Written by Jerry Huntsinger, JC Farrier Service, Goldendale, Washington
I have been using EasyCare products for over 16 years now. As a full time farrier, I like thinking outside of the box… with the EasyShoe Sport I can do just that! Sport shoes can be used in a wide range of applications. Here are a few types of horses where I find the EasyShoe Sport to be most useful and successful.
- The trail horse. The wide width of the Sport gives excellent protection. I have also used pour-in pads for extra protection and support, especially when the client is anticipating rough terrain. For high-mileage horses on the trail, I have never noticed inflammation along the coronet band. I believe this is prevented because the Sport can flex with the hoof, as well as absorb concussion before being dispersed to the hoof. On the topic of movement and blood flow, I strongly believe the Sport allows the circumflex artery to work properly, without restrictions, unlike what you would experience using a steel or aluminum shoe.
- The pregnant mare. Pregnant mares seem to spend a lot of time standing still. They’re carrying some extra weight, too, so the Sport works great to help them get a little more comfortable.
- The recovering horse. As horses are recovering from different pathologies, the hoof can change a lot. The Sport will flex and move with the foot without locking the hoof into a preset determined size and shape.
- The horse that belongs to a client who can’t (or don’t want to) use hoof boots. I have a few clients who still want to ride, but do not have the hand strength to pull on a pair of boots. They would rather not drive any nails into their horse’s hooves, either, so the Sport is a great solution.
I live in the Pacific Northwest. It gets wet up here! I don’t always have the comfort of working in a clean, dry area. Sometimes I have to get creative and find a way to successfully glue on the Sport in less than ideal conditions.
For those who are new to this process, definitely find dry, hard ground first. If the horse can be stalled overnight, that’s a huge plus, as well. I use a heat gun to dry the hooves twice in most applications.
Another huge tip is using plastic wrap after the shoe is applied. The plastic wrap will keep the shoe tight to the hoof while the glue is setting. I also like the horse to stand in a stall or dry area for 30 minutes after application to allow the product to set completely. Once the Sport is in place and glue is set, you can clean up your work or finish dressing the hoof.
In some cases, it’s good to have an extra set of hands with you. I have worked on horses that were so uncomfortable on their hooves I had to practically hold them up while applying the shoe. For a laminitis or founder case, sometimes I will set the shoe back, allowing me to dress the toe back. The Sport is easily customizable to best help each horse.
Whether you’re a full-time farrier, a horse owner interested in trying something new, or just simply looking to go another direction, the Sport is a great option. I am sure you will find the same success that I have!!