Submitted by Dr. John Haeberle

We loaded up the trailer and headed north for the Big Horn 100 this last weekend. It was to be my son and his horses’ first 100-mile event, and we chose EasyCare Glue-Ons for hoof protection.

We couldn’t have been more pleased with the EasyCare team, led by Kevin Myers, who helped apply the boots the day before the race. Not only did that mean that it wasn’t me with Vettec Adhere stuck to my fingers, but I also learned a lot about the Glue-On fit and application.

First of all, I learned that I wasn’t roughing up the hoof wall quite enough prior to application. While we’ve had great success with the glue-ons, my wife did lose two at a CTR recently, and I was puzzled as to why. I have now learned that I wasn’t doing quite as good a job as I could have roughing up the wall. Rusty Toth, the barefoot trimmer who travelled with Kevin, taught me to use the narrow side of the rasp to make deeper gouges for the Adhere to gain some purchase.

Secondly, I learned that I wasn’t using quite enough Goober Glue for the sole packing. Kevin and Rusty told me I should see quite a bit of Goober Glue being extruded from the heel overnight, and I could twist that off just before the race. Here’s a photo of what their application looked like before I did that.

Hopefully you can tell that there is a large glob of Goober Glue being extruded. It was about the size of a robin egg, and twisted off easily with a Leatherman.

The boots did great, and so did our horse and young rider. The Bighorn 100 takes horses up from base camp over 5,000’ and then back down. It covers betonite badlands, deep canyons, high peaks, and steep roads. The horses endured at least four hail storms, wide temperature ranges, and all of the exhaustion of a 100-mile event. Through all this, the boots were never on my list of concerns.

Joe, the 15 year-old rider, said he never had much trouble with traction except on the wet betonite of the final downhill. As he noted, though, nothing works well on wet betonite.  Barefoot horses would have trouble out there, as would shod and booted ones. The answer on steep, wet betonite downhills is to get off and walk.

In the end, our son and his horse did well, completing the ride in the dark of Sunday morning. It was a first 100 for both of them, and they held up well. Scooter checked out sound, and so did Joe. It was a great test for both of them.

When Scooter did his first 50, we were told that we’d have “a new horse,” confident and businesslike, and that’s what we got. After their first 100, we’ve got a new horse, and a new kid.  The both walked away with a new confidence and a touch of pride in their accomplishment.

Thanks again to the EasyCare team for helping with application of the boots. We’ve learned a lot, and plan on helping others to use the boots well.

John Haeberle