April 2013 Newsletter: Garrett Ford puts out a call for a unique intern opportunity.

Dear EasyCare Customer,

EasyCare Article Image

- Garrett Ford puts out a call for a unique intern opportunity.

- Pete Langford shares his initial experiences using Easyboot Gloves on a journey across New Zealand.

- We announce the April Read to Win Contest results (that means a free pair of boots to three winners).

- Jennifer Waitte reviews horse heaven on Earth, aka The Bay Area near San Francisco.

- We celebrate Green's Feed, our April Dealer of the Month.

Do you need support in making boot choices or troubleshooting? You can contact us at the EasyCare offices for free advice, no matter where you purchased your boots.

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



Free With Every Horse - New Zealand Trek Part I

One man, two horses, 3,000 km.

On November 1, 2012 Pete Langford embarked on a 3,000 km (1,800 mile) trek across the length of New Zealand. What inspired Pete to undertake such a challenging journey? His love of horses and nature were the main catalysts, along with a desire to raise money for Air Rescue Services in New Zealand. EasyCare and our New Zealand distributor, the Institute for Barefoot Equine Management (IBEM), are proud to sponsor Pete on this journey. Pete's horses, Two-Shoes and Cloud, are barefoot off the track standardbreds and they are traveling over the varied New Zealand terrain wearing Easyboot Gloves. The trip started at the bottom of the South Island in Bluff and will end at Cape Reinga on the North Island (you can follow their progress on this SPOT Adventure page). Pete and his horses are just finishing their route on the South Island and are currently near Picton.

How are the Easyboot Gloves holding up to such a demanding journey? Below, Pete describes his initial experiences using hoof boots:

Time for some words about hoof boots, specifically, boots used in place of steel shoes. Now this always seems to raise the emotions of some of those who sit on either side of that particular fence. Some seven odd years ago I got off the fence and opted to go down the barefoot route, using boots when the terrain demanded it and neither I nor my horses have looked back. The boots I used were Old Mac's from US manufacturer EasyCare and they did me well on the limited distance riding I did as a "weekend rider". When preparing for this trip I looked to see if they had a boot that could cope with all that my "long ride" could throw at it. After a couple of emails, EasyCare gave me various options and after a discussion with Thorsten at IBEM it was determined that the Easyboot Glove would be the most suitable boot.

Ready to ride! All photos by Pete Langford.

The first thing I had to do to use these boots was to get a good barefoot trim and then measure the hooves. Getting a perfect fit was a bit challenging since neither Cloud nor Two-Shoes had symmetrical hoofs - both had flare and Two-Shoes is a little pigeon toed on the forehand. With corrective trimming, their hoof shape should improve which will make fitting easier. In the meantime, I have been persuaded to use a couple of tricks to ensure boot retention. I had initially ignored the advice to use these tricks and as a result had boots come off when scampering up the sides of mountains or having a run down the occasional suitable tracks...live and learn.

On top of the world, the saddle crossing the Dampiers.

Now these boots are good, there's no doubt about it, having covered nearly 1200 km (750 miles) so far I reckon I'm well placed to comment on them! The sizing/fitting must be as close to perfect as possible for reliable performance and for staying put on the hoof, anything less will see boots being discarded in really demanding terrain. Having said that, there are a couple of tricks to ensure boot retention which are particularly useful if your four legged friends hoof walls are not symmetrical (most aren't). Trick one, power straps, these little gadgets are used to close the slot at the front of the boot which really helps with getting a nice snug fit around the hoof wall. Trick two, using some sports tape around the hoof to get extra grip between hoof and boot. Since I have used these two tricks, I haven't lost a single boot - they have stayed put crossing rivers, scampering up mountains, running along tracks and they even stayed on in quicksand...yes I did just say that! Whilst crossing the Rakaia River we hit a patch of this deadly stuff and were very lucky to get out. If we had been a meter more to one side then there's a good chance I wouldn't be around to write this. Happily I am and can report that even in that instance, the boots stayed firmly put and let's face it, that's important as no one would be keen to start fishing around in quicksand to recover a lost boot!

Rakaia River quicksand.

If you want to know more about what myself, Two-Shoes and Cloud are up to, visit us at www.freewitheveryhorse.com, on facebook (Free With Every Horse) and twitter (@3witheveryhorse). Hopefully we are done the quicksand - once was enough!

Pete Langford

Back Country Boots in the Back Country

The following is from EasyCare customer, Dave Kleist:

Thanks for the fast, friendly service! Because you were able to get the Easyboot Glove Back Country boots to me on such short notice, I was able to take my third horse, Echo, to hunting camp up in the Colorado Rockies. He had been limping on sore front feet after throwing his front shoes miles from the trailer the week before. I couldn't shoe him because of hoof damage. After putting the boots on with the inserts and walking him around for awhile, he seemed very comfortable with the them. This horse doesn't like new things, so I was very happy that he took to these boots so easily. I put the boots on him on Thursday and he wore them for eight days with no problems. I rode and packed him for over seventy miles during that time.

We went into camp, up and down dry rocky trails, creek crossings and mud. The second day, it snowed over a foot. We had all kinds of conditions and the boots worked great.

Thanks for a great product and the fast 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.


4-H Goes Bare and Booted

4-H has been a big part of my horse life. We have always had horses at home but 4-H introduced me to other kids that rode horses.

Randolph County Fair Education Day.

I still remember one of my first 4-H meetings, the topic was trail riding. The club member presenting had a very nice power point presentation - one of the slides showed a rocky trail and she said you must shoe your horse to protect the hooves. I remember looking over to my mom in confusion, our horses were barefoot so this made no sense to me. Attitudes about shoeing have changed a lot since then. People have become more educated on the subject and are more open to barefoot horses and hoof boots. Today, almost all of the members in my 4-H group keep their horses barefoot - some members stopped shoeing and transitioned to barefoot and there are new members whose horses were already barefoot. It’s been fun talking about hoof care and hoof boots (seeing who wears what kind and arguing about which one the favorite is). The best part of 4-H is getting to ride with the other kids.

Ashlee and me riding Nanny and Maggie, Spring Break 2012.

4-H does not just focus on riding or showing, it teaches all aspects of keeping horses healthy. Last year at summer camp our club learned “All About Balance”. During this camp, we learned about the whole horse - how the teeth, body and hooves interact with one another to help or hurt a horse’s balance. We also learned how we, as riders, affect our horse’s balance. You can read more about our camp in Volume 15 Issue 1 of Natural Horse Magazine.

Inez Donmoyer, CEMT, CCMT, CSAMT,  IARP, Unicorn Dream
Wholistic Touch, teaching us about anatomy and massage.

This coming summer, our camp will focus on healthy horses and healthy riders. We are very excited that Dr. Juliet Getty, PhD, author of Feed Your Horse Like a Horse, has agreed to join us for an afternoon to talk about equine nutrition (Getty Equine Nutrition). In addition, we will be learning about first aid, anatomy, stretching and more, for both horses and riders. We have two riding instructors lined up and will learn more about saddle fitting and bridle/bit fit. We even have a chef coming. Chef Megan will be donating her time to teach about human nutrition and cook for us.  It is going to be another good time!

Left: Feed Your Horse Like a Horse by Dr. Juliet Getty, PhD.
Right: Chef Megan, Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Edible Garden Chef.

In my previous blog, you met some of my fellow 4-Hers who are learning to trim. We hope to show you how we are doing in a few months with a little more practice.

High Riders learn to trim their own horses.

Thanks EasyCare, for supporting the High Riders 4-H Club on our learning journey and for selecting me as a member of Team Easyboot 2012!

Nonee High

Gloves on a Pedestal

Last September, Curly and I attended an ACTHA ride at the Washington State Horse Park in Cle Elum, Washington. When talking about my favorite boot, I have a tendency to put the Easyboot Glove on a pedestal (figuratively speaking). At this ride, my friends Lynda Allan and Bonnie Davis came up with a fun way for Curly to show off our favorite boots on an actual natural pedestal. I had never asked Curly to step up on a tree stump before but I am always game to try new obstacles and so is my horse. It was a lot of fun and Curly was a trooper about it, even when the larger stump started breaking away under him. Below is a fun photo Lynda took at one of the "unofficial" obstacles we found on the trail in between the ACTHA obstacles.

The Gloves are a great choice for ACTHA because of the lack of external hardware. Curly had developed a way of hopping through some obstacles when he wore his Easyboot Epics. He quickly learned to trust the Gloves and to not worry about anything when approaching obstacles that include: walking through a pile of brush, walking over a tarp, trotting around the wagon wheel, passing through "the recycle" (a box made out of poles and filled with empty plastic water bottles that produce a crinkling sound). I really appreciate the tread pattern and the traction on his boots - it enables Curly to go over slick bridges, boardwalks, and planks (yes some of our obstacles seem like we are walking the plank), and through it all we can trust this boot to not hinder but to actually help us achieve higher scores while competing in ACTHA rides.

Martha Nicholas

Persistence Prevails

After having my quarter horse in corrective rocker shoes for four years my common sense kicked in. I noticed when my horse's shoes were pulled for winter he seemed to do quite well. The following spring I decided to try keeping him barefoot. Unfortunately the trimmer I selected was not the best choice for my horse. I was loyal to the cause but after three trimmings my horse was lame. I consulted with my vet and she determined his soles had been severely over trimmed - she could not believe he was even standing. I decided to fire the trimmer who's recommendation was that I turn my horse out on pasture. I came close to losing my horse but after emergency care (icing his feet twice a day, isoxoprine and bute) and four weeks of stall rest, he showed improvement.

So after all this, why didn't I go back to shoes? I really trusted that the worst was over. I did more research and found another trimmer, who was able to give me several recommendations from people using barefoot horses in competition. These were not broken down horses that got their last chance from a barefoot trimmer. These were highly exercised competitive horses going barefoot and booted! I have not looked back and I love my new trimmer. She has done wonders with my horse and his feet are now incredibly healthy. If you are looking to transition your horse, find a trimmer that has spectacular references. I use Easyboot Gloves on the rocky trails and I love them. Keep Riding!

Name: Christine Nichols
City: South Grafton, Massachusetts, USA
Equine Discipline: Eventing
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove

Team Easyboot 2013: Now Accepting Applications

We are excited to announce EasyCare is now accepting applications for Team Easyboot 2013. 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.

Expectations of Team Easyboot Members

If accepted onto Team Easyboot 2013, members are expected to:

  1. Represent EasyCare in a professional and positive manner.
  2. Actively promote and inform others about all EasyCare products and help others in the field.
  3. Be available to assist in boot fitting and to provide advice in person and online.
  4. Submit a photo and a 100-200 word biography.
  5. Blog once a month on the EasyCare corporate blog.
  6. Actively participate with positive interaction and product advice on the Easyboot Facebook page.
  7. Wear Team Easyboot attire at events.
  8. Display Team Easyboot logo on tack, trailers and vehicles.

Summary of Benefits

  1. Access to discounted EasyCare product for personal use.
  2. Access to the EasyCare staff for general booting education and problem-solving.

Note: Product purchased through the Team Easyboot discount program is for personal use only and cannot be resold.


If you would like to be considered for membership in Team Easyboot 2013, please answer a few basic questions in our online application form. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM Mountain Standard Time on Sunday, March 31, 2013.

The Selection Process

Members of Team Easyboot 2013 will be selected by a panel of EasyCare staff. The new team members will be announced on Monday, April 8, 2013.

Good luck!

Alayna Wiley

Alayna Wiley, EasyCare CSR

Marketing and Sales

I assist the marketing and sales departments at EasyCare with a special interest in hoof care practitioner and veterinarian dealer accounts. My horses have been barefoot and booted since 2003.


Boas in the Back Country

The Boa Horse Boot helped Sue the mule do a Back Country Horseman work party on the Pacific Crest Trail!

My good friend Beau LaCrosse wanted to join the Enumclaw Trail Riders of Back Country Horseman of Washington State for a work party. Our BCH chapter's Trail Boss, Tom Saunders, needed help with hauling gravel to a 75 foot turnpike on the Pacific Crest Trail out of Government Meadows Horse Camp.

Beau's mule, Sue, had white line disease on one of her front hooves and was favoring it. Beau had contacted me asking for suggestions on treatment. Since I am unfamiliar with white line disease, I e-mailed my trimmer friends, who are also EasyCare dealers. I asked for advice on the best way to treat the hoof. It was a lot of fun as they each shared their most successful treatment plans. The various treatment plans were shared amonst the group and we all learned new plans and tips. Beau was very thankful for the input. Although, Sue's hoof was now on the road to recovery, she was still tender when worked.

Since Beau wanted to join the work party, he asked for advice on hoof boots.I love a good challenge but how does one find boots in a hurry to fit on mule's hooves? Thankfully, my EasyCare dealer friend, Nancy, at Plateau Vet Supply, had a pair of Boa Horse Boots in stock. Sue seemed to really like her new boots as she walked out across the gravel parking lot towards the trail head. Sue was the important lead animal that day in the mixed string of mules and horses that packed 20 loads of gravel. We made quick work graveling the turnpike and then enjoyed a good lunch together. Food always seems to taste better after some hard work up on the Pacific Crest Trail amongst friends and good animals.                                                                    

Beau and a happy Sue with her Boa boots on, leading the pack string.

Waiting to be reloaded with the buckets of gravel.        

Joey and Chris hard at work filling the buckets.

 Beau taking the gravel to the turnpike we were working on.

Almost done, dumping the last buckets of gravel onto the turnpike.

Beau then took a happily booted Sue to the driving clinic the next week, after the Boa boots passed the test during the work party.

I always enjoy helping out at our Back Country Horseman work parties. To be able to give back to the trails that I enjoy riding on. I would encourage everyone to consider helping out to maintain our trails. It is always a lot of fun!!!

Martha Nicholas

EasyCare at the 2013 AERC Convention

EasyCare will have several representatives at the AERC Convention in Reno, Nevada, on Friday and Saturday, March 8 & 9 2013.

The EasyCare booth (#105/107/206/204) will be right at the entrance to the trade show, and we will have with us some samples of the latest hoof protection device models (yes, that is meant to be obtuse!). We will also be in good company: some endurance legends will be sharing our real estate with us for the entire convention:

  • Julie Suhr will be seated at a table in our booth selling copies of her new book, ...but it wasn't the horse's fault.
  • XP Rides will be set up in the same space and have representatives there to answer any questions you may have on their ride events for the 2013 season.

The conference proves to be another good one, with speaker seminars themed around Think Like a Vet - Learn from the Vets, as well as the trade show, the tack swap, the Friday night dance, the regional awards, the hot topic workshops, and Saturday evening's National awards Banquet. For more details on the conference schedule, see the 2013 AERC Convention Flyer.

Celebrating the 2012 National Mileage and Reserve Mileage Champions.

We will be celebrating several Easybooted rider achievements over the weekend, including 2012 National Mileage Champions, Laurie Birch and Scudd Run, (not to mention 2012 National Mileage Reserve Champions, Carla Richardson and SS Kharady Khid+/). And then of course, there was the 2012 Tevis Cup and 2012 Haggin Cup, both won by Easybooted horses.

The working prototype of the EasyShoe. Do you want to hold it?

And yes, if all goes to plan, we just might also have a sample of the working model of the EasyShoe Garrett wrote about in his March Newsletter blog, The Best of Both Worlds - A Hoof Protection Device That Still Allows The Hoof To Function As A Bare Hoof.

So be sure to stop in and say hello to the gang when you get to the Grand Sierra Resort.

See you there!

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.


The Best Of Both Worlds - A Hoof Protection Device That Still Allows The Hoof To Function As A Bare Hoof

I personally believe in the barefoot horse and marvel at what the equine hoof can do.  The equine hoof is an amazing structure that expands and contracts under load, dissipates energy, and aids in blood flow.  Although I believe that a horse should be barefoot whenever possible, I also believe that horses need hoof protection as distance traveled increases, terrain becomes more abrasive, and the loads carried become greater.  We ask unnatural things from our equine partners, far beyond what the bare unprotected hoof can endure. 

Hoof boots are a wonderful invention that can be used on a temporary basis when the hoof needs protection.  The beauty of hoof boots is that the hoof is bare and functioning as nature intended the large majority of the time.  But what about a protection device that can be left on the horse for longer periods of time that still allows natural function? Can a hoof be fitted with a protection device that still allows the hoof to expand and contract, allows the heel to spread, allows the heel to move up and down independently, and also provides support to the frog and heel? 

Looking at the horse world objectively, I believe the majority of people on both sides of the argument agree that horses should spend time barefoot.  In addition, both sides believe horses need protection for many of the activities that their human partners put them through.  Most owners stall horses in man-made environments; many feed them two meals per day, and the majority of us ask our horses to carry 25% of their body weight in grueling events.  We ask unnatural things of our equine partners.  As events become longer, speeds become greater and the footing becomes rougher we can't expect our equine partners to perform without man made protection? - See more at: http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/hoof-boot-news#sthash.AGIFoSIJ.dpuf

We have been testing a new glue-on device that can be used for 3-6 week cycles that allows a protected hoof to receive many of the same benefits as a barefoot hoof. 

Heels can move independently up and down.

Heels can expand and contract after the shoe in glued in place. 

The test model EasyShoe provides frog and heel support.  The wide web of the shoe aids in loading the hoof.  The sole is open to air in the center for extended use. 

Open at the toe so breakover can be adjusted

Glue channels and holes are added in several areas of the shoe to better accept adhesives and speed the application process.

Initial testing of the new device for endurance conditioning has been very positive. It should prove a valuable tool for farriers and hoof care professionals and have many uses. 

Uses may include:

  1. I can see it used as a transition device to stimulate the hoof toward a stronger hoof before pulling shoes. 
  2. It may be used by owners who believe the barefoot hoof is the most healthy but want the convenience of long term protection. 
  3. It could also be used in disciplines that don't allow hoof boots.

I'm very excited about the new test shoe and the results I'm seeing on my horses.  I've had many prototypes on my horses over the years and this one is up there with the best I've tested. 

What do you think?  Does the new device have a place in the horse industry? 

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.