I have had numerous calls from people who have not experienced our Easyboot Glove yet asking questions like, "How does it possibly stay on?" and "My width and length do not fit neatly into a size on the size chart, so this boot won’t work for me!". After you read this blog posting from Kat, an endurance rider below you will be a believer in the Glove boot. You can find Kat’s blog at http://www.gloryofthewind.blogspot.com/.
Size 1 Glove boots on hooves that measure 122 wide by 112 length.
Riyah has always been barefoot. I have ridden her on all kinds of terrain, and she has never complained or taken an ouchy step. Of course, it’s been winter, with wet, snowy, or muddy ground for most of those rides. Also they’ve been short, easy rides. With "real" rides just around the corner I’ve been wondering which of the EasyBoots would be best for her.
I am an EasyBoot fan. I started trimming and booting Keno about seven years ago with the original Old Macs, then moved him to the old Mac G2’s for eventing and show jumping. They worked great–easy to put on, great traction (even when jumping on grass), stayed on in water, mud, etc. When I got Gypsy she had been barefoot for several years. I shaped her somewhat neglected feet up, and voila! She was The Horse With Perfect Feet. She just had naturally well shaped, hard feet. As we got into endurance riding, I realized I should probably protect her feet if she is going to be asked to carry me 50 miles in a day. (She did 3 25-milers with totally bare hooves and was great.)
We first tried a pair of Renegades. They were easy to put on, but I had problems with the velcro staying closed. Over time I found the tread didn’t hold up to the long rocky training miles we were putting on them. I then bought a pair of EasyBoot Epics, and used them with great success. The EasyBoot Glove came next–as soon as they were on the market, and I have never looked back. They are easy to put on with just the right amount of wiggling; they stay on; they wear well, and they pop right off. So, obviously the Glove was my choice for Riyah.
So after a fresh touch-up trim for my girl, I got out my clear plastic metric ruler and measured all four of her hooves. I wrote down the measurements and headed inside to consult the size chart on the EasyCare website, planning to order her boots right away.
Yikes! No way! I looked again. I trotted back out to the barn and remeasured each hoof! I carefully consulted the chart again. With unbelief I realized she wasn’t going to fit into Gloves. Her hooves, front hooves especially, are much wider than they are long! Like a full centimeter wider! I called the EasyCare help desk, got Shari on the line and explained the problem. "Hmmm. I don’t really think we could recommend EasyBoots for your mare," she said regretfully. "But you have to have something to fit her!" I pleaded. "What will I do?" She recommended I get a set of the new "wide Gloves" that will come out in the summer. I couldn’t wait that long.
I went out to the trailer and got out a bunch of boots. Keno’s rear boots were a size 1, and I had once tried them on Riyah for five minutes to watch her walk around with something on her feet. (It’s pretty funny, watching a horse walk around like a cat with scotch tape on their feet!) I put them on her again. They went on way too easily; in my experience the right boot fit takes just the right amount of effort to put it on. The width wasn’t too bad (it’s a well-broken in set of boots) but the length was obviously off. There was a little gaping and extra room in the heels. The gaiters seemed too big, but I snugged them up as well as I could. I had her walk around in them. Taking them off again, I decided to put several wraps of sticky athletic tape around the lower third of her hooves. When the tape was in place on the first hoof, I immediately replaced the boot and secured the gaiter. Second hoof, same thing.
I decided to go for a ride. This was the day I rode out with Sharon on the Roller Coaster hills. Bushwacking through rocky sagebrush covered hills, scrambling through gullies, and even climbing and descending the rocky Roller Coasters the boots stayed on. I was shocked; I hadn’t really expected them to work. They should have come off; they are not the right size! Back at the trailer I checked for rubs. Nothing. Her heel bulbs and pasterns looked great.
So for yesterday’s ride I did the same thing. Three wraps of athletic tape on damp, but clean hooves. Boots that went on way too easily over that tape. A tougher 2-hour test with lots of trotting, hill climbing, and even a little mud this time. They stayed perfectly in place! I really was amazed. No rubs or movement at all. Hmmm. May the EasyCare size chart is negotiable? I don’t know, but I guess I’ll keep using the boots that shouldn’t fit until the "wides" come out in the summer!
Another shot of the Glove boots that shouldn’t fit.
So remember, even if your measurements aren’t a perfect fit on the Easyboot Glove sizing chart, get a fit kit – what have you got to lose?
Have you had an experience with the Glove boot where it was a great fit on a hoof that didn’t fall perfectly on the sizing chart? Let us know.
If you call the customer service help desk, you’ll probably get me on the phone! I process repairs, returns, credits and exchanges that come into EasyCare.