Over the last 18 years, I have been on a mission to find a great alternative to nail on shoes for my OTTBs. Many of them seem to have less that great feet but if given the chance to grow a good heel and solid hoof wall, seems that would be a beneficial thing, yes? But for some the nail holes cause weakness and I even had one that no matter what the farrier tried, nail on shoes destroyed his hoof wall. So I went with glue ons. Over the last 3 years, I have gotten pretty skilled with the easy care glue on shoes. The glue of choice was equibond from the Epona site. I could glue on most horses and even those who had time limits - Black vet wrap is great for wrapping the shoe while the glue sets on a wiggling horse! Dont use bright green though...
Today I tried a new glue on style shoe and did 3 horses. Each a different size, each a different temperment. I am going to keep a blog about how the shoes are holding up on each horse and give my personal opinion for what it is worth!
The shoe is the Special and is from P & P systems. They are based in Austria I believe but there is a local distributor in Utah. Must be fate...
Horse 1 - 20 yr old, been there done that guy. Easy and patient. As this the first time I have used these shoes, he goes first. Size is a 1. As he is used to my peculiar, sometimes Foo-Foo ways, I can power sand his hooves so they are very clean, no dirt.
After a trim and cleaning, time to heat up the shoe to form to his hoof. I did it as they recommend - put in hot water. I boiled water in the house, put in my thermus and took out to the barn. Put shoes in cake pan and about 1 inch of hot water to get them to the pliable stage. Once get them warm, you can work the shoe a little, put onto hoof and form. Let horse stand in shoe for about a minute to shape. This went well. Then wipe the hoof with the prep pad. Not a fan of the prep pad as it is tiny and falls apart easily. I would ask that manufacture give us a pad worthy of a horse person. Bigger and does not fall apart. But what is there did get the job done, just be gentle. Next, heat gun to soften the tabs. Put on exam gloves to keep the oils in skin off the shoe and hoof. Do not use the one glove they give you - it is very light and the heat gun melts it, even if not close to the heat! Over to my patient horse as I am finding my rhythm with this first set. I kept my wire brush handy to clean the bottom of hoof again, put shoe on hoof. I set the hoof down as horses seem happier this way. Using the tip of my hoof knife, got the red plastic to start to peel off the sticky stuff. Bend the tab away from hoof a bit, peel off tape, stick to hoof. Do this for all 4 tabs. Push tabs on well. I used the handle of my farrier hammer like a rolling pin to really get the tab on. Done! Total time 1 hr 45 minutes
Horse 2 - 8 yr OTTB. Shoe size 0. Not as patient as horse 1 but mostly good. I can sort of use power sander on him but just a little so hoof not as perfectly clean as horse 1. Hand sanding required. As I did not want to go back to the house to boil water, I used the heat gun to warm up the shoe for the fitting part. This worked better than the hot water method. Hold shoe with hoof nipper so that you do not burn your fingers!
Form to hoof and do as with horse 1. Total time 1 hr
Horse 3 - 7 yr OTTB with time limit. Shoe size 00. When I have done the easy care glue on with him, usually both of use are covered in Glue before we are done. He has little patience and will fly back when time is up. Not this time! As I am now on my 3 rd set for the day, getting pretty good. He also will not go for the power tool thing at all so his hoofs were hand sanded to get the dirt off. Less clean than both the above but still majority of dirt/dust gone. Heat up the shoes, and fit. Wipe with small pad that needs so revision, heat tabs, stick on shoe. No freak out as this is a very quick process when compared to the other glue on. With typical glue ons, They have to hold foot up for a few seconds while the shoe is quickly placed, carefully set down to push glue around , but foot cannot slide! and then hold up again during the curing phase. He was not a fan of that and I ruined many pairs of jeans due to a glue bath. This time, he was not worried as he could have his foot back right away. Peel of tabs and stick on. Done. total time for him 40 minutes as he need a full trim
I am keeping a calendar log on how long these last and how they hold up. They are very easy once you do your first pair so I am hopeful! Also with doing all three of these horse the same day. all with different tolerances for hoof scrubbing, interested to see how clean the hoof has to be. If these shoes are somewhat forgiving, even better!