Written by: Tyler Raymer of Raymer Equine Performance
Every five to six weeks horse owners are scheduled to maintain their horses’ feet by trimming or getting shoes. It sounds simple, but there are many options to consider because every horse is different. One of the most helpful types of shoeing, other than the standard nail shoeing, is called direct "Glue-ons".
Direct glue-on shoes are applied with a two-part epoxy adhesive that is made specifically for the equine foot. The adhesive bonding covers the area between the shoe and the foot to allow for an equal pressure bond from the shoe to the hoof wall. This procedure reduces the pressure on the lamina that can be caused by nails and create soreness in some horses. The glue can be used in place of a rim pad and no nails are required.
Most horses do not need glue-on shoes. Well-balanced trimming, correct angles, and consistent maintenance can correct many issues with the horse’s feet. But horses who have compromised walls, such as thin or brittle make-up, benefit from glue-on application. Horses who have consistently sensitive feet or are prone to losing shoes also do well with glue-on shoes as well as acute laminitic horses.
Ask a farrier who has extensive experience with gluing on shoes to see if your horse is a likely candidate for this application. The density of the glue as it cures can be quite hard to set up properly on the foot and the finish is imperative for a favorable outcome. Glue in the wrong places or improperly cured can be counterintuitive.
Glue-ons do not need any special care after application. The application needs to be done in a clean dry area of the barn and the horse needs to stay inside for at least 12 hours after application for the best results. Some horses require sedation during application because the epoxy heats up as it sets, much like the epoxy used for manicures. Aluminum and composite shoes are used for gluing because steel shoes will not bond to the glue.
Glue-on shoeing can range from $250-500 each time they are applied. Each farrier has its own prices. But glue-on shoes, like standard nail on shoes, should last 5-6 weeks.
Not always. Sometimes horses just need a break from nails, give their feet a chance to grow out without interfering with the integrity of the hoof wall. I have shod many horses with glue-on shoes that eventually were able to have shoes nailed on. Other horses may need them most of their life because of anatomical reasons. My wife’s horse has thin soles. I can nail shoes on him, but he is more comfortable in his glue-on shoes. It all depends on the horse.
Direct glue-on shoes are a great option for all different types of horses, in all different disciplines who need a break from the wear and tear of nails and wall and sole pressure. Like nail on shoes, some horses do not like glue-on shoes and will tell you quickly that it is not for them. I’m a firm believer in listening to your horse and that each horse is different. I like cowboy boots and my wife likes flip-flops, horses are the same way.
About Tyler: Tyler and his family have recently moved to the Tryon area from Delaware. His wife Leigh, showed at Tryon a few times and they fell in love with the area. Tyler grew up with his father, a renowned harness racing trainer in Canada and the United States, who was also a farrier. Tyler also trained harness horses but found more satisfaction and stability in farrier work as his family grew. Tyler has been shoeing for over 20 years. He shoes equine of all breeds, disciplines, and sizes. He has had the privilege of working on World Champion racehorses, reiners, miniature horses, barrel horses, gaited horses, and Grand Prix Jumpers. He also is trained and has a Class 4 Pegasus Laser used for therapeutic relief.
If you have any questions/inquiries feel free to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-817-9942.
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