Easy Learning at the EasyShoe Clinic

I have been chomping at the bit to get a hold of the new EasyShoe ever since I saw the first test reports. I feel pretty comfortable using Adhere with the Easyboot Glue-On having glued for myself and for many endurance riders over the last few years. I figured I could work out gluing the new EasyShoes easily enough by watching the instruction videos, so at first didn't see a need to attend the EasyShoe Clinic. Then I saw it was to be much more than a simple demonstration of how to apply the EasyShoe. Daisy Bicking of Daisy Haven Farm was going to present hoof mapping and trimming instruction. I have been following her online for some time now, and really wanted to take one of her clinics but flying to Pennsylvania was out of my budget. Then on top of that, Paige Poss of Anatomy of the Equine was also going to be a presenter. I had seen her give a presentation at the PHCP conference in November and was totally blown away by both how much she knows about the anatomy of the hoof and leg, and by how well she can do a dissection. Those two giving a weekend full of hoof information sealed the deal for me!

Derick, me, Paige, Megan, and Daisy. Go Team Humboldt! (Katie had to leave early)

My long awaited shipment of EasyShoes arrived about a week before the clinic date, and it was all I could do to not glue them on my mare. They were so pretty and shiny...new toys, oh my! They kept whispering to me to take them out to play but I managed to keep them in the box long enough to get down to the clinic and learn how to do things right. I was excited to find out that I was not the only one from my area. My fellow endurance rider and owner/trimmer Katie Azevedo was coming down to audit. Megan Hensley and Derrick Vaughn, local trimmers as well, were coming to the clinic too! Wonderful to see more local hoof care providers wanting to further their education. Team Humboldt would be rocking the first EasyShoe Clinic!

Bob, Paige, and Kevin getting things set up for our Friday night activities.

This clinic had sentimental value as well, I was coming full circle this weekend. I started my hoof care education at Pacific Coast Horseshoeing in 2005, and it gave me a wonderful foundation on which to build my hoof care career. To be back again and learning something new was absolutely wonderful! By hosting this clinic in a very traditional farrier school, Bob Smith really showed how the two worlds can and should come together to provide the best in hoof care and I greatly applaud him for it. As hoof care providers we need to learn to work together, not bicker about who is doing what better or worse. The clinic was attended by trimmers, farriers, and owners, and we all had a great time and learned from and with each other.

Friday I headed down to Plymouth arriving just in time to grab a bunk and stash my gear, before dinner and the evening's activities. After everyone gave a brief introduction of themselves, Kevin Myers and Daisy Bicking gave a rundown of the EasyShoes and the pros and cons of the different gluing methods (Adhere or EasyShoe Bond). Questions were asked and answered as to the varying performance and therapeutic uses of the different shoe models and glue and/or nailing applications. This was followed by Daisy's presentation hoof mapping/trimming and Paige's brilliant dissection. It was so interesting and informative!

Inner workings of the hoof...

Saturday started in the classroom with some more questions and answers and an overview of the day to come. Then we moved out to the work area, where Kevin and Daisy went over tools and glues, then did an excellent demo of both gluing methods on a live horse.

Kevin showing the fit, prep, and application of an EasyShoe Performance with Adhere.


Daisy showing us the proper application process with dental impression material and EasyShoe Bond.

After lunch we began work on our cadaver hooves, learning to map, properly trim to the map, and fitting the EasyShoe.

Working on my cadaver leg...it was weird to work in this position on a limp leg.

We followed this with a wonderful group dinner, where we exchanged many more ideas, discussed things we were still struggling with, and had many laughs! Sunday we were back in the classroom in the morning, then moved back out in the work area where Daisy did a nail and gluing demo with the Performance N/G.

The Performance N/G both glued and nailed on with EasyShoe Bond and a few nails.

After the live demo, we retrieved our cadaver legs and finished up any prep work. We then split into groups depending on with application method we wanted to try. I chose to try out the Adhere method of gluing and Kevin led our group. 

The results after I cleaned up my glued hoof. Not too bad for a first try!

Finally, those of us who wanted to, were given the opportunity to practice nailing on our cadavers. Considering I haven't nailed in years, except the occasional lost shoe at an endurance ride for someone, or very occasional application of other synthetic shoes for a client, my nailing practice didn't turn out too bad. A tad low, and I was lacking the proper blocking tools, but overall I see I haven't forgotten how to do it!

Afterwards we wrapped up in the classroom with final thoughts and questions. The most exciting news at the end? We got to keep our cadaver legs if we wanted, to take home and dissect ourselves! I scored two other legs from participants that didn't think it was so awesome to take home several day old cadaver legs. I know, I am a nut to get excited over dead things, but they are comfortably chilling in my freezer right now, and I can't wait to find some time to pull them apart. A few nutty friends already expressed interest in watching as well.

I learned so much at the clinic! I suggest anyone with any interest in learning (of any kind related to hooves, not just gluing on shoes) attend one of the EasyShoe Clinics. You won't regret it. I walked away pretty confident I could at least start working with the shoe, and with a lot of good information about hoof anatomy, function, and new ways to trim. I just glued on a set of four shoes on my mare today, and did a crack-repair with a pair of front shoes on a POA as well. Though it took me more time than I would like, that is to be expected with any new skill you learn. I was quite satisfied with the end results of both gluings.

Natalie Herman

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