View Full Version : easy boot bare review

May. 22, 2007, 03:55 PM
OK....lots of questions re: boots, so I will give you what I've learned about the easyboot bares. I use them usually on all 4 hooves. I have ridden thru sand, up/down steep hills, grass, etc. Walked thru mud....no problems. No slipping beyond what we would do barefoot or with shoes. I do not run thru slick mud.

She is a paso fino and gaits well in them. No tripping, etc with any gait....even gallop.

They are hard at first. The trick is to start with a well-trimmed hoof and keep it there. I file her hooves every 2-3 weeks or if the boots seem hard to get on. I first put them on in a "loose" position. Just so they go on easy but are not easily twisting by hand. I ride, ride, ride. I tighten the bugee system one hole at a time....not both side, just one. You don't need them super tight as even "loose" they stay in place. I was worried at first....but they stay. If there is a gap at the top I use plumbers putty to fill it in and then no debri gets in (I ride in sand/loose gravel at times). I don't use it on an everyday basis.

The trick to getting them on is to start them over the toe and on the sides and then use a rubber mallet to get the toe further in. I then have her step down and pull the gaiter up. If the gaiter is stuck, I just walk a little. It takes some practice but now is a piece of cake ....AS LONG AS SHE IS TRIMMED. Maybe other horses would be fine but the mare tends to flare which makes it harder.

It may sound hard, but it is not. If I get frustrated it is because I need to file.Once on (takes 15 min. for all four) they stay. I ride 4 hours at a good gait. No soreness, etc. Plus I like the cusioning effect as I ride rock hard dirt roads at times. I use comfort pads on front feet.

To me this is easier then hoping a farrier is available when I want to ride and a shoe is coming loose. It was great over the winter when I rode once a month but needed hoof protection.

I know this is long but hopefully helpful.

May. 22, 2007, 03:58 PM
Thanks for the input. I've been considering these for my gelding. He's barefoot behind but can get ouchy in certain conditions. I like the Epics but have been leaning toward the Bares because I think they'll stay on better.

May. 22, 2007, 05:51 PM
so far used them only in the front but a new pair for the hinds just arrived.
winona describe the 'installation' well. mine are snug. just like the instructions say, i can only get a tip of a hoof pick between the boot and the front of the hoof. and i agree, when the hoof needs trimming, you'll know it!

for a while there i though that they were slicker than epics but i have since done a 25 mile endurance ride in MD in them on a very dewy morning, on wet grassy hills after a whole day of rain and we were fine. just as if we were barefoot. at that ride i also met a woman who said that she finds them less slick than epics and prefers them over epics. however, she did say that one of her horses is in epics b/c they offer more fitting adjustments than bares (those little notches allow you to make finer adjustments).

these are by far my favorite and i've tried ez boots, old macs, epics, and boas before moving onto to bares. my current pair has been in use since may 2006. we do distance riding so they have lots of miles on them and still look great.

Auventera Two
May. 22, 2007, 05:57 PM
Thanks for the review. I used to detest Easyboots, and now I like them. Getting them on is a real *&^%$$#$%%^ !! But once they're on, they can't be beat as far as performance goes.

May. 22, 2007, 07:10 PM
Does anyone have opinions on if there is less chance of the Bare's gaiters rubbing as opposed to the Epics? I cant decide if I should spend the money to try the Bares or just put shoes back on. Epics are rubbing.

May. 22, 2007, 07:59 PM
I use Bares on my mare's front feet when I am doing a long trail/road ride. So far, so good! No rubs.

I might someday do a competitive trail ride with her, and unfortunately would have to remove the gaitors to be legal. Has anyone done this yet with Bares? if so, have they stayed on?

May. 22, 2007, 11:00 PM
To me it seems that the gaitors would rub either way....I really don't know. They say to get them real snug. I think there are other tips on Karens blogs that you can enter thru the easycare site.

Someone asked how long they last. I have heard of a pair lasting 1000 miles, but would assume the gaitors wore out before that.

Also, If someone gets one pair and dislikes the cable/buckle mechanism I believe they are interchangeable. Check with easycare.

Mine do not seem to fit snug at the top on her front....just funky shaped feet. They still stay on very well tho. No slipping what-so-ever.

May. 22, 2007, 11:02 PM
but why do they rub? are you putting them on snug?
you can vet wrap underneath the gaiter (easy care website shows you how) to prevent rubs.

May. 23, 2007, 02:11 AM
This is all great information, Thanks guys! So is there a process in taking them off as well?

And why are the gaiters not allowed in certain instances?

May. 23, 2007, 09:21 AM
usually i can just wiggle them off. but you can also slide a hoof pick between the hoof and the boot to help you pull it off.

ECTRA doesn't allow any protection above the coronary band so since the gaiters on these boots go above the coronary band, you can't use them for ECTRA rides. other CTR organizations are not as stringent, so rules vary. in endurance you can use the protection, so there is no issue.

May. 23, 2007, 11:29 AM
but why do they rub? are you putting them on snug?
you can vet wrap underneath the gaiter (easy care website shows you how) to prevent rubs.

The gaiters are very snug, don't think I could get them any more snug, and the boots appear to fit very well. This didn't happen until I did a 30 mile LD. I will try the vet wrap.

May. 23, 2007, 11:56 AM
when i did my 25 mile LD, i had one new gaiter on (the other one tore before the ride) so i wrapped that leg. the vet wrap held up well and i had no rubbing. i did follow the easy care instructions for wrapping.

May. 23, 2007, 04:54 PM
wow, I'm crossing those off my list of boots to try. Fifteen minutes to get on?

May. 24, 2007, 10:17 AM
she said it takes her 15 minutes to get 4 of them on, not one.

i never timed myself. some days they go on faster some times it takes longer (depending on how much hoof growth we've had). i'm betting this includes putting a boot on, going to get another, moving to the next leg, etc.

i never heard that you shouldn't put vetwrap on horse's skin. i do it all the time. i put it on my own skin too. it works great and i know a lot of people compete that way. i don't understand why you'd expect it to affect the tendons? you're stretching it but you're not applying max pressure when wrapping.

May. 24, 2007, 12:24 PM
I have found that my big moving horses slip in the Bares. My average or "normal" moving horses do not. But the more extravagant the mover the more likely we are to have a near death experience, even in good footing. So I use Old Macs on those horses.

May. 26, 2007, 01:38 PM
RedPonyRider....OK, I timed myself today. 8 minutes for all 4 boots. That was after the hooves were cleaned. And, the more I use them the happier I am. Finally went on a long trail that I haven't done since last fall. All she wanted to do was go....The rocks littering the trail didn't bother her like they did with shoes last year.

May. 27, 2007, 10:36 AM
Now that my Bares are a bit broken in, they go on pretty easily. My biggest problem is getting the nylon strap out from the Comfort Strap once the boot is on. THAT is what takes me the longest and makes me sweat (and use some very choice language!)
Is it essential to use that nylon strap when putting the boot on, or can I dispense with it as an unnecessary step?

Getting the boot off is easy - I keep a long flat-head screwdriver with me and I can pry the boot off. I don't need to use a screwdriver every time.

Lune du Cheval
May. 27, 2007, 01:34 PM
How long does it take for your horses to adjust to the boots? Also,
any preferences as to whether you put them on first or last?

I put the ez boots on last night, and didn't seem to have a problem getting them on, just a problem getting the strap out also.

May. 27, 2007, 04:15 PM
first thing i do with bares (or epics) is cut the heel strap out.
unnecessary and a PITA in my opinion.

May. 29, 2007, 12:09 AM
I read that you are to measure the hoof right after a trim, is that correct? My mare is not quite ready for a trim, being barefoot she has been pacing all around the pasture on some firm ground and keeps her feet in fairly good shape, not too long. Is it okay to take a measurement anyway? What if you measure right after a trim, after a few weeks will the boots be too small? I guess I should find a farrier willing to teach me to trim so I can keep up. Are the measurement guides pretty accurate? I'm going to go with the Boas, I think (that's what they have at my local TS)

May. 29, 2007, 09:45 AM
i think winona mentioned in her original post that it takes more effort to put the boots on the longer it's been since the trim.
there is obviously some flexibility and the reason they want you to measure for the boots right after trim is to make sure that the boots aren't too large, however, unless your horse grows no hoof, 8 weeks after the trim you will work harder to get those boots on. i trim my mare every 2-3 weeks so it's not a huge problem, however, on those occasions when i didn't trim for a while, i could definitely tell the difference.

Jun. 1, 2007, 12:08 AM
Found another tip to make putting the bares on easier.....talcum powder. I used Golds medicated. Read about it somewhere and they slid right on!

I did measure just after a trim and with a little "filing of the edges" every 2-3 weeks the boots have been fitting well.

I have not removed the comfort/back strap yet, but I do not use the nylon strap to pull them on. With the bares it is not necessary....not sure about regular easyboots.

My big test is coming....miles of riding for several days in a row this next week. Hope everything goes well.

Jun. 4, 2007, 07:26 PM
Powder, hmmm? I'd never have thought of that! But as long as I keep Bonita's feet trimmed, I have no problem getting the boots on now, other than the blasted strap. Glad to see that someone has had success without bothering with the nylon strap step. I'll be sure to try that!

Jun. 4, 2007, 08:50 PM
I have not removed the comfort/back strap yet, but I do not use the nylon strap to pull them on. With the bares it is not necessary....not sure about regular easyboots.

Is it true that you don't need to pull the back strap up on the Bares? Where did you hear this? I would like to skip that step but I thought it was important to do.

Jun. 4, 2007, 10:12 PM
I've been using the Bares this past ride season on the fronts only and will use them on all 4 in a few weeks so have been breaking in the hind set. I jokingly call them the not-so-Easyboot Bares-to-put-on but they do get easier as you use them and get some miles on them. I replaced the heel strap with the tapers so I don't use the nylon strap to put them on. You can work them on without the strap. A rubber mallet is handy to help seat the boot. And another tool I've been using to help me pull up the gaiters without tugging and stressing the stitching is a very blunt 3/4 inch wide chisel--I use it a bit like a shoehorn so the gaiter has something easy to slide over. I've not tried the powder but that sounds like a great idea and using Gold Bond may help prevent some irritation as well. Add that to my shopping list!

As far as rubs go, I had the worst imaginable rubs at first--we are talking hamburger on the backs of the pasterns and above the heels. I was using vetrap but it didn't help. Then I went down a boot size . . . rubs be gone! The nasty rubs were caused by the too loose boot shifting, making the gaiters move. I will still get the odd rub here and there but they seem to be more along the top of the gaiter and where the stitching is and are very small. I used Body Glide on the pasterns and then rubbed-in hair wax across the stitching which seemed to do the trick. I've not used vetrap since going to the smaller boot.

I don't think there is any one solution to boot issues. I just compile other people's findings and experiment. The boots aren't something you can just decide to use the day of some big event. If you do that, you'll truly be hating life! They are a pain to put on for a shorter workout but you've just got to do it to troubleshoot the various issues associated with boot usage. Like the others have said, you start out on the loosest settings and as you use the boots, you can tighten the settings up to get a better fit. And you sure can fill up your swear jar in the process of getting them broken in!

I think I did about 500 endurance miles in boots this season. While there have been moments of aggravation, I'm happy overall with keeping my horses barefoot and using the boots. Even though I'm in Florida and most of our rides can be done barefoot, I like the protection the boots offer. Some of our forest managers use limerock to resolve mud problems. I can tell the difference in the way my horses travel down these areas from when they had shoes to now using boots over bare hooves. They seem a lot happier and I now worry less about that rock with my name on it.

Now if only we could do something about those roots with my name on them!!

Jun. 5, 2007, 12:51 AM
''I think I did about 500 endurance miles in boots this season. ''

How are the boots wearing? Same boots all season? I'd like to know if the boots are more cost efficient than shoes...

Jun. 8, 2007, 08:00 PM
The boots are wearing fine. My miles were spread across 3 pairs--one pair of size 1 Bares that I did 200 miles in (plus conditioning rides) before deciding they were too large, a pair of Epics that I did at least one 50 miler plus conditioning rides, and the smaller Bares that have done the rest of the miles. So far, the actual boot components look barely used. However, the gaiters have taken a hit, mostly from my struggles to pull them up. I've had some stitching come loose and have a hole at the end of one area of stitching on the newer Bares but the gaiters are still serviceable. I blew both cables on the Epics with little use. I may have been overtightening them. So I bought some cable that was a bit thicker from Tractor Supply and made my own replacements which are a bit harder to feed through the areas they run through but they've not frayed. I suspect the boot parts will last for many miles and it will be the gaiters that will wear to the point of needing replacement.

I'll be doing a ride in 2 weeks that is said to have rock and gravel roads. We'll see how the boots look after that. Most of my rides have been on sandy footing with occasional sections of limerock so I don't think the boots are truly getting much abuse from the terrain.

Jun. 8, 2007, 08:40 PM
I pretty much use the Simple boots for riding because unlike Easy boots, Simple is really Easy!
One tip that you might not have thought of is to use the Boa gaiter with the epics or bares. The little plate on the bottom of the boa gaiter keeps it in place and because it actually covers the heel bulbs, I have not had any rubs doing it that way. I use the Boa gaiter with the Simple boots too.
I don't ride like you guys though. Probably only an hour or so at a time.

Jun. 14, 2007, 11:26 AM
The first pair I got were to Big. Just barely but enougn that I lost both of them in deed yucky mud. I went down a size and they are fine. For them to stay on they have to be hard to get on. If there is a gap between the hoof and the front bungee they will come off in sticky deep mud.I have not had any problems with the gaiter rubbing. The traction has been good over any thing I have ridden. This time of year I do sweat a lot putting them on. My boys feet are a little wider than they are long. Once I get the sides past the ends of the quarters they go on fine. Still takes some tapping to get them seated. My horse adapted to them very quickly. Just a few steps. I am very satisfied with them.

Jun. 14, 2007, 11:34 AM
took me two minutes to put on my Cavallo simple boots yesterday (with the boa gaiters, yes, those things are great). Since we often only go for 30 minute hacks up the gravel road I can't imagine even trying a boot that is complicated to put on.

Jun. 14, 2007, 01:24 PM
I attended a Pete Ramey clinic this weekend, and he never once used the nylon strap to pull a boot on. Neither do I! With gaiters, the boots don't need to be adjusted quite as tightly as Easyboots without giaters. Bares are not designed to be ridden without the gaiters, so you might want to try plain old Easyboots for a CTR that doesn't allow anything above the coronet. My guy pulls Easyboots off within a few strides every time I've tried them.

Pete presented a lot of really interesting information about strength and development in the back of the foot that gives me hope that maybe even my flat-footed boy will someday be able to do trails without boots at all. His lateral cartileges feel underdeveloped (I can twist his heel bulbs with my hands) and that in a couple more years of good heel first landings, this part of his hoof may be strong enough to handle rocks barefoot. Then we can do CTR. I like endurance, but I also really like CTR and would like to be able to do both.

For those of us who have problems with the front clips on the Epics, Easycare has "EasyUp" clips. I haven't installed them yet, but I'm hoping they are more durable than the clips. My wires have gotten chewed up as well, but this happens when either the boot is too lose or when the clips get wrenched as my boy steps hard on the back of the boot. I had to cut the lip of the back of the boot so he wouldn't yank it off and rip the gaiters.

Thanks for all the great info presented here on Bares. You guys are awesome!

Bank of Dad
Jun. 14, 2007, 02:18 PM
I have been using the Cavello Simple Boots for a while. They fit really snug, too snug for vet wrap or the pastern wrap they sell with it. They still rub on the backs of the hooves, above the bulbs, and leave some red marks, bruising?? I think I like my borrowed Old Mac's better, but they might be too big. I am probably going to break down and shoe him this week for the first time, since I have had him for a year. He's really broken big chips out of this hoof, worn down his right toe, and our trails are pure rock. :(

Jun. 14, 2007, 04:24 PM
i find that putting a nice roll on their hoof really helps with chipping.

but more importantly, give epics or bares a try. they work much better than old macs and you will save yourself $ in the long run since you won't have to pay for shoes every couple of months and your horse will benefit b/c he will remain barefoot.

Jun. 15, 2007, 09:06 AM
I have a feeling there is something of a trick to getting the boots on, regardless of which type. I tried my Easy Boot Epics for the first time this week (in the arena first, they are going on down the trail for the first time tomorrow). I had already removed the heel strap/cleats and replaced with a taper. Well, I was struggling and swearing to get them on, and my hubby came over to help me...bing, bang, boom. He had the boot on in less than 30 seconds. And, I don't think they are too big -- I was able to get the cable tight enough that I had to use my foot to press it down.

I'll post a report on how they do on the trail. The good news was I didn't feel any change in her gait with the boots on (fronts only for right now).

Jun. 15, 2007, 09:50 AM
what also helps on these boots w/ gaiters, is to flip the gaiter down all the way. to help with that, after you ride, hose off the boots and flip the gaiter down and let them dry that way. this way when you're putting the boots on, the gaiter doesn't get in your way.

Jun. 15, 2007, 11:25 PM
Most of my rides have been under or at 2 hours and I had no issues with bares being loose or rubs. Went camping with the horse for two days. Rode many, many miles. I think 5 hours one day and 6 the next. It was sandy/rocky terrain. Had a lot of sand in the boots even with plumbers putty....most of worked itself down or out. Also had a small rub on one leg....just above the heel where the gaiter lies. The other three legs, same area, looked like sunburn and flaked off over the next few days.

I am still happy with them, as that is unfortunately the only long rides I'll probably get it this year. BUT....I would like this problem resolved in case I can do it again. OF note....this is a paso fino and she gaited great!! I think better than she previously did in shoes.

I impressed a few die-hard shoe people. Had a bunch of people checking out the boots. Many had tried, or knew of someone who had tried others----simple boots, old Macs and weren't happy.

So, will be checking out ways to prevent rubs. It is not the sizing...these are the right size.

And for the person who asked if they are durable....I mainly rides on rocky dirt roads and trails littered with rocks and roots. I have ridden perhaps 5 hours weekly since late March and the only thing showing any wear would be the gaiter and it is a long way from needing replacement. Oh....the comfort pads I use were pancakes after the above ride....after use since March!

Jun. 16, 2007, 07:08 AM
wrap the hoof up through the pastern with vetwrap that will take care of those 'rubs.' i did that at the foxcatcher b/c i was using one brand new gaiter. it worked great. i think i may use it from now on in all competitions or at least those that have considerable amounts of sand. i've never used putty on the boots. do you think it's worth it? how do you use it?

Jun. 16, 2007, 11:58 PM
Marta....if you thought the wraps worked I'll try it.

For my shorter rides the putty worked good. Now that everything is drying up I was collecting some bits of sand in the boots. Not much ends up under the foot though. The putty worked great for the shorter rides. Maybe I didn't use enough for the longer ride. Might try the easyfoam if I'm going to do another long ride.

Jun. 17, 2007, 11:15 AM
I tried vet wrap yesterday and the gaiters still rubbed. So I think the Epics are out for me, for rides over say 2 hours. I may try foaming regular easy boots on or maybe the Bares would work differently. I really hope some better boots come out soon. I am interested in trying the Renegades also- has anyone?

Jun. 17, 2007, 08:57 PM
Renegades are fitted by pros only. So a specified farrier would have access to ordering them for you. Not sure how you find out who.

Jun. 19, 2007, 11:33 AM
Make sure the gaiter is tight and pulled up all the way. I put my bares thorugh a great test this past week end in the mountains of NC. Lots of rocks and mud. The horse went down to his chest next to a creek bank once and about half way another time and the boots did fine.

Jun. 19, 2007, 11:37 AM
Renegades are fitted by pros only. So a specified farrier would have access to ordering them for you. Not sure how you find out who.

I actually found a trimmer who sells the Renegades- she is coming out in a few weeks and I will most likely buy some then. Just so darn expensive- I heard they are about $170 a pair- not sure if this is true though- but if they dont rub and stay on, could be just what I am looking for. I do wonder if they are as long lived as Easy Boots- I'm pretty satisfied with them in the wear department.

Jun. 21, 2007, 02:32 PM
Saratoga....Keep us informed!!!

Jul. 7, 2007, 04:55 PM
I just got my pair of Bares last week. Tried them on my girl they were for. She's still gimpy RF due to getting over laminitis, and may have rotated a bit there. She trotted off happily with them and sound! I was on the ground, not riding.

I must say for all the folks who have trouble getting these boots on the main tips to make it easy are these two:

rubber mallet
foot powder

I had them on after, oh , 40 seconds EACH, using these. I was expecting a long battle to get them on, but voila!

I also changed the buckles to the EasyUp ones. Also very easy to do.

And a bonus, they fit my other guy, too! :winkgrin:

Jul. 7, 2007, 08:36 PM
b/c i think that rolling back the gaiters after rides and drying them that way, causes them to become misshapen faster.
the powder is amazing!

if your girl is recovering from laminitis, i recommend getting comfort pads. she'll be able to trot w/ you on her back on any surface without pain.