The 2011 Tevis Cup 100 Mile Horse Race is days away. The EasyCare staff will be helping many of the horses competing in the event with Easyboot Glue-On boot installation during the week of October 3rd. This is the third consecutive year that Easyboots have been the leading alternative choice of hoof protection choices for Tevis Cup riders. The lightweight race boots are perfect for the rocky, technical conditions.
The weather forecast for California and the Sierra Mountains calls for rain, snow and wind for Tuesday October 3rd, Wednesday October 4th and Thursday October 5th. The weather looks like it will clear for the event but will present difficult conditions for our gluing teams. Wet and cold conditions present challenges but should not influence glue-on success.
Here is my shortlist of tips and tricks that make hoof boot gluing more successful in wet or cold weather conditions.
- Start with a well trimmed horse before the event. The last thing needed to complicate wet and cold conditions is a poorly trimmed hoof.
- Glues don’t do well with oil, moisture and cold. Make sure no oils or hoof conditioners get onto the hoof. Refrain from washing the horse before the event with shampoo: the oils run down the legs and coat the feet. No fly spray on the feet and hoof walls before the event.
- If it’s raining, keep your horse in a trailer or stall with shavings. Although it may be cramped in there, it’s a perfect place to glue because it’s warm and dry.
- Keep your boot shells dry and clean in the plastic bags they ship in. Do not to handle them with bare hands, be especially careful not to touch the inside of the boot shell. Oils from your hands stick to the boot and compromise the bond with the glue.
- Warm the boots, warm the glue and warm the hoof. Try to get them all to the same temperature level. Heat guns are very useful to warm and dry the hoof. They can also be used to heat the glue-on shells in cold conditions. Try placing the glue packages on the floorboards of a vehicle with the heater on.
- If the horse’s feet are wet or muddy, use denatured alcohol on the hoof after they have been cleaned. The alcohol helps pull moisture out of the hoof.
- Use a heat gun. The heat gun dries and warms the hoof. Do not skip this step.
Wet and cold conditions make hoof boot gluing a bit more challenging, but with the tricks above you will be successful. Wishing all the 2011 Tevis riders the best of luck!
President & CEO
I have been President and CEO of EasyCare since 1993. My first area of focus for the company is in product development, and my goal is to design the perfect hoof boot for the barefoot horse.