October 2013: Double LL Tack & Feed

Double LL Tack & Feed in Coats, North Carolina, was started in 1980 by Leroy and Lynda Byrd. The Byrds had been operating a horse boarding business in addition to breeding and raising Arabians and were often asked where people could purchase quality tack for their horses. Seeing the need for such a store, Leroy and Lynda opened the Double LL Stables Tack Shop in a 144 square foot building. What started out as a side venture has expanded over the years into a full time, full service tack and feed store. The business name has subsequently been changed to Double LL Tack & Feed, since they no longer board or raise horses.

Double LL Tack & Feed is still family owned and is now managed by their son, Jim Byrd and their daughter, Vicky Schiller. Although Leroy and Lynda have retired, they are both still active in several aspects of the business.

Left to right: Lynda & Leroy Byrd, Cindy (the Double LL Mascot),
Cody & Duke (Vicky's horses wearing Trails), daughter, Vicky Schiller and son, Jim Byrd.

The business consists of a 5,000 square foot building housing quality tack, equine health supplies, gift items, boots and so much more.

In addition, there is an 8,400 square foot warehouse to store the various brands of quality equine and companion feeds.

Double LL Tack & Feed's mission is to provide customers with excellent customer service in a well-maintained environment and a friendly, down-home atmosphere. Their goal is to supply quality products, feeds and services that their customers need to make themselves and their animals healthy and successful.


Double LL Tack has been carrying EasyCare Hoof Boots and products since the year 2000. They currently stock the Easyboot Glove, the Glove Back Country, the Easyboot Trail, the Epic, the Rx Therapy boot and the Soaker. Vicky states that the Easyboot Glove is their most popular boot.

When we asked Vicky how she felt the hoof boot industry had changed since she became involved, she responded, "Dramatically! In our area, hoof boots were only something that you carried in your saddle bag as a spare to get you by in case your horse lost a shoe. Now, the hoof boot has surpassed that mindset and our customers are looking for the perfect boot for their horses and their riding discipline."

Vicky and her brother, Jim, attribute the success of Double LL Tack to "listening to the customer." "We don't claim to know it all and we can't carry it all, but we do listen to our customers for feedback and suggestions on all types of products for our store. We ask our customers, who specialize in specific equine activities, advice on certain tack/equipment that we need to carry in the store. Our goal is to carry durable, quality equipment needed in those activities."

Vicky told us that their best marketing strategy was just as simple as having a website created for the store. And, now with social media, Facebook has been their next smartest marketing strategy. They get to freely share all types of information with their customers. She says that their goal is to educate, entertain and inform their customers about Double LL Tack & Feed and the current trends in the equine industry.

Double LL Tack & Feed provides different types of events for their customers throughout the year. They have had Coggins/Vaccination Clinics, Veterinary Informational Clinics, Canine/Feline Rabies Clinics, Horse Training Demonstrations and Equine Nutritional Clinics.

Vicky says that they have two events that they look forward to each year. They host a Nu 2 U Tack Sale in March, where customers set up (for free) and sell their used tack items. This allows the sellers to clean out their tack rooms and get rid of unused items and allows the buyers to get good deals on some used tack. Their other favorite event is their Customer Appreciation Day, which is always held the first Saturday of October since the business was started in 1980 by her parents.

Vicky and her brother, Jim, both have experience in customer service and sales. They have both been around horses for a long time, as their parents boarded horses while they were growing up. Vicky owns two horses: Cody, a 16 year-old Arabian and Duke, an 11 year-old Morgan. Both horses are currently using the Easyboot Trail. Vicky says she is just a casual rider so the Easyboot Trail fits her needs due to ease of application and room for hoof growth. She has been using the Trails for about a year and says that, so far, the Trail is her favorite boot. However, she feels that she may be getting ready to try the new Glove Back Country.

What is their most memorable hoof boot success story? Vicky says that recently, two ladies brought their horses to the store. One of the ladies wanted to get her horse fitted for boots, while the other lady just brought her horse along for the ride. While fitting boots for the first lady, Jim discovered that the second lady had been discouraged from boots in the past because she could never achieve a good fit and often lost boots when riding. Once Jim successfully fitted the first horse with boots, the second customer decided that she would let Jim attempt to fit her horse as well. They found a great fit for her horse with the Easyboot Gloves. She purchased the Gloves that day!

Vicky sees that the barefoot industry is gaining interest in their area. She feels that the consumer seems to be more receptive to the idea of maintaining the integrity of the hoof. Also, farriers in the area are also more positive in their views on barefoot trimming and the use of protective hoof boots. She said that some of the farriers have recommended boots instead of shoes based on the needs of the hoof and have sent customers to Double LL for boots.

You can visit EasyCare's Dealer of the Month, Double LL Tack & Feed in Coats, North Carolina or on their website at www.doublelltack.com. While you are there, sign up for their Newsletter and visit them on Facebook.

Daisy Haven Farm Hoof Care in Nigeria

Being involved in teaching others about hoof care, I have taught a wide variety of people in varied locations. Earlier this month I had the experience of a lifetime, traveling to Nigeria to help the horses and conduct a clinic for Nigerian farriers. My trip was sponsored by a wonderful woman who is working diligently to improve the quality of care for the horses there. She runs a rescue where she rehabilitates horses and teaches natural horsemanship. Her mission is to provide education on all aspects of horse health, management and training. She asked me to come to Nigeria to help a few of her most challenging horses with their hoof problems and provide education to others in the area.  

Nigeria is an equator country, very tropical. Average temperatures are around 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit and it rains almost every day, especially in the summer. This leads to rampant moisture related foot problems: thrush, white line disease, and even canker. 

In fact, it was a horse who had foundered due to chronic pervasive canker that prompted my trip:

While in Nigeria I worked with two groups of horses: horses cared for by my host through her rescue, and horses living and working at the polo club. You'll see a stark contrast between the environments of the polo club and the rescue.

A photo of the polo club below:

And the rescue:

Farriers as we know them don't exist in Nigeria, at least not in the region I visited. Hoof care is provided here by the horse's grooms. Part of the groom's role in caring for the horse is the health and maintenance of the foot. The grooms learn from each other with very little formal education. The horses are predominantly kept barefoot, and trimmed on a four week schedule. I was surprised to find that in general, most of the feet had good shape and symmetry. The trim being applied was fairly basic, trimming the wall to sole level, rounding wall edges, frogs trimmed and soles cupped out.  For the horses with good feet, this served them fairly well.  

 

 

 

However, any time the feet had significant imbalance or pathology, the standard trim applied fell short of addressing the problems, leaving these horses in limbo. This is where my host has become actively involved in providing education and assistance.  

 

 

Most fascinating to the students there were the hoof models I brought. Many did not know there was a bone inside the hoof, rather they believed there was only flesh or tissue inside. We discussed anatomy in depth, worked on mapping the hoof and especially knowing when to modify the trim for different hoof situations.  

 

 

 

 

Overall I feel my time there was very productive. The group was very eager for knowledge, and seemed appreciative of the time we spent together and information shared. It is clear to me that they care deeply for the horses, and want the best for them. Hopefully I've given them some tools, a new perspective, and have helped my host fulfill part of her mission. I'm looking forward to going back in the near future for part 2!

 

 

For more information on Daisy Haven Farm and our work, please see our website: www.DaisyHavenFarm.com .

Neglected Hooves Equal Distorted Hooves

I was recently “given” a horse with hoof issues thanks to the fact they had rarely been trimmed and he was seven years old. Now this horse had not been entirely neglected, just little to no hoof care from his owner/breeder.
 
The hooves on this nice big fellow were at least three inches too long. The only reason he didn’t have slippered or curled toes was thanks to hoof wall breaking off every so often. Still there was a lot of toe sticking out there. The long toe not only makes break over difficult but throws the pastern and coffin bones out of alignment. The left front was totally crooked as the medial side kicked inwards and the lateral squirted out to the side. I not only had to trim a lot off the toe but a good inch of dead wall off the lateral portion of the hoof.
 
 
The sole of his hoof was compacted one layer upon another. There were signs of old abscess pockets here and there. The bar of the hooves was impacted and it was amazing that he had any frog at all. It looks wet in the photo due to soaking to enable some trimming and paring of the bar and sole. I’m not sure which bothered me the most, the compacted bars or the medial lateral imbalance of the hoof capsule. Or maybe it was the dishy appearance of what may have been some laminitis due to hoof neglect. The more I dug, the more I found, and the more I found the more I wished I hadn’t looked. Ay-yi-yi what a mess!
 
 
This task of paring and relieving sole as well as trimming the hoof to regain some balance was done over six weeks time. I was afraid to do too much too quickly and lame him. Yet I had to trim off dead hoof and get down to a white line and live tissue. The photo below was after two weeks of trimming.
 
 
While there was still some “dish” to the front wall of the hoof at this point the hooves were much improved. The sole however was still very flat and I was having trouble paring out the excess. He was a bit sore mostly because he was walking on the soles. My next action was to pack the hooves in mineral clay, place the entire hoof in a baggie and then into an old Easyboot Glove, allowing it to soak. This would also draw out any heat, inflammation and bacteria. One hoof in particular became very stinky and I believe that I drew out another old abscess pocket.
 
 
With all this trimming he was a bit ouchy in the rocks. In order to keep the boy in training Gloves are being used on his front hooves.
 
 
Amazingly at this point we have a concave hoof and an active frog that makes ground contact. The gelding just might make it after all.
 
Karen Bumgarner
 

Tender Foot and Chip Foot

After talking with a friend who uses EasyCare hoof boots we decided to try them for one of our horses. Our horse Tampa was sensitive on rocks and when the farrier would remove his shoes for a trim. Tampa would pull back when our farrier was trying to remove his shoes even after pulling nails one at a time. I think it bothered us more than our farrier but it also told us Tampa needed a change. We decided to get them for our horse Jack also. Jack had never been shod and wasn't tender footed but had trouble with cracking and chipping to the point that large chunks of hoof wall would come off. Now both boys do very well and have no problem with us putting on or taking off the Easyboot Glove. This is our third summer using hoof boots and I encourage others to give them a try.


Name: Janet Broadhacker
City: Maroa, IL, USA
Equine Discipline: Trail
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove Back Country

When Abscess Goes Untreated - The Sequestrum

If you own horses, chances are good that at some point either you or someone you know spent many hours tending to an abscess. An abscess is collection of pus in an area of the body (in this case the hoof capsule) that causes severe pain and swelling due to the body’s immune system’s attempt to fight off the infection. This pus is actually excess white blood cells and tissue (living and dead), fluid, bacteria and other foreign substances. The white cells are the body’s natural defense to infection that release destructive components after identifying and binding with bacteria. Their purpose is to “kill” the harmful bacteria, but in the process healthy tissues are also damaged. In the hoof, this damage most often occurs in the laminae and bony structure within; in other words, if not treated, the coffin bone itself begins to degenerate and weaken, causing small pieces to break away. As part of the inflammation response, more white cells are sent to the site to remove the damaged tissue (the clean-up crew) which actually creates even more inflammation and subsequently more pain. The pieces of broken and damaged tissue are not distinguished by the body and the natural immune system subsequently treats them as foreign objects; hence, the system treats the bone pieces as “foreign objects” - these are what are known as sequestrum.
 
This is the story of Colt, a beautiful gelding purchased by Carla (Pittsburgh Pet Connections CEO) who had poor hoof care before she found him. There are some individuals who believe the hooves can go months without trimming, and others who feel they can trim themselves despite the fact that they have had no training or poor training at best. Colt was one such victim of circumstance, and he came into Carla’s love and devotion in need of immediate attention. His hooves were long and imbalanced, and after two trims he was still experiencing intermittent lameness. Local vets were called and his abscessing was opened, but they continued to fester despite many hours of soaking, draining and treatments with drawing salve. After seeing no improvement, it was decided he needed to seek clinical attention for a second opinion and x-rays. 
 
Colt was sent to Fox Run Equine Center where Dr. Brian Burks DVM diagnosed a lateral sequestrum on Colt’s left front hoof. This first picture shows Colt’s tract on film; you can see some lines coming from the side of the hoof draining down by the back of the heel. 
 
 
This is the site that had been opened from the outside bar (hoof wall beside the frog) but never drained out completely. Inside, there is a piece of broken bone that was damaged due the accumulation of pus for a long period of time. Dr. Burks used a dremel tool to drill a small hole into the quarter (side of the hoof wall) to remove this sequestrum. The second picture shows the piece of bone being removed and just how small the piece of bone was; its removal was imperative for Colt’s recovery.
 
 
The third picture is a shot of this same area after surgery, the quarter area grew out within three months with daily packing with betadine and Sliver Sulfadiazine.  
 
 
Before the surgery, Dr. Burks scraped out all the hard laminae from the bottom of the hoof to ensure there would be no residual bacteria’s invading the capsule that could potentially cause reinfection of the hoof. His intuitions served him well when it was discovered that the very tip of P3 (coffin bone) was extremely brittle. He concluded that this was damaged a long time ago from old abscessing that had caused this area to weaken and nearly break away. By making another “window” in the hoof wall, Dr. Burks was able to preserve most of the wall structure and remove this weakened area as well. He commented to me that the tip “fell away” when he merely touched it with his forceps, so it too was removed and needed packing until it grew out. This fourth picture shows the actual procedure during surgery when the forceps were inserted into the toe wall to remove the sequestrum. 
 
 
I’ve worked with many vets over the years, but I’ve never met one quite as thorough and open minded as Dr. Burks. The traditional protocol for any respective procedure is hospital plates (wide aluminum shoes) that stay on for many months to support the hoof during healing. Because Burks took such care to make minimally invasive openings for removal, Colt was left with adequate hoof wall for support. Carla was adamant in keeping Colt as natural as possible, meaning she wanted him to remain barefoot, and he respected her wishes. I was called to meet with Burks about follow up hoof care and we mutually agreed he could remain in a hoof boot that would not only support his hoof, but also provide better coverage for the opened areas that needed daily treatments. This last picture shows Colt’s open toe area five days after surgery when he was taken out of wraps and placed in a hoof boot. 
 
 
Treating a hoof injury is difficult on the owner as well as the horse. Carla was going to need a boot that would not only cover the entire hoof wall, but also one that could be easily removed and strong enough to withstand several months of continuous wear. Colt was rather stubborn about lifting the hoof for his daily treatment, so ease of application was an absolute necessity. I am familiar with several boots, but the best choice for this situation called for durability, full support and easy removal as well so that no further damage would occur. I could think of only one boot that would serve her purpose, and one that she would be able to keep for years to come in case she ever needed them again - the Easyboot Rx
 
From March to mid-May Colt wore his boots day and night. He was sound at a walk almost immediately after the surgery and because he had a boot he was able to get turnout in the arena and a small paddock every day. We actually booted both front hooves to make sure he wasn’t off balance on the front and this kept him sound while simultaneously avoiding any shoulder pressure or further injury. Carla made sure that his hooves were kept as dry as possible to avoid any rubbing due to excess moisture or sweat by removing them daily for treatments and drying the back of the hoof before replacing it. This movement helped facilitate the healing process and by the end of May the entire wall had grown out completely with no further problems. Within a month Colt was even able to do short rides wearing hoof boots and today he is doing very well. He has not had an abscess in nearly a year and his soles are tough because he has relocated to a facility that enables full turnout and natural wear. Carla has since purchased a pair of Easyboot Trail boots for long rides, and we are grateful to not only EasyCare for their supreme products, but also to Dr. Burks for his open-minded approach to natural horse keeping. Thanks to Carla, Colt has a wonderful life and his hoof issues are no longer…he is happy, healthy, and sound. 
 
Nancy Frishkorn BA, CHCP

 

September 2013: Bare Feet by Katy

She needs no introduction, her truck says it all: it's Bare Feet by Katy. EasyCare's featured dealer for September 2013 is passionate, dedicated and, yes, fun. It's business with a smile when your natural hoof care practitioner is Katy Banks of Corbett, OR.

Katy became a certified farrier in 2000 and shifted her focus in 2005 to natural hoof care. She hit the ground running as an EasyCare dealer in 2008 and has been a fantastic addition to our hoof care practitioner dealer network. 

As a single mom, Katy recognized that what she really needed was a skill that could afford a flexible schedule and be used and taken virtually anywhere. Having spent her life with horses, the transition to a career in hoof care was a perfect fit. Being self employed allowed her the needed flexibility to be available for her children and still pursue a successful career helping horses. When Katy first started her venture, her daughters were only ages four and two so this was certainly no small undertaking. The girls, now teenagers, continue to keep things hopping at home for Katy. Add to the mix a clientele of 150 head of horses a month and you have one very busy lady.

When asked about her marketing and business strategies she says, "It's hard not to put the truck at the top of the list. The "big girl truck", as my mom calls it is recognized nearly everywhere in the NW Oregon and SW Washington area. The other key element I believe is my personal attention to my clients and their horses. Customer service must be a priority in my line of work. If my clients and their horses are happy then I've delivered on my end of the deal. I strive to be available to my clients and consider their needs a priority, always taking into consideration their input. After all, they really know their horses better than anyone. I ensure they have access to as many resources as possible to keep their horses happy and healthy. Part of that equation is keeping EasyCare hoof boots and accessories on hand. The Easyboot Glove and Back County are my most requested boot styles."

As far as advice, she recommends her fellow hoof care professionals maintain the highest level of communication possible with clients. Keep appointments and never, ever stop learning. She also encourages hoof care providers to think independently and to assess new ideas carefully. To the horse owner, she couldn't stress more the importance of working with your horses so that they can stand quietly and comfortably while being trimmed - your horse and hoof care provider will thank you.

As is often the case, taking the road less traveled hasn't been without a few bumps. Last fall, Katy received news she had developed an acoustic neuroma that would require cranial surgery. Things came to a screeching halt and there was a big question mark placed on a lot of things. Ultimately Katy came through it more determined than ever. Clients and friends stepped up to help her through the rough spots and Katy says she was completely overwhelmed by the love and support show she received. The surgery resulted in many challenges and has left Katy deaf in one ear, but her recovery and successful return to trimming is one to rival a Rocky movie.

When asked about her favorite hoof boot, she'll tell you she really doesn't have one but rather her "favorite" is the one the that fits and suits the horse best for his job at that given time. She is quick to mention however that her youngest daughter loves the Back Country for her gaited horse.

Katy has many great stories but the one most near and dear to her heart is of a paint mare with navicular that came into her possession. The horse had been shod with pads and wedges for the previous five years (she was 13 at the time). The shoes were pulled and after six months of diligent trimming the mare was pasture sound barefoot. This mare progressed from a size #0 wedge/bar horseshoe to a size #2 in a hoof boot and was able to be ridden on the trail in boots with pads. Katy adds that the whole experience was so satisfying and fun. "Watching her moving freely in the pasture with the other horses and being able to keep up on her own, well there is simply nothing like it." 

Thank you Bare Feet by Katy, it’s a pleasure having you as part of our amazing team of hoof care practitioner dealers.

Never Say Never - Alternative Methods for Rehab Success

At Daisy Haven Farm: Hoof and Soft Tissue Rehabilitation, we work on approximately 350 horses per month between two full time and three part time farriers. Out of all of those horses, only 10% are in shoes, approximately 35 horses at any given time. We are very selective of how and why we put horses in shoes. By all means we prefer our horses barefoot. However, there are definitely situations where a shoe can be a great tool to help the horse.   

Some of the determining factors for us in deciding when to apply shoes are:

  1. When a horse needs a boot 24/7 to be comfortable long term we believe they should be in a shoe.
  2. When the environment or living situation prohibits a boot from being used. For example a boarding barn where the staff won't apply boots as needed.
  3. When we cannot correct distortion in the hoof capsule with our trim alone.  

Here is an example of a situation where the trim alone would not have been enough to help this animal. This filly was four months old when we were called in by the attending veterinarian. The filly had been born with contracted tendons, and surgery was performed. Unfortunately, the barn farrier became injured and therefore unavailable while she still needed special care - proper hoof care was not provided and she grew quite long.  

 This is what her her feet looked like when I was called in, specifically this is her right front foot pictured here:

The filly is walking on her heel bulbs with her sole completely up off the ground. This means the position of the coffin bone is negatively rotated in relation to the ground, the bottom of the bone should be at a 3-8 degree angle in a healthy foot. With the help of the radiographs provided by the veterinarian, we applied a corrective trim to re-establish a 3-8 degree palmar P3 angle (the bottom of the coffin bone in relation to the ground).  

This is how she stood on her right front foot after her trim on the same day:

Not good enough! Even though I had the hoof capsule and coffin bone trimmed to the best alignment possible, if she wouldn't stand on her toe, I wasn't achieving my goals. Keep in mind that trimming is a subtractive process. Through our trim we can only work on what we can remove in order to improve the horse's foot at that moment in time. Over time, as the foot grows, we can effect a positive change. This filly didn't have time to wait for things to grow in their current alignment. We needed to get her realigned now while she was young and still growing to attempt a permanent functional change for her.

This is where a shoe can be an excellent tool.  Adding a prosthetic support is an additive process. It gives us the ability to add material where we need it to create a positive change. In this case we added some height to her heels and enabled her to stand flat on her sole by using a glue-on composite shoe and some dental impression material around her frog.

This is the same day as the initial trim:

After two consecutive shoeings we were able to take her back barefoot!  

Then just about a year and a half later I had the pleasure of seeing this filly again, this time as I was called in to help another horse in the barn. I was glad to see that while the filly was in need of a trim, the work we had done when she was younger had created the permanent change we were looking for. 

Working on horses like this one has taught me to "never say never".  I am grateful that when we need a prosthetic support device we have several tools to chose from in our practice: hoof boots, composite shoes that can be glued and/or nailed, hoof casts and more.  

To see more case studies of our work please see:  www.DaisyHavenFarm.com .

Going Positive

I recently had the opportunity to begin the rehabilitation of Chloe, an eight year old palomino. Chloe had suffered a deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) tear, which although small, resulted in lameness. She had been ridden regularly, mostly walking with some trotting but no endurance. The veterinarian diagnosed the tear with ultrasound and also took x-rays of both hooves.

 

What we can observe right away is the negative palmar angle. Looking at the plantar (bottom) distance of P3  from a horizontal reference plane,  P3 is higher up at the tip compared to the  the rear on both front feet. The right front was - 1.16 degrees, and the left was - 0.24 degrees.

What are possible causes for a negative palmar angle?

  • genetic predisposition
  • injury or inflammation of the dermis surrounding P3
  • weak DDFT
  • weak digital cushion and lateral cartilages
  • too thick a sole, possible double sole, especially dorsally - the tip of the coffin bone could get pushed upward by it
  • uneven sole trim: too much proximally and not enough distally

In order to relieve stress on the DDFT, I had to keep the heel area higher to let more sole grow and at the same time trim, within reason, enough sole from the toe area. The idea was to reposition the coffin bone to a positive angle, essentially tilt it forward again. It's a balancing act because leaving the heel longer moves the base of support forward, thus creating stress on the tendons. (Last year I expanded on how long heels stress the tendons and do not support the skeleton structure in my blog "All About Heels".)

This photo of a different horse shows the plumb line through the center of the canon bone ending behind the heels.
This hoof is growing forward and not supporting the body and movement apparatus. 

I determined that I needed to extend the heels not only vertically but also proximally to give the internal structures support.

First, I created a barrier with play-doh, then added Equipak CS over the rear frog area.
I only needed support and pressure over the heel area, not the whole sole.

I followed up with several layers of Vettec Superfast over the Equipak CS.

Next I covered the hoof with a styrofoam pad and let Chloe stand on it.

After five minutes, the Superfast is dry enough for shaping it with a rasp.

Caudal view of the finished product. 

Now when placing the hoof on the ground, the heel area was extended far enough
back to have the plumb line through the canon bone being supported by heel.

Both hooves received the same treatment. I added 3/4 of an inch in length and 1/4 in height to give me a temporary dorsal hoof angle of 67 degrees. The normal range would be in the high 50's.

I trimmed and rebuilt these hooves for four months every two weeks. Time to check what results, if any, we were getting.

The x-rays taken after that time period show a difference in the coffin bone angles:

The palmar angles are now 6.83 and 5.52 positive respectively.

We succeeded. I was not sure if it was going to work, but it sure was worth the effort. These results also show hooves are remarkably adaptable and moldable. The tendon is healed and I'm going to gradually reduce heel height now. After four months of rest, Chloe is now ready for light work, mostly walking for short periods. Easyboots of various models and shapes can now be used for protection. This is not an everyday procedure and should only be attempted in close consultation with capable veterinarians.

From the Bootmeister, aka Gluemeister

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center

 

2013 Tevis Top Ten Riders Series: Beverly Gray and Jolly Sickle

Bev Gray has completed 45 100-mile events and has 18,200 career AERC endurance competition miles, of which 2,400 are with Jolly Sickle. This was Bev's fourth Tevis completion and Jolly Sickles' second Tevis completion. Bev and Jolly Sickle completed the course in ninth place.
 
Jolly Sickle (the ice-sickle in his name) was born on a snowy day in Dallas in 2004. His sire, Jolly By Golly, is a champion stallion at Mandolynn Hill Farm. He was bred to race on the track; his pedigree is Polish with a splash of Tunisian and Egyptian. Even with all the impeccable track training, he was not very enthusiastic for the race track.  
 
I received a call from Mandolynn that they had a very special, tough endurance prospect for me. When I first saw him, he reminded me of my, 9,000 race mile, Breyer model and Hall of Fame champion, AA Omner Indeed, so I took him home to Utah.
 
 
Jolly Sickle, otherwise known as Ice, started his endurance training, and at six years old we entered several endurance races. We stayed away from the front runners as he still had a race track mentality, and 50 miles is a lot longer than six furlongs. This was his foundation training for two years, until I started to enter him in 100-mile events. Ahh, finally he could focus and understand that endurance was endurance and not the track!
 
Last Spring, Jolly Sickle was trimmed way too short: he was lame for two months. How can I help Jolly? I spoke with EasyCare and they suggested trying the Easyboot Glue-Ons. I ordered all the essentials and watched every EasyCare gluing video, read and the blogs to train myself for the application process. It was definitely a learning curve: too much glue, not enough glue, glue sets up too fast, horse would not stand still (needed an assistant). And I looked like the Disney absent-minded professor with plastic gloves glued together: plastic apron and black glue-spattered running shoes.
 
 
Jolly Sickle recovered and came sound with his Glue-Ons. He won his homecoming race and got the Best Condition award. It was a very good year for Jolly Sickle, with 14 races, nine firsts and 11 BCs. He even won the AERC's National Champion Best Condition!
 
I learned the most crucial lesson of Glue-Ons was the trim. I am not a farrier, but my new understanding of hoof dynamics through my EasyCare lessons helps me to prepare for the best performance package. I’m still not overly confident in my own installation and rely on the EasyCare master professionals.
 
When I decided to ride the Tevis, there was no question that boots would be the best protection for the rugged, rocky, technical Tevis terrain: no question whatsoever. We came to Tevis barefoot knowing the EasyCare professionals would trim and fit Jolly Sickle perfectly. Since I have ridden Jolly in numerous races in Glue-Ons and Easyboot Gloves, I was confident. Jolly moved efficiently and flawlessly all day. At the vet checks I was told “he looks fantastic,” “we wish all the horses were presented this incredibly,” “good work,” etc, etc. We were smiling all day. With a fantastic crew, our entire pace and goal was finish top ten and show for Haggin Cup. Goal Achieved.
 
 
My Jolly Sickle moves so comfortably in Easyboot Glue-Ons that it reverberates in my confidence riding him and knowing I have prepared him with the best hoof protection on the market. I believe it is very important to understand the application process and I will be attending an Easyboot clinic. It is really quite simple.
 
Thank you, thank you, thank you EasyCare Inc.
 
Submitted by Beverly Gray
 
All photos courtesy of Vicki Gaebe parkcityphotography.com
 

Do or Die

I have a 12 year old mare that has a hole in her navicular bone. Big body small feet. Every time I tried to trim her correctly for the navicular she would be lame for months. The vet told me her last resort was to try hoof boots. I purchased the Easyboot Trail, added Comfort Pads and much to my delite, they are working great. It's been two weeks and there is a huge improvement. She is off her pain meds and walking around, which she hasnt done in six months. This was the last resort and it worked; these boots saved her life. I have ordered Easyboot Gloves because they are more durable and my 11 year old daughter is happy to have her horse back.


 

Name: Sherry Tancayo
City: Kaunakakai, HI, USA
Equine Discipline: Other
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove