Submitted by Susan Summers, 2014 Team Easyboot Member
I’ve stalled long enough and felt guilty for a long time because I’ve not done my part in writing a blog for EasyCare. I’ve been a part of the team and used their products for many years successfully on many horses. What’s stopped me all these years? Well I’ve been a little scared to admit that I go both ways. Yup, I nail steel or aluminum on and also boot.
So you ask, why do I do this? Well I am a trained farrier and have been shoeing horses the traditional way for many years with a lot of success. My husband and I have won and BC’ed many rides on many horses with traditional shoes so I was of the “if it ain't broke don’t’ fix it” mentality. We are of the belief you can ride competitively and also have longevity. I have 3 decade horses with a total of 32 starts and 31 finishes in 100 mile rides alone and a good many of those were competitive miles and in steel shoes.
What originally brought me to boots was my horse Hummer. He is a rather large Arab/Bashkir Curly with loooonnnnggg legs, a short back, a huge engine and amazing feet. I tried all the tricks I learned in school to keep shoes on him and was never able to get past 10 miles without pulling a shoe off. We train quite hard on hard rocky logging roads so barefoot was not an option. I tried but the wear exceeded the growth and his feet would become nubbins. Rock hard but nubbins no less. Enter Gloves and Glue-Ons. I started using Gloves on the front and steel on the hind for training and Glue-Ons on the front for races. This combination worked fabulous and I never had to worry about pulling shoes again. Hummer and I became very happy campers and went many miles as a team until his retirement last year at the age of 19 still sound.
Riding Hummer in boots I noticed how comfortable he was on rocky ground which I normally would slow up on. We were able to pass other horses and make up time where they weren’t able to. So this got me going hmmmmm. Why not give more of our horses the same advantage. Next victim my husbands horse Bogart, a half Arab half Mustang also with amazing feet. Dennis isn’t the kind that would take the time to boot with Gloves BUT loves the Glue-Ons for racing. So Bogart is in steel shoes to train and Glue-On boots to race. One of the luxuries to having a wife that’s a farrier.
Although Glue-On boots are my favorite EasyCare product I’ve been playing with the EasyShoes. I have glued them on and nailed them on both with success. My new prospect Egypt is sporting a brand new pair of EasyShoe Performance N/G's. I really like these as I can set them back and get the break over point exactly where I want it. And no worries for a whole shoeing cycle, just saddle up and ride.
I’m pretty sure I’ll always go both ways with our herd but thanks to EasyCare we now have options for hoof care that are horse and race specific and I believe will help with both competitiveness and longevity.