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Non-Traditional Horse Shoes and Eventers

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  • Non-Traditional Horse Shoes and Eventers

    There have been some interesting discussions going on at the barn related to regular shoes vs. glue on/nail on polyurethane shoes. I'm interested to hear from eventers who are using polyurethane shoes.

    What have your experiences been? Are any upper level eventers using polyurethane shoes? Have there been any studies of the benefits of the polyurethane shoes conducted by independent analysts?

    Can you still use studs? Did you find any improvement or difference in your horse in dressage, stadium, xc?

    I'm somewhat in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" camp, and my horse seems to be going fine in his regular steel shoes. On the other hand, I'm hearing a lot of, "steel shoes are bad for your horse because they take away the shock absorption properties of the hoof." The argument being that the polyurethane shoes are superior.

    I am somewhat skeptical, but absolutely open to new technologies that make life better for my horse. So tell me - what do you think?
    The big guy: Lincoln

    Southern Maryland Equestrian

  • #2
    I put ones from here on my guy this fall. www.soundhorse.com
    worked great. He has some ankle issues and in regular shoes was a bit off on hard footing, with these he was totally fine.
    owner and friend of members of the Limping And Majestic Equine Society.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have wondered about this too and have been meaning to talk to my farrier about it, for things like Epona and Ground Control, etc. I read that Steffen Peters used the Epona shoes, I think and liked them? I really like the concept, but do not have first hand experience with the polymers.
      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
      We Are Flying Solo

      Comment


      • #4
        If it aint broke, don't fix it.

        That being said, we use sigafoos on our Intermediate 17 year old OTTB. I suspect he had bad farrier work his whole life before we got him and extremely thin hoof wall. Almost a year of his life was spent in a stall because he was so lame and tender on his fronts. Chester County Farrier Associates took him (us) on as a client, put on sigafoos and he has been sound for almost two years. I can't say enough good stuff about Todd Meister. This year my daughter is hoping to compete her "old man" in a couple two stars and move him up to Advanced. He should be the poster child for sigafoos!

        Comment


        • #5
          I've had to use Soundhorse shoes on my horse's front feet toward the end of the last two summers when his feet have literally fallen apart. You can drill them for studs, no problem. I would not use them by choice, only out of need. They cost me $250 per shoe!!! They stay on until they fall off (usually last him ~8 weeks and he needs every bit of it to grow as much hoof as possible). I would look into other options if I were you.

          Comment


          • #6
            I do not have any personal experience, however a girl at the barn uses glue on shoes. She is lucky if they stay on for 4 weeks. Part of the reason why the horse gets turned out only couple of hours a day is so the shoes do not get too wet. We are at a Hunter barn and would highly doubt they would stand up to eventing very well. We are in SE VA. I hope that helps you.
            Jacobson's Saddlery, LLC
            www.thesaddlefits.com
            Society of Master Saddlers trained saddle fitter

            Comment


            • #7
              If your sigafoos glue-ons don't stay on, look for a new farrier.

              Comment


              • #8
                They are not as big on the West coast but saw a lot on the East coast shopping and what not.

                I get needing to sometimes leave the "standard" nail on shoes to get a horse through a rough patch but I would not use them forever. One year my jumper kept throwing his shoes and we ended up with nubs. We used glue on shoes (in the late 80's) to finish up a season and then let his feet grow out, but I see more and more fad use of these. We have some folks use casting material on some dressage horses but I am not a fan of these glue on shoes for most horses

                Just like a acrylic nail really does a number on human nails so on horses feet. Look at a friend who pulls her nails off, what if left underneath is so unhealthy, flakey and brittle.

                We bought a horse who wore them and it took a whole year for his feet to grow out healthy and normal. The horse has good feet now but seller was convinced they were the only way to go with this horses shelly soft feet.

                Comment


                • #9
                  A girl at my barn evented her horse novice/schooled training with glue-on shoes. He was turned out about 12 hours/day in them also. When she first bought him, the horse simply couldn't keep nail on shoes on his feet.

                  He initially went about 5 weeks between shoeings with the glue-ons, but it got to the point that they were starting to go at about 3 1/2 weeks for several shoeings in a row. They were also very expensive compared to nail-on shoes, and after a year, she switched back.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My horse has been wearing the Sigafoos glue ons since June of this year after repeated shoe pullings. He started out with a Series 3 cuff with an Eventer shoe put on it. Unfortunately the shoes eventually came off the cuff, one at 2 weeks, the other at 4 weeks. We switched to the Series 1 w/Victory Elite Aluminum Shoes after that. This last shoeing he has been wearing the glue on shoes going on 10 full weeks on Monday. Since the middle of October he has had 24 hour access to his pasture except for about 3 days. It took my blacksmith 2 applications to figure out just how to make these work on my horse. His first time shoeing my horse was in June so he did not have a history on the horse.

                    We have been competing at Training this year, finishing our season by completing the Training 3 Day at KHP. The shoes are drilled and tapped for studs. We have had record rainfall in Northeast Ohio and the shoes have held up extremely well. I can't tell you what a relief it is to go to the barn and know I can ride my horse and not worry about missing shoes. The biggest plus of this whole situation is that my horse is more comfortable and going better then ever. To see his feet in June before the Sigafoos, I thought the entire season would be spent allowing his feet to grow so he could be more comfortable. The day after he was done, I couldn't believe the difference in him. We never missed a beat. My blacksmith charges $300 to do the Sigafoos in front and having the peace of mind is well worth it.
                    1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Note: as the thread seems to be splitting -- synthetic shoes like Eponas and Ground Controls are different from glue-one shoes. The glue-ons have a cuff and are, well, glued on. The others are polymer/composite shoes that are nailed on.

                      http://www.plastichorseshoes.com/groundcontrol.html

                      Those are what I am thinking of.
                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                      We Are Flying Solo

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Are the synthetics popular with endurance riders? I don't know of anyone off hand that has used them. My blacksmith appt. is Monday, I'll ask him about them. You learn something new everyday
                        1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          are those synthetic shoes tough enough to withstand lots of time on gravel, rock, pavement? and such tarraines that a hard working trail horse will encounter?

                          I've busted up Reed for years to design a shoe. His excuse is that it would cost too much.
                          I tell him it's no secret, horse people will pay. If you build it, they will pay. lol.
                          If it's a good hard shoe made out of a metal that absorbes more shock than steel, and they can be reused, I would buy them...no questions asked.
                          But maybe that doesn't exist.
                          http://kaboomeventing.com/
                          http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
                          Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Eventingjunkie View Post
                            If your sigafoos glue-ons don't stay on, look for a new farrier.
                            Exactly. They need to be put on properly. The glue is tricky if they aren't experienced.

                            While back evented one in Sigafoos due to sore feet on hard ground. He did well. No problem with studs. Farrier had black colored and clear glue, and when put on, literally had to look up really really close to even see that they were glue on shoes. He did a really nice job with them. Never had one fall off, and he would have a hard time getting them off at the next shoeing, but they also did absolutely no damage to the hoof.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
                              Note: as the thread seems to be splitting -- synthetic shoes like Eponas and Ground Controls are different from glue-one shoes. The glue-ons have a cuff and are, well, glued on. The others are polymer/composite shoes that are nailed on.

                              http://www.plastichorseshoes.com/groundcontrol.html

                              Those are what I am thinking of.
                              Thanks for all the responses. Yes, I am more interested in the synthetic/polyurethane shoes and how the material affects the horse as compared to aluminum or steel shoes. I've seen them in both glue on and nail on varieties.
                              The big guy: Lincoln

                              Southern Maryland Equestrian

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have read of endurance riders competing in them and it seems that they wear fine for a shoeing cycle, even over varied terrain -- the composites are very high-techy and sturdy enough to withstand the abrasion comparably with the metals. I know when I had my horse in aluminums for a year, by the time it came to reset, the toes of his front shoes were worn down razor thin if we had done any trail riding at all, so they aren't really a hard act to beat! Of course, steel hold up better, but I have not yet had an opportunity to directly compare steel and composite. I would love to talk my farrier into trying it!
                                Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                We Are Flying Solo

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I have used the ground controls for combined driving. They last an unbelievable amount of time. I was forced to road work my horse to condition for the marathon down concrete hard gravel roads and would drive min 30 -40 miles per week. The steel shoes were paper thin by reset time (6 weeks) but much to my shock, the ground controls could be reset up to 3 times without having to be replaced. The thing I didn't like about them was that they slipped back on his foot some, so I switched to the plastic shoes that have a toe clip, sorry don't remember the name of them. They seem to be wearing just as well. Traction, even running hazards on marathon, or driving at some speed on slick wet grass has not been a problem.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Not my horse, not my problem. The owner seems happy with the farrier, so I am not going to say anything.
                                    Jacobson's Saddlery, LLC
                                    www.thesaddlefits.com
                                    Society of Master Saddlers trained saddle fitter

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by equinedriver View Post
                                      I have used the ground controls for combined driving. They last an unbelievable amount of time. I was forced to road work my horse to condition for the marathon down concrete hard gravel roads and would drive min 30 -40 miles per week. The steel shoes were paper thin by reset time (6 weeks) but much to my shock, the ground controls could be reset up to 3 times without having to be replaced. The thing I didn't like about them was that they slipped back on his foot some, so I switched to the plastic shoes that have a toe clip, sorry don't remember the name of them. They seem to be wearing just as well. Traction, even running hazards on marathon, or driving at some speed on slick wet grass has not been a problem.
                                      There's another thread under horse care, a few people there have mentioned how long-wearing some of the polyurethane shoes are - I think one lightly worked pony had the same pair for a couple years.

                                      I'm heading to VEI next week to have my horse's hocks evaluated, while I'm there I'm going to see if they have any insight on the polyurethane shoe technology. I imagine they've seen it all.
                                      The big guy: Lincoln

                                      Southern Maryland Equestrian

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I like the look of the Ground Controls. Is thrush an issue with those? My horses are out 24/7, and it can get pretty wet. It looks like it may be hard to get the foot dry with the center piece.
                                        "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
                                        http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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