Puttin' on the Boots

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Today we hauled the ponies to Auburn to have the professionals put on our Easyboot Glove glue ons.

The guys from EasyCare had a very professional and efficient set up at the fairgrounds - under cover as it's been raining on and off in Auburn for the last few days.? Due to the wet weather, they've been trying to encourage glue on users to come to Auburn and get boots put on rather than up at Robie (which saw many inches of snow today).? Fifteen horses dropped by today.

Our horses had been trimmed on Monday.? Some minor additional trimming was done to even out surfaces and clear away excess pieces of frog hiding damp areas on the bottom of the foot.? Then a rasp was used to scrape away the top surface on the outside of the hoof, with the objective of creating cross-hoof striations for the adhesive to get a good grip.

Next step was to use an industrial?heat gun to ensure that the hoof was as dry as possible on all surfaces.? Then two types of glue were simultaneously applied.? Vettec Adhere?was applied (with a giant glue gun)?directly to the interior of the boot, along the walls while?Goober Glue was applied to the sole of the horse's hoof.? Two people are needed for this application technique; if you did it on your own you'd put both glues into the boot.? A well-timed swap of Bear's lifted foot was executed and the boot was on!? Additional Adhere was applied around the seam of the boot once his hoof was back on the ground to seal out moisture and dirt/rocks.

After getting the boots glued on, we waited about 10 minutes for the Adhere on the outside of the boot to set up - unusually long?due to the high humidity.? Once it had ceased to be tacky, we walked the horses to their stalls there at the fairgrounds and bedded them down in ample amounts of shavings.? They'll stand in those boots - we took them for a short walk later - until tomorrow when it will be okay to ride on the new boots.

I've never ridden Tevis in anything other than steel shoes, so I'm fascinated by this alternate option.? Easyboot has fielded a host of horses for Tevis over the last few years and overall has posted a better-than-average completion rate.? And I rode Bear at the Cooley Ranch 50 in boots to great success.? So I'm excited for this new learning in the world of endurance and horses.? If you want to know more about Easycare's boot options, check out their website at http://www.easycareinc.com/?- there's an amazing amount of information there for the uninitiated.

We'll carry spare Gloves with gaiters (Velcro strapping around the fetlock) in all sizes that our horses wear.? With some athletic tape on the hoof, a Glove can be put on a hoof that's lost its glue on to fairly good results.? I actually rode Lakota (see previous post about 'horses I've known") 60 miles of a 75 in such a set up and it worked well so I'm feeling pretty well-set.? The wet we're facing will definitely complicate matters, but it's going to complicate a lot of things.