Under Pressure - Discovering A Hoof Abscess (Part One)

Submitted by EasyCare Product Specialist, Kelsey Lobato.

An abscess is a bacterial infection of the connective tissues between the hoof wall and the sole of the hoof. Abscesses can be triggered from a number of causes, such as a bruised sole, poor trim job from your farrier, or even a change in weather, such as going from extreme heat to damp conditions. Once the abscess has established itself in the hoof, the horse begins to show signs of mild to severe lameness. Each horse can react differently when dealing with the abscess and each abscess case can be different.

Since it is impossible for a horse to move without bearing weight on each leg, the constant pressure on an infected hoof causes mild to harsh pain and can advance the infection. As the horse bears weight on the exposed area, the bacteria travels up into the hoof cavity. The immune system sets off an inflammatory reaction in the area, causing a strong digital pulse and hot spot. White blood cells begin to surround and kill the bacteria in the surrounding tissue. These white blood cells produce the discharge that generally accompanies abscesses.

This exact scenario has been plaguing my horse, Summer Flame, for the last 6 months. It never fails, you think you have conquered the abscess and another one blows a week or two later. In my case, in different hooves. I continued to try and figure out why my surefooted barefoot horse was dealing with re-occurring abscesses this year. Was it the weather? Does she have mild laminitis? Is she constantly bruising on her sole? Is it her feed?

To the inexperienced eye, abscesses can look like shoulder injuries, hock injuries, hip or back injuries. Horses can limp lightly or be dead lame. They can pop suddenly then go away without notice or they can gradually increase in pressure creating a panicky situation.

I have experienced all of the above. The most recent occurrence happened gradually, creating a swollen front leg, a strong digital pulse, drainage in the heel bulb and a solar surface abscess, which I found after she let me clean her hoof out. My first reaction was "oh she got kicked" because she had never had leg swelling while fighting an abscess and then I saw the drainage from her heal bulb. Face palm to the forehead "Great another abscess!" (Well, I am getting good at these). I was worried about the swelling though, as a colleague stated it might be cellulitis, which is scary! I called the vet explained to him the symptoms and more. He did not think it was cellulitis; gave me antibiotics and Bute to hopefully take care of the re-occurring abscesses in her system.

Just as a side note, the only reason my vet gave me antibiotics was because she was actively draining from the abscess and the previous abscesses have drained and started healing. I recommend to only give your horse antibiotics and Bute if the abscess has blown. Giving antibiotics or painkillers to a horse that has not had release from an abscess will slow down the process, make the issue more painful and prolong the issue.

Below is a picture of what she looked like when I first found the abscess. As you review the picture, you can see the forearm and the knee are both swollen, making it hard for her to bend her leg and walk.

These next two pictures show the solar surface abscess and then the heel bulb abscess. You can see where the abscess started in the white line of the bars and tracked up to the heel bulb where the pressure was released.

This is the same scenario as the previous abscess she had in her right hind leg. The only difference is that there is major swelling and the previous solar surface abscess was small and healed pretty quickly after the farrier trimmed the dead sole away. I asked my farrier if he was concerned that she was having so many abscesses. He did not have an answer for me nor did he return any of my phone calls. He continually tells my friend, who I board with, that the horses all have great feet and not to worry.

After discussions with my vet and feedback from my farrier, I started doing more research on abscesses and why they might be re-occurring in Summer. Every page I turned and every article I read came up with the same answers. The answers being: diet, mild cases of laminitis, environment, sole bruising and poor trimming. Poor trimming is what got my attention. I have been noticing that my farrier leaves on quite a bit more sole and frog than usual. I thought nothing of it as she has had the same farrier for over 5 years and has never had previous hoof issues. Well, when your horse is constantly receiving incorrect trims over and over again, the hoof wall and bars can become overgrown and weight bearing, creating them to fold over and capture bacteria on the whiteline, creating a perfect environment for abscesses. Especially, if the horse is unable to wear the extra sole and frog down in its environment.

This was an "ah-ha!" moment for me and had my vet come out to verify. He and I came to the conclusion that my farrier has continually not been trimming her correctly and now it was showing. As well as other factors including a dry winter and stone bruising from the new dirt that was added to the paddock this year that contained rocks.

In conclusion, I am thankful that the abscess cause has been found and my horse is on the mend. I found that knowing your horse’s feet and making sure your farrier is doing his job right is key. Generally speaking, correct and frequent trimming, not allowing the bars to be weight bearing will keep your horse from abscessing. It’s just that simple!

In my next blog, I will touch on the topic of what treatments work for me along with what EasyCare products I use to help with the healing process.

February Share Your Adventure Blog Contest: If It Was Easy It Wouldn't Be An Adventure.

Submitted by Easyboot user Joe Ford.

I’ve always had a love hate relationship with boots. Basically, I love to hate them. Smiling, happy people and “ever so enthusiastic” manufacturers make them sound super-duper. However, for those of us out here plodding along on our own, the learning curve is a bit steep. Lots of trial and lots of error.

Due to issues with farriers I finally started taking matters into my own hands and trimming my own horse. I haven't gotten to nails yet but I am getting decent with trims. After more laps around sandy Broxton, SC AERC ride barefoot than I care to admit, I decided that if I was going to expand my ride venues I needed to give hoof boots another go. After some trial and error I settled on the Easyboot Gloves. Mine were getting a bit ‘long in the tooth’ so I figured it was time for an upgrade.

Easyboot has come out with a couple new designs that are worth looking at. For Skymont, TN AERC, I went with a combination of home, “pieced together” boots and the 2016 rubber Glove gaiters. If you are familiar with the older neoprene gaiters, the new gaiters are much sturdier. Although the same basic design, my boots were assembled with some basic T nuts and pieces of dog collars for Power Straps. New gaiters and a pair of complete Glove boots from Distance Depot. One of the boots was actually a Glue-On shell left over from earlier experiments that didn't go so well, I am not great at gluing. Have you ever seen a horse running around with a boot glued to his tail?

Placing holes in the Glue-On shell are easily made with a soldering iron. One dog leash is about $10 and can make a bunch of power straps.

I am about 12 hours away from this ride so I arrived Wednesday afternoon for the Friday ride. I think this worked very well for us and will be my plan from now on. Just so much less stressful not having to cram in camp setup, vet check in, ride meeting, ride preparation all in one evening. Plus it is better for the horse. Sunny was happy pigging out all day.

Although the shells are the same ones that come on the 2016 Glove, the new stiffer gaiters are quite a bit harder to get on. I learned my lesson at an earlier ride about putting the boots on the night before instead of the morning of the race. I discovered at 4 am that it was going to be more difficult to get the 2016 Glove on while my horse was dancing around excited and wondering what all the commotion was about. For Skymont, I decided to boot the night before the ride. People leave the Glue-On shells on for multiple days and these boots are about the same thing. So figured couldn't hurt anything. I have to say this worked way better, horse was relaxed, I was relaxed, it wasn't dark and I was able to take my time.

A technique I picked up from a neighbor at Leatherwood, NC AERC ride involves wrapping the hoof a few times with cotton sport tape, then putting the boots on with a big rubber mallet. The heat from the hooves bleed through the tape and basically glue the boots on. I had been using CVS and Target store brand tape, figuring tape was tape, and that brand had serrated edges making it easy for my nerve damaged fingers to tear. Nope, not tape is created equal. EasyCare recommends Mueller brand. I haven't tried it yet but did end up with a roll of Johnson's “Coach” Sports tape. I now have a case of it. After the ride it was all I could do to get the boots off. I had to use an 8-inch pry bar I fabricated from a tack puller for just this issue.

The ride itself, consisted of gentle hills, over all about 2k feet of up, 2k feet of down, four pretty even loops. There was only a trot by and no hold after the first loop. Trails were a mix of single track trails, cross country non-trails in the woods, a bit of dirt roads and some pipeline clearings. One area I was glad to be on a 14.2 hand horse as there were some tunnels of tree branches to traverse. Last couple miles of last loop had some really nice green grass we took advantage of. Having dialed in foot gear, an in shape horse (both mentally and physically), and non-brutal weather and trail conditions, all contributed to this being my most enjoyable, relaxed ride ever. Trails weren't brutally rocky but I don't think I’d want to do a 50 mile barefoot. Probably wouldn't stress over trail riding barefoot there though. We were just off the “midpack” time and all and all had a great time at a great ride. Thank you EasyCare for your hoof protection. See you next year Skymont.

February Share Your Adventure: Willa and the Easyboot Cloud.

Submitted by Nichole Kunze an Easyboot customer.

Horse hoof problems can be some of the most difficult to overcome. I worked for a veterinarian who specialized in equine podiatry so I understand the lengthy process of diagnostics, care and the struggles of trying to make an equine sound and comfortable for a pain free life.

Fortunately, I’ve been blessed to have horses over my lifetime with sound feet. I am cautious with purchasing horses because with no hoof, there’s no horse. A trainer and close friend contacted me about a mare being given away that I had put time on years back.

Her name is Miss Camptown Bidder. She is a 19-year-old mare with Pedal Osteitis who has had past laminitis as a result of the condition. It’s basically demineralization of the coffin bone. So needless to say, it is NOT a condition anyone wants to experience, but I just couldn’t say no. I took the older mare with a serious condition that could put her in her grave in November of 2017.

After a lot of research, I determined that blood flow was a key element to helping this condition as well as providing comfort to the sole. How do you provide comfort to the sole while allowing the frog to continually make contact in the natural way to ensure blood flow? I did not feel shoes were the answer to this. I ran across EasyCare, then found out a friend of mine worked for them! If that wasn’t a sign, I don’t know what was.

After speaking with her, we decided on the Easyboot Cloud. By this point “Willa” wasn’t a happy mare. I had a farrier out to trim her because she was very long in the toe. It was looking like her laminae was compromised. Her radiology from May of 2017 had showed she had for sure struggled with laminitis, her toe wasn’t being kept back and now she would barely walk, laid down frequently, just did enough to get by day to day. 

The boots came in and she was walking 75% better immediately! I couldn’t believe it. Our long-term goals with her were to see if she could be a step-up barrel horse for my daughter. Needless to say, I was not optimistic, but more worried after the first couple weeks of having her of just making her comfortable enough to not be euthanized. 

Well I am blessed to say I have gotten to know the real Willa! She bucks, she is the dominant mare in her group, and she takes no flak from anyone! She trots around comfortably and is just the sweetest girl to handle. We are now working on measurements for the Easyboot Glove to start riding her this Spring. I couldn’t be more excited!!!! Thank you EasyCare Inc for helping this girl. She more than deserves it! 

Glue-On Without Glue: Part One

Submitted by EasyCare Product Specialist, Jordan Junkermann

I am sure each Easyboot user out there has endless stories, good and bad, about booting. Applying boots each time you go out to ride can be troublesome, especially if you have some of the tight-fitting boot styles such as the Easyboot Glove or Easyboot Epic. Many of us have just adapted to it, making it part of our saddling routine. Others go barefoot as much as possible and only use the boots on rare occasions. For those who want a longer hoof protection, gluing on products is a great option. We have a wide variety of EasyShoes to serve multiple hoof shapes and purposes as well as the Easyboot Glue-On and Love Child. However, if you don’t have access to a hoof care practitioner or if you don’t have experience with preparing the hoof for glue, using this method can be more hassle then temporarily booting. There are customers out there who have learned to modify our products to fulfill their specific needs. In this blog, I am going to talk about my experiences with modifying the Easyboot Glue-On using Mueller tape.

As the manufacturer, we prefer to stick to strict guidelines on how boots and shoes are used in order to get the best results. But as customers provide feed back on personal experiences, we are able to pass that information along. One of these modifications I have decided to try on my horses. I wanted to be able to say I have seen this method work successfully with my own eyes. Of course, this isn’t an EasyCare recommended modification but it is something that has been successful in a few cases with our customers and I have personally seen success up to this point.

In some instances, you want below the hair line contact you get out of a Glue-On product but you don’t want to actually glue it on. An example could be a two or three-day event, a barrel race, a trail ride, or an event that requires hoof protection below the hairline (dressage/jumping). The design will prevent any rubbing from occurring since it sits below the hair line. A boot would provide protection in this service but let’s just say you don’t want to use a boot in this situation.

If your horse’s hoof fits within the measurement of the Easyboot Glue-On you may want to give this experiment a shot. What you will need are a few items: two Easyboot Glue-On shells, Mueller tape, a hoof pick, and a mallet.

I started by cleaning out my horse’s hoof.

I then applied Mueller tape as shown in this Application of Mueller tape video.

This tape has been proven successful to create a suction with the Easyboot Glove which is the Glue-On with a Gaiter allowing it to become a boot.

Here I took the Glue-On shell and placed her toe into the shell and make sure to line it up straight. I pulled and wiggled the shell on as much as I could.

Next, I took the mallet and tapped the shell on at the toe and again on the sole to make sure the foot was seated squarely in the shell. I set the foot down to make sure the “V” was spread correctly and the boot looked snug.

With the colored shells in the pictures above you are able to see the process clearly. It turned out that those were a half size too small for Pistol at this point in her trimming cycle. There is clearly bulging at the sides of the shells. I did end up taking her out on the trail and I experienced no problems with the shells coming off. However, I ended up ordering the next half size up and have posted those pictures below. You can see a much more comfortable fit in the proper fitting shell. With those shells I applied them the night before the trail ride and didn’t worry about them coming off even once during my trail ride.

Although it is only February, it is already time for the barrel racing season to begin. Southern Colorado has had dry weather up to this point so it made it an easy choice for me to decide if I wanted to run in this first race. In the first full week in February there was still hardly any snow anywhere. This made conditioning and preparing my barrel horse Billie the week before more enjoyable. She is barefoot for the winter but she has been experiencing some tenderness. I had been keeping her in the Easyboot Clouds so that she could comfortably move around the paddock. I rode her the week prior barefoot in the pasture so she wouldn’t have to move out on hard ground. But I did want to make sure she had protection for the barrel race as the area outside the arena is all gravel.

The day of the race came and, luckily, my Easyboot Glue-On shells and Mueller tape arrived the day before. Before loading her up I applied the shells to her front feet with Mueller tape using the method described above. My original plan was to boot all four feet, but in all best laid plans not all follow through to completion. The size shells I was going to use on her hind feet ended up fitting better on her front feet. Sizing is definitely trial and error with this snug fitting boot. I ended up only booting the front feet. I loaded her up and away we went.

Both front feet.

Side view.

Frontal view. The above three pictures were taken by EasyCare Product Specialist, Devan Mills (iPhone 8).

Before getting on after tacking up I made sure to take a mallet to the toe area one more time for good measure. I walked and trotted her for a while to allow her to warm up slowly and in hopes of heating the foot up to allow for better traction between tape and boot before my run.

My run was a success. She felt like she had good traction in the arena and the Glue-Ons stayed on no problem! It was probably the smoothest run I have had on her, especially at the start of a season. It was a great start to the year! Don't be afraid to get creative and make modifications to make the boots work for you. We would love to hear your stories about how your boots are working for you, whether you try this method or another. You can click here to tell us your booting story!

EasyCare Products are Multipurpose!

Submitted by EasyCare Product Specialist and Hoof Care Practitioner, Jean Welch.

As the saying goes, "When life gives you lemons make lemonade." That is exactly what I did with the EasyCare Pastern Wraps.

As most people who work outdoors, I wear work boots about 95% of the time. My work boots are my favorite footwear, providing me with comfort, protection and support. I guess I must be narrow based, because my feet "interfered" or brushed against each other as I was walking to the car and the double-knot bow of my laces somehow hooked into my other boot’s speed lacing hook causing me to trip and fall.

As a result of this fall, I broke the 5th metacarpal in my left hand.

Being left-handed, this set me back considerably, as I work with my hands every day. It was frustrating as anyone who has ever injured their dominant hand can attest. Simply brushing one’s teeth with their weak hand can be challenging. I swore I would never let this happen again, so I came up with a way to prevent it and I’d like to share this handy tip so the same thing doesn’t happen to you. I dug out an old pair of EasyCare Pastern Wraps and snipped off the velcro at the bottom.

I slid them onto my "pasterns" (ankles). I then put my boots on, tied up the laces, and folded the pastern wraps down over the laces.

Viola! They stay in place, are comfortable, and I personally think they look kinda cool.

What creative ideas can YOU think of to use EasyCare products?

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. 

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. .

Getting to Know Me...Three Months Later...

Hi, I’m Regan Roman, the newest member of the EasyCare Inc. Product Specialist Team. I moved to Durango, Colorado from Washington, DC shortly before the ski season of 2016 with my husband, Cory.

Cory and I had a surprise wedding at the farm in Maryland where I grew up. On that farm I spent my summers in Pony Club, hours of trail riding on our ponies, weeks of trail-clearing for hunter paces, practicing dressage tests in the indoor, show jumping in the outdoor and cross country on those 200 acres of rolling rich grass. I was a lucky city girl that got be a barn rat for most of my childhood.

I have a degree in Communications from the University of Maryland. While in school, I fox hunted with Goshen Hounds Hunt. I catch rode for many seasons and for a few seasons I was fortunate enough to hunt my own horse and pony. I had an off the track Thoroughbred named Bucky for 13 years. Bucky taught me everything as a young pony clubber.

A few years ago, I was able to participate in something I never would have imagined doing when Bucky was a younger man. On April, 13th 2015, Bucky and I rode from the White House to Lincoln’s Cottage to honor 150 years since President Lincoln's last ride. This ride took us through the streets of Washington, DC with the United States Calvary, the DC mounted police and a few other fox hunters from Maryland. Bucky and I were on C-SPAN! I now look back at that day and wish I had an EasyCare product on Bucky. I remember how sore he was afterwards and I now know that iron shoes, pavement and 5 miles of walking were pretty hard on his old Thoroughbred body. 

Since moving to Durango I’ve gotten the chance to ride Western and learn to barrel race. I can’t wait to explore all the trails that this incredible part of the country has to offer. But I will always be an English rider at heart and I love when people tell me about the jumping and dressage they do in EasyCare Inc. products. 

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. 

Hoofjack Photo Contest

Submitted by: Jordan Junkermann, EasyCare Product Specialist.

As a horse lover and dog parent I work hard to document every moment of that animal's day. Whether it is a majestic mountain backdrop, a funny face, or a new activity I love capturing every moment. If there are others like me out there, then I have an opportunity for you! 

EasyCare is holding a photo contest November 21st through December 1st. The winner will receive a FREE Hoofjack!! There will also be a raffle for other EasyCare prizes based on the number of submissions.

We would love to see your horses, donkeys, and mules in our Easyboot products. That can include any of the following: Easyboot Performance products, Therapy products, Pleasure riding products, and EasyShoes.

By submitting a photo you are giving EasyCare permission to publish and use this photo. 

If you have more than one photo feel free to submit more than one entry. Photos must be the property of the person submitting.

Contestant pictures will be reviewed and announced Monday, December 4th. 

Please submit your picture - with photo credits, product name and animal name - along with your contact information (phone number and email) to marketing@easycareinc.com with the subject line "Hoofjack Photo Contest".

Thanks for being part of the EasyCare community and we look forward to seeing your submissions!