I had the pleasure of riding two 50-mile events last weekend at one of the most beautiful and challenging rides in our area. Mount Carmel, Utah, is the location for the May five-day event hosted by XP Rides.
Ria McCarthy and Mike LeRoux hand-walking their horses shod in EasyShoes down a challenging goat trail.
If you're wondering which booting or shoeing protocol is right for you, rest assured that a variety combinations of Easyboot Gloves, Easyboot Glue-Ons and EasyShoes all performed well in the top five finishers at every day of this multi-day event. If the products can do well at high speeds in challenging rocky terrain, it's likely that any of the protocols witnessed last week will do will for your chosen equine activity.
Andy Bown using Easyboot Gloves.
1. The Hoof Boot Traditionalist
Not interested in gluing or nailing whatsoever? Have no fear: the third place horse on Day 4 won the coveted Best Condition award using a set of used Easyboot Gloves with power straps and three wraps to each foot of athletic tape under the boot. The rider chose to boot him the night before, and to leave the gaiters loose for the night while the horse was tied to the Hi-Tie at the trailer. He simply snugged up the gaiters in the morning before he saddled, and the boots were removed later that day at the completion of the event. For more information on best practices, click through the Fit Kit, Application Videos and FAQ pages on the EasyCare website.
2. The Easyboot Glue-On Fan
Easyboot Glue-Ons continue to be a favorite for customers who go on pack trips, ride multi-day events, or compete in 100-mile competitions, or simply want a therapeutic application for their horse. The greatest benefit of the Glue-Ons is that the glue under the sole provides additional concussion absorption if your trail plans are going to be over rocky or hard-packed trail. Another advantage is that there is no contact above the hairline, so even with the most challenging mud or sandy conditions, there is literally nowhere for the debris to build up.
The EasyShoe Performance N/G applied by Ernest Woodward.
3. The Explorer
Are you intrigued by the EasyShoe's ability to let the hoof flex the way it is designed to, and compelled to try a hoof protection device that stays on for the full trimming cycle that allows the hoof to breathe? The EasyShoe Performance N/G and EasyShoe Performance were applied to the horses that won first place on Day 1, 4 and 5. The Day 5 horse also won the Best Condition award. Depending on the model you select, the EasyShoe can be nailed or glued by your hoof care practitioner or farrier. The key to success with these shoes at high-mileage, high performance events like the Mount Carmel XP, is to follow preparation and application protocol to a T. Make sure the person applying the boots closely watches the application videos and goes through the FAQ pages for the specific boot model.
The Moral of the Story
Barefoot hoof care principles are alive and well with any and all of the EasyCare hoof protection devices you choose. If hoof boots work well for you, there is just no reason to change what you're doing. If you're intrigued by the benefits listed above of each of the hoof protection devices described above, maybe you should work with your professional to attempt other models or styles. I rode a new horse on Day 3 with Easyboot Performance N/Gs on the front and Easyboot Gloves on the back, and on Day 4 I rode a horse with Easyboot Glue-Ons all around. I like the full sole coverage of boots, but I also really appreciate having a horse that I can just throw a saddle on and head out onto the trail without even putting on boots.
No matter what you decide, remember the EasyCare staff is here to help you succeed. Since so many of us are boot users and testers ourselves, we tend to know enough about the choices to steer you down the right path, especially when you reach an impasse in what to use.
Director of Marketing
I am responsible for the marketing and branding of the EasyCare product line. I believe there is a great deal to be gained from the strategy of using booted protection for horses, no matter what the job you have for your equine partner.