Submitted by Karen Bumgarner, Team Easyboot 2015 Member
When I was a youngster, a great friend of mine, Dan Petrequin, would tell us “You girls don’t know sik ’em!”, whenever we’d really mess up. It was a big joke because even the dog would go crazy and find something to chase when you said “sik’em!” Years later, I do know sik’em; just a different variety of Sik’em. It’s a product known as Sikaflex. Easycare has carried it for some time but to me it’s one of those good old stand-bys that I often come back to.
There are a few things I like about Sikaflex. One – I can use a regular caulking gun. Two – I really worry about getting the Adhere under the sole, on the heel or hairline and creating a bigger problem than I already have. Three – it sets up slowly so I don’t have to rush. However there is a drawback there too, as I have to keep the horse busy eating hay and tied for a couple hours. Fortunately, Brass he can eat all day!
I’ve had Brass for about 20 months now. He was the “free” horse. Yes, that should tell you a lot right there. His hooves were terribly neglected. At seven years old, he had never been trimmed. He still has sheared heels. And if you trim him too much he goes lame for a few days. So while I know his trim job is not perfect, at his age you just can’t change too much. Last year we used Easyboot Glue-Ons on his fronts, and he’d pop one off the smaller less than perfect hoof. I tried EasyShoes but his hoof walls were thin and he had a smaller gluing surface. My luck wasn’t great. We used Easyboot Gloves with power straps at the City of Rocks and The Haunting endurance rides last fall and he did great. Just recently one boot began turning on him within just a few miles of trotting. I decided Sikaflex would fit the bill with him. It not only gives him extra protection from rocks but will fill in the gaps and be adhesive enough to keep the boot from turning.
So, proving anyone can do this, I stuck my Gloves in the wash machine as usual to clean them up nicely. They dried in the sun. I laid out all my tools and necessary items, clean Gloves for the horse and a pair of latex gloves for me to keep the Sikaflex from making a mess, all my trimming tools, caulking gun, and mallet. I cleaned and trimmed up the hooves real well, scruffing up the outside wall just like in Christoph Schork’s blog.
I left the power straps on the Gloves to keep them snug. I then squirted the Sikaflex in the bottom of the Glove, in a V pattern where the frog goes. I also placed it up the wall on the quarters and the toes. I was careful not to get too much in the heal area because excess Sikaflex will squirt out and you don’t want extra material there. Then I put the Gloves on like I always would, with the mallet, twisting it a bit to smear the Sik around, then attach the gaiter.
Brass just pretty much stood there and ate his hay. Because the Sikaflex takes a while to set up, I’d recheck the boots to be sure he hadn’t twisted one, and kept the hay coming. After a couple hours I put him in the round pen where he wouldn’t immediately run and play with the other horses.
My plan was to leave the gaiters on so if the adhesive came loose at least the gaiter would keep the Glove on. The next day before we left the horses were all racing around, Brass was busy bucking and kicking and the Gloves stayed put. You could tell the adhesive was tight. It was time to load up and go to the Owyhee Tough Sucker ride and put the experiment to the 50 mile test.
A good friend, Beth Nicholes, rode Brass on the 50 through rocks, creeks and sand, the Sikaflex held tight and the boots didn’t turn. This is Beth’s last year as a Junior and she wanted a horse to ride. Brass was my best choice.
Beth Nicholes and The Big Brass, going through the sand wash at Owyhee Tough Sucker 50, April 4, 2015. They are off to a great start with a second place Junior finish. This just could become the best way to do things for Brass. Each horse is different and we always have to keep trying new things, and sometimes return to old things. Ride on!