Share Your Adventure!

Submitted by: Jordan Junkermann, EasyCare Product Specialist

At the beginning of every year is a clean slate. We get to make new goals, new plans for the riding season, and carry over things that didn't get done the previous year. It has been a long few months of holidays, cooking, planning, shopping, and giving those horses an extra treat or two. Now, it is time to relax for a while before another major event. 

During this time in the "off" season it is good to reflect about the past season. Reminiscing about great trail rides, successful shows, countless beautiful days out in the back country, and so much more. It is also good to recall the bad times, briefly of course. There are lessons that were learned through mistakes that were made. Hopefully a lot of new knowledge is in your head about what to do and what not to do! 

I personally have some great stories of how boots helped my horse through a rocky trail, how they kept her sound, and how through trial and error, I was able to figure out which boots worked best for us as a team. My guess is that you are like me and have had some great adventure stories with boots in the last year. 

If anyone is interested in writing about their adventures of this past year and throughout this new year, EasyCare would love to hear it. We have offered the "Hoof Boot Story" for a few years now and that is a great way to tell a little bit about your horse, EasyCare boots, and get a free magnetic hoof pick out of the deal. This year we are still doing that but taking it up a notch. This year we are doing a monthly blog contest called "Share Your Adventure." This is an opportunity for three people to win prizes monthly! We will accept submissions throughout the month and at the end of each month we will pick a winner for the best blog that month. There will be prizes for second and third as well. Having a well written, in-depth adventure story could win you a free pair of boots! 

This is a great opportunity to tell us about your booting experiences, your riding adventures or therapy success stories. There are so many things to celebrate. Let's do it together!

Please email your submissions to marketing@easycareinc.com

The Most Amazing Journey of My Life and Now the Next Chapter

Submitted by Nancy Fredrick

I will be retiring from EasyCare as of December 31, 2017 with 16 years, 6 months and 6 days of the most incredible journey in this equine industry that one could ask for in life! I am blessed….for sure!!

My equine journey of love began when I was just a youngster. My best pals growing up in northern Wisconsin were farm kids that I went to school with. They had horses! Every year going to the county fair, my folks could park me with the ring ponies and they could go enjoy the fair with friends and family as they knew, "Nancy will not leave those ponies and we do not have to worry about her!" Saturday mornings, I would watch all the westerns on the TV. This was the mid 1950’s, so you could find me watching Gungmoke, The Roy Rogers Show, Fury, My Friend Flicka, Sky King, etc. Once again, my parents knew where I was and did not worry. I always told my mother, "I am going to go west and be involved with horses when I grow up”. So I did just that in 1972... on to Arizona in a car, not horseback or covered wagon like I would have totally enjoyed!

Life takes us all on various journey’s throughout our years and after many years of different career choices. My life long dream was to work for an equine business. Well, when you put your dreams out to the universe so many times, she answers back and connects you with something so great that you need to pinch yourself to make sure you are still awake!

In 2001, my good friend, Nina Knight, told me to check out a position opening at EasyCare Inc, the home of the Easyboot right here in Tucson. So I heard about our County Line Riders Club having a hoof boot presentation featuring Garrett Ford, owner of EasyCare and I knew I needed to go to this. After the presentation, I went over to him, introduced myself and said, “Hi Mr. Ford, my name is Nancy Fredrick and I would like to put my application in with your company and work for you.” He said, "Put the application in and we will look at it.” The universe was at work and I became part of the team.

           At my desk hard at work.

I started in customer service and used my knowledge and talents to eventually become the Office Manager for EasyCare. I wanted to take on all that I could to learn this business and give it my all.

At this time, we only had the Easyboot and the Medicator boot. We also had several items for the sport of endurance riding. I felt like a kid in a candy store with all of this equine “stuff” and knew I would become a sponge and learn about it all so I could share that knowledge with every customer I came in contact with. As the new boot styles and product that Garrett created came to life, I was so impressed and knew this is where I wanted to be. His love of equines and creating products to make equine lives better has been so inspirational and is very infectious to anyone who has a connection to EasyCare.

More learning in Durango at the research ranch.

From the very beginning of my EasyCare life, I have been inspired and learned more about equine hooves and different products than I ever thought was possible. To work for and be associated with the world leader of hoof boot technology is so mind blowing. This has made me smile every day and be excited about coming to my job each day to give more than 100 percent.

Private clinic in Durango for the EasyCare peeps.

Throughout my time here, I have been very blessed to have met and become great friends with some dynamic people in this industry, met and helped awesome customers, worked with really great fellow team members, gone to equine events, put on events to promote our product, and helped to get great businesses connected with EasyCare to help us be better at our jobs. I have learned so many things to better myself and be able to perform my duties with the best interest of EasyCare in mind.

I am sad to leave, but it is time to journey on to my next chapter in life. I am forever thankful and grateul to Garrett for taking the chance on hiring me and trusting me with everything EasyCare. I have always told him with much gusto, ”I fight de bull for you, Boss”, and I mean this with all my heart and soul.  You have made a difference in my life’s journey with my passion…horses.

And to my EasyCare family, I will always be connected with all of you. I am one of your HCP dealers now and will promote all things equine that you put out there. I also want to do hoof boot fittings in my little business to help teach horse owners that boots are great and horses deserve the best from all of us. I use EasyCare products for my horses and will continue because I believe in them completely.

I send humble thanks and love to each and everyone that I have been blessed to cross paths with in this equine journey…..Happy trails.

 

Nancy Fredrick

Easycare President-ceo-garrett-ford

EasyCare Customer Care

I have been on the EasyCare team since 2001, have been the Office Manager and done everything from A to Z. I have first hand product knowledge as my horses are barefoot, booted and I do their trimming. I can assist you with all of your booting needs. .

Easyboot Glove Soft- Compiling Customer Suggestions

One of the biggest things I've learned about the hoof boot business in the last 25 years is that it doesn't matter what works for me.  What matters is what works for the customer. I personally love the 2016 Easyboot Glove and the robust gaiter. I've done 99% of my riding in the 2016 Glove and think it's the best boot in the EasyCare hoof boot line. Although I love the 2016 Easyboot Glove, many of our customers have requested we bring back features of past Easyboot Glove models. Based on these requests, we have brought back many of the requested features in the Easyboot Glove Soft.

Easyboot Glove Soft in testing

Orders have been placed and we are expecting our first shipment in mid February. The Easyboot Glove Soft will be available in both regular and wide versions. The difference between the 2016 Easyboot Glove and the Easyboot Glove Soft is all in the gaiter. The requested features include:

1.  "Bring back the elastic support". Many of our customers found the elastic support at the back easier to fit. 

The rear support of the Easyboot Glove Soft gaiter is elastic.

2.  "Bring back the wider hook and loop closure". Many of our customers found the wider hook and loop more secure. The Easyboot Glove Soft has 1 1/2 wide hook and loop.  

1 1/2 inch hook and loop closure.

3.  "Introduce a gaiter that can fit large and small circumference pasterns". The gaiter features a great deal more flexibility in fit. The gaiter should overlap even on a large boned horse.  

Gaiters should overlap!

The Easyboot Glove Soft incorporates the feedback of many and continues to use the standard and wide shells that everyone loves. Between the 2016 Easyboot Glove and the Easyboot Glove Soft, we feel confident more performance horse owners will be happy and have more options.  

We hope you will like the new requested features.  

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President 

I have been President of EasyCare since 1993. My first area of focus for the company is in product development, and my goal is to design the perfect hoof boot for the barefoot horse.

 

EasyCare Introduces Free Shipping!

Submitted by Sam Glaser, EasyCare's Chief Executive Officer

When I traveled to Zappos headquarters with Garrett Ford this past spring, we knew we were opening up the possibility of making big changes at EasyCare. When I started with EasyCare in the spring of 2017, I instantly appreciated this team's commitment to customer education. Now we were out to discover what excellence meant beyond just education - we want the customer experience to be exceptional from the moment you call, email or visit our website, to the time you use product on our ultimate customer - your horses. 

One interesting perspective we gained from Zappos is that they treat shipping expenses as the price of good customer service. Amazon, who owns Zappos, does the same thing. We decided that this was an outlook on customer relationships worth adopting, and so beginning in 2018, all US orders over $49 will receive free standard shipping. We hope that this change goes a long way to help create a great buying experience. EasyCare also has many customers in countries outside the US and we continue to work with our carriers on solutions for you. 

EasyCare Product Specialist, Kelsey, applies the Easyboot Glue-On with Garrett Ford.

You can see our new pricing and shipping options at our website. In addition to these shipping changes, we have made many changes behind the scenes so that we can continue to provide you the most innovative products (like the Easyboot Glove Soft, Easyboot Stratus, and EasyShoe Flex hitting the market this spring), backed by industry-leading customer education and service. For instance, we spent time in 2017 working on our corporate mission, vision and core values. The goal was to re-create all of our roles so that they added value to the customer experience. Ultimately, we come to work each day because you trust our products to benefit your horse. Our focus on the customer experience helped us decide to move forward with the free shipping model and will continue to help us shape how we interact with you all. As EasyCare enters its 48th year as the leader in hoof boot technology, we are thankful for all of you who have helped shape this industry and we look forward to many more years of providing great products to great people! I'll leave you with our new mission, vision and core values - along with a couple of photos of our team.

Our mission, vision and values guide our actions and, taken together with our actions, reveal who we are. 

Mission

The mission of our team is to improve the well-being of horses by providing the equestrian community with superior service, education and innovative equine products.

Vision

Our vision is to lead the way – through relationships and innovative behavior – to an equine industry revolution in hoof care practice.

Values

Relationships are the lifeblood of our business.

We approach each interaction with empathy and respect.

We act as a corporate family that takes ownership of our life together.

Education for our customers and selves empowers our community.

We build our culture of integrity through honesty, doing what we say, and consistency in our actions.

Having the courage to be innovative moves the needle in our personal and professional lives.

Life is short – have fun! We cultivate an intense culture, but fight against a tense culture.

New EasyCare Durango Location

Many of the products in the EasyCare range have been developed and tested in the San Juan Mountains surrounding Durango, Colorado. The mountains in Durango inspire time on the trails and long hours in the saddle. The trail system is diverse, elevation changes can be dramatic and scenery is breathtaking.

Hard to take a bad photo or ride an ugly trail in Durango

We have been looking for a new Durango office location that embodies what we all feel about our town.  Sam and I spent a day at Zappos in Vegas, got some ideas from Roche in Indy and read articles about Google and Facebook.  We were seeking an engaging work space that helped us all be more productive.  A space with views and open space.  Dog friendly, exercise friendly, a nice kitchen, views and showers.  A workplace where we all feel comfortable.  A work space we are proud of. An office location that continues to help us recruit and retain the best team members. 

After looking around town we picked a rural location in the north valley.  The space was open and we were able to build out to fit our needs.  We are all excited about what we achieved and excited to call this new location home.  

Take a quick tour of our new digs!

Open office space.  Work at a couch or at a desk.  Kitchen is close.

Dog friendly.  You will find Emmitt, Boots, Brisco, Millie, Squatch, and Cheyenne at the office on most days.  

Exercise friendly.  Run, bike, exercise or workout at lunch.  Clean up in the men's or woman's shower.  

Multiple areas to work from.

Great windows to bring the views of Durango inside.  

Steel features with a bit of EasyCare history combined.  

Lots of artwork from our photo shoots over the years.

Hope you like it as much as we do.  Stop in if you are in the area.  

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President 

I have been President of EasyCare since 1993. My first area of focus for the company is in product development, and my goal is to design the perfect hoof boot for the barefoot horse.

 

 

Fitting the Back Country

The new and improved Back Country boot has evolved into what I like to call the “Black Knight” of boots.

With it’s rugged, warrior-like good looks, tough as nails rubberized upper, and extra-thick neoprene comfort cup cradling the heel bulbs, this boot is the best of both worlds. It combines the fit, comfort and convenience of the Glove with the ease of application of the Trail. At the back of this boot is the Snug Strap and its job is to hold everything together in a strong, but tender, embrace. This strap is now standard equipment on every Back Country boot, ensuring a super-secure fit.

Though this boot begins its life as a Glue-On shell, the fit requirements for the Back Country are vastly different from those of the Glue-on shell or for the Glove boot.

Thanks to the Back Country’s innovative design and robust construction, even if your horse’s hoof measurements don’t fall perfectly into the parameters of the sizing system, the forgiving qualities of this boot’s 3-lap Velcro closure system can make up for various hoof shapes, conditions and pathologies.

Here's an excerpt from the Fit Kit application guide:

"Although the size chart for the Easyboot Back Country is the same as one for the Easyboot Glove, the fit does not need to be as snug. Customers who are unable to use the Easyboot Glove due to length of trim cycle or lack of hand strength should consider the Easyboot Back Country. If your horse is on a trim cycle longer than 4 weeks, we recommend using a 1/2 size larger than the snug fit required for the Easyboot Glove. Sizing up a half size also allows for ease of application." 

Therefore, when using a Fit Kit to fit your horse for the Back Country, find the boot shell that “fits like a Glove”, where the "V" at the front is spreading and it's like a second skin. Then, try the next ½ size up. Keep in mind that the actual Back Country boot, with the upper and comfort cup gaiter attached, adds to the strength and rigidity to the boot, making it seem a tiny bit smaller than it actually is.

That being said, here's some more food for thought:

If your horse's measurements fall in at the low end of the sizing system, it IS possible that it will be a good fit for the Back Country. This is especially true if your horse's hooves fall into the wide sizes. This is why I always recommend using a Fit Kit whenever somebody expresses interest in either the Glove or the Back Country boot.

FYI, whenever a horse's hoof width measurement meets or exceeds the length measurement, we consider that a wide foot. 

Here’s my horse in his size 1 Gloves. 

He is a rock-solid size 1 in Gloves, measuring 114mm x 123mm after a fresh trim. I've had these boots for about a year. I'm thinking of adding Power Straps pretty soon. I normally apply Mueller Tape to the hooves when I ride in Gloves and have never lost a boot.

Shown below, I am trying to stuff his right hoof into a size 1 Back Country. It's a bit of a struggle, but I got it on.

After I set his hoof down, I noticed he caught the Comfort Cup Gaiter between his heel and the boot, creating the dreaded "wedgie effect". His heels could not seat properly into the boot. Even after I fixed it, I am not happy with this fit, so I will go up a 1/2 size to the 1.5 and add a Comfort Pad if necessary.

From the back, you can see that the closure system of the size 1 on the right only has about a 1/2" of Velcro overlap, while the size 1.5 on the left has a much better purchase. The Snug Strap on the size 1.5 is also getting a better overlap compared to the size 1. See what a difference 4 mm makes? That’s the difference from one boot size to the next.

 

Size 1

 

Size 1.5

I like to maintain a left and a right with my boots and pads, so I will switch the Snug Strap on one of the boots so that, at a glance, it's easy to see which is which. Plus, it keeps me safer because as I tighten that strap, I'm pulling away, keeping my body out from under my horse. 

Here is the final test to be sure your boots are fitted properly:

After applying the boots securely, walk your horse a bit, then come to a stop and pick up each hoof and try to twist the boot.

Give it a good hard twist. If you can feel a small amount of twisting around the hoof inside, you may need to add a comfort pad at the beginning of his trim cycle to snug things up a bit. If there is more twist  than an inch or two, you may be better off with a 1/2 size smaller.

Fitting your horse for hoof boots can sometimes be a challenging process. Once you find that perfect boot, though, it’s all worth it.

 

Jean Welch

Jean Welch, EasyCare CSR

Customer Service

Originally from New England, I finally heeded the advice of my inner cowgirl, packed up my horses and moved west to Arizona. Here I learned the finer points of hoofcare and successful booting techniques. I can help you select the right EasyCare product for your specific needs. 

K & N Solutions

Submitted by Dee Reiter, EasyCare US Dealer Representative.

Nancy and Kristy are a mother/daughter team who share a love and passion for horses. They originally started selling horse products about sixteen years ago and have continued to expand their knowledge throughout the years so that they can better serve you.

Kristy went on to get her Master’s degree in Animal Nutrition from Murray State University. This started out more as a hobby and slowly progressed into their business. They have listened to what their customer needs are and they bring their services, knowledge and products to you as a one stop shop. They truly feel there is no such thing as a “one product to fix it all” but a combination of specific products.

Thus, K&N Equine Solutions was started in January of 2016 and joined the EasyCare retail dealer team to round out their products. They sell the Easyboot Clouds almost exclusively for sport horses that are traveling. The Cloud boots are for hauling, standing on hard surfaces and for faster recovery after strenuous exercise.

K & N Equine Solutions appreciates their customers immensely and thrive on being customer service orientated.

They are always available for consultation so visit them at NFR or give them a call and they will be happy to help you!

Good Choice

In 2016, my friend bought an eight year old Wielkopolska gelding. I look after trimming this horse's hooves. The horse unfortunately had hoof issues and when my friend started jumping on him, everyone around advised putting shoes on. However my friend listened to my advice and the gelding is barefoot with the help of the Easyboot Glove.

Thanks EasyCare!

Name: Aleksandra Marczak
State: Massachusetts
Equine Discipline: Jumping
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove
 

EasyShoe Flex is Trending

Curtis Burns, of Polyflex Horseshoes, and I have been working on a shoe for many months. Too many months to be candid. The project has taken longer than expected, cost more than anticipated and has made us both more bald. Frustrating, but if bringing a product to market was easy, everyone would do it.  

I did a recent Facebook post on my personal page about the EasyShoe Flex and the post was quickly shared over 1K in a very short time. The shoe and the features of the shoe appear to have some interest.  

A urethane and steel shoe that allows hoof mechanism. Roughly 3.8mm of displacement in the quarters just standing on a nut.  

Curtis and I set out to develop a nail on horse shoe that would provide many unique features. A shoe that would absorb concussion, be easily applied with nails and would allow the hoof to move and flex. Our goal was the following.

1.  Easy application with nails. The shoe can also be applied with adhesive, if needed.

Heart bar version.

2.  A steel or aluminum core that would allow farriers to set the nails and apply a solid clinch.

3.  We wanted a shoe that would move and flex with the hoof.  

 

Rigid, but flexible!

4.  A shoe that would absorb concussion and would outlast iron.  The wide web design is hard to wear out and we believe it will outwear iron.  

5.  We wanted a shoe with sturdy toe and quarter clips.

Sturdy toe and quarter clips. The spring steel is different to work with but the clips can be set nice and flush.

6.  We wanted a urethane shoe that would not cup and apply sole pressure with time.  

7.  A shoe with a heart bar and open heel option.

Open heel.

Heart bar.

We ended up with a bonus product we will call the EasyShoe Light. Same as the heart bar above but with no metal. This version will be priced very aggressively and will compete with the 100% urethane shoes on the market.  

EasyShoe Light.

After nearly two years, we are close to launching a product that we believe has have achieved our goals. A shoe that we view as a "Tweener". More rigid than a urethane shoe and more flexible than steel or aluminum. Another tool for farriers to make the horse happy. In the end the horse is the ultimate customer. If the horse is happy in the new shoe, we will know if the project was a success. 

Would love to hear your thoughts and comments.  

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President 

I have been President of EasyCare since 1993. My first area of focus for the company is in product development, and my goal is to design the perfect hoof boot for the barefoot horse.

 

What Easyboot Is Right For My Horse?

Submitted by Jordan Junkermann, EasyCare Product Specialist 

Some of you may be new to the booting world. I am only a year into this experience, so I'm still new to booting. There are many factors that lead us towards booting our horses. Some have always had barefoot horses, some are just removing iron shoes to begin the long journey to a healthy, happy foot, or maybe you are one of the all too common cases of laminitis, founder, navicular, or another hoof disease and are desperately looking for comfort and relief for your equine friend.

So here you are, searching the internet for a hoof boot company that will work for you. There seems to be an overwhelming amount of directions you could go. If you find yourself on our EasyCare website then you have tab after tab of options: Pleasure Riding, Performance, Therapy, or EasyShoes. How do you choose which boot is best for you? One option is to narrow down what you are wanting to use the boot for. That often helps point you in the right direction, but now you have to begin the trial and error process of getting a good fit. Luckily, you are not alone in this journey. We have a few different resources for you to gather as much information as you need to make the best decision, including each boot description, our blog site, videos on our YouTube page, the fitting assistant form, the EasyCare Fit Kit (Glove/Back Country and EasyShoe) or our highly educated Product Specialist Team. EasyCare’s mission is to improve the well-being of horses by providing the equestrian community with superior service, education, and innovative equine products.

As an employee with EasyCare and new to booting I have had the opportunity to try out a few of our boots. My mare, Pistol, is barefoot and only tender occasionally. I use the boots for riding on rocky Colorado terrain, but there are many boots in our lineup that would work for the type of riding I do. The biggest determining factors are her hoof shape and the length of her trimming cycle.

The first boot I tried was the Easyboot Epic. It is forgiving in fit and designed for longer trimming cycles, such as the 6-8 week trim cycle Pistol is on currently. I wanted a positive first booting experience and the Easyboot Epic is a good place to start. The application process is not incredibly difficult although getting the heel strap in the right place and the cable tightened just right can take a few tries to get accustomed to. Unfortunately, my mare was not used to going through water crossings at this point and attempted to avoid the water by climbing a few trees. In the process of hoping across the stream, like a frog might, she tore one of her gaiters on a sharp rock. I don’t blame the boot. She was acting wilder than she would have normally and the location for that tantrum was not ideal. Since then I have removed the gaiters and created the Original Easyboot instead of replacing the ripped gaiter.

The second boot I have used is the Easyboot Glove. This is definitely one of my favorites. I love the slim fit which allows her to move freely at any speed and doesn’t allow debris to enter the soft tissue areas near the hoof.  Although I appreciate the functionality of this boot, it only works for my horse for part of her trimming cycle. This boot is designed to accommodate 4 weeks of growth so that there is a snug, secure fit throughout that time period, so I can only use this boot the first couple of weeks unless I rasp her hoof down. If someone has the financial ability to, I would suggest they purchase a size that fits the first part of the trimming cycle and another set that fits for the last part if they have a longer trimming cycle.

I also tried the Easyboot Back Country since that boot has the same snug fit as the Glove but is more forgiving in fit. I had some trials with that boot as I transitioned into full barefoot. Her heel bulb angle didn’t allow for me to get the velcro to close the way that EasyCare suggests. I modified the boots by adding a half size up larger upper and that solved my problem.

My favorite “slip-on-and-go” boot is the Easyboot Trail. That boot slides on with no effort the first day after the trim and the last day before the next trim. It is always easy to just put the hoof into and it stays secure. There is no turning or twisting. I am lucky and have fairly good connection around the top of the boot: a little bit of space but not huge gapping. Some debris has gotten into the boot but it is easy to shake out at the end of a ride. If someone is concerned about rocks getting into the boot the best option would be to use a human sock to prevent rocks from getting in or the Gaiters that come with the Old Mac's G2.

This past spring, my mare went into a very intense heat cycle. She was pacing when she was in her pen so much that she was wearing her feet down a lot. She wasn’t ride-able because she was so sore. I used the Easyboot Transition, that is now discontinued and in our Bargain Bin. The Cloud or Rx boot would have worked just as well I put them on her when she was stalled so she could not wear anymore of her hoof down.

I am fortunate enough to have a horse with a hoof shape that fits in many of our boots. Some horses will have limited options and that will help narrow down the boot possibilities. We have a variety of sizing charts in order to accommodate a variety of hoof shapes. It is hard to fit every horse out there even with seven different sizing charts.

Everyone has had their own stories, good and bad about the boots they have tried. It can be overwhelming to try and pick the boot that is right for you. Feel free to contact the EasyCare Product Specialist Team, use our fitting assistant, or our other "Contact Us" resources to get advice on sizing for your horse. We are happy to help.