Glue on horseshoes – Application, Price, and Info

by | Apr 17, 2020

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.

Glue Shoes

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.

Hanton Horseshoes makes metal shoes with a specially designed metal tab on either side to use for attaching the shoe. They price their shoes at $50 per pair.

At $80 per pair, Hoof Star is a more expensive option, but maintains largely positive reviews and suggests specifically that it is an ideal shoe for transitioning a horse from a traditional nail on metal shoe to barefoot, so the cost should not remain a permanent obstacle.

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.

Sound Horse also offers several different styles, including their own design for a fabric fastener that glues to the hooves at $72, as well as a glue-on shoe designed to attach directly to the bottom of the foot with no tabs extending above the surface at $36.

GluShu is an aluminum shoe encased in rubber at $45 per pair. Designed for traction and durability through all conditions, the aluminum shoe is also able to be shaped to some degree to the size of a horse’s foot like a traditional shoe.

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

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.

Conclusion

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?

About The Author

<a href="https://www.equiniction.com/author/marian-vermeulen/" target="_self">Marian Vermeulen</a>

Marian Vermeulen

Marian Vermeulen was born into a family with two horses and horses have been a central part of her life ever since. She grew up running bareback through the surrounding woods and forests, and started training horses while attending university to study history and philosophy. After working at riding stables and dude ranches for a few years, she began focusing on training. Today, Marian owns three horses, volunteer trains for the local rescue, and trains for several clients in the area as well as doing freelance history writing on the side. She specializes in starting horses under saddle, working with “problem” behaviors and troubled horses, and helping owners improve their relationship with their own horses.

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