Last spring I met some new folks riding up on the local trails and I always say “HI” and “How are you?” It wasn’t long before we started talking barefoot horses, trimming and hoof boots. Then the subject came up about Clyde. “Yes I’m so disappointed, my other buckskin has been diagnosed as navicular and I don’t know what I can do to help him.” This led to my new friends, Ted and Leni Nicholes, bringing Clyde to my house to evaluate.
Clyde is a stout QH type and he was definitely stabbing that toe into the ground as he walked. He was uncomfortable on my gravel driveway. The seven year old gelding had begun to experience lameness after just a few rides during his initial training. His hooves had a fairly good trim on them; they weren’t soft or neglected. I pointed out that Clyde could use less bar as it was sticking up and to try and address some of the flare. So we fixed that and I showed them some Easyboot Gloves. They were familiar with the Original Easyboot and Easyboot Epics. I tried some Gloves that I had on Clyde and got a pretty good fit, then I added some 6 mm Comfort Pads. He was improved but still not comfortable. We added Dome Pads with me saying “Now EasyCare doesn’t recommend this pad with Gloves but I’ve done it, they just make it a bit harder to retain the boot fit.“
Clyde moved even better with the Dome Pads and I loaned them my stuff and said “Just use these on him during turnout and see how he progresses.” Clyde did well during turnout but not good enough to return to training. This led to further frustration for his owners. The veterinarian’s prognosis for Clyde was not good, they had told the Nicholes that the horse was navicular, would never be sound and offered no help or advice. The bone changes themselves were minimal and we all just thought that there had to be something to help. Clyde’s future was anything but promising and there was talk of just giving up and putting him down.
If you look for advice on managing navicular syndrome you find a large mix of ideas and most of it clashes with one another. This makes it even harder for the horse owner to try and help a horse with this problem. But they didn’t want to give up just yet and kept searching for answers, even brought in a couple different trimmers to help out as Ted didn't want to resort to shoes. He really didn't think shoeing would help. Time marches on and now EasyCare was talking about the new Easyboot Transition that would be coming out. WOW this looked ideal for Clyde and I was sure one of my own horses could benefit from it also. Leni and I couldn't wait to try the Transitions on Clyde!
Clyde with the new Easyboot Transition, ears up, moving out well and not limping.
The Transition boots have a lot of padding in the sole and a very supportive and rigid platform. My first impression was that they looked heavy but they are actually light. At first I did have some difficulty getting them on but once you get them on and use them the materials soften and they become easier to apply. The relief they provided for Clyde was immediate. At a trot, in the gravel, his ears were up and his stride was long. And we had a heel first landing. It was an amazing “transition” from the short choppy strides and unhappy ears that we had seen before!
For the first time in months Clyde has a nice heel first solid landing.
Clyde has gotten really good about his daily booting. He did experience a bit of heel chafing but rather than go through a pair of nylons every day to prevent rubbing, Leni uses one single layer of vet wrap around the hoof over the heel bulbs. Then with a bit of powder sprinkled onto the gaiter, the hoof slips right into the boot even if it is wet, damp or dirty. Clyde may never make a performance horse as was once hoped, but he has a future now. His great disposition gives him the ability to become a pleasure or children’s horse when his training is finished. An option that looked pretty bleak without the Easyboot Transition.