An Epic Love Affair

If you look on the Team Easyboot website, www.easycareinc.com/Cool_Stuff/team_easyboot.aspx, you will quickly learn that the Easyboot Glove is a huge favorite of endurance riders, trail riders, and cart drivers (to name a few). Coming in at a close second is the Glue-on, most often used for multi-day endurance rides through anything from hard asphalt to slippery, slimy mud hills.

So why is it that my boot of choice, far and above all other boots, is the Easyboot Epic? Is there something wrong with me? Am I really missing out on a revolution that my little brain just can't fathom? In fact, I get asked similar questions by other Easyboot lovers, who themselves wonder why I haven't caught up with the rest of the Easyboot world.

race track Epics

The Arceneaux racing barn is full of Easyboot Epics.

Although I have doubted my love affair at times, I am confident enough today to tell you exactly why the Easyboot Epic works best for me and my southern Louisiana horse clients.

Tack Room

Every groom at the Arceneaux barn has a different way to care for their Epics.

As you may have already gathered, the majority of my horse clients are thoroughbreds: Thoroughbreds off the track and thoroughbreds on the track; thoroughbreds jumping fences and thoroughbreds prancing in the dressage arena. Yes, I have lots and lots of thoroughbred clients. And not JUST thoroughbreds. No, they are thoroughbreds who live in sloppy, humid Louisiana and who have been overloaded with carbohydrates and starches for much of their lives. Yes, the majority of my horse clients have really ugly feet.

Pancake

A typical "pancake" foot: flat sole, long toe, very wide at the quarters.


Flared toe

Flared toe, wide quarters, with a large lamellar wedge

I have found that the Epic is by far the best boot for unhealthy thoroughbred feet in my area for several reasons. First and foremost, the majority of my thoroughbred clients have what I call "pancake" feet: their feet splat way out to the sides with flares at the quarters, and some have a greater width to their feet than they do length! This is a bit of a problem for the Glove and Glue-on, since these boots are better suited for more "normal" feet, with a closer ratio of length to width. Try and try as I have, I have not been able to get the regular Glove or regular glue-on on my thoroughbred clients' feet.

glue-on

Often, the V does not spread and the quarters will bulge. One size larger is too big, but this is too small

Not only can I fit an Epic on a pancake foot, but the Epic also allows for adjustable tightening! Because the majority of my thoroughbred clients are rehabilitation cases, I must always keep in my mind that as the horse is provided with a healthier diet (lower starches and balanced minerals), the new hoof will grow in tighter and at a steeper angle than the old hoof. As the healthy hoof makes its way from the coronet to the ground, the shape of the hoof will change. At times, this change is quite drastic. So, a size 1 Glove today may not fit well at all in a few weeks.

Glove
A smaller boot is too small, but the long toe does not allow for tight fit up top

With the built-in versatility of the Epic, I am able to modify the tightness and fit as the hoof heals and changes. At times, my horse clients will swap out a larger size for a smaller size as the new growth progresses, but often the Epics the horse is already in will be tightened or loosened with an easy adjustment of the cable as the hoof makes its transformation. I can even take the cable out of the boot to cut it shorter for a more snug fit. I will then put a new crimp on the end of the shortened cable and thread it back through the boot. Same boot, tighter fit.

Adjustable Boot

Originally both cables were  tight in the middle, now one cable crosses to the other side

So, if you Glove-lovers and Glue-On gurus come across a horse who doesn't fit your mould, put down YOUR boots and give the Epics a try!

Now that I have made my case for the awesomeness of the Epic, I will admit that I have done a little experimenting of my own since the development of the Glove wide. Since the beginning of May when Rin the race horse came off the track with sore feet (so bad he couldn't walk), I have kept him in Epics at my barn, allowing him to take time to grow some new feet. The process is finally complete, and Rin is walking sound barefoot with a new hoof wall that has grown all the way to the ground. Recognizing that he finally has somewhat "normal" feet, I figured I'd try him in some of those new-fangled Glove wides...and they fit! I've been riding him in his new boots, and I will admit that I absolutely love them!


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