#3: Accessories: Don’t Let Them Scare You
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Using a two-dimensional measuring system for a three-dimensional object is going to be flawed at best. Once you’ve got the optimum fit worked out, there may still be some tweaks to get things working properly.
The infinitely variable shapes between hooves affect boot dependability. Strap-on boots and boots with cables are more adjustable to the various hoof shapes and sizes, but the additional hardware increases boot weight and the number of components that need to be maintained. So pick your potion.
If a naked Easyboot Glove presents you with staying-on problems, there are a couple of methods you can use that will increase the dependability. Really.
The first is the use of athletic tape, and although the concept may seem like a daunting additional step, it requires only a basic skill level, and no additional tools. The video below shows my personal method of applying the tape.
Since I made the following video, I’ve changed my opinion about the color of athletic tape. The most dependable is black Mueller athletic tape, and anything else pales in comparison. Note also the absence of vet wrap as a suggested accessory. Don’t even think about it: vet wrap becomes slimy when warm or wet and will not be nearly as dependable.
If you are still experiencing problems with boots staying on, or if you want additional insurance for a race or a fast or challenging course, consider adding the power strap. The power strap acts as a bungee system across the front of the boot, increasing the the "hug" between boot and hoofwall. So although the power strap may somewhat hide the view of how well the boot fits the hoof, it helps offset any additional flare or fit issues.
The video below is of the power strap installation king. No-one can fit a power strap as quickly as Garrett Ford. If you’d rather not do it yourself, EasyCare can send you your next set of Gloves with the power straps installed.
I rarely use a mallet for putting on Gloves (although I do in the video above). Some people I speak to say they don’t want to subject their horse’s foot to the pounding of the mallet, but in my opinion, a few strikes with a rubber mallet pale in comparison to a few steps at a trot or a canter over rough ground. Use a mallet if the boot is a tight fit, or if you have weak hand or wrist strength. Most of the time, I can get a boot on easily without by gripping the pastern joint between my knees and twisting the boot over the hoof capsule.
I don’t use all the accessories all the time on all the horses I ride. But if I’m going to a challenging 50-mile ride where I plan to ride fast, I’ll do it all.
To see the accessories available for any of the boots in our product line, click on our Accessories Page.
If you’d like to challenge Garrett to a power strap installation dual, drop us a line.
Next week: #2: Is Your Equipment Up To Date? – how to assess if you need to replace your boots.
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.