Anyone have any insight on the equiflex shoes? After discussing with my farrier he suggested them for me and the fact that my horse would be a "perfect candidate". He is new to them as well but has one client that is doing a trial run. Pending that outcome I think Im going to give it a whirl.
I wanted to see if anyone else has tried them. The good, the bad and the ugly please !!
east central Illinois and working north to the 'burbs
I use the "Poly-Steel' version from EDSS. For me they are another tool in the tool chest and while I don't use them for every horse, in those instances where I do apply them, they have worked well. I have applied them both with glue and/or nails. They can be a bit time consuming to fabricate and you do have to carry a range of bar/bridge inserts. I find that generally I can get at least one reset and sometimes more. I think the biggest drawback is that if you lose one and can't find it, you're up a creek without a paddle because they are not a 'mainstream' item. As with all my clients, I advise those who use them to keep one of these http://www.castleplastics.com/hoofboots.htm on hand in case a shoe is lost and you have to wait to have it replaced.
Rick, does anyone ever mention that they seem too grippy? I put one of my horses in them and although I thought they were great in many other ways they seemed to feel like they stuck to the ground too much upon landing.
I have used them on my endurance horse because we ride on pavement and gravel roads. I love them. I've used Eponas but for a horse with round hooves, you can't cut them down enough to fit and stay on if the horse overtracks. Even the wide sizes only fit oval hooves.
The Equiflex allow more flexibility in nail placement, and the clips help a bit if the horse tends to shear nails. My gelding is so much more surefooted in them, even compared to the Eponas. He can canter on pavement and not slip.
I've not found them too grippy at all. I've jumped in them (smaller fences) and they function fine. I've ridden dressage in them, and I prefer to use only front shoes for that because they give a bit more lift to the front end due to the shoe thickness. Of course the gelding doesn't need shoes unless he's on pavement and gravel.
These are actually the only shoes I've used that give the protection he needs from gravel and that actually stay on. Most metal shoes are too long for his hooves as well.
I have been told that these will not constrict his hoof, I am assuming because they are plastic and can flex?
Also, It does say they provide lots of traction ( dirt on dirt) if I normally use borium/studs, would you continue to do so? He already has problems with getting his feet out of the way, I certainly dont want to compound that issue.
Hampton- What do you mean by too long? My farrier now grounds down the heel and he still manages to grab them on a regular basis. Its so frustrating!
Why do you use the borium? If just for traction, you won't need it with these shoes. If for wear at the toe or heel, ice, or long studs for grip in very muddy conditions, then you might still want to use it. I've found any of the plastic shoes to outlast metal on the horses I've used them on though.
By the shoes being too long, I meant that they extended past the heels too much leading to lost shoes on a short-backed horse. The Equiflex has MUCH more variety in sizing, so you can more easily find something that will fit the hoof without risking being too long. The sizes overlap some so if you're right at the end of one size, you can usually choose a different size to get the better length.
As for the sizing, I use the PDF chart you can download. I found the chart right on the page to be less accurate, to my memory the shoe was a bit wider than that chart claimed.
A short backed horse with a long underline is less likely to pull a shoe than a long backed horse with a short underline.
Oh he's just short in the midsection all the way around. His lazy walk, and he can walk so slow you wonder if he's actually moving or if you're imagining things, has a whole hoof overstep. long legs and big hooves for his 15.2h little Arab self, but he's the opposite of a weenie dog when it comes to length of body. He measures for a 64" blanket
OK, I was just worried about it, I feel a bit better now thanks to you and Hampton. Maybe I'm so used to steel that anything else would feel different. I made sure I wasn't getting a toe first landing, and it didn't feel more concussive, just grippy.
And plain metal shoes on pavement or ice are downright dangerous. People around here will gait out in metal shoes on pavement. I've seen a few horses wipe out, and they all slide about a foot in the hind end with each step.
Well, with steel if I feel they are too slippery, I have options. Studs, either driven or tapped or borium. I've never felt a huge difference in the winter by putting a reasonable size stud on and working the horse on either ice or indoors. Wet grass or mud in the summer I prefer removable tapped studs, but generally I don't have a problem so I don't bother. I don't ride on pavement and so have no experience with it. With the plastic shoe I didn't have options and the ride truly did feel odd enough to be concerning. I've been sole rider/trainer/owner of the horse for 17 years, so I'm familiar with the effects of every shoeing change he's had. It just felt grippy is all.
I'm willing to try the Equiflex again on that horse but currently he's fine barefoot for the level of work he's in. (not much!)