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.

January 2012: Epona's Natural Hoofcare Services

If you've ever met Natalie Herman, you will know her to be dependably positive and honest. Since she started her business in 2005, she believes there has been an explosion of booting options, both in the growth of new boot brands and within EasyCare itself.

Natalie hard at work.

Natalie attributes her success to her burning desire to learn. She finds she can learn something from everyone. Even if she does not agree, there is always something that might cause her to approach a problem from a different angle. She credits her reputuation to the power of word of mouth and her conscientious approach to customer service. "I do some marketing, but it is a fairly tight community around here. If you want to be successful, you need to have people talking about you in a good way."

Natalie says Easycare makes working with their dealer networks and boot users a pleasurable process. "They have a friendly, helpful, knowledgeable staff; they have favorable return policies, and when a product is shown to need improvement, they modify the product instead of sticking with the same old thing."

She uses the same philosophy in her own business: "I am very helpful and giving with my knowledge. If a client has a question, they never hesitate to call or email me with it, and I try and help them. A good trim is just the tip of a large iceberg." She studied horseshoeing first, and credits that time with learning the principles of anatomy and a balanced trim. She feels strongly that evolution is just as important in hoofcare as it is in the boots that protect those hooves.

Natalie is quick to compliment EasyCare: "I love how inovative Easycare is, always trying to come up with new solutions to existing boots, or totally new boots when the need arises. Instead of insisting that the user is at fault, or the trims are incorrect, EasyCare tries to find a solution to boot failures by either modifying the boot design, or coming up with a design that fits the activity of that user. She says she's still waiting to see a sliding plate boot, though. "It just amazes me how fast things are changing in the industry," says Natalie, "and I am loving it."
 
Natalie currently owns three horses: a 13 year-old Morgan/Quarter Horse mare that was her first horse and, she says, her best horse. "I tried about everything with her, and she is currently being leased to a friend's daughter. Together they won the state championship for CSHA Trail Trials in their division this year, bare and sometimes booted with Gloves. She was also her experimental horse for getting into barefooting. She always needed shoes with pads in the front, having long toe/low heel issues, and wore the outside branches of her hind shoes to nothing in six weeks. Natalie was skeptical of taking her barefoot. "Her feet became so much better that I decided to completely convert my farrier business to natural hoofcare." She has never looked back.

Natalie & Storm.

Natalie and Storm.

She bred the mare to the top AERC mileage and Hall of Fame stallion, DR Thunder Bask, and this year her six year-old daughter completed her first endurance season. She has been bare her entire life, and performed wonderfully in Gloves, Epics, and Glue-ons at rides throughout 2011. "She is also my 'thinking outside the box' booting horse. I have had to modify boots and how to apply them to the hoof with her, as she tends to have a lot of torque on the hind end." Having a challenging horse in booting has helped her help others.

Natalie also has a 13 year-old Kentucky Mountain stallion. "He is my 'soul horse' and I love everything about him."

Natalie and E.

Natalie & Eowyn.

As a small business owner, Natalie keeps a minimum stock for clients, and appreciates the fact that Easycare does not have a minimum order policy amount. Her best-seller is still the Easyboot Glove and Glove Wides. "Most of my cients love them as they are so simple to use. The next best-selling models are the Epic and Easyboot Trail, as both allow a greater range of fitting for clients unable or unwilling to keep the hooves trimmed as frequently as the Gloves require.

Her most rewarding experience as a trimmer was treating her first founder case. "I knew the theory, and had trimmed a few mildly laminitic horses, but not a really bad case. When I called the vet for a consult and to go in and see the radiographs, the vet had basically written the horse off and told me to expect to see the coffin bone coming through the sole." She never did get sole penetration on that horse, but there were months of abscessing. Today the horse has textbook hooves. "This case got me started on the path to working on laminitic horses and it boosted my confidence in the barefoot method."

Natalie's most memorable hoof boot success story is the 2011 XP 2,000 mile ride. "There were a good number of barefoot and booted riders already, but there were also many shod horses competing." The barefoot horses proved to be most of the highest mileage horses on this ride, with over 1,000 miles each during the two-month span. Riders with shod horses discovered the benefits of barefoot/booted protocols, and many of them solved lameness issues during the race by pulling shoes and applying boots. "So much for an extended transition from shoes," said Natalie ironically.

Natalie's Calling Card

Natalie's calling card.

Natalie's prediction for the future? That a barefoot and booted lifestyle will become the norm instead of a fad. "More and more vets and long-time farriers are becoming interested in it. As boots become easy to use and effective as hoof protection, more people see barefoot and booting as a viable option for their horse's hoofcare.

For more information on Epona's Natural Hoofcare Services, visit Natalie's new Facebook page. For more information on becoming a dealer, visit the Dealer's Corner on the EasyCare website.

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.


EasyCare Looking Forward to Even More Growth in 2012!

EasyCare is in the final week of 2011 before closing for the holidays. We are lucky enough to get a couple of weeks off to spend time with our families. One of the greatest benefits of working at EasyCare is the importance of family. Our team works hard, and as the year winds down it is so nice to get to spend some quality time with our families and return in the new year refreshed and ready to build on yet another year of hoof boot momentum.   

Easyboot Trail

2011 was highlighted by the release of the Easyboot Trail and its success has been amazing. This entry-level boot has opened a door for first-time boot users. The Trail is forgiving, easy to put on and take off, and stays put on varied terrain. Combine this with a base price point and we have a home run!  Our dealer network has been instrumental in the success of the Trail, we are lucky to partner with the best dealer/distributors in the world.  A lot of what is seen in the Trail is due to feedback from dealers and end users. You spoke. We listened. 

2012 will bring a full warehouse and some exciting changes. Keep your eyes open for your 2012 Dealer Packets and be sure to check Easyboot's Facebook page on a regular basis for some of these exciting changes and additions. Alternative hoof care is a growth market; awareness and education are at an all time high. 2012 is going to be yet another amazing year for the barefoot horse and EasyCare. Make sure you are a part of it.

Happy Holidays!

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.

Project Moose: Do These Boots Make My Feet Look Fat?

Once upon a time I rode a little red mare who gamely earned her nickname, The Little Red Rocket. This little mare wore 00 Easyboot Gloves in back, and 0's in front. I was beyond THRILLED when her tiny little contracted feet expanded into 00.5's in back and 0.5's in front. I knew these were little feet, but they were normal to me. I was extra excited when my baby, Topper, filled 1W Gloves! Woo-hoo Big Foot in the HOUSE! Yah baby! 

brev

The Moose. I adore this guy! 

Then came The Moose. Yes, my big (too big), black (too dark), substantial (too bulky) Shagya gelding arrived. I think I mentioned before that this gelding has tree trunks for legs and Tonka trucks for feet. I joked with a friend that I shouldn't be riding a horse who's feet were bigger than my hands (mind out of the gutter, buddy!) and estimated that he would wear a size 3 Glove up front and a 2 behind. While I knew these were big boots in my mind, I didn't realize the actual SIZE of them until they arrived. HOLY HECK THESE SUCKERS ARE HUGE! I excitedly drove out to the ranch to take my boy for a ride with his new wheels. Fail. 

gloves

Big Ass Boots

boots

Quite a bit of overhang goin' on up there
.

At least a size too small on all accounts, I left a little dejected. I started to worry a little about having an endurance horse with bigger than a size 3 foot. Is this too big? Will he hold up? Of course only time will tell. And in the meantime, I'm gonna enjoy the heck outta him! 

fit kit

Fit kit, extraordinaire! Thanks, Shari! 

I went home and got on the phone. Luckily my pals at Easycare were quick to the rescue, putting together a customized fit kit for The Moose. We troubleshooted and figured a 2W, a 2.5W and a regular 3.5 would give the best range of sizes for the monster feet. I gathered up my stuff and went out to go try on boots. I grabbed The Moose with his new custom-made halter (apparently regular endurance horses don't have ginormous heads, as none of the endurance tack my friends or I owned, fit) and tied up at the rail. 

brev

Big head? Big belly? We got it! 

I reevaluated his feet and decided to do a bit more trimming. This guy has incredibly solid feet, but they were markedly high on the inside when I got him and pretty long at the toe. I backed his toe up and tried to level him out, but didn't want to get too aggressive with taking off too much as I had planned on riding riding riding! Ride we did, and the last month of riding barefoot showed nicely on his feet. Even still, he was a bit high on the inside and had some flaring at the back of the foot. Sometimes it's really helpful to use the boot shell to judge your trim for unevenness and the horse's foot for flaring. I saw a little of both while trying on the different size shells. 

feet

First glance at the front feet. Of course I couldn't get him to stand square. Something about cookies?? 

boots

First try- left front, size 3.5. Good fit and powerstraps can be added, should the boot stretch or the foot size down a bit. We like! 

boots

Still likin' it.

boots

Mmm.. not so good. This is the left front, which obviously has enough flare to impact the boot fit.

A few swipes of the rasp to work the flare down that was impacting the fit, I was horrified to see the bruising!! I won't lie, I felt a little relief because I have only had this horse for a month and knew at least it wasn't *I* that caused that bruise! I took extra care to relieve the quarters on both feet as I am assuming the bruising was caused from the pressure of the too high quarters. Hope the guy feels better now! 

boots

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!! HOLD THE SHOW!!!!!!! Seriously, this is how I reacted when I saw that. BUT, I didn't DO this and it can be fixed. Phew. (I can be such a freak sometimes!)

boots

A size 3 Glove is a much better fit after a little trimming of the right front. 

boots
Hind foot in a 3. A 2 is too small and a 3 is a bit too big. I'm thinking 2.5 will be just the ticket!

As for the final verdict of the boots, at this time we'll go for the 3.5 on the left front and 3 on the right front. 2.5's for the back, please. Did I mention I'm used to much, much smaller boots?? I guess we'd be in trouble if he had little feet but oh boy is this different :) 

Take advantage of the fit kit people! It is such a worthwhile effort as the measuring can oftentimes be inaccurate. Kind of like those tiny little pregnant ladies- you know, the ones who look like a size 2 from behind, and then they turn around and BAM they almost knock you over with their belly? Kinda like that. The fit kit can save a lot of time and effort and will insure the perfect fit. 

'Till next time!
~ Amanda Washington
SW Idaho 

December 2011 :: Making New Tracks, Darn I Wish My Horse Didn't

August Newsletter Image
August 2011 Thumbnail Have you ever thought about the tracks you leave? What about the tracks you haven't left yet?

Dawn Willoughby demystifies Clicker Training and shows its not just for trick ponies.

Our dealer of the month is a heartwarming story about Matt Jenkins. It is a great way to close 2011 with. And our customer photo of the month is a tip of the hat to a team of Shetland Ponies at the 13th Australian Masters Games.

Do you need support in making boot choices or troubleshooting? You can contact us at the EasyCare offices for free advice. You can also contact one of more than 100 Team Easyboot members across the world.

Please keep in touch: our goal is to help you succeed with EasyCare products and your booting needs.

Read more...

Keep It Simple

Do you like uncomplicated things? I find myself drawn to them, and last weekend was an excellent example of keeping things uncomplicated.

The 2012 endurance ride season started on December 1, 2011. I was fortunate enough to spend two days at the Las Cienegas endurance event near Sonoita, Arizona to kick the season off with a bang. A serious cold front kept temperatures well below freezing at night and only ten degrees above freezing during the day.

There were a few good lessons for me over the weekend - and they were simple ones. Here they are.

There is a Market for Glove Wides
I admit it: I was skeptical. But there really are horses out there who need the Glove Wide. One of our new horses, Quake, got to run his second 50 mile race - in Easyboot Glove Wides. He is a textbook fit.

Easyboot Gloves

Rusty Toth riding Quake is at the front of this pack - sporting his 1.5 Glove Wides; then Dennis Summers with Glue-Ons on the front; then Kevin Waters with regular Gloves all-around.

Cold Weather Adds New Challenges to Putting On Boots

The frigid overnight lows brought a couple of additional challenges. One of them was the possibility of hard frozen ground in the morning. We decided to add additional support and cushion by applying Goober Glue padding under the Gloves on the front feet. The whole process only takes about 7 - 10 minutes per horse, and since we put the boots on the night before the event, we saved time the next morning in our foggy early morning state.

And the boots are easily removed after the event with the help of a long flat-heat screwdriver. The glue can be pulled out by hand from the frog area, and the boots can be re-used without any additional cleaning or grinding.

The other challenge with cold overnight temperatures can be how easily the Glove gaiters will fold down, and how easily the boot can be put on the hoof. I brought the hind boots and a roll of athletic tape into the trailer with me and set them near the furnace outlet so they would stay warm and supple. I folded down the gaiters before leaving the trailer, and the boots went on easily and and stayed on for 50 miles.


There's a lot to be said for keeping it simple.

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.

Natural Hoof Care in Europe

Dresden, a pearl a the river Elbe in Germany, was the first stop of a 4 week Hoof Care Tour last month conducted by me, The Bootmeister from Global Endurance Training Center.

I have been going to Europe now for the last two years, sharing some gained hoof care and hoof protection Knowledge with riders, horse owners and farriers. The demand for more knowledge is high, people are eager to learn about Natural Hoof Care and the newest  Hoof Protection products on the market. EasyCare is the undisputed leader in the world with research and development of hoof boots of all kinds. R&D is of utmost importance to the EasyCare staff. Horse owners worldwide know that. Hence, it is only logical, that EasyCare boots stood in the lime light of my presentations.

Dresden

View from the Frauenkirche over the Castle and the Elbe.

After an indoor anatomy session and PowerPoint presentation, the 20 participants had ample opportunity to train their eyes during conformation analysis sessions and study first hand how conformation affects hoof growth. Afterward, the riders who brought their own horses, in total over 10, could practice mapping out the sole and rasping the hooves of their horses. I placed a lot of emphasis on developing the skill of reading the sole. Aspiring hoof trimmers generally fare well when following the principle of trimming a hoof no further than to the live sole. It is a safe approach and everybody can learn it quickly.

The second day was devoted to Hoof boot selection and application. I explained and demonstrated the usage of Easyboot Edge, Trail, Glove and Glue-On and afterwards everybody could practice. It is important to actually do things. We humans all learn most by doing, we easily forget when just watching and listening.

Gluing

Demonstrating the use of Vettec Glue gun and application of Adhere to the Glue on shells.

Glue on

Finished gluing job.


Coaches in downtown

These coaches in downtown Dresden provide visitors a feeling of stepping back in time. After looking at the hoof protection of these carriage horses, we all agreed that they would travel  much more comfortably with Easyboots.

Coaches

Next stop was Hannover. Well known for the Hanoverian breed, this city has a long horse tradition.

The on-site organizing committee had invited over 45 Hoof Trimmers, farriers and veterinarians. After my initial presentation about the different Natural Hoof Care schools and philosophies in the USA and Europe, we discussed NHC and trimming techniques as well as hoof pathologies and remedies. I presented the thesis and studies of Dr. Brian Hampson of Australia, who did the most thorough studies on the hooves of wild horses so far.

If someone were to conduct a study, for example, on the hooves of one herd of wild horses  in Nevada or Utah, the two driest states within the USA, where horses have to travel many miles over rocks and sand to find water and food and then propose to use that feral hoof as a benchmark model for healthy hooves for all domestic horses in the world, would that be a realistic and fair conclusion?

Hampson studied and examined hooves from various areas in Australia,  wild horses living in arid areas and others in wet areas with lush vegetation. The hooves of the wild horses living in the wetter areas looked a lot like the average domestic hooves. Does that mean the hooves adapt to the environment or are the hooves shaped by the substrate the horse travels over?

An answer to this question might be obtained by looking at the following photos, provided by Brian Hampson.

Hampson

explanation

The left hoof has the appearance of a typical domestic hoof. Recessed frog, under-run heels, flares. Yet, it is a wild horse hoof. After moving several horses with these hooves to a different (drier) area, the hooves were remodeled by the ground the horses traveled over. The hoof on the left is void of any mustang roll. Does it not need it? Within 16 weeks the rocks and dry ground reshaped that very same hoof. The mustang roll is clearly visible now. The question might be asked, how important is the mustang roll then, when we as natural hoof care trimmers applying it to all horses, yet only a small segment of wild horses worldwide even display one in the wild?

The study also showed that only three hooves out of 100 assessed were free of abnormalities. In fact, he found a 67% incidence of chronic laminitis within the horses living in the dry climate and the hard substrate. When the majority of the wild horses display this pathology, is it still a pathology or is it physiologically normal now? Who makes these decisions?

Not everything wild is necessarily good solely because it is wild and natural. The wild horse paradigm model of desert horses' hooves may not be applicable across the board to all horses worldwide.

The discussions were very interesting and we were only scratching the surface of all the ramifications of the Hampson study.

Hannover

Discussions of Natural Hoof Care in Hannover.

On I went to Kassel, stop for the next seminar. 

Similar to the USA, Germany experiences also a shortage of farriers who are willing to offer services beyond the traditional iron shoes. Many do not know about bare hoof trimming and alternate hoof protection like plastic shoes and hoof boots. Therefore, more and more riders and horse owners want to learn to trim their horses' hooves themselves.

I set up several stations, where people could work on their horses hooves simultaneously. That way, everybody had ample time to practice and learn.

kassel

Working at stations.

Onwards to Belgium. near Brussels, I conducted the last clinic. My French is very rusty, to say the least, so everything was translated by Leonard Liesens, a famous and successful Belgian endurance rider.
I learned to speak slowly and to include only essential information in my sentences. And I got my message across as well, without lengthy and repetitive wording. An exercise in disciplining speech.

brussel

The historic Market Place in Brussels.

leonard

Leonard Liesens checking the fit of the Easyboot Glove he had just applied.

At all the seminars, I also showed slides of the Tevis ride. With all the Europeans now coming to the Tevis next year, we better all put our entries in early to avoid being placed on the waiting list.

The Europeans were all very eager to learn and try new trimming techniques. They are pragmatic and want to use the trimming and hoof protection that works best for their horses. They do not believe that Natural Hoof Care and Bare Hoof Trimming is an ideology or a mantra. For them, it is not an absolute, rather a better and healthier way to take care of their horses' hooves. They do not want to listen to self righteous statements of cult-like organizations. The welfare of their horses is important. That is a reason why Pete Ramey stands in such high esteem in Europe, his open mindedness, his tolerance, his knowledge and non judgmental approach to hoof care puts him in a class of his own and a big step above everybody else.

I did stress the importance of looking at each horse as an individual. The trimming procedure that works for one horse, might not be the best approach for the horse right next to it.

Europe has many more horses than the USA. Per capita, Germany has 70% more horses than the USA. Horse owners and riders want to learn and improve and use modern and better hoof protection methods.
Already now, I have booked several more clinics for next spring, this time in addition to Germany also in France and Switzerland. Natural Hoof Care, Barefoot Trimming and Easyboots are on a roll and gaining ground and popularity throughout the whole equestrian world.

August

Golden statue of August Der Starke (August The Strong), former King of Saxonia, in Dresden.

A special Thank You goes out to my liasons and support persons who organized the events on site. Without them, it would have been very difficult to impossible to conduct the seminars:

Dresden:     Veit Koppe

Hannover:   Patricia Nastoll and Kathrin Ewen

Kassel:        Martin Boesel

Brussel:       Leonard Liesens


The Bootmeister, reporting from Europe








Trelawne Wins at the 2011 Vet Marketing Awards

Trelawne

EasyCare UK distributor, Trelawne Equine, picks up
Marketing award for the Easyboot Trail.

Innovative barefoot hoof boot picks up vet marketing award

British distributor Trelawne Equine has been awarded the Equine Product Innovation Of The Year award for the Easyboot Trail hoof boot at the 2011 Vet Marketing Awards.

The awards, hosted at the London Vet Show and organised by Grove House Publishing, recognise companies and individuals that are driving innovation in communications and product development in a way that promotes the health and wellbeing of animals.

The judges commented: “We were impressed by this simple and straightforward product. The Easyboot Trail hoof boot is a modern, durable design for barefoot horses and is ideal for leisure riders.”

Trelawne Equine’s co-proprietor Lucy Nicholas said: “We are thrilled to have received this recognition from the veterinary community, particularly as it recognises the importance of the health and wellbeing of animals. Understanding of barefoot equine management continues to increase, and many UK horse owners now choose to keep their horses barefoot, using hoof boots in certain circumstances when they ride.”

The Easyboot Trail hoof boot for barefoot horses, manufactured by American brand EasyCare, is most suitable for distances of up to 25 miles. It is lightweight, easy to apply and offers shock absorption properties, particularly when comfort pads are used inside the boots. The boots are sold singly and available in 11 sizes. Sizes 0 - 6 are £54.99, and sizes 7 -10 are £64.99.

For trade account / stockist enquiries: Tel: 0844 257 8585

Web: www.trelawneequine.co.uk / Email: advice@trelawneequine.co.uk

Like the company at: facebook.com/TrelawneEquine

For media enquiries or to request images please contact kathy@sirenia.co.uk / 077866 9114



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.

December 2011: Jenkins Hoof Care

Matt Jenkins is a relative newcomer to the hoof care industry. He was burnt-out from long hours working at the feedlot and ready for a change in careers. His father called him one day and said he was having trouble with a farrier and unfortunately this wasn't the first time. Instead of dealing with the frustration of finding yet another farrier, he suggested Matt attend shoeing school and at least learn how to trim and shoe their horses. Matt signed up for school and after the first week, he knew he had found his new career. 

EasyCare Dealers at the American Hoof Association Conference in 2011

American Hoof Association Conference 2011: Ida Hammer, Matt Jenkins, Mark Rudenborg, Ada Uphoff.

Four years later, Matt had a client horse he could not keep sound, nor could he keep shoes on it. Fellow farriers came to the barn to assist him, but to no avail.

The horse's owner was in his late seventies and rode every day. On one of Matt's visits to the barn, he handed him one of Pete Ramey's books. Matt was not impressed at first and told him it wouldn't work. The owner was very persistent but a full year passed before Matt took the leap of faith and pulled this horse's shoes. In six months, the horse had recovered completely. "I was amazed and confused," said Matt. "This mentality was so different from my schooling and how I was taught to raise horses."

Matt secretly started to transition his own horses and could not believe the changes in them. He ordered his own copy of Pete Ramey's book and started reading everything he wrote. Soon he started asking his clients to allow him to pull the shoes to rehabilitate their horses. Today, Matt has a client base of more than 450 horses.

He gets excited when he talks about the many advancements in the hoof boot industry. "There have been tremendous improvements in the quality, fit, and ease of application in the past few years. I have to admit I put down the boots in the beginning and would tell people it's okay for a spare tire but nothing will replace the steel shoe."

Easyboot Dealer Matt Jenkins

Returning from 22 miles in the rugged Shawnee National Forrest on the River to River trail (all barefoot horses). Matt is in the black hat.

Matt comes from a modest family farm south of Marion, Illinois, where they raised cattle, vegetables, rabbits and horses. He has a bachelor's degree in Beef Nutrition from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale. He paid his way through college by training horses and driving trucks in the summer.

Today, Matt lives with his wife, Rachel, in Vienna, IL. As an owner of ten Quarter Horses and one Missouri Fox Trotter, Matt attributes his success to patience with people and genuine care for the well-being of horses. All of Matt's horses are booted: "We use Epics and Gloves. My favorite is the Glove but I still have a special place in my heart for the Epic."

Matt has been an EasyCare dealer for about 15 months. He carries Epics, Gloves, Glue-Ons, EasySoakers, Rx and recently added the Trails. His bestseller is the Easyboot Glove.

He graduated from the Kentucky Horse Shoeing school in 2003. He also attended any certification clinic or educational class that he could find. "While transitioning my own thought process to barefoot, I worked at the Agronomy Research Center in Carbondale, IL."

The most rewarding experience Matt has as a trimmer is seeing the look on people's faces and the hugs and tears shed when a horse has been successfully rehabilitated. Most of these clients thought they had done everything and as a last resort they reluctantly tried barefoot. "Yep, their lame horse with no hope walks again."

He can remember standing in a barn with a sad family, a vet and another farrier. The prognosis for the horse was grim: nothing more could be done. He remembers the vet saying to the owners "say your goodbyes, we need to put him down right away." As the farrier and the vet left the barn they looked at Matt and asked if he could fix the situation. 

Matt wasn't practicing barefoot hoof care at the time and this would be his first founder rehabilitation using barefoot methods. "The coffin bone had penetrated both front feet. His frogs were almost non-existent, destroyed by thrush. What was I thinking?" He drove an hour one way every week for several months, then went every three weeks, then every four. Eventually, the horse was doing much better and he moved him to a six week trim cycle. "I am proud to say that the horse is alive and well and guiding trail rides at a local camp. Later I ran into the original farrier. He just shook his head and told me I just got lucky."

When discussing the key to success as a trimmer, Matt's first response is the ability to admit when he has made a mistake. "It goes along way in retaining clients as well as picking up new ones. Obstacles are forever present throughout life and someone is always watching to see how you overcome them."

Matt's leading mentor is Ida Hammer. He also gives credit and an honorable mention to Eric Knapp, Randy Hensley, Jeanie Wright and Debbie Schwiebert from EasyCare.

In his opinion, the barefoot industry is moving forward at a rapid rate. "Everywhere I go, people are showing more interest in barefoot hoofcare. As rule books change in the competitive arena and barefoot horses start out performing shod, change will happen. I also believe barefoot success is parallel to boot success."