Glue Storage During Winter

Submitted by Deanna Stoppler, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

Working in freezing temperatures can be difficult and time consuming but with a bit of planning and organization tasks are less daunting and completed with ease.

During the winter season glue and all liquids should be brought inside to prevent products from freezing.  Carrying cases such as Tupperware style totes, coolers, or rolling toolboxes work well for consolidating supplies and storing them in such a way that carrying them to and from the warm storage space to the vehicle is convenient.  I prefer to use a rolling toolbox instead of carrying a heavy tote or cooler, it keeps my back happy and sound!

In my rolling toolbox are the following items:

Glue (Vettec Adhere, EasyShoe Bond glue, and Polyflex Seal-It)

Hoof packing (Equipak, Magic Cushion, Impression Material)

Hoof Clay (Life Data Labs hoof clay)

Hoof disinfectant

Hoof dressing

First aid disinfectant

Sharpie markers

Rechargeable drill batteries (very cold temperatures can cut battery life in half)

Latex gloves

Heating pad

Ah, the heating pad.  Such a nice treat for clients to warm their frozen hands or feet on! Most importantly, though, the heating pad is used to keep liquids from freezing while in use. During set up I place the toolbox near my work space and plug in the heating pad, laying it flat across the supplies to keep them from freezing during use. Often times I will place a pair of EasyShoes and glue tips on top of the heating pad so that all of the supplies are warm and ready for use when it’s time to glue.  

A heat gun can be useful in warming the foot prior to adhering your EasyCare product.  A cold foot and warm glue take longer to cure than two objects of similar temperatures.  Be careful when heating the foot with a heat gun. Be sure to keep the gun moving to avoid overheating the foot.

Keeping supplies at a consistent average room temperature will preserve the shelf life of the product, reduce stress during use in winter temperatures, and increase success of application when gluing.

 

Postal Hoof Protection

Submitted by Mari Ural, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night" will stay this boot...they deliver!  Easyboot Glue-Ons kept old and new riders heading down the trail at the Virgin Outlaw five day ride.  We had rain, which turned to snow and a blizzard.  It was complete with plenty of mud in the first days and beautiful sunshine on the last days the horses took to the trail.

 

Quest passed his 7,000 mile mark (thank you again EasyCare!) and introduced Dana Landale's new girl Tika to her first 50.  She liked it so much she did two more 50's during the week!  Another newby was 15 year old McKell Rex, the granddaughter of J.B. Rex, endurance rider, farrier and EasyCare representative.  She had a great time on her first 50 atop her grandpa's 18 year old Arabian, Red.

Tika's first 50 and she had a snow storm, mud and wrangling cattle down the trail.  McKell's first 50 and she got to go up Thunder Mountain, which started by crossing an itsy bitsy ridge line.  A fine rider and horse, no flinches were witnessed. McKell and new horse Tika had already traveled through the wilderness of Hancock and Casto Canyon in the morning hours, so this rocky ledge trail was a piece of cake for them in their Glue-Ons.

A wonderful time was had by all and the boots never failed. Thanks to super photographer Steve Bradley and his death defying adventures to find great photo shots.

National Championship 100

Submitted by Leah Cain, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

The National Championship 100 miler was a good day for me and my gelding OT Dyamonte Santo. He had been well prepared with plenty of conditioning and good, consistent hoof care.  We applied my favorite boot for 100's and multi days, the Easyboot Glue-On. We applied the Glue-Ons after the normal prep with Adhere on the hoof wall and Sikaflex on the sole. The ride had some great footing but also some really rocky, I mean sharp rocks upon sharp rock sections that I knew we would do at least a few times. I felt it very important to have plenty of concussion support and protection from those nasty rocks. I find that protection in the Glue-On.

The ride started out very fast. We knew the course so I let him pick his path and I made sure he didn't go too fast. I rode all day with Pam Bailie and junior Anya Levermann. What great riders and great company!  Monte pulsed down immediately every time we came in to the vet check and vetted out with A's so I knew he was doing well. He kept up the pace all day! 

We left three minutes before the next riders at the last vet check. Monte knew he was headed home and took off at a full on gallop!  I was so thrilled I was crying as I let out a "YeeeHaa!!!!" and got out of sight.  When we finished first feeling great, I knew we had a REALLY GOOD DAY! 

The next morning Monte looked like he hadn't done a thing and his legs where cold and tight. Great sign and a tribute to the awesome Easyboot Glue-Ons. Monte trotted out great, looking loose and fluid in his stride.  We received the Best Condition and won 1st in the National Championship!

Many, many thanks to EasyCare for all your support. What a wonderful EasyCare family that I belong to. I wouldn't be where I am today with out the best hoof boots available out there! You ROCK EasyCare!

Battle River CTR and Easyshoe Success

Submitted by Stacey Maloney, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

I wrote in a previous blog about getting my unfit mare fit for a 25 mile Competitive Trail Ride Competition and some of the challenges we were overcoming in regards to being overfed. CTR's are not new to us, we've been competing successfully for a few years now, but we've been really slow getting going this year as we added new young family member early in 2016. 

Well we dieted, we conditioned, we trimmed, we booted, and finally the competition was near so we glued! I had been taught by a local barefoot trimmer how to apply EasyShoes last year and I gave it a shot on my own as well in 2015 but hadn't picked up my Adhesive applicator in about 12 months. I had ordered some Easyshoe Performance earlier in the year and re-watched the instructional video's on how to apply them to jog my memory. Away I went and I made a MESS!

But messes were meant to be made and are easily cleaned up. Here's another messy foot!

You can see I don't have the ideal gluing environment. Gluing in the grass is not recommended but I make it work for us. I had much more confidence in myself this year; I felt really good about my process and I trusted that they would stay on. I am certain my confidence came from my practice last year, but as an extra precaution this year I made sure to have extra everything on hand in case I really messed something up. One of those old wives tales, as long as you have it you won't need it but the minute you don't have it..... well I had more than I needed and still do because all went according to plan.

The EasyShoes got a week of turn out, one road ride and one foothills ride before we headed out to our competition. 

We arrived at the Battle River CTR in Ponoka, AB when it was already in full swing as we had planned to ride on Day 2 of the competition. We did a leg stretching warm up ride that evening to work out some silliness, had our initial vet check which went great and tucked ourselves in for a chilly night of coyote and elk song. 

With a 7:15 am start time, I was up by 5 am and started prepping my horse and myself for the day. Food in for both of us, jammies off, competition gear on, warm up and off to the start line. We were first out and off we went into the sleet. We got to ride with a few other riders who caught up and passed us momentarily but my riding buddy's mount as well as mine had other plans about being left behind. We all cantered the first 7-8 miles to the vet check over the wet grass, through the creek and over some slippery mud. The first vet check was hidden but we pulsed down no problem and were off again in the lead. 

It wasn't long before we were over taken again and spent the rest of the day leap frogging with the other front runners. The ride seemed to be just flying by and we had such a great time with great company. The horses had excellent momentum all day and the scenery was lovely. 

Both the second and final vet check came much too fast and my first and last competition of the year was already over with. The vet out was uneventful and I felt really good about how my horse did that day. We got lots of compliments and questions about our hoof protection as it is still an uncommon choice up here but I hope I am leading by example and we will soon see more and more riders choosing options that let the hoof function more naturally than traditional hoof wear. 

We started and ended our CTR season with a solid second place finish and I couldn't be happier with my mare and our choice of hoof protection. She truly felt great all day, confident and stable in her way of going. Our riding buddy commented that she looked like she was floating. I know I sure was as this mare is my wings and those Easyshoes are her little jet packs!

Adventures of Team Easyboot Alberta

Submitted by Stacey Maloney, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

This ride season has been a huge challenge for me. With a new baby hanging around it's been difficult finding enough time for me and my horses. Thankfully I have a lot of help and support from family, friends and a great selection of gear from EasyCare to keep us on the trail. 

My main concern has been keeping my mare in the best shape possible with our limited amount of time. We are blessed with lots of space for the horses and great weather this year and as a result our pasture has been lush, to say the least! Daisy Bicking has written some great articles on weight management and the incidence of laminitis and founder in overweight (and in some cases not) horses. This article on body condition and this more recent one regarding laminitis were some of the material I took into consideration when assessing my own mare, her risk, and ramping up our arsenal in the battle of the bulge. 

My competitive trail horse, Marina in the middle of July. 

Oh. My. Goodness. At this point, I have a competition I would like to attend 6 weeks from when this photo was taken. Over feeding your animal can be just as damaging as underfeeding them so it was at this point I decided to take more focused action. My management of her when this picture was taken was to turn her out to pasture for half the day, turned into a dry lot the other half of the day and we were riding 10 miles or so twice a week. Clearly that was not enough to keep her fit and healthy. 

Lucky for me, weight loss for this horse is uncomplicated; less calories in and/or more exercise. I knew I wouldn't be able to drastically increase the amount of exercise she was getting so pasture turn out decreased to 8 hours a day and she spent half of that in a grazing muzzle which she tolerated very well. The grazing muzzle decreases their intake by 70-80% while still allowing them to get some nibbles here and there. As a bonus it also made her walk around more looking for the perfect length of grass to fit through the muzzle.

We increased our exercise to three times a week when possible and made a more concerted effort to hit the hills in the west with friends and make the workouts harder for our flat land prairie ponies. 

In this picture you can see Marina is in her red Easyboot Gloves and my friend Trisha is riding her mare, Atalanta, in borrowed Easyboot Epics

We put in several weeks of hard work, all the while our Easyboots were underfoot, ensuring comfort and security in the Alberta foothills. I usually use a combination of Gloves and Epics based on what usually works best for Marina and I.

As you can see, our trails are rocky in spots and muddy in others. We travel up and down lots of hills, cross rivers and bogs and travel at all gaits. I don't think anyone would call us slow and our Easyboots keep us eating up the trail miles. 

On the days I'm not able to trailer out, we spend all our time on gravel roads which has the possibility of being hard on my horses feet in terms of wear and discomfort. To ensure neither of those happen, of course we head out in our Easyboots. 

It's nice to look back on my photos which have documented the last 6 weeks in our ongoing fitness journey.

There are so many great things about getting to ride frequently: your horse gets fit, you get fit and we get to work on our relationship all the while! Thanks to EasyCare for having an awesome selection of products to keep us eating up the trail miles!

 

Grasping the New Glove Gaiters

Submitted by Karen Bumgarner, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

Some of us have been using Gloves for several years now. I have used them since they became available in 2008 or 2009? Can't recall which. I've had good success with them and now they are on the third new gaiter style. Each change comes with a bit of a learning curve because we know what we know, and relearning what we know is sometimes a bit tough. I knew how to train my old gaiters to fold down and stay out of the way when I put the boot on the hoof. I could just wet the old gaiters and fold them down to dry and voila! But not the new style.

The new ones are quite rubbery and actually very flexible and soft. Fold them out of the way and they bounce right back. I rolled them down and pinched with clothespins but that didn't last long. I seriously thought about putting them in the freezer that way but then figured the boot would be too hard to get on. Hmmmmmm.............

My next thought was to fold the flap of the gaiter backwards and Velcro around the boot to hold it out of the way.

It's still a bit awkward but it does keep most of it out of the way. As I positioned the boot, I pushed the gator back then tapped with the mallet. Pushed the gaiter back again, then finished tapping the boot on.

The tricky little gaiter did stay out of the way to put the boot on.  Always learning.

For the Love of the Glue-Ons!

Submitted by Leah Cain, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

I love riding a horse with Glue-On boots!  I have had a lot of success with them.  My horses travel freely and are confident over varied terrain in them.  In the past, I have only used them for 100 mile endurance competitions and multi-day rides.  I like using them so much that I hate to have to pull them off after a couple weeks to keep the hoof healthy.  I was thinking that if I had access to the sole of the hoof in order to keep it dry,clean it out and apply iodine, I could keep the boots on longer.  After speaking with Kevin Waters and Christoph Schork, and reading Christoph's blog about cutting out a big hole in the bottom and some of the benefits, I decided to try it myself. 

I took clean, unused glue on boots and cut a hole in the bottom using a 2 1/8 hole cutter (the one that you would use to cut a hole in a door for the door knob.)  I secured the boots to a piece of wood to hold them still. Also, make sure you are using clean gloves on your hands to ensure that you do not get the boots dirty.  Once the boots have the proper holes, you are ready to glue on boots as normal except you do not need Sikaflex in the bottom of the boot.  I did also use the EasyShoe Bond for this application simply because I realized that I didn't have any tips for the Adhere. 

I kept the boots on for 8 weeks.  In that time, I did many miles of conditioning and one 50 mile endurance competition.  We experienced lots of mud, gravel roads, sand and just about everything in between.  Surprisingly, we never picked up a rock. 

The last two photos are the boots and hoof after eight weeks. I definitely have found my new favorite way to use Glue-On boots!

 

Mentorship with Garrett Ford

Submitted by Deanna Stoppler, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

In 2015 I applied for the American Association of Professional Farriers (AAPF) Roy Bloom Scholarship by submitting a case study entitled “A Team Approach to Treatment of Recurrent Abscessing Resulting From Solar Keratoma in a 14-year-old Quarter Horse”. As one of two recipients of the scholarship, I received the grand prize of a two to three day paid mentorship to take place with an AAPF mentor of my choice.  I chose to mentor with Garrett Ford, President and CEO of EasyCare, the leader in hoof boot technology.

Ford is an innovator, businessman, endurance rider, athlete, and breeds and races horses in the Arabian racehorse industry.  He is married to an amazing athlete, could-be professional chef, and physical therapist, Lisa Ford, and is raising a 9-year-old hard-as-nails, feisty daughter, Alyxx Ford. They have three dogs—one that is quite crafty and does all kinds of tricks, another who is an up and coming cattle dog (and wreaks havoc on the horses and foals, in a good way) and another miniature guard dog whose bark is much bigger than her bite. And they have a lot of horses. Arabs.  Ford trims and shoes his own horses for pleasure, endurance competitions, and for the racetrack. 

Ford’s experience in the hoof care industry, wide range of interests and talents, and ability to manage his career and personal life were all reasons for my selection. 

Traveling across the country from Vermont to Colorado was nothing new—every year I travel to Alberta, Canada to visit my dad—but still when I exited the plane in Durango I was amazed at the dry air.  Vermont is a humid place; even when we lack rainfall, it is humid.  Colorado was dry.  Cloudless sky.  Bright sun.  Like Alberta, like home.

My first evening at the Ford ranch was spent settling in, eating delicious sushi in downtown Durango (I liked the appetizer of fried brussel sprout chips best), and planning the next two days. 

Enjoying sushi with a feisty Ford!

In the days to come I would learn about trimming in a dry environment; glue on tips-and-tricks; new ideas for glue usage; basic information about Arabian breeding and racing; and endurance riding (hands on—we went for a 17-mile ride in the mountains, trotting and cantering the entire ride).

17-mile ride with Garrett and Lisa Ford.

Day 1: Can you glue a shoe?

If you think you know all there is to know about gluing try spending the day with Garrett Ford.  His mind constantly challenges the status quo.  He and his friend and colleague, Curtis Burns, continually test new ideas for shoe designs and for glue prep and use.  After numerous courses with various well known glue practitioners and spending a week as a team member of the 2015 Easy Elite, gluing shoes on competitors’ horses for the Tevis Cup 100 Mile Endurance Ride, I would say I know a thing or two about gluing but as farriers we can never learn too much and Ford is a prime example of pushing the boundaries and not allowing ourselves to settle in the comfort zone.

We played with shoeing using a technique that allowed us to tack the shoe on with Vettec adhere only from the heel to widest part of foot portion of the shoe, alleviating any possibility of glue pressure in the tip of P3, and tying in the cuffs and toe region of the shoe with Equilox tinted with black concrete dye.

Equilox tinted with black concrete dye.

We talked about the importance of heel prep and making sure the periople is removed prior to applying glue and how critical it is to glue the vertical height of the heels, not just the sole side.

Importance of heel prep.

We applied a dual nail/glue system and cut the cuffs down to account for slight flaring in the foot. 

A conversation about aesthetics and finish led me to realize that the smallest of details, like consistent finish in all four cuffs, separates better from best.  Ford talked about his mantra when finishing a foot—Curtis Burns once said to him: “Would you leave it like that?” And so he says it to himself after every trim, glue job, boot removal…would you leave it like that?  If in doubt fix it; do it to the best of your ability or don’t do it at all.

Day 2: Trimming a few, and a few more.

Trimming in a dry climate was in some ways like taking a breath of fresh air.  The work can be more difficult when trying to remove embedded bar and sole material but the feet are rock solid, literally. In Vermont feet are in a constant cycle of wet to dry to wet to dry to mostly wet, soggy, like a sponge. I might be exaggerating a bit but you get the idea.  Even though Ford’s pastures are irrigated daily, the horses’ feet are dry.  The air is dry. The ground is dry.  Feet: dry.

The balance of backing toes, leveling heels, leaving vertical height, straightening bars, removing exfoliating frog material, all of it applies to Colorado feet but Ford’s horses had healthy, dry feet instead of healthy wet feet.  Looking at the feet in Colorado versus Vermont wasn’t earth shatteringly different but I quickly realized that dry West feet could handle a bit more trimming than soggy East feet. In Vermont it feels that I am constantly balancing taking just the right amount of foot; not leaving so much that it will chip in the next couple of weeks of growth but not taking so much that if we hit a dry spell the horses will be sensitive on hard ground. 

During our day spent trimming Ford and I talked about the Arabian breeding and racing industry and what I got from those conversations is probably not what you’d expect, the retention of facts of sires and dams and bloodlines.  Instead it was the fact that a person can specialize in and pursue various areas of interest and still be successful.  Sure it is important to have a place in the market for your talent and skill set but that doesn’t mean solely focusing on only that area to be successful. 

Ford’s ability to network in various aspects of the horse industry reminded me of a web with many threads that all weave together into an intricate design, making the entire web stronger. 

My mentorship taught me that if you have passion, a willingness to work hard, an open mind, and aim to do things right the first time you will succeed.

If you understand that the most important thing in life is caring for your loved ones and staying true to who you are deep inside—to look in the mirror and be able to answer to yourself—then success is easy.  Success is and will always be yours.  Success is more than reaching a specific goal; success is a way of life.

We Find Out "Sibbald Flats" Is Not At All Flat

Submitted by Stacey Maloney, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

As part of our conditioning effort in working towards getting back on the CTR circuit this year, I joined a friend in an adventure to explore new trails at the base of the Rocky Mountains west of Calgary, Alberta. We loaded up early and arrived at the trail head at 10am on a Sunday only to find we were probably the last people to arrive; I guess we need to learn to get up earlier! After squeezing our trailers into the already cramped parking area, we unloaded, tacked up and wasted no time getting our adventure underway.

We were in an area called Sibbald Flats which I believe is named after the small meadow between the steep inclines that only takes about 4 minutes to ride across; don't be fooled, this area is hardly flat at all. We did spend the first hour or so on relatively flat ground but it turned out we had lost the trail and had to back track to find it. 

Once we got on the right track it was up, up, up with some lovely views on the ridge and then we went down, down, down. 

My boot of choice is a toss up between the Easyboot Epics and the Easyboot Gloves. The Gloves work great for us right up until just before my mare is ready for another trim, which was the case on this day.  The Gloves weren't going to be an option for us this day because Marina's feet were a bit too grown out, so on went the Epics which were easily adjusted to fit the size of her hoof and they stayed put all day. 

The upper elevations of the trail were rocky as expected but we really did cover all types of terrain on this day. When we got really lost we found our way by backtracking on the gravel road as well as riding the standard mountain trails which consist of meadows, rivers, mud, bog and of course we went up and down a mountain.

Although my mare, Marina, has great hooves, she benefits GREATLY from Easyboot hoof protection. She strides out wonderfully, canters up the rocky slopes, navigates the sliding shale and in general never puts a foot wrong or lacks confidence in her way of going. Being barefoot while at rest and sometimes while under saddle really does mean the healthiest hoof for this mare. With that in mind, we would never be able to tackle tough mountain trails without our Easyboots and are so grateful for the vast variety EasyCare has to offer and the reliable protection I can have confidence in when my mare has them underfoot. 

This Team Easyboot member is signing off for now in search of more adventures and stories to tell!

Giving Multi-Days the Boot

Submitted by Karen Bumgarner, Team Easyboot 2016 Member

I had two multi-days on my ride radar, Strawberry Fields in Utah and Oregon Outback in Oregon. They were spaced two weeks apart. My goal was all three days on Thunder at Strawberry. My friend, Colleen Martin, was riding my grey gelding with her goal being days one and three. My unorthodox protocol is to use just Sikaflex and no Adhere. I often use somewhat used Easyboot Gloves and remove the gator once the Sikaflex cures. However this time I took Glue-On shells, drilled holes in the sides and temporarily attached gators. The reason being the gators would stabilize the shells so they stay in place while the Sikaflex sets up. I did this Tuesday, June 14. I removed the gators on June 15 and we left for Strawberry Reservoir the same day. This would give us a day to explore a little and rest up before the ride started.

 

Boots are glued and the boys are ready to rock and roll Strawberry Fields. Photo by Colleen Martin

I love it when a plan comes together and it worked pretty well, if I do say so myself. I did lose two front boots during the three days but I believe that was my own fault. I was trying to avoid having too much Sikaflex squirt out the back of the boot and stick to my horse's heel. I have tried using oily products on the heel to prevent the Sikaflex from sticking where I don't want it to but haven't succeeded with that. Proof as to just how sticky the stuff is. Anyway because of trying to avoid that problem, I don't believe that I used enough Sik in those front boots and that is why I lost them. However, I was carrying a pair of Gloves and replaced each lost front boot with a Glove and we continued towards our goal. 

All four of Blue's boots stayed glued on as he and Colleen Martin completed the 50 on both days one and three. This Day three photo from the top of the world taken by Steve Bradley. 

Between the Gloves and Glue-On's, Thunder and I finished all three days and got Pioneer status. Steve Bradley took this one on Day two.

Once back home from Strawberry, Colleen and I started planning Oregon Outback as we went on a nice ride near Eagle, Idaho. The horses were doing great! Since Blue would just be doing one day at Oregon Outback, we removed his Glue-On boots. They had been on a bit longer than a week. Blue could just wear Gloves for a day. But I wanted to do all three days again at Oregon Outback with Thunder, that is if all would go well. One of the problems with multi-days is avoiding pastern irritation or scratches. With or without boots this is always a problem, especially with pink skin. Thunder's hind boots were still nice and tight. I decided to just leave them on. Now I know EasyCare suggests not leaving Glue-Ons in place for more than 10 days. I thought it through and my horses aren't in much wet or mud this time of year. I don't let them on the pasture when the irrigation is running either, so I felt like my chances of my horse acquiring thrush from leaving the boots on were pretty slim. So I made the choice of leaving the hind boots on, and before leaving for Outback I Sikaflexed my cleaned out boots onto Thunder's front hooves. And once more, we were all set with Glue-On boots all the way around.

Z Blue Lightening and Colleen Martin, zipping down the trail for a completion on day one of Oregon Outback. The Gloves stayed put, as usual, for a drama free but fun filled ride!

Colleen Martin took this at the start of Day two at Oregon Outback. Thunder's Sikaflex glued boots were successful for the entire three days. This saved me from removing and cleaning Gloves each day but it also allowed Thunder to move freely and fluidly for all three days. My friend, also pictured, Trish Frahm, used Gloves on her mare for days one and two. Her mare's first two consecutive days of endurance.

Back home from our adventures and the horses got some welcome pasture time. It was July 5 when I went out to remove the boots. Even after nearly three weeks those hind boots were tough to remove. And the hooves themselves? Healthy as could be. Here they are after a little trim. Ready for more miles and more of what Thunder loves, going down the trail!