Based in Congerville, Illinois, Ida Hammer has owned horses for 40 years and has been involved with every kind of equine activity. Her family had racing Quarter horses in the late 70s and early 80s and she jockeyed for part of those years. She has successfully competed in competitive trail riding. She has tried her hand at cutting and barrel racing. “There isn’t anything I don’t love about horses, says Ida. “Now I focus on relationships with my horses and trail ride for therapy."
Ida is a member of the American Hoof Association and maintains around 500 horses as a full time hoof care practitioner. She also teaches hoof care classes throughout the U.S. She and her partner own 11 horses. “Many were given to us as hopeless rehab horses. All are well and sound thanks to the protection and therapy we were able to do with the boots.”
When someone comes to Ida for hoof care, she looks at the whole horse: “It is more than just the hooves. We discuss diet environment, lifestyle, and the owner’s willingness to be a part of the team to ensure success,” says Ida of her management style. “Horses fresh out of shoes need to have the comfort available to them with use of boots.”
Ida holds a couple of two-day booting classes with Eric Knapp and Randy Hensley just to show how many things can be done with these boots. “Other than sliding plates, we can do with boots about what anyone can do with a shoe.”
Ida has been carrying EasyCare products for six years. Her best-selling boots are the Glove and the Easyboot Rx. “I sell Gloves for all the sound horses and the Rxs for sore, foundered, navicular horses. They are also great for abscesses, therapy and to trailer in.” Ida likes to ride in the Gloves – and before that, she rode in Epics.
When asked about her most rewarding experience, Ida cites the moment when a person is going to put down their horse and she starts trimming it and puts boots and pads on it. “It walks off really well, then you go back in six weeks and they are riding that horse. Both the horse and the human are smiling."
Ida says some of the horses have spent so much time being sore, then get comfort from the boots. “When you walk up to them with the boot in your hand, they will literally pick up their foot up before you ask so you can put the boot on. It gives me goose bumps.”
Ida credits the growth in the barefoot industry to the advances in the booting industry. “Before all the awesome changes and inventions with the new boots being so user friendly, it was a battle. Our theories were correct with the need to be bare, but we didn’t have anything to help the horse or owner to be able to do so comfortably. Now we do. I truly believe that this is the 21st century horse shoe.”
As for Ida’s favorite event, she says it’s a little piece of heaven anytime she is on the back of one of her horses.