Glue on horseshoes – Application, Price, and Info
In recent years, questions regarding the efficacy of metal, nailed on horseshoes have begun to arise among equestrians. Though the process of nailing on a metal shoe is painless when done properly, there is significant concern that the hard metal surface actually interferes with a horse’s natural design for shock absorption rather than enhancing it. Additionally, there are multiple reasons why a horse may be difficult to shoe, including having a thin hoof wall, irregular shaped feet, or damaged hooves due to poor care or nails from previous shoeings. In light of this, a number of alternatives to traditional shoes have been entering the market.
Types of Alternatives
One of the first temporary shoe systems to be released was the hoof boot. These have been around for years and have become a favorite of endurance riders in particular, allowing for them to be worn and removed based on the terrain at hand, as well as being removed between races. Others provide protection specifically to the heel. While very effective, they do have the problem of easily becoming saturated with mud and water, and often becoming smelly. An even newer design, called the Megasus horserunner, was conceptualized, an open, snap on plastic and rubber shoe modeled after a human’s running shoe. However, the company was not able to gather enough funding, and for now the project has been sidelined.
As a direct alternative to nailed on shoes, there are few better options than the variety of glue-on shoes currently on the market. A more permanent solution than a boot, they are able to attach solidly despite cracks and hoof wall damage, indeed often filling and improving that damage. They can be made of composites or attach traditional metal shoes in steel or aluminum and they are becoming more popular in many competitive horse circles. Glue-on shoes have even been used in horse racing, where the horses exert over 30,000 pounds of pressure on their hooves when they land! Some farriers have begun practically reconstructing damaged feet with specialty hoof glue formulas, but more user-friendly glue-on shoes are also available for horses not needing full therapeutic reconstruction.
Easycare offers several styles of wide-webbed, composite glue-on shoes that are attached either by large tabs on either side of the hoof or a covering that surrounds the entire lower half of the hoof. They range from $30 to $45 for a pair depending on the style chosen.
Easyboot offers a glue-on boot at $30-$35 per pair, bridging the gap between nail-on metal shoes and horse boots. This product was specifically designed for equestrians that compete in multi-day events and want a temporary boot that can hold throughout the event. Each boot can be used a couple of times, but are not designed for ongoing performance. They should not stay on more than ten days.
Nanric has a cuff shoe quite similar to those listed above at $54 per pair, but they also offer several styles designed for therapeutic purposes, particularly geared towards foals born with a need for corrective shoeing. They have shoes for both heel and side extension and one for treating angular deformities in foals.
Application depends somewhat on the variety chosen, and specific instructions should be consulted before attaching a boot, but the basic application is the same. The company will either provide glue for purchase or recommend their top choice. The hoof needs to be measured, and either the proper size purchased or the shoe formed to the foot in styles where that is possible. In order to apply the shoe, the hoof must be freshly trimmed and clean of dirt and debris. Follow the instructions for the glue you are using; it will likely need to be mixed and may need to be warm before application.
The glue is then applied liberally, but not excessively, to the bottom of the shoe and to any tabs or additional bonding surfaces on the exterior of the hoof. Using a piece of plastic under the prepared shoe can help keep you clean during the process and allow you to form the glue to the hoof. Excess glue should be removed from the bottom of the hoof, and then the glue allowed to dry. Once fully dry, a rasp is used to remove the excess glue from the exterior and to create a seamless visual and streamlined hoof.
If your horse’s hooves have been damaged, grow little hoof wall, or are dry and brittle, ill-suited to nailed shoes, but you want something stronger or more permanent than a boot, glue-on shoes may be the right alternative for you. Though they are generally more expensive than traditional shoes, their therapeutic properties in damaged hooves continue to be proven and they are less likely to come off ahead of the farrier’s schedule than nailed on shoes. What do you think, will you be trying glue-on shoes any time soon?