These horses are wearing Easyboot Bare boots and Easyboot Epics on their journey down the road. If you do cart driving, here is some pictures of horses successfully using boots and being barefoot and lovin' it!!!!!
There's still some great riding time left before winter gets here. Trade in your old boots now and get a new upgraded style for 1/2 price. It's the ongoing Hoof Boot Upgrade Program and still going strong. It's simple, fill out the form, pack your old boots up and send them to EasyCare. You can do this once a year per customer. Upgrade to any one of our riding boots, Epics, Bares, Grips, Old Macs, Old Mac G2's, Gloves, Glue-Ons, Boas and Edge's We have all the boots for any of your riding needs!
If you live in Arizona or are planning a trip here this winter......come see us for a free boot fitting. We are here to help you with the correct fit and boot style for your horse. Just give us a call and set up an appointment and we will help you with a boot selection. Call us at 800-447-8836 or local 297-1900.
We have a portable panel area set up and you can unload and then we will measure and try boots on. Once we find the correct fit and style, we will then show you how to install and remove your boots AND then have you do the install/removal so you can be comfortable and knowledgeable when you are at home or on your ride.
Don't forget to bring your old boots to trade in and utilize the Upgrade program while you are purchasing boots from us.
Give us a call and we will get you set for a visit and boot fitting here at EasyCare. We love to meet our customers and their horses!!!!!!
Pi (13 year old Appendix) has been
barefoot for about 5 years now and he loves his Easyboots! We've
been using Bares since we initially pulled his shoes and he hacks out on the
trails like a champ... whether it's on the rocky trails around us in
Massachusetts or climbing the forever up-and-down beautiful hills of Vermont or
moving right along on a hunter pace. We are often asked by other riders
what his boots are for, and my answer is often quickly followed up
with, 'Isn't he too big to go barefoot?' Pi doesn't think so!
Lately we've been doing a lot more jumping and with all the
rain in the Northeast this Spring, I realized Pi would benefit from a bit more
traction, especially when we're soaring over fences in a field. I decided
to try the Grips and we haven't looked back! They grab the ground and
provide us with a secure landing without sticking too much -- and Pi loves
Thanks for helping us keep on jumping barefoot -- despite
The ACTHA (American Competitive Trail Horse Association) has decided to allow hoof boots that come above the hairline on their rides! This means riders can now use their Epics, Edges, Bares and Glove boots on these rides. The NATRC (North American Trail Ride Conference) still does not allow any type of protection above the hairline, but the ACTHA and a few smaller organizations are starting to allow them.
Please check with the organization that is sanctioning your ride for the latest information.
Little Lightfoot is already practicing his racing skills! Click here to check out this cutie in action! Wonder what his boot of choice will be? Epics, Bares... There's so much to choose from the options are endless! A special thank you to Ute Miethe of Balanced Step for sending us this video and sweet photos.
"He's only about 3 weeks old and already almost as big as last years colt Zorro (although Zorro is rather petite)," says Ute. Lightfoot and Zorro are pictured below. Lightfoot is pictured above with his proud mama.
It just doesn't get better than this! These are pictures of a newborn offspring of Taskin, Gypsy Stallion, owned by Villa Vanners who resides in Oregon. Baby was born this past April and looks like he's real comfortable where he's at. The pictures were taken immediately after birth, the mare laid down, Baby trotted around and crawled right up into her lap. Mom and Baby are doing well and it won't be long before he's up and running around wanting hoof boots to sport around in. He'll be calling EasyCare wanting to know more about the line of boots available to him...which one will it be, hmmm... Epics, Bares, Boas, Gloves, Edges, Old Mac G1's or G2's ? Decisions, decisions..... Sleep well little one, see you on the trail one day...
Looking for a deal? Check out the EasyCare Bargain Bin! The items in the bin are brand new, discontinued items. All items are 1/2 off of the original price and are not returnable or exchangeable, so make sure you measure first!
Here's a picture of me on my Missouri Foxtrotter gaited horse (I'm the one in the back with a helmet) at big Creek Trail Ride in Hartshorn, Missouri. The lady on the paint Foxtrotter is my riding buddy. She uses Easyboots for spare tires when she looses a shoe.
My horse, Georgie Girl, is a coming 9 year old Black Missouri Foxtrotter that I have had since she was 4. I bought her from Valley Springs Foxtrotter Ranch in Black, Missouri.
Georgie Girl was always very sensitive to rocks, even in shoes. One day I was looking at my riding buddy's horses hooves and then Georgie's, and noticed that Georgie had big slits in her frog and in to the bulb area. I started researching it on the internet and found several barefoot horse sites that talked about it being caused from thrush and the only way to get it healed was to remove the shoes. I had been trying with no success for a year with shoes on Georgie. After my last camping ride in 2005, I had Georgie's shoes pulled. I worked for the next 3 years, trying everything to get those big slits healed. Finally, I was told about Clean Trax deep hoof cleanser soak to heal the Thrush and White Line disease. I had one Easy Soaker boot from Easycare that I used to do each foot one at a time. After that ordeal, I bought more and soaked them all at one time and finally got the hooves to heal. Hallelujah!
During the time after I had Georgie's shoes pulled, I began the journey of learning how to measure, order and use Easyboots. I have tried them all. I now use Easyboot Bare's on the front and Easyboot Epic's on the back. But, next time I have my horse trimmed, I'm going to measure for the Easyboot Glove. It's been a learning process and at times, an expensive proposition. I tried other brands of boots along the way, and they either didn't hold up or caused Georgie to have swollen legs at the end of the ride. One of the other brands wore through after only 3 hours on the Missouri rock. Thus, I have found the Easyboot Bare's to work best for my gaited horse. I do struggle at times to get them on but ONLY when I don't put them in the sun to warm or put them in hot water. One of the lessons I had to learn along the way.
Along my journey, I even learned to perform the natural trim on my Georgie, but I still do have a trimmer that I use. When Georgie gets her fresh spring trim,I hope to measure her for the Easyboot Glove. I love your products! Keep up the innovative work! I can't wait to see how Georgie does with the Easyboot Gloves! By the way, Georgie gaits better than ever now that her feet are healed!
Who said boots are not for Mules? Wrong, says Rosa shown here sporting her Epic boots. Rosa belongs to Karen Reeves, a hoof care practitioner. Mules typically have longer feet than horses, as measured from the toe to the heel buttress. In addition, they also have steeper angles and larger heel bulbs. The three biggest challenges that you will face when booting are: 1) sizing the boot, 2) getting the gaiter to fit over the heel bulbs, and 2) determining what you can and cannot adjust to get the boots to fit. Of all the boots we offer, Epics and Bareswork the best. We have heard success stories with Old Mac’s (that have inserts), but not to the extent of the other two boots. Below is some general info from EasyCare.
Proper fit, of course, is of utmost importance. (We will talk about the gaiter later. Later, gaiter. ) Know how to measure and do it twice right after a fresh trim.
Look carefully at the size chart. The upper end of the measurement on the chart is the actual physical dimension of the inside of the boot. For example, a size 1 Epic boot is 4 7/8” wide 5 1/8” long. The boot will be too wide if your length exceeds the width by more than one size. If this is the case for your mule we don't recommend the boots.
It is best if the width and length are in the same size range. If, on the length, you are only slightly over the range (1/8” or so) try the smaller size. If you think that mule might be just a tad too large you can remove the back strap which will give you an extra 1/8”. While lots of people ride without the back strap, it sometimes affects hoof stability in the boot. The hoof is more secure with the back strap, which keeps the toe pushed forward. If you remove the strap, you will have to replace it with tapers to keep the gaiter screws from rubbing the hoof wall.
With mules you have to be especially careful that the boot doesn’t twist. Read up on how to tighten your boot (available in the brochure or on our website.) If you can turn the boot even the slightest bit with the adjustment as tight as you can get it, the boot is not a good fit. Except for the Old Mac’s G-2’s which have inserts, there isn’t a way to shim a boot that is too wide. It will twist.
With some mules, the gaiter that comes with the boot will be too small to fit over the heel bulbs. It is possible to install a larger gaiter, with modifications. Karen Reeves, a hoof care practitioner who boots a lot of mules, gives suggestions on her website here. Keep in mind that if you modify your boot you won’t be able to return it.
Boots must be snug! If they go on really easy, they’ll come off really easy!
You may have a mule that just won’t fit into our boots. Mules with narrow hooves or very large heel bulbs often cannot wear anything in our current line. At this time we are not planning to make a boot specifically for mules, but there might be something in our 2009 boot line up that will accommodate them better. Keep checking in!
This testimonial was sent in from one of our natural hoof trimmers in Sedalia, CO. She and Scooter love their Bares!
Scooter and I went to the Parelli Center in Pagosa Springs, CO last September for a Fluidity Riding course. We're still developing our partnership, so I had great plans for our time there. Since I'm a natural trimmer and an EasyCare dealer, I couldn't help but notice many of the other horses were also barefoot and the rows between the pens were lined with carrot sticks, fly spray and a variety of EasyCare boots.
Scooter has a set of Bare boots for all 4 feet that I use while riding in extremely rocky terrain. I didn't expect to need Scooter's boots since the Parelli grounds are pasture, hard packed dirt and deep sandy play areas. But from the first day on, Scooter was tender on the dirt roads. I didn't expect this since we ride on hard pack all the time. I was so relieved to have his Bare boots with me since they allowed us to participate in all activities without discomfort. I realized afterward that Scooter was suffering from stress induced laminitis, a common occurrence with hauling and boarding horses in new environments. The evidence emerged a few weeks later in the form of a horizontal "event ring" descending from the cornet band around both front hooves. This is a indicative of a laminitic episode.
Scooter wore his Bare boots on both fronts, all day, every day without exception. They are a perfect fit and the tread pattern worked well on the Colorado trails. There was never any evidence of rubbing and no sign of lameness, as long as the boots were on.
Our two weeks at the Parelli Center was the horse experience of a lifetime. Some of the moments were captured by Parelli professional photographer, Coco. The photos came out great since Scooter and I always seemed to be smiling. Thank you EasyCare for Scooter's Bare boots and comfort pads!
Need some Christmas gift ideas for that special friend or family member ? Now is the timeto get started with EasyCare's great program offered for upgrading your old boots to a new different model for one-half price. The hoof boot upgrade program began close to two years ago and has been so successful that we are continuing the program indefinitely. So get your list going and select from the Easyboots, Epics, Bares, Soakers, Grips, Old Mac's, Old Mac's G2 or Boa Boots. Christmas is right around the corner so get your order in right away! We will be shipping through December 17, but we must have your trade in boots by December 15, 2008 in order to get them shipped out for you.
Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at EasyCare!
Most newly de-shod horses do fine in a pasture, arena, and on soft trails. How well they handle challenging footing, and how long it takes them to be comfortable on moderately challenging surfaces, depends on their feet, general health, living environment, diet, exercise level, the terrain you ride on, the competence of your trimmer, and the regularity of the trims.
People who choose to take their horses barefoot tend to be proactive about their long term health and welfare and to form interactive, supportive online communities that share a wealth of information. Horses getting good low carb diets, living on challenging terrain, and getting lots of exercise, usually do fine barefoot on all types of terrain year round.
There are four things to incorporate into a successful transition:
1. Boots and pads......boots give horses the advantages of metal shoes without the concussion, nail holes and peripheral loading, while allowing them to continue normal work. Boots can be padded with cushioned insoles that encourage the horse to use his feet correctly and athletically, thereby accelerating redevelopment of internal hoof structure. This correct heel-first landing movement results in stronger, straighter and wider heels, and the increased blood flow builds tougher, stronger feet.
2. The correct trim.....Getting the horse transitioned is easier when you have an experienced barefoot hoofcare provider and the trimming is done on a consistent timely schedule.
3. The right diet......all that most horses need to perform athletically are:
a. Balanced nutrients
b. Good water
c. Good low NSC (non structural arbohydrate) grass hay
d. Low NSC pature for movement
4. Get rid of the hoof infections.......most people don't recognize the signs of thrush, and few people appreciate how painful it can be. A successful transition depends on eliminating frog infections.
Going barefoot can require a leap of faith, and the initial results may be alarming for some riders. Keep an open mind, think positive, and expect great things from your horse's transition.
Yes, that time of the year has already shown itself and is approaching upon us. Whatever your current temperature is, you still need to look ahead to "Winter Hoof Care".
The November 2008 edition of Horse Illustratedhas an article by Nancy S. Loving, DVM, on how to "Winterize Your Horse". Part of this article is in regards to winter hoof care.
The article indicates that it is beneficial to let your horse go barefootfor at least a couple of months during the year, and winter is the time to do this. Also, barefoot reduces hazards like balling of the snow, since the hoof is better able to shed ice and snow.
Horses that have been barefoot or only barefoot for the winter will still need a regular trim. A visit from your hoof care practitionerevery six to eight weeks will keep the hooves ready for spring riding.
She even recommends hoof boots for winter riding. "If you still plan on riding during the winter, consider a hoof bootrather than leaving the shoes on". The Easyboot Grip is specifically designed for use in the snow. Winter… snowballs and ice are great for sport… except when they’re under your horse’s feet! Even the Boa Horse Boot’s polyurethane surface eliminates snow balling up on the bottom of the boot as it would on the sole of a horse wearing standard shoes. In fact, any of EasyCare's hoof boots would eliminate snow balling.
EasyCare Inchas optional titanium-coated boot studsfor gripping sheet ice. Long wearing studs (4 per boot) can be easily attached to any Boa Horse Boot, Old Mac's, Old Mac's G2, Easyboot Bareand up to a size four in our Easybootand Easyboot Epicsto provide traction on asphalt, ice or other hard or slippery surfaces. The studs may be removed when their application is no longer necessary, and replaced as needed. Larger studs are now available for the Easyboot and Easyboot Epic from size five and up.
Dr. Loving also says studs can be used in shoes just like on the boots. While traction is extremely important, very aggressive traction can inhibit a horse’s natural way of going and can increase stress on joints, tendons and upper extremities. The ground may not always be slippery, so your horse's foot may "stick" with a traction device, resulting in injury. This kind of injury happens suddenly and you may not even realize it until lameness becomes apparent.
This is just one of the things you need to get done to "winterize your horse" per Nancy Loving, DVM. Hooves are part of the winter care for your horse, but you need to read the rest of the article for the rest of the story. Also, while you are out riding the trails, don’t be surprised if you see a new kind of hoofprint in the snow. Look at it carefully; you may be the first in the group to identify the elusive EasyCare's Easyboot Grip print.
Throughout the years of the ongoing points and counter points of shoeing vs. barefoot, we continue to support the pro's and con's of each side. The most important thing to remember is, what is right for one horse may not be the very best for another. One of the most interesting articles on this subject is found in the August 2008 issue of "The Horse Magazine". The article was written by Marcia King, an award winning -freelance writer, who specializes in equine, canine, and feline veterinary topics. She's schooled in hunt seat, dressage, and Western pleasure.
Present at the seminar held for farriers and veterinarians were Robert Cook, FRCVS, PhD, Professor of Surgery Emeritus at Tuft University and developer of the Bitless Bridle, and Patrick Reilly, Chief of Farrier Services at New Bolton Center. Patrick is researching on the development of a protocol for the use of an in-shoe force measuring system. These two gentlemen went head to head with questions from "The Horse". In many cases they agreed. For instance, when it comes to certain disciplines, terrain, climate or horsekeeping conditions, or whether a horse should be shod or unshod can be influenced either way. Many horses live comfortably without shoes no matter what the environment or use is. The structure of the horse's hoof is a result of all of the environmental factors.
As discussed, a barefoot program is not just about trimming, it is a total management program. A horse owner takes on responsibility to provide and manage conditions that are not harmful to his horse. During the transition period hoof boots can be worn to protect the hoof and to prevent excessive wear of a hoof with poor horn growth that has not completely recovered from having been shod. EasyCare can provide seven different models, the Easyboot, Epic, Bare, Grip, Old Mac Original, Old Mac G2 and Boa Boot.
Also mentioned in the article is the study and continuous research of Dr. Robert J. Bowker who believes that barefoot conditions are better and that one can have the same effects of a shoe in barefooted conditions, dependent on how the hoof is trimmed. If you remove plenty of sole and cut back the bars, trim the frog then you have acquired a peripherally loaded foot that is similar to a shod horse.
It is an excellent article you shouldn't miss reading. Happy Trails from EasyCare!
Everyone wants to tell you why going barefoot will not work. Our friends at High Performance Hooveshave listed below some real world reasons you will fail!
1. Don't trim your horse's hooves at 4-6 week intervals. - Save lots of money not shoeing your horse and go barefoot. Then don't get them trimmed. You will never transition to barefoot. You are basically shoeing your horse by letting the hoof get too long and lifting the sole and frog off the ground.
2. Don't buy hoof boots. - Without boots to help your horse when you ride over ground more rugged than their own pasture you are setting you and your horse to fail.
3. Don't allow your horse to move. - Keep your horse in a stall 24/7. Everyone knows barefoot horses can't move anyway. Movement will develop your horse's feet and help heal pathologies.
4. Keep your horse on very soft ground. - Again, barefoot horses are weak and soft. Your horse needs pea gravel around the water tank and rocks in it's pasture.
5. Shoe your horse when you go trail riding. - Those pussy foot barefoot horses can't go on trails. You just cost yourself time that could have been used to develop your horse's feet and reversed much of what you are trying to accomplish. Plus, you will never have a true barefoot trimmer as your trimmer.
6. Save time and don't clean your stalls or paddock. - A little manure never hurt a horse. Manure and urine will help your horse develop thrush and fungus. That's your goal right?
7. Feed your horse a high sugar, high trans fat diet. It's cheap. Horse's feet are a reflection of their diet. They don't need sugar. They need low sugar grass/hay, water and the minerals that are missing in their forage.
8. Hire a shoer/trimmer. - We always have the shoes to fall back on. Everytime a barefoot horse can't walk across a bed of nails or crush beer bottles without pain we can slap shoes on him. Good luck with that!
9. Stay ignorant. - The trimmer knows everything, right? That's what you pay them for. A knowledgable client is a barefoot client for life. After you learn the dangers of shoeing you will never go back to shoes again.
As you can see, the ways to fail at going barefoot are all about the owner, not the horse or the color of the hooves. Lazy, cheap owners that want to go barefoot will never make it. It takes an owner that is willing to get involved! Shoe your horse if you are not willing to do what it takes.
If you do want to succeed at transitioning to barefoot, EasyCarehas lots of ways to help you. Our hoof boots such as the Easyboot Epic, Easyboot Bare and Old Mac's ,as well as our Comfort Padsare a must have. We also offer numerous articleson hoof care and transitioning to barefoot. If you have any questions on going barefoot please call us at 1-800-447-8836. We are here to help!
In dry climates, hoof wall fungus is somewhat rare. It ususally will happen when the paddock gets flooded, the horse prefers to stand in the manure and urine pile, or when the stalls aren't kept clean. You can fix the problems by exposing the fungus to air and they will usually go away.
In moist climates, this problem can be a never ending cycle. Dawn Jenkins, a barefoot trimmer and therapeutic shoeing practitioner, works in both Southern California and Hawaii and encounters such issues. She wrote a great article that appeared in the Holistic Horse magazine, issue Oct/Nov 2008.
In this article, she discusses ways to prevent and treat hoof fungal problems in moister climates. She also mentions some facts and poses the question....Could there be a difference in the individual immune system, not just the environment?
Read this article for some really good information and education that makes quite a bit of sense. She also gives some natural remedies and general instructions for helping to eliminate some of the fungal problems that your horse may experience at the wetter times of the year. Some of the natural fixes could certainly incorporate hoof boots and soaker boots. EasyCare has many boot styles such as, Easyboots, Epics, Bares, Old Mac and Boas, to help you keep your hooves clean and dry during the moister times. We have the Soaker boots to use for soaking with the remedies that are mentioned. Especially the Apple Cider Vinegar and water mixture, which I know works as I use this soak for my horses occasionally.
Check out the Holistic Horse magazine for several great articles on horse care and holistic answers to some of your horse's needs.
Have you ever gotten back from a ride, removed the boots and wondered how to clean the Velcro? Our warehouse personnel have been using a simple cat brush (their own Velcro Cleaner) on the Velcro to remove grass, hair and whatever else is stuck. They use it on both the hook and loop sides of the Velcro. This can also rejuvenate that loop side as well.
If you have seeds or small sticks still stuck in the Velcro, try using a steel brush. A little metal brush just a bit bigger than your toothbrush works wonders as well.
Are you in need of some new Easyboot Bare boots? Or a great gift idea? Check out this month's special at our EasyCare website.
Buy 1 Bare boot and get the second boot for 1/2 price! That is 50% off of your second boot. You can get up to 2 half price boots in this special. Just follow our easy instructions on the front page of our site for how to enter the promo code BARES at checkout.
This special is good until September 30th, so hurry to participate in this great offer.
Hope to see you out on the trail.......Happy Riding!
Here are some great action shots of EasyCare Epics, Bares, and Old Mac G2's at a Memorial Day Parade (Pungo Strawberry Festival in Virginia Beach, Va.) Hooray for the red white and blue! They were submitted by Hoof Care Practitioner Kim Vaughn and her beautiful mare Summer Breeze . Kim has had some great experiences with our boots for the barefoot horse and so have her mates! Thank You Kim from EasyCare!
Since there are a lot of mule lovers out there, we have included the article below in our September newsletter on tips for booting your mules. There is also a special page on our website for all you "long ear" lovers. It includes tips, photographs and special links that can answer your questions about hoof care. You can click here to see our new mule page.
Mules typically have longer feet than horses, as measured from the toe to the heel buttress. In addition, they also have steeper angles and larger heel bulbs. The three biggest challenges that you will face when booting are; sizing the boot, getting the gaiter to fit over the heel bulbs and determining what you can and cannot adjust.
1. Of all the boots we offer, Bares and Epics work the best. We have heard success stories with Old Mac's (when used with inserts) but not to the extent of the other two boots.
2. Proper fit, of course, is of the utmost importance. (We will talk about the gaiter later. Later Gaiter!) Know how to measure and do it twice right after a fresh trim.
3. Look carefully at the size chart. The upper end of the measurement on the chart is the actual physical dimension of the inside of the boot. For example, a size 1 Epic/Bare boot is 4 7/8" wide and 5 1/8" long. The boot will be too wide if your length exceeds your width by more than one size on the chart. If this is the case with your mule, we do not recommend the boots.