Written by EasyCare Customer, Amanda K.
I’m a licensed veterinary technician working with solely sport performance and race horses. I’m also a lifelong horse owner and competitor in a multitude of disciplines. My current mount is a coming 9 year old Appendix Quarter Horse mare. Bred for anything but endurance and distance riding, she rose to the challenge when nothing else suited her unique attitude and life aspirations. As with any athlete, there have been ups and downs along the way that have altered our training plans.
She has battled some hoof problems, including “navicular changes” in her front feet as well as incredibly thin soles and hoof walls, the latter being the largest challenge. She was also a very chronic shoe puller.
As a team, her veterinarian, myself, and her blacksmith came together multiple times to try and think of ways to keep her front feet happy. We couldn’t even think about putting a nail in her foot as she’d instantly go lame with an abscess. The only conclusion two years ago was to “go barefoot”. In reality this was the smartest thing I ever did for this mare. It was tough at first but once her soles hardened and her hoof started to grow, she had some extremely solid feet that could, believe it or not, walk over rocks barefoot. We accepted the boot life during that time.
As challenges with sport horses arise and goals change, we needed more hoof protection a couple years later. Now the EasyShoe Versa Grip Octo comes into play. I had already been trimming her myself so it was a pretty easy transition. I watched many of the EasyCare Videos on hoof preparation and talked to a few local blacksmiths who had used other types of EasyShoes before.
I started with plenty of time and no agenda. My mare originally did not like the torch near her to dry her feet so I actually skipped this step in the first two applications. She has now accepted a heat gun instead so we’ve compromised. Application with the Super Glue is extremely easy and fast.
This mare has trained for months now with the same set of Octos cleaned and reapplied each time. I just recently bought a new set to dye purple for endurance races.
She’s successfully completed our first race of the season and the shoes looks the same as the day I applied them! Footing was mostly sand and dirt trails but lots of water. We were practically swimming at one point! No slipping or problems at all. We finished 2nd!
She feels better than ever and I plan to continue using them the whole season!