Spring is finally here and that means a lot less snow and ice, more hours in the saddle, sunny weather, long days, cold drinks, sun burns and flip flops. All my life people have been telling me flip flops and horses do not mix, finally they are wrong. They may have been talking about me wearing flip flops around my horses but that is a moot point, flip flops and horses DO mix.
As you all know we just recently released the new Easyboot Flip Flop, if you didn’t know this you are really missing out, or living under a rock. Since we have released the Flip Flop I have been dying to give them a try on my horse but the weather had been delaying me from doing so. When the weather started making a change to spring I got all of my supplies ready, let all my cohorts know I was going to be gluing and made a plan to glue on a Saturday. Well, Saturday turned into Sunday and everyone I had invited to help me glue had spring fever and other things they wanted to on the beautiful spring day. Heck, I don’t blame them, I would of ditched me too.
I will admit, I was
slightly worried freaking out about gluing on my own. Remember our past blog as to how we were unsure who the hot dog was and who was the bun? Ya, we are still not positive, I think I may be the hotdog, as I was quite uneasy about gluing without my security blanket, AKA the bun. I was determined that if I took my time and was very prepared, I would be just fine gluing solo. The weather was perfect for gluing, not too hot, not too cold, the sun was shining and there was only a slight breeze.
So the gluing process began, well actually it started the day before when I added four quick studs to each Flip Flop. The horse I was gluing these on I use for barrel racing but we do very little to no arena riding. I will be using the Flip Flop to get her fit this spring and wanted a little added traction when I’m out riding, I typically ride her on single track trails and grass at a long trot.
That morning I started out by giving her a fresh trim and cleaning up the hoof with my hoof pick wire brush, then I put the Flip Flops on each foot and marked where I would need to trim them down. I also made sure they were marked left and right since the lengths were slightly different. I then turned her back out, as I was going to take my sweet time making sure the Flip Flop was trimmed correctly and I had all my supplies out before I brought her back up. She and I were both going to need a full tank of patience to make this a success.
I do not own a set of nippers or a power saw so I had to be creative with trimming down the heel of the Flip Flop. I left the plastic bag on the cuff of the Flip Flop to make sure I did not compromise my gluing surface, I then placed a wooden block on the base of the Flip Flop along the line that I needed to cut and secured it with a clamp to the work bench. Using a hand saw I cut along the line I had drawn. The Flip Flop cut very easily once I got it started, I did not even need to clean up the edges. If you wanted to, you could use the fine side of your rasp or a piece of sand paper to smooth everything out.
The thing I liked best about the Flip Flop is that I could do a lot of the hoof prep on the ground. My horse does not mind the Buffy, wire brush or the rasp but the open flame we are still working on. She likes to pull back especially when you have her foot up on a hoof jack, so the more I can leave all four feet on the ground. the safer it is for all parties involved.
Once I had the hoof wall prepped, I cleaned up her sole with my wire brush and also used the torch to make sure it was dry. I then put a Zip on her, which is not necessary, but since I was taking my time and there was a breeze I didn’t want to have to worry about contaminating the hoof with any dust.
I was now ready to actually glue the Flip Flops. I gathered everything up so it was arm’s length from my horse: my glue, the Flip Flop and also my rubber mallet. I put on my rubber gloves, got my Adhere ready, put the tip on, purged a little and then grabbed my Flip Flop.
Applying the glue evenly, only to the upper part of the cuff, I picked up her foot, removed the Zip and slipped on the Flip Flop. One thing I did add to my process was that I tapped the toe of the Flip Flop with my rubber mallet, this is not a make it or break it step, but it did make me more confident that her toe was to the front of the shell. I then placed her foot down, toe first and ran a bead of Adhere around the top of the cuff. I did this all without switching tips on my Adhere, this is a huge deal considering the first few times I glued I would run though at least two tips before I could even get a shoe or boot glued on the horse. I did one full foot at a time, I prepped and glued and then move to the next foot. Once I was done with the second foot, the first was set up and ready to be cleaned up. It is nice that the Adhere sets quickly and there is virtually no down time.
Once I was finished cleaning them up with the buffy, I added EquiPak Soft for my pour in pad. (Side note we do not recommend using Sikaflex as a pad, unless you want to stand with your horse for the next 12 hours so it can set.) Once the EquiPak was set I finished them off with some Super Glue, and bam, we were ready to go. I let her stand tied for about an hour and then took her on a long ride. We crossed water, went through sticky mud, over rocks, sticks, sand and down the paved road. I am lucky enough that where I live I can pretty much cover any terrain I might like right out my door.
I knew I would like the Flip Flop, but I did not realize how much. The Flip Flop was extremely easy to glue without any assistance. It actually made me feel like an old pro, I didn’t glue myself to anything, my horse wasn’t covered in black Adhere and I didn’t feel like drinking a pitcher of margaritas after. Really, the part that I valued the most was how comfortable and well my horse moved with these on. I firmly believe in every single one of our products and love them all in their own way. It may be that I have spring fever, but the Flip Flop is certainty my new favorite.