Since last September, I've had a various combination of EasyShoes on at least one of my four riding horses at all times. I've applied four sets of EasyShoes, with good success and have enjoyed using the different models on my guys. While there are advantages and disadvantages to leaving on any form of semi-permanent hoof protection, I've found the advantages to outweigh the disadvantages for my horses that need a little extra help.
Yup. This guy.
When the EasyShoe first came out, I'm not gonna lie, I was a little worried I would become addicted to the ease of leaving shoes on and not having to mess with boots, but I haven't found this to be the case at all. My horses that have tough bare feet are still bare, and the ones who aren't comfortable working without protection on at all times have EasyShoes applied. After the dude with the broken off heel grows a new one, I don't anticipate him needing long-term protection. However, having the EasyShoes as an option is fantastic!
In using the different models of EasyShoes and obsessively evaluating/watching/analyzing (did I mention I am a tad bit obsessive?) my horses in them, I have a clear favorite. The winner for my herd is the EasyShoe Sport. This guy is lightweight, flexible and allows a large portion of the bottom of the hoof to see the light of day. All the while being pretty supportive with its wide-web design. I like to be able to pick out my horses' hooves, apply whatever foot potion I want and generally keep an eye on things. Because it's spring and the ground has been soft, the frogs have had plenty of ground contact to stay stimulated and healthy. This might change when the ground hardens, but if that's the case, the EasyShoe Performance has great frog-support integrated as part of the shoe. For further support, things like Dental Impression Material can be used to fine-tune to one's liking. Could these things be any cooler?
Majik wearing EasyShoe Sports up front and Competes on the hinds. I originally put this
horse in EasyShoes to help grow out his broken-off heel and quarter, and then applied them
on the hinds when his feet began showing excessive wear after ramping up his training.
For the hind feet, my new favorite is the EasyShoe Compete. I won't lie, I first ordered the Competes because my pretty-pretty-princess gelding has four white legs and feet and the black shoes stick out on him like a sore thumb. So I naturally did what any self-respecting, image-conscious individual would do, and bought some clear shoes and tan Adhere to stealthily rock the EasyShoes in horse shows and clinics and such. Because I had messed up on the sizing for the other horse who didn't need shoes to match his feet, I ended up putting a pair of Topper's Competes on Majik's hind feet and was stoked how great they looked on his one white hoof. I was even MORE stoked to notice he didn't slip at all in the narrower thin-web of the shoe during his daily pasture-time acrobatic sessions. He went from laying tracks longer than his little self to stopping on a dime. For situations where traction is important, like horses working on grass or in slick conditions, these seem to be bomb-diggity. Plus, the incognito factor for those light hooves is pretty sweet.
EasyCare takes a mean picture, and does a wicked good EasyShoe install.
I'm sure my amateur-self will have have some trial and error in my journey, but for now I am stoked about the product and psyched to see my one horse in particular thriving with his EasyShoes. I also can't wait to see the big things that people do with these in the coming months and years! The EasyShoes have already been used to win endurance rides, win Best Condition awards at those rides, make fancy dressage horses dance and have already helped countless other ponies. The journey has just begun!