Improved International Shipping

Do you live in Canada, Australia, or Europe? If so, I have good news. In an effort to improve service to our international customers and ship international orders with more efficiency, we have updated our International Shipping Policy and now have standard rates for most orders shipping to these locations.
 
 
International customers in Canada, Australia and Europe* have three shipping methods to choose from: USPS First Class International, USPS Priority International and FedEx Priority International. Only orders under $100 are eligible for USPS First Class International. Orders between $100 and $400 are eligible for USPS Priority International and FedEx Priority International**. These shipping selections are now available when you go to check out. If your order is over $400 or you live a country other than Canada, Australia or Europe* please select “International freight – quoted” and freight quotes will be emailed after you submit your order.
 
*Includes Great Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Greece. Freight quotes must be prepared for other European countries.     
**Excludes HiTies and Hoofjacks.
 
Below are the new standard rates. For faster delivery and better shipping rates don't forget to check our Dealer Locator to find dealers in your country. 
 
  USPS 1st Class***
(10-14 Business Days)
USPS Priority 
(6-10 Business Days)
FedEx Priority
(3-5 Business Days)
Canada $12.00 $48.00 $56.00
Europe $20.00 $64.00 $80.00
Australia $22.00 $66.00 $108.00

***USPS 1st Class is not insurable and cannot be tracked. 

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.

 

The Find-it-Fast Fit Kit

An important part of taking care of your client’s needs is boot sizing and fitting. Since the Easyboot Glove and Easyboot Glove Back Country are go-to boots for many of us, laying hands on the right shells quickly is crucial. Thanks to EasyCare’s comprehensive sizing we have more fit options. More options means a whole lot of boot shells in that bag. Where oh where is the 0.5W shell? Working on cloudy days with black Glove shells and having (ahem) older eyes had me rummaging unproductively in my Fit Kit bag. I’ve developed an eye for sizing within a couple of boot sizes, but finding that perfect shell efficiently among 19 sizes in a deep, dark bag? Need a new plan!
 
I tried a number of labeling methods. Here are two that I like. The first is that handy Mueller tape—it sure sticks on hooves, so I tried white tape on boots shells; perfect. When the wide shells became available, I used this method to distinguish them from regular sizes at a glance. It sticks and I could write huge numbers with my Sharpie in nice black and white contrast. 
 
 
The wide shell white tape labeling method.
 
Months later, it is still sticking, but looking a bit grubby and fraying at the edges. Will my labeling system fail? Meanwhile, sizes 4, 4.5 and 5 were added to the Glove line-up; time for more research. I found inspiration for the second method during an office day taking care of scheduling and paperwork. What is super-bright, super-white and found in many desk drawers? Correction fluid, aka “Wite-Out.” I dusted off all the shells and got to painting. No more dark and mysterious fit kit. Big white numbers beamed at me, saying “I am 0.5!” Way cool for less fumbling and more fun helping people enjoy their horses.
 
 
White-Out, wow that's bright!
 
Ruthie Thompson-Klein, Equine Balance Hoof Care

Oh, You Still Ride Endurance?

I sure do! This year has been one of shifted priorities and welcome breaks. In past years, I would have been hundreds of miles into my endurance season by now, while this year it has just begun. Luckily my break has been voluntary and now that we're settled in to our new home and routine, I can throw my renewed energy into the sport of endurance, which I truly love. 

Last weekend we packed up and headed out to my favorite endurance ride in Idaho. Old Selam is one of the longest standing rides in the Northwest as well as one with the richest history. The ride began in 70's at the old Idaho Penitentiary, following the legend of Bob Meeks, a member of the Butch Cassidy gang, who escaped from the prison in 1901 using Old Selam, an aged cart horse used at the prison. On Christmas Eve old Mr. Meeks unhitched Selam and headed out! Unfortunately for him, he was captured the next day, when both he and Selam were returned to the prison. The second escape occurred a week later when prison guards noticed Selam was missing along with a saddle, bridle and prisoner Sam Bruner. The pair was never caught and was one of the very few successful escapes from the old pen. This ride has changed locations throughout the years as land was developed and closed, but it's been housed at the Idaho City location for many years. Old Selam is challenging in that it is not only a mountain ride, but there are numerous water crossing as the trail winds in and out of the old mine tailings from the gold rush days. Following many creek crossings are steep climbs and descents. 

Headed through the "Scary Forest" on my favorite loop.

This year, my goal was to focus on my up and coming gelding, Belesemo Enchanter. I purchased Chant as a late three year old, who knew nothing but living out on large acreage with his buddies. Chant is now 7, and finally maturing mentally and physically as I knew he would, someday. I've had a tough time with this guy as he is somewhat aloof and a very confident individual who is not at all demanding or insecure and needy as some of my others. Unfortunately this has made bonding with Chant somewhat difficult. While he's always been a great ride (can we say awesome canter?), I just haven't been drawn to him. This year, I was bound and determined to change that. As such, Chantly has been my #1 guy this summer and because of it, is super fit! I knew he was ready to rock and we headed up to ride camp excited for the weekend ahead. 

Because I was only riding one 50 and Chant hasn't ever had any issues with boots, I made the easy choice of using my Easyboot Gloves for this event. Chant's wide little feet use 0 Wide Gloves up front and fancy-schmancy BLUE 00.5's behind. As he has historically twisted his right front boot, I use Mueller Athletic Tape for training and good old 2" Elastikon for endurance rides. Because I knew we would be in and out of the creek all day, I used an extra wrap for good measure and pounded those suckers on for a problem-free boot day for the next 50 miles. Slap 'em on the morning and off you go. Take 'em off after the ride. Easy-peasy. 

And we rode every, single, mile - no short ride here, folks. The first loop was a lovely (and long!) 27 miles before getting back to camp for our only hold of the day. Unfortunately my out-of-practice self did a crummy job of taking care of me, and ended up paying for the oversight in the end. No worries, we won't make that mistake again. After an hour hold we headed out on what may have been the longest, hottest, hardest 20-ish miles of my life. Yeah, it was the true meaning of endurance. While I was lucky to have two awesome riding partners, a few times I considered accidentally pushing the SOS button on my SPOT Tracker and then utilizing the emergency services so their efforts didn't go unappreciated or wasted. Dramatic? Maybe. But I was pretty much there. Like I said, lesson learned and I will not neglect myself in the future! A sick rider makes a crummy partner for an awesome horse.

Little Chant cruised through the ups and the downs, the single track, the cross-country and the creek crossings without missing a beat. My boots stayed put like I've grown to expect and the temperatures soared. Finally, FINALLY, we were finished. Chant vetted out great and I was psyched about his performance on his second ever endurance ride. This poor guy will know nothing but true 50's and looooooong loops as his first ride was a two-loop 55 and his second ride was one of the hardest I've ever done. 

Finally. DONE. (Check out those Gloves, y'all).
Photos by Jessica Anderson of JRA Photography.

My Gloves performed flawlessly, which is always a relief when riding with people who's horses are shod. If anything bad is going to happen with boots, it will be in front of people who don't use them! My one riding partner, Max Merlich, did the big XP a few years back and rode lots of miles with one of Easyboot's finest, Dave Rabe. Dave hooked Max's mule up with Gloves after a few lost shoes and the mules did great. I was glad my boots didn't mess up his perception. Ironically, along the trail I saw two lost shoes and the bottom of another brand of boot, ripped off from its glue-on shell. Chant looked great after the ride, with no rubs. Unfortunately, the next day he broke out in scratches, which could have been from the heat and water but most likely was due to the clover take-over in the pastures which has caused scratches for everyone, as well as drool and stocking up in Topper. Leave it to Topper to re-direct the focus to HIM. 

I am looking forward to lots more miles on this gelding. His scratches cleared up in a couple days and his post-ride vacation is over as of this weekend. Oh, and the clover is getting sprayed very soon. Although the endurance season is winding down, we'll be ready to rock next year. Bring it on! 

Remember, Compare, Adjust - Riding with Buck Brannaman

Horsemanship at its absolute best! What a grand time at the Buck Brannaman Cle Elum, WA. Clinic July 12-15, 2013.

I brought Lyric, a 19 year old QH/Arab cross mare. I had recently started her and she had almost 90 days of training.  

Buck told us that since we had lots of room to work, we should take advantage and canter. So Lyric and I did lots of cantering which was so much fun. 

With such nice footing, why did she wear Easyboot Gloves? Lyric was still recovering from a rather large abscess that had started early in her training (see the story here). Since the internal structures were still healing and rebuilding, I kept her booted to protect that foot. Because these boots "fit like a glove" I never had any concern about losing a boot. We were one of two participants sporting hoof boots, I saw another horse wearing the Easyboot Glove Back Country.

We worked on the floating rectangle, also known as Centering Your Horse.

    

One rein stops, backing and leg yields were just a few of the many things we worked on. Some of these things were new to Lyric, especially with so many other horses. Buck teaches to get yourself timed up with their feet, feel the horse, and pet them to minimize stress. All of these things helped Lyric as we kept working on the exercises. 

At the end of every clinic I like to personally thank Buck. He spends so much time on the road, away from his family, teaching quality horsemanship to those who are willing, listening, and ready to remember, compare and adjust. Thank you again Buck for another awesome clinic, see you at the Tacoma Unit in November. 

Amy AllenAmy Allen Horsemanship

September 2013: Bare Feet by Katy

She needs no introduction, her truck says it all: it's Bare Feet by Katy. EasyCare's featured dealer for September 2013 is passionate, dedicated and, yes, fun. It's business with a smile when your natural hoof care practitioner is Katy Banks of Corbett, OR.

Katy became a certified farrier in 2000 and shifted her focus in 2005 to natural hoof care. She hit the ground running as an EasyCare dealer in 2008 and has been a fantastic addition to our hoof care practitioner dealer network. 

As a single mom, Katy recognized that what she really needed was a skill that could afford a flexible schedule and be used and taken virtually anywhere. Having spent her life with horses, the transition to a career in hoof care was a perfect fit. Being self employed allowed her the needed flexibility to be available for her children and still pursue a successful career helping horses. When Katy first started her venture, her daughters were only ages four and two so this was certainly no small undertaking. The girls, now teenagers, continue to keep things hopping at home for Katy. Add to the mix a clientele of 150 head of horses a month and you have one very busy lady.

When asked about her marketing and business strategies she says, "It's hard not to put the truck at the top of the list. The "big girl truck", as my mom calls it is recognized nearly everywhere in the NW Oregon and SW Washington area. The other key element I believe is my personal attention to my clients and their horses. Customer service must be a priority in my line of work. If my clients and their horses are happy then I've delivered on my end of the deal. I strive to be available to my clients and consider their needs a priority, always taking into consideration their input. After all, they really know their horses better than anyone. I ensure they have access to as many resources as possible to keep their horses happy and healthy. Part of that equation is keeping EasyCare hoof boots and accessories on hand. The Easyboot Glove and Back County are my most requested boot styles."

As far as advice, she recommends her fellow hoof care professionals maintain the highest level of communication possible with clients. Keep appointments and never, ever stop learning. She also encourages hoof care providers to think independently and to assess new ideas carefully. To the horse owner, she couldn't stress more the importance of working with your horses so that they can stand quietly and comfortably while being trimmed - your horse and hoof care provider will thank you.

As is often the case, taking the road less traveled hasn't been without a few bumps. Last fall, Katy received news she had developed an acoustic neuroma that would require cranial surgery. Things came to a screeching halt and there was a big question mark placed on a lot of things. Ultimately Katy came through it more determined than ever. Clients and friends stepped up to help her through the rough spots and Katy says she was completely overwhelmed by the love and support show she received. The surgery resulted in many challenges and has left Katy deaf in one ear, but her recovery and successful return to trimming is one to rival a Rocky movie.

When asked about her favorite hoof boot, she'll tell you she really doesn't have one but rather her "favorite" is the one the that fits and suits the horse best for his job at that given time. She is quick to mention however that her youngest daughter loves the Back Country for her gaited horse.

Katy has many great stories but the one most near and dear to her heart is of a paint mare with navicular that came into her possession. The horse had been shod with pads and wedges for the previous five years (she was 13 at the time). The shoes were pulled and after six months of diligent trimming the mare was pasture sound barefoot. This mare progressed from a size #0 wedge/bar horseshoe to a size #2 in a hoof boot and was able to be ridden on the trail in boots with pads. Katy adds that the whole experience was so satisfying and fun. "Watching her moving freely in the pasture with the other horses and being able to keep up on her own, well there is simply nothing like it." 

Thank you Bare Feet by Katy, it’s a pleasure having you as part of our amazing team of hoof care practitioner dealers.

In With the New - We're Making it Easier for You

Out with the old and in with the new. EasyCare's website will soon have a new look thanks to Doug Aghassi, our graphic & web designer. It has been several years since EasyCare's website was redesigned and our goal was to develop a design with the customer's needs in mind. The new design is simple and engaging. Two new menu items are "Customer Service" and "Dealer Info" - these items allow both our consumers and dealers quick access to important information. Our hoof boots are divided into three categories based on their intended use (Pleasure Riding, Performance and Therapy). With the new website you can access each of these categories right from the homepage. "How do I measure?", one of the most frequently asked questions is also accessible from the home page. 

EasyCare's new home page.

Each of our product pages will also have a new, updated look. At the top of each page you will see amazing pictures of the featured product in action. The size charts are at the bottom of each page and additional information can be found by clicking on "Application" and "FAQs". There is also an information video and application guide on each product page.

Old Mac's G2 new website design.

 

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.

 

The Rimrock Trail

In August, I revisited a favorite place of my early endurance riding “career” – Rimrock Ranch. The 40-acre ranch is owned by longtime friends and fellow endurance riders Jeff Herten and Debby Lyon. Many of you may know them in a Tevis-related way. Both serve on the WSTF board, and Jeff is a member of the Haggin Cup Committee. We became good friends when I lived in San Luis Obispo, where I went to college. I rode hundreds of miles with Debby during that time. We all belonged to a group of riders aptly named the Longriders. Back then, we carried the original Easyboot in our saddle packs in case we lost a shoe, as all our horses were shod.

Jeff and Debby relaxing at a Willie Nelson concert at the famous Pozo Saloon near their Rimrock Ranch.

Anyway, introductions aside, lets get back to Rimrock. The ranch is located east of the little town of Santa Margarita in San Luis Obispo County. It’s a 20-minute drive on a narrow ribbon of road to get to it, all the time surrounded by vast rolling pastureland and the Los Padres National Forest. The ranch itself is modest in appearance, but it has all the necessary infrastructure that horse people require - great fencing, large pastures, run-in sheds, a barn and an arena. It is where Jeff and Debby’s retired endurance horses go to live out their lives. That alone makes it a special place. It’s what lies beyond the ranch that is so spectacular—some of the most rugged and challenging riding terrain a true endurance rider could wish for. And no end to it.

A place to contemplate, overlooking Rimrock Ranch.

The ranch backs up to Las Padres and is nestled at the base of the Santa Lucia Mountain ridge. Jeff’s first order of business when he acquired the property was to put in a trail to the top. Within a month, they had a rudimentary trail (read "scary trail") in place to get to the top. This became the Rimrock Trail. Construction of the trail was a cooperative effort between some really tough people: Debby and Jeff, Mike and Marilyn Rehorn, Jim Hurley, Jon Priest, Lauren Jefferson, Patty Hawes, and Sandy and Bill Obermeyer. You may recognize some of those names. The trail has been improved upon over the years and is well maintained, but it is still incredibly challenging.

I’ve ridden this trail numerous times, and never without looking at it in amazement that these hardy people cut the trail on foot with pics and axes, and chainsaws to clear the dense chaparral. It’s a hair-raising trail to ride - definitely NOT for the inexperienced or timid rider. The trail exits the back of Rimrock Ranch and then climbs steadily without reprieve. The elevation at the trailhead is 1550 feet. It climbs 3.1 miles to the top of Hi Mountain, where the Hi Mountain Lookout is perched, at 3198 feet. The trail itself is 2.6 miles, after which it connects with the road to the lookout. From there, a rider can go in any direction – forever.

Hi Mountain Lookout is a special place in its own right. It sits at the crest of the Santa Lucia Mountains. It's is a retired USFS fire lookout that has been brought back to life as a research station for the reintroduced California Condor. It overlooks an historic condor nesting site, which is designated a critical habitat for the rare birds. Check out www.condorlookout.org for more information about the lookout. It's really something to be riding out there and have the shadow of one of these giant birds pass over you.

This was my first visit back to Rimrock Ranch in 15 years. It felt good to be back. My trip wouldn't be complete without a trek up the trail. I didn’t have a horse with me, and so I put on my hiking boots and started up the trail. My hike brought back a lot of great memories. As I looked down, I saw something new. Among various animal tracks were those of horses in Easyboots. Some things never change, and some things do.

2013 Tevis Top Ten Riders Series: Beverly Gray and Jolly Sickle

Bev Gray has completed 45 100-mile events and has 18,200 career AERC endurance competition miles, of which 2,400 are with Jolly Sickle. This was Bev's fourth Tevis completion and Jolly Sickles' second Tevis completion. Bev and Jolly Sickle completed the course in ninth place.
 
Jolly Sickle (the ice-sickle in his name) was born on a snowy day in Dallas in 2004. His sire, Jolly By Golly, is a champion stallion at Mandolynn Hill Farm. He was bred to race on the track; his pedigree is Polish with a splash of Tunisian and Egyptian. Even with all the impeccable track training, he was not very enthusiastic for the race track.  
 
I received a call from Mandolynn that they had a very special, tough endurance prospect for me. When I first saw him, he reminded me of my, 9,000 race mile, Breyer model and Hall of Fame champion, AA Omner Indeed, so I took him home to Utah.
 
 
Jolly Sickle, otherwise known as Ice, started his endurance training, and at six years old we entered several endurance races. We stayed away from the front runners as he still had a race track mentality, and 50 miles is a lot longer than six furlongs. This was his foundation training for two years, until I started to enter him in 100-mile events. Ahh, finally he could focus and understand that endurance was endurance and not the track!
 
Last Spring, Jolly Sickle was trimmed way too short: he was lame for two months. How can I help Jolly? I spoke with EasyCare and they suggested trying the Easyboot Glue-Ons. I ordered all the essentials and watched every EasyCare gluing video, read and the blogs to train myself for the application process. It was definitely a learning curve: too much glue, not enough glue, glue sets up too fast, horse would not stand still (needed an assistant). And I looked like the Disney absent-minded professor with plastic gloves glued together: plastic apron and black glue-spattered running shoes.
 
 
Jolly Sickle recovered and came sound with his Glue-Ons. He won his homecoming race and got the Best Condition award. It was a very good year for Jolly Sickle, with 14 races, nine firsts and 11 BCs. He even won the AERC's National Champion Best Condition!
 
I learned the most crucial lesson of Glue-Ons was the trim. I am not a farrier, but my new understanding of hoof dynamics through my EasyCare lessons helps me to prepare for the best performance package. I’m still not overly confident in my own installation and rely on the EasyCare master professionals.
 
When I decided to ride the Tevis, there was no question that boots would be the best protection for the rugged, rocky, technical Tevis terrain: no question whatsoever. We came to Tevis barefoot knowing the EasyCare professionals would trim and fit Jolly Sickle perfectly. Since I have ridden Jolly in numerous races in Glue-Ons and Easyboot Gloves, I was confident. Jolly moved efficiently and flawlessly all day. At the vet checks I was told “he looks fantastic,” “we wish all the horses were presented this incredibly,” “good work,” etc, etc. We were smiling all day. With a fantastic crew, our entire pace and goal was finish top ten and show for Haggin Cup. Goal Achieved.
 
 
My Jolly Sickle moves so comfortably in Easyboot Glue-Ons that it reverberates in my confidence riding him and knowing I have prepared him with the best hoof protection on the market. I believe it is very important to understand the application process and I will be attending an Easyboot clinic. It is really quite simple.
 
Thank you, thank you, thank you EasyCare Inc.
 
Submitted by Beverly Gray
 
All photos courtesy of Vicki Gaebe parkcityphotography.com
 

Life After Glue

If you’ve used Easyboot Glue-Ons, you already know how great they are. Like most things, they take some practice to get comfortable using, but once you get it down, you just “set it and forget it” and enjoy some of the best hoof protection available. For me, the trouble comes after the ride is over and the boots are off. 50 or 100 miles isn’t enough to wear out a set of Glue-Ons. And I just can’t bring myself to throw away a perfectly good set of boots. Sure, they’re caked with Adhere and Sikaflex, but if you listen closely, you can hear the cries of an Easyboot Glove begging to be born. By following a few simple steps, you can have a perfectly usable, almost new set of Easyboot Gloves that will provide many, many more miles of hoof protection.

 

The diamond in the rough.

Step one: Order size-appropriate Glove Gaiters from EasyCare. If you have old, spare gaiters lying around, feel free to use those, too. Of course, if the gaiters are ripped or looking tired, you might as well start out with fresh, new gaiters.

Step two: Remove all leftover Sikaflex and Adhere from the boot. The best way to do this is with a dremel. You have to experiment with different dremel tips to find which one works best for removing glue, and be careful not to dremel so much that you begin dremeling the boot material (red or blue boots are great for this, as it’s very easy to tell where the glue stops and the boot material begins).

The rounded, metal attachment works great for removing old glue.
The slimmer, smaller attachment is perfect for drilling holes for gaiter attachment.

Step three: Once you’ve removed the majority of the Sikaflex and Adhere, drill holes into the pre-marked spots on the boot where you’ll need to attach the new gaiter.

Pre-marked spots for gaiter attachment.

Step four: Follow the directions provided by EasyCare for attaching the gaiter to the boot shell.

And voila. There you have it. You’ve given new life to an old boot.

And to think...you almost threw it away!

I’m all for getting the most miles possible out of my boots. But it’s important to know when a boot has had enough and is ready for retirement. When the tread on the bottom of the boot is thin and the gaiter is torn and the Velcro is hanging on by a thread, the you know the boot has reached the end of it’s life…or has it?

Definitely not trail worthy, but still works great for soaking feet.

Since moving to Nevada, my horses have developed rock-hard, concrete feet. The only way I’ve been able to trim their feet is by soaking them for a few hours prior to trimming. So those old, tattered, worn out Gloves that have no business out on the trail, have been demoted to hoof soakers. I apply the boots, “just add water”, and 3-4 hours later, I have hooves I can actually trim.

I promise I’ll actually throw them away after this stage of their life. Unless I can find something else to do with them.

Renee Robinson

Cy Saddlery Makes It Look "Easy" in Alaska

The following is from EasyCare dealer, Stefanie Bergman, of Cy Saddlery in Wasilla, Alaska:

"Well, I just got back from a competitive trail ride (CTR) in Fairbanks. Six hundred miles in the truck and forty miles in the saddle and we're home! I am so happy to report that the HiTie worked beautifully. I honestly wouldn't do another ride without one. My horse was able to move around, which made her more comfortable at the trailer. My mare loves the HiTie. She is much less anxious being on the trailer than when she's tied hard and fast. This is such a great product!

The ride lived up to it's name of being a challenge. We rode up to Ester Dome in Fairbanks and if we weren't going uphill, we were going downhill. On thr first day of the ride, it rained and was windy and cold. I had to rock out the winter riding gear to stay warm.

The second day was beautiful. In the picture below with the Fireweed field, you will see the mountain where we rode to the very top. It was an amazing weekend.

I saw a lot of EasyCare hoof boots, Stowaway Packs and other EasyCare products on the ride. I also donated a set of Stowaway Packs to the ride, which was presented to the "red lantern" rider.

My little mare did a wonderful job. This was her second CTR and she took first place horse, I took third place horsemanship and we won high point combined. It was a lot of fun!"

Another assertive EasyCare dealer that not only talks the talk, but walks the walk! Congratulations, Stefanie!

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.