too short.

Easyboot Glove and Mallet.

A good few taps of the mallet at the toe cannot hurt your horse.

Mistake #4

People often tell me they have trouble getting tight-fitting boots off. The trick is to pull from the side/rear of the boot, rather than from the heel bulb area. Pulling from the rear of the boot actually causes the top of the boot shell to contract, hugging the hoof capsule even tighter, and making boot removal more challenging. Pull instead from one side or the other, and you will find it much easier to remove the boot.

Not like this! More like this.

Not like this. More like this.

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.

Test Ride: Easyboot Trail

I have used Easyboot Gloves since they were released and absolutely love their lightweight and sleek design. I’ll admit when I saw the Easyboot Trail, I was skeptical and couldn’t help but compare them to my beloved Glove. Even though they are light, they aren’t as light as a Glove. Although they are sleek for a boot, to me they looked downright clunky next to the Glove. After becoming a customer service representative at EasyCare, I knew I needed to ride in the Trails since they were our most popular boot in 2011. So for the past three months I have been using the Trails on Cal, my Tennessee Walking Horse cross. Cal has always been a sensitive horse, the type that would gimp over rocks even when he had shoes on. The Trails were a breeze to put on and I was absolutely amazed at how comfortable he was in them, even more so than when I rode him with Gloves on the front. Now I see what all the fuss is about; the Easyboot Trail really is amazing!

Cal wearing Easyboot Trails and Gloves

Cal wearing Easyboot Trails on fronts and Easyboot Gloves on hinds.

The top concern I hear from prospective customers is if the Trail will cause rubs. The Trail needs to be broken in, just as you would break in a new pair of hiking boots. Your first few rides should be thirty minutes to an hour of walking and light trotting/gaiting; this is to ensure the fit is correct and there is no chafing. I decided to go against recommendations to see how they would perform if they weren’t broken in.  My first two rides were 5 and 7 miles over the course of a weekend. On the first day, I checked for rubs every 30 minutes and found none. The second day, I checked at 4 miles and saw a rub the size of a pencil eraser. When I checked again at 6 miles the area had not changed. After the ride, Cal was not at all sensitive at the site of the rub and the area was so small that it would not show up when I tried to take a picture of it. Since that first weekend I have ridden over 50 miles in the Trail averaging 5-10 miles per ride. The only time I observed a rub was on that second ride and it was because I had not properly broken the boots in. If you are concerned about rubs, you can purchase Gaiters to protect the pastern area. But if the boots are a good fit and properly broken in, Gaiters generally aren’t necessary.

Catalina State Park

Catalina State Park, the perfect testing grounds.

One of the things that really amazed me about the Trails was how well Cal gaited in them. Being a gaited cross, he is capable of doing a running walk and a trot but he usually prefers to trot. With the Trails however, he gets into a real nice rhythm and I can honestly say it is some of the most consistent gaiting I have felt from him. The aggressive tread pattern performed wonderfully when riding in and out of the technical rocky washes. For anyone who thinks the Trail is “too good to be true”, it isn’t. The Trail is THE boot for casual riders because it is easy to put on and performs well.

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.

EasyCare Announces the 2011 $10,000 Hoof Boot Contest Results

We’re pleased to announce the results of the 2011 edition of the $10,000 Hoof Boot Contest. Riders enrolled in the sixth annual EasyCare Hoof Boot Contest accumulated more than 25,000 miles across two disciplines.

20 competitors earned $10,000 in cash and product based on their total annual mileage accumulations. "Now that the results have been tabulated," said Garrett Ford, President and CEO of EasyCare, "we can give back to the community who puts the most miles on Easyboots."

Endurance Division
Winner of the 2011 EasyCare Endurance Hoof Boot Contest is Carla Richardson, who rode a staggering 2,525 miles with SS Kharady Khid. She and Khid will also win the coveted AERC 2011 National Mileage Award. Carla and Khid completed 50 endurance rides in the 2011 ride season. Khid now boasts 6,635 career miles, and he just keeps on trucking.

Carla and Khid. Photo by Steve Bradley.

Carla Richardson and SS Karahdy Khid. Photo by Steve Bradley.

In hot pursuit, Debbie Boscoe rode SRT Sizzling Sage and Scarlet Wind Song to second place with an accumulated 1,915 miles. New to hoof boots, Debbie was one of the highest mileage competitors at the 2011 2,000-mile XP ride from Missouri to California. In third place is 2010 Hoof Boot Contest winner, Terri Tinkham, who rode Oliver Twist for a total of 1,435 miles.

CTR Division
Winner of the 2011 EasyCare CTR Hoof Boot Contest is Mary Lambert. Mary rode High Tail Hanna and IM Bronze to a combined total of 375 miles. Bill Wingle rode Mariah for to second place with a total of 372 miles. Sheryl O'Brian rode Psyches Amore and Truimage of Gold into third place with a total of 350 miles.

Detailed Results
Easyboot Endurance Standings

Easyboot CTR Standings

For a full listing of the 2011 Hoof Boot Contest results, go the 2011 EasyCare Hoof Boot Contest page.

Easyboot is the official hoof boot of NATRC, AERC and Tevis 2012.

Keep up the Bootlegging!

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.




If These Boots Could Talk

Submitted by Tami Rougeau, Team Easyboot 2011 Member

At the end of every season I try to clean out the trailers and the tack room. This is usually a good way to keep the clutter down and the various items mended or cleaned. It is also a good time to remember all the fun of the previous year.

The pile of boots from days gone by

This year I took down the boot box to see what it contained. In years past I would put boots in this box that looked like they had some life or usuable parts left. This box also holds special memories. As I took note of the boot variety it became clear that the contents were more than a few years old. So what has changed?

One reason that I kept old boots was for spare parts. It seems that the cables were the first to go. Boy I do not miss those cables (except when I want to hang up the boots; you could put several boots on a carabeener and hang them on a hook or off your saddle). The boots would wear forever but seemed I was always replacing cables. When the rivets were replaced with screws that really helped.

Broken cables, most of the old boots in the pile have this issue

But the real treasure in the pile are the old red boots. We all loved the red. It was easy to see when they came off and easy to see on the foot when they stayed on. In the early days of booting we did a lot of "after market" work to make the boots work better for us. We trimmed down the heel straps to keep them from rubbing the heel bulbs; trimmed down the back of the boot to prevent sand and debris from being trapped in the boot; pounded down the grips and covered them with duct tape to keep them from damaging the hoof wall; even removed all hardware, foamed them on and reinforced with duck tape - all in our own attempts to make a better boot (looks familiar somehow).

Old red boot with heel strap and rear modified
                                                                                                                                                        

Old red boot with the inerds removed; evidence of the old foam still inside and out; the cable was left in this one

Just when we thought we had a good solution Easycare really started to make some big changes. They came out with the gaiter. This was the answer to the lost boot dilema for sure. The first gaiters were stiff and tended to cause rubbing so we came up with new ways to deal with that. But we were loosing a lot less boots. They also did not hold up to what we tended to put them through. The velcro would most often tear but sometimes they came completly separated at the seams. The new gaiters are soft and pliable. They do not seem to cause the rubbing that the old ones did. Interesting how the new gaiter design with its soft layering is so similar to how many of us dealt with rubbing by putting layers under the gaiter.

Epic boot with torn gaitor.  This is not the usual place they tore.  Typically it was at the velcro.

The harware was also changing. While I did try pretty much every variety not all are represented here. The up clip was great since usually if the clamp came open it was because you caught it on a rock. The problem with the up clip is that it was not so sturdy and would break when smashed against a rock. We also added cotter pins to the clamp to hold them closed and this worked great. But we still had those darn cables that cut your fingers and broke when you least expected. The boots themselves though were practically indestructable. Wearing out a shell took a lot of miles.

Pretty worn out Epic.  Wonder what stories this boot could tell?

The newer soles are even better. They grip like a bare foot and provide a great deal of cushion as well. They are pretty indestructable. I can remember wearing through the toe of the old boots but not these. Some of my Easyboot Gloves have close to a thousand miles on them and they are still viable training boots.

Glove with about 150 miles on it.

So in answer to the question "what has changed?" Everything. The new Gloves and Glue-Ons are amazingly similar to many of the after market versions we all experimented with but they are so much better. That said the tried and true red boots are still out on trail. My trail riding friends are always seeking out these good old friends, they love them. When I try to get them to change to the way easier Glove they just wont budge. That is until they come out with them in red!

As for me, I love the new boots and look forward every year to see what Easycare will come up with next. How will they make it better, easier to use, more durable etc?  Only time will tell.

2011: The Biggest EasyCare Natural Hoof Care Moments & Changes Of The Year

2011 is a year that I'll remember for acceptance of natural hoof care practices, hoof boots and barefoot trimming. 

Yes, natural hoof care has been around along time and many people feel it's the only way to keep a horse.  There are also many people who believe all horses must wear iron shoes.  I think the thing that I noticed most about 2011 is a broad, mainstream acceptance of barefoot hoof care.  Horse owners that have had every horse shod for years now have one or two going strong barefoot or booted.  I've noticed a change in thinking, it's no longer a debatable topic but a successful tool in the bag of tricks of the equestrian trade. 

Here is my list of why I believe natural hoof care made a big step forward in 2011, why it will continue in 2012 and where EasyCare needs focus in the future.   I'll start with #1 and cut right to the chase.

1.  Pete and Ivy Ramey release a monumental book about natural hoof care called "Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot".  Pete and an incredible group of contributing authors (Robert Bowker, Hilary Clayton, Brian Hampson, Eleanor Kellon, Kerry Ridgway, Debra Taylor and Kathryn Watts) lay out the importance of hoof care theory, nutrition and the hoof, trimming different parts of the hoof, laminitis management and feral horse foot studies.  The book is incredible and a must read for equine professionals, horse owners and anyone who cares for the equine hoof.  If you believe in the phrase "No Hoof, No Horse" this book will bring your knowledge to a whole new level.

Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot

2.  Tevis Cup 2011.  The toughest 100 mile horse race in the world tests horses, riders and hoof care management techniques more than any other venue in the world.  Jeremy Reynolds wins both the Tevis Cup and Haggin cup using Easyboots on a barefoot horse.  In addition to Reynolds impressive results, Easyboots were used on the 3rd place horse, 5th place horse and an additional 6 horses in the top twenty.  In total 28 barefoot/Easybooted horses finished the 2011 event.  The Tevis Cup continues to show that barefoot/booted horses care compete and win at the highest levels of equine sport.

Reynolds racing wins 2011 Tevis Cup in Easyboots

The Reynolds Racing Team accepting the 2011 Haggin Cup.  Marvel is wearing Easyboots.

3.  Horse Journal names the Easyboot Glove as Horse Journal Editor's Choice and the Easyboot Trail and Horse Journal Best Buy.  Horse Journal is a cool equine magazine that does a great deal of product testing and reviews.  They don't take advertising dollars so their reviews are usually very good and on target. 

Easyboot Glove Testing

The Easyboot Glove on an early testing run.  EasyCare's hopes for this boot have come through. 

4. EasyCare has promoted the $10,000 Hoof Boot Contest since 2005.  Although the Hoof Boot Contest has been very successful and has helped promote hoof boots and barefoot horses in one of the toughest equine sports, 2011 will bring an end to the successful $10,000 Hoof Boot Contest and we will soon launch the inaugural 2012 International Transition Challenge.  The Transition Challenge will showcase horse owner and hoof care professional horse transitions.  The new contest will highlight the importance of routine hoof care maintenance, proper nutrition and exercise.  The change of direction will take our contest focus off long distance racing and put money and energy into a contest where improving the lives of horses will be highlighted and rewarded.  More information will be coming soon.  

Hoof Transition, Before and After.

Before and After transition photos
showcased in That's My Horse #2

5. Advancement, another area of focus for EasyCare in 2012.  It's 2011 and in many areas of the equine industry we are still using products and methods developed hundreds of years ago. Why do other sports like cycling, skiing, climbing, and running continue to advance?  If you look at a bike developed 20 years ago you would think it belonged in a museum.  If you looked at a saddle developed 20 years ago you would think it looks just like the saddles being made today.  One of EasyCare's goals moving forward is to borrow technology from other industries and bring it into the equestrian industry.  Time to look at things differently. 
 

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.