A Magnum Update: The Rest Of The Story

They say everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason remains a mystery and leaves us wondering why. But when the why plays out before your very eyes it is gratifying to know all was not lost. You may recall back in March of this year the story of  Magnum. This resilient little horse owned by hoof care practitioner Joe Kunkel of Midland, TX  presented us with a fascinating look at how a hoof can heal.

Magnum's right hind hoof about 5 weeks after sustaining an injury. 

Magnum's right hind hoof today pre trim.

Magnum has come a long way since his May 14th, ordeal. The twists and turns of the story makes the situation a blessing in disguise and these days the why is crystal clear. Magnum's accident resulted in his "For sale", sign being pulled. Now, healed up and doing well, this conveniently made Magnum available to Joe's 15 year old grandson, Zack. Turns out Magnum is living up to his name and making a pretty spiffy shooting horse for young Zack. The duo who broke out earlier in the year with the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association, have been working hard at the sport and doing well. In fact, it's become a family affair with Grandpa Joe, Zack and his little brother Kolton all hitting the road together. I can only imagine the conversations in that truck. Good memories for sure.

Magnum and Zack getting it done with a little help from some Easyboot Glove Back Country boots.

And now you know the rest of the story. We wish Magnum, Zack, Joe and Kolton much success in all their future shoots.

Visit our Facebook page to watch Zack and Magnum in action.

Debbie Schwiebert

easycare-vet-hcp-deaaler-accounts-manager-debbie-schwiebert

Vet Dealer & Hoof Care Practitioner Accounts

I manage the hoof care practitioner and veterinarian dealer accounts at EasyCare. An integral part of my job is to stay current in all areas of barefoot hoof care, which enables me to serve this vital group of EasyCare dealers at the next level.

 

Love My Boots

It's not much of a "story", but I just wanted to say that since I switched to Easyboots I have learned so much about my horse's feet. I took a farrier class as one of my college courses and have been trimming and booting ever since. My farrier and I discuss the newest models and how to obtain the optimum trim for my mare for competition. I use the Easyboot Gloves and honestly love having to keep my mare rasped every 2-3 weeks because I can see the changes as her feet improve. I think we all have lost a boot here and there but it only means perfecting the fit, and most importantly, the hoof. My mare "LR Selena" and I just did our first 30 mile LD last weekend and dragged along our four boots, mallet, and Mueller tape which is what works best for us. The boots protected Selena from the rocky Vermont roads and trails and kept her sound and traveling happy. We ended our ride with all A's on our vet card and received 1st place out of 20 riders! This is just the beginning of great things for us. Thank you EasyCare!

Name: Kristen Gonyaw
City: Glover, VT USA
Equine Discipline: Endurance
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove

New Bigger Sizes for Old Mac's G2 and Easyboot Trail

Do you own a horse with big hooves? The big news for this winter is bigger sizes: the Old Mac's G2 and the Easyboot Trail will soon be available in sizes 11 and 12. Our existing sizes in these styles vary by 5mm increments, while sizes 11 and 12 will vary by 10mm increments. Thanks to this increase in sizing increments, we can accommodate a larger range of big hooves.

Size 11 will accommodate hooves with a width of 155-165mm (6 1/8" - 6 1/2"), and a length of 160-170mm (6 5/16" - 6 11/16").

Size 12 will accommodate hooves with a width of 165-175mm (6 1/2" - 6 7/8"), and a length of 170-180 (6 11/16" - 7 1/8").

 
 
Every Old Mac’s G2 horse boot has a unique hi-tech performance outsole and incorporates the patented Hoof Suspension™ System. The Old Mac’s G2 is composed of a specially developed Thermo Plastic Urethane (TPU) compound which minimizes concussion and shortens recovery time for horses with concussion-related injuries. The Old Mac’s G2 is a great option for pleasure riding (less than 25 miles per week) and can also serve as a therapy boot. If your horse suffers from any of the following - arthritis, pedal bone fractures, navicular disease, ringbone, laminitis (founder), bruised soles, or scalping from overreaching–the Old Mac’s G2 horse boot will benefit your horse.
 
The Easyboot Trail is the easiest hoof boot in the world to apply and remove. The attachment system assures booted success throughout the trim cycle. The boot opens up completely to easily slip on and off over most hoof shapes and sizes. The rear double Velcro® attachment protects the entire hoof wall and keeps the boot firmly in place. EasyCare Gaiters are an optional accessory (sold separately).
 

Alayna Wiley

Alayna Wiley, Marketing and Sales

Marketing and Sales

I assist the marketing and sales departments at EasyCare with a special interest in hoof care practitioner and veterinarian dealer accounts. My horses have been barefoot and booted since 2003.

 

November 2013: Solely Equine

November finds us with cooler days, changing leaves and wild and wooly horses. November also brings Thanksgiving. A time to reflect and be thankful for friends, family and our hoof care professionals!

This month's EasyCare's dealer spotlight has landed in Arlington, WA, the home of hoof care professional Laura Rice of Solely Equine. Laura is a relatively new dealer teaming up with EasyCare for her booting needs in 2012. Her business savvy, skill and attention to detail keeps her in high demand and going full throttle maintaining around 300 head of barefoot horses.

Laura Rice of Solely Equine feeing right at home.

As many in the hoof care field will tell you, you don't choose hoof care rather it seems to choose you. Laura had no intention of becoming a full time trimmer but destiny had other plans. Her cousin introduced her to natural hoof care and the journey began with six of her own horses, an old rasp, a spent knife and a few trimming tips from her farrier. Attending a Horse Expo she learned from a trimmer presenting about Pete Ramey and dove into learning all that she could. Laura who was working full time never considered trimming as a vocation but rather a means to maintain her own herd. Again destiny called. It has been six years in the making but Laura has worked her way out of the office and out into the field as a full time trimmer.

There is nothing like a good referral and Solely Equine was built on word of mouth advertising. Happy horses equal happy clients and the rest takes care of itself. End of story. Part of the happy horse/ happy client equation is having a good working range of hoof boots with her at all times. Doing so enables her to meet her customers hoof care protection needs on the spot and her customers take notice. Punctuality is also a priority and her customers appreciate that they can set their watch by her timeliness. Laura treats each horse as it it were her own and her horse handling skills win her big kudos with her clients. Employing natural horsemanship methods makes her job easier and the horses happier. She humbly admits some of the most rewarding experiences as a trimmer is trimming the un-trim-able. Staying calm with uncanny patience goes far with these horses and they respond. Laura admits it is not easy but the job will be done in calm manner that is respectful to the horse.

Laura loves that hoof boots keep evolving and that EasyCare is making boots increasingly durable and easier to use. She feels this continued evolution is encouraging a greater number of horse owners to make the move to natural hoof care. Laura has been using the Easyboot Epics for about seven years but these days the Easyboot Glove is her favorite and best selling boot. She also stocks the Easyboot Glove Back Country and the Easyboot Trail. She sees the barefoot industry growing leaps and bounds and has several vets in her area that are acknowledging the benefits and results horses are achieving barefoot. She says horse owners are definitely becoming more informed. Owners are researching their options and educating themselves on hooves, barefoot hoof care and diet and how all tie in with accomplishing healthy hooves and a healthy horse.

We all love success stories and Laura shares one of her best. A previously foundered mare came to her with shoes and pads all the way around. The owner was looking for options and wanted to give natural hoof care a try. Laura was called, pulled the shoes and set the horse up in boots. The plan was boots for turnout and riding, then gradually used just for riding. Things were going well but the owner thought about moving back to shoes. The owner had other horses being shod and when approaching her farrier about shoeing the mare he refused, saying the horse's feet had never look better. He advised the owner to keep doing what she was doing and so it went. Recently Laura received a call from this owner saying she was on her way home from from a weekend riding trip with the mare. Outfitted with Back Country boots on the front and Gloves behind, the owner was thrilled with how comfortable the horse was moving and that the mare was feeling like a whole new horse. Mission accomplished! 

Laura is a member of  Pacific Hoof Care Practitioners and you can find her at solelyequine.com and on Facebook.

EasyCare is thankful for all of our amazing dealers and customers across the world.  We wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!

EasyShoe, Glue and Nails, OH MY!

I have been using composite shoes since 2005 and since then I've played with and applied every kind of composite shoe I could get my hands on. Some have been easier to use than others, and some have become a larger part of my daily work than others. There are very few problems I can’t solve for the horse with plastic shoes, some glue, nails and sometimes a bit of hoof casting.

 

When I heard EasyCare was coming out with a new composite shoe, I felt like a kid in a candy store.  I eagerly awaited any information on it, and it couldn’t come soon enough!  My chance showed up when EasyCare announced that they were looking for a host for an East Coast EasyShoe workshop. The email wasn’t open for more than five seconds when I messaged everyone I knew at EasyCare asking them to allow Daisy Haven Farm to host. Pick me! Pick me! The comment I received was "We were hoping you’d volunteer”. Success! Not only was I going to get training in the EasyShoe, but it was also coming here.

 

As part of the preparation for the clinic, I had the privilege to go to Durango, Colorado and get some hands on training in the EasyShoe with the EasyCare staff.

 

 

 

I learned how much energy and effort went into the EasyShoe’s development; quite a lot! 

 

 

 

I was able to experiment with different application techniques, glueing with both Vettec and Equilox and also nailing.  So exciting!  Seems there are a lot of possibilities!

 

 

I was even fortunate enough to get sent home with a suitcase full of EasyShoes which I promptly put on every horse around me. I found the application easy and the horses are sound and happy in them so far. 

 

 

 

A few weeks later, it was time for the EasyShoe Clinic at Daisy Haven Farm - it was a huge success! A fantastic group of participants, auditors and instructors. Each Instructor gave a demonstration of how they would apply the EasyShoe with specific glue and/or nailing techniques. We were fortunate to have Curtis Burns, Garrett Ford and Kevin Myers all here to teach us. 

 

 

 

I also demonstrated the way I would apply the EasyShoe for rehabilitation purposes. Each instructor's application varied slightly, however, we could all see how each application method had an appropriate time an place: whether Vettec or Equilox glue, with or without nails. 

 

 

After demonstrations, the participants split into groups and each instructor (myself included) took teams of eight. Everyone got to trim and prepare a cadaver foot for the EasyShoe, practice fit and shoe placement, and also glue a shoe on.  

 

 

 

Participants also got to practice nailing the EasyShoe, either on the Blacksmith Buddy or on their cadaver feet.  For those that didn't know how to nail, we did a nailing tutorial and everyone got to practice their accuracy and tool use.  

 

 

Overall everyone had a lot of fun. There is so much excitement and energy around the EasyShoe! I'm excited to continue to use it and learn the best tips and tricks for successful application.

 

 

Anatomy Anyone?

As people who care for horse’s hooves, it behooves us to know as much as possible about this structure. Yes – pun intended. We as horsemen need to understand how the entire leg is made and how it all works together. I know we have seen many of the moving parts, either while we hold the hoof in our hands or while watching the horse move. But what do we really know about the hoof and the leg? We can read the books, practice on cadavers, do our homework but the learning process never ends.  
 
While out riding I came across a scattered skeleton of a horse. Oh what an opportunity to study the bones. But amongst this was one intact front leg. Not only was the leg intact but the hoof capsule was still attached, complete with a shoe! Oh wow!
 
 
Studying the foreleg becomes important when we realize that all these bones and joints, cartilage, tendons and ligaments, are greatly affected by concussion. The effects of concussion become greater when the hoof is trimmed out of balance. When the hoof is out of balance, the bones are no longer properly aligned as intended by their creator. This in turn causes an imbalance through the leg and contributes to lameness. This is a left front leg; I have labeled the larger bones. However the pastern consists of the long and short pastern bones, also known as the first and second phalanx. The third phalanx, commonly called the coffin bone, is inside the hoof itself. The fetlock joint houses the ankle and sesamoid bones.
 
 
The view above shows the front and top of the hoof capsule. It is separating at the area called the coronary band, which compares to the cuticle for our fingernails. The coronary band feeds the hoof. Any injury to the coronary band, split or wound, grows out down the hoof wall. An abrupt shock to the hoof’s circulation (such as founder, illness or fever) often creates a band or ring in the hoof wall. These hoof scars inform us about how healthy the hoof is on the inside beyond what we can see. The marks are visible for approximately one year, which is the amount of time it takes the average horse to regrow the hoof. 
 
Keeping concussion and balance in mind, take a look at how delicate the fetlock and the carpal bones are. It’s no wonder horses develop lameness and arthritic conditions due to pounding and zillions of steps in their lifetime.  

The hoof capsule itself is an amazing structure filled with hundreds of capillaries and vessels to circulate the blood throughout the hoof. While the hoof appears rigid, it is very elastic and flexible. It contracts and expands with every step which pushes the frog and pumps blood through the hoof. This blood has a huge area and many parts to circulate through as it feeds all the tissues. I have labeled the outer regions of the hoof; there are many more parts and pieces inside the hoof. 
 
In addition to the bones there is a myriad of tendons, cartilage and ligaments that hold all this together and make it work as one unit. So many amazing parts and pieces! I find it fascinating. Especially since I do horse massage and have helped release the tension and soreness from over use and imbalance. 
 
Karen Bumgarner

Take a Picture, it Lasts Longer

More and more I am realizing how valuable a camera can be as a trimming tool. Lately I've been allowing more time to take before and after shots of horses feet when trimming. I find that what my eye and brain can't grasp in the present moment can often be processed while viewing at a later time. I recently trimmed an Arabian with at least nine weeks of over growth. When I looked at the before and after photos of the Arabian I was astonished at the changes in the coronet band and weight distribution of the heels. When I trimmed her my only thought was that this horse needs a trim. 
 
 
 
Arabian before (left) and after (right) trimming.
 
The same thing happened the following week when I pulled EDSS shoes from a Quarter Horse and trimmed him. I just knew he had to get out of those EDSS shoes. It was only after looking at the photos that I realized just how significant the changes were in the coronet band and heels after the removal of shoes and a trim. In this case the trim was minimal, mostly just rounding edges and removing unnecessary frog material. 
 
 
 
Quarter Horse before (left) and after (right) trimming.
 
The trimming application was the same for both horses, removal of the wall to the exact contour of the peripheral edge of the sole including the bars except at the heel purchase and rounding all the weight bearing surfaces. This seemed rather routine to me at the time, however, the following week I couldn't stop bringing up the individual images and trying to figure out how such minimal trimming could have had such dramatic results. I had a hard time understanding the mechanics that were involved. I have to admit that most of my attention is focused on the sole and the information that is available at the time. I welcome positive changes elsewhere, but I don't try to make corrections any where other than weight distribution to the sole. My confusion magnified after putting the images of the two horses next to each other.
 
After several days, I finally noticed that not only were the angles of the coronet bands affected, but the angles of the heel bulbs had changed as well. That's when it dawned on me that by removing the overgrown wall, bars, and frog (re-establishing a more natural foot print) both horses were able to properly weight their feet and allow the soft tissues to reposition closer to where they belonged. Yes, each individual foot on each individual horse has its own correct position. Furthermore, each individual foot being in its correct position aids in the correct positioning of the three other feet. That's one of the reasons that hoof boots and pads or 4" of pea gravel/sand footing work so well to balance horses and make them comfortable, not to mention preventing problems in the first place. Horses standing in this type of footing are allowed to self level or compensate for over growth and/or conformation challenges. In a way, boots with pads could be considered mobile footing. I would never recommend trying to affect the hairline with a trim - I would only trim according to what the sole is ready for at the time. The more information you have, the better when it comes to making informed decisions while trimming. 
 
David Landreville, Landreville Hoof Care

EasyCare Sales Skills 101

Maintain Self-Confidence

This is the most important skill a salesperson can cultivate. How do you develop and maintain self-confidence? Very simple: Know your product. EasyCare offers training for you and your staff, which can be done by phone and takes about 30 minutes of your time. If you believe in yourself and your product, your customers will be inclined to believe as well. (Call to set an appointment.)  Also, stay up to date on changes and new products from EasyCare by subscribing to the Dealer Newsletter.

 

                                        

 

Good Listening

Most salespeople are natural talkers. Taking the time to ask your customer questions and really listening to their answers shows respect for them and gives you a clearer idea of their needs. Ask your customer for details about their horse's hooves, does the horse have a high heel, short toe, etc. Ask for freshly trimmed measurements. Ask them for details about their riding discipline. Get all the information that you can and then suggest the proper hoof boot style.

Persuasiveness

Emotion plays a major role in sales. There's an old saying that "features tell, benefits sell." Features are the facts about the hoof boots, benefits are told by the emotional response from your customer about the hoof boot. Tell your customers about the benefits of booting and the benefits of the particular boot style that you are suggesting. Then ask your customer questions to see what they like and how they feel about the hoof boot style that you are showing.

 

(Emotion = The blue Gloves are pretty!)

Building Strong Relationships

Building and maintaining healthy relationships with your customers (and their horses) are key to the first sale, but also builds for many future sales. If your customer likes and trusts you, then they will be a long time customer. Relationship building starts with good product knowledge, good listening skills and selling your customer the hoof boot style that truly meets their needs.

Dee Reiter

easycare-customer-service-dee-reiter

Retail Account Rep

I am the Retail and New Dealer Account Rep for EasyCare. I will be happy to help you with ordering, selecting the most popular styles and sizes of EasyCare hoof boots to stock. Let me help you with suggestions on merchandising and provide training for you and your staff, at your convenience.

 

What About The Bars?

Very few hoof trimming issues are as controversial as bar trimming. Opinions vary greatly, from not touching them at all to cutting them down all the way to the sole level or beyond (the Strasser method). Today I feel adventurous - you might consider me a high risk taker by tackling this issue and possibly getting shred to pieces afterwards. Bar tissue is identical to the hoof wall tissue, which is harder and denser compared to the sole. Therefore bars can either support or hurt the sole, depending on their length, height and angle. In this blog, I refer to bar 'height' in a vertical sense, bar 'length' in comparison to the length of the adjacent frog and collateral grooves.

Bars are supposed to transfer energy and shock from the ground to the lateral cartilage. They are located directly below these cartilages and therefore most suitable for that task. Last year, I elaborated on shock absorption in the caudal foot. There might be reasons to believe that bars too short are unable to absorb any shock, especially if the horse is worked mainly over hard ground. On the other hand, bars that are too high and at the same level or extending beyond the frog or heel level can cause excessive pressure on the corium and causing bruising with resulting lameness. Some even argue that bars that are too high and too long can put pressure on the navicular bone.

A desert hoof of a domesticated horse: bars are fairly long, high and almost upright.

The old adage can get applied with bars as well: moderate pressure is good, too much pressure bad. Or with other words, moderate pressure helps tissue growth and hardening, too much pressure causes atrophy or bruising.

At landing, a hoof should expand, especially in the heel area. That means the bars should have enough clearance before touching the ground so as to not interfere with this action and not to bruise the corium. At some point, however, the bars need to bottom out to help prevent a total expansion of the hoof capsule and contribute to the transfer of energy vertically to the lateral cartilage. Several factors determine how far the heels expand before bottoming out including: the weight of the horse, the speed of travel, the way the horses hooves touch the ground, the moisture content in the hoof, and the lateral hoof angles. That distance varies from 2 mm to 10mm. So, on average, a relieve or taper of 5 to 6 mm for hard ground is advisable. Is the horse living and training mostly in very soft ground, then we might want to keep the bar height close to level with the hoof walls.

The bars of this untrimmed hoof are almost level with the hoof wall. This horse is living in sandy conditions, the bar growth
reflects that. Like the hoof wall, the bars grow almost upright. This hoof is looking for vertical support by increasing bar height.

Not all bars grow vertically, in fact most of them grow at an angle. Being of denser and harder material, bars can do some serious damage to the sole. Especially when bending over, we can often see bar bruising on the sole, as the photos below show us.

These bars are bend over and exerting pressure onto the sole.

Trimming the bars reveals substantial bruising of the sole. (left side of image)

Let's stay with this photo for a moment. We also can observe white line separation and flaring on the quarters. Here comes the famous question about the chicken and the egg. Did the bent over bars push the sole to the outside and cause the flare or did the flare and white line separation happen first (for different reasons) and consequently rob the hoof of the cohesion and integrity, allowing the bars to 'follow' the sole wandering to the outside? What do you think? 

When considering the role of the bars in hoof support, it becomes clear to me that metal shoes severely restrict proper bar functioning. Bars can fulfill their job best when a hoof is bare, using Easyboots of any kinds, using sole support like Soleguard or Equipak, or the new up and coming EasyShoes from EasyCare, Inc.

How far should the bars extend towards the tip of the frog and how high do we want them to be in this area? To explore this question a little more, let's have a look at this toe crack from a steel shod horse hoof.

.

Do we know the cause of this crack? There are many possible reasons, could one cause be a bar that is too long?

On this dried cadaver hoof, the bar has grown all the way through the hoof capsule and
exerted so much pressure from the inside onto the hoof wall that it caused the crack.

So in evaluating and examining dorsal hoof cracks, it does not hurt to examine the length of the bars at the same time to exclude this cause. Bars that are about 2/3 the length of the frog and show a taper of 5 to 10 mm towards the tip of the frog should not cause a problem as observed above. 

When considering how much to trim off the bars, a few thoughts and observations might help making the proper decision:

  1. There is evidence that substantial sole growth originates from the bar laminae. Shortening the bars too much might impede sole growth.
  2. If the trimmed bars grows back substantially within a two week period, they were probably trimmed too short.
  3. Bars kept untrimmed and too high on a hoof with a thin sole could exert too much pressure onto the lateral cartilages and thereby push the wings of the coffin bone up. This in turn could cause the coffin bone tip (dorsal side) to tilt down even further, possibly causing toe and/or coffin bone bruising.
  4. Bars too high and/or too long and bent over could cause sole bruising, white line separation and possible lameness.

This list will not necessarily make it easier to decide, but it will make us think and carefully consider how much we are trimming the bars. Nothing is black and white, all is grey and on a sliding scale. It helps to 'listen' to the hoof.

Every horse is an individual and no two horses are identical, just like there are no two identical hooves observed among the millions of horses on earth. We trim and treat each hoof as an individual, we should judge and trim the bars in the same manner.

From the desk of the Bootmeister

Christoph Schork

Global Endurance Training Center

Bike Riders Meet Hoof Boots in Utah

Our good friend Ron and his horse Sundance perform at various events in the area where he lives in Ogden, Utah. Sundance has charmed many a person - adults and children alike. Sundance and Ron perform at many of the big festivals and holiday parades and Sundance is always adorned with his Easyboot Gloves. His colors contain purple, so he has purple Power Straps on his Glove boots for more stability and a snug fit. Ron always fields many questions about those things on Sundance's feet. Below, Ron shares a recent experience with the Easyboot Gloves.

"I am sending you a picture of Sundance wearing his front Glove Wide hoof boots with purple power straps as he performs for some bicycle manufacturing company CEO’s from Taiwan. Thirty CEO’s were in Ogden this week for a bicycle tour of the city, the nearby mountains and other scenic  parts of Northern and Southern Utah to see if Ogden would be the ideal location to expand their companies. Ogden is already the home of many national ski companies. 80% of all bicycles worldwide are now made in Taiwan. Everyone wanted to have their picture taken standing next to their bike and Sundance. I also gave them some of Sundance’s trading cards. Sundance’s rear hooves slipped on some slick floor tile at the entrance of the nearby Hilton hotel, but his front hooves had Glove boots and didn't slip at all.   

Your friends,
Ron and Sundance"

Sundance showing off his Easyboot Gloves.

The Easyboot Gloves can take you wherever you wish to go on your journey with your equine partner. Contact us here at EasyCare so we can assist you with your booting needs. Call us with your fresh trimmed hoof measurements at 800-447-8836 and we will get you taken care of.

Nancy Fredrick

Easycare President-ceo-garrett-ford

EasyCare Customer Care

I have been on the EasyCare team since 2001 and 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. .