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Anyone notice a marked difference between leather pads and pour in?

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  • Anyone notice a marked difference between leather pads and pour in?

    My horse is thin soled. He has virtually lived in the leather pads up front with packing for the past 5 years from Apr-Nov or until he gets his full winter snow pads. Without the pads I basically cannot ride him on the trails here in New England. Even with the pads he is still a little ouchy on overly rocky footing and I try to avoid rocks at all costs.

    Last year I tried Keratex hoof hardener in lieu of pads for one shoeing. There was improvement but it didn't work as well as the pads so I went back to the leather pads.

    My vet thinks we should try the pour in pads up front which I am willing to try for a couple shoeings to see if there is a difference. My farrier says in most cases he doesn't see a difference with horses that go from leather to pour in but he will try what the vet advises although he strongly feels leather is the best. The pour in will add another 45.00 to my farrier bill every 5 weeks spring through fall. I can live with this added expense if I notice a marked difference but if not I would prefer to stick with the leather (for breathability reasons as well). Like I said, I am going to try them for at least one shoeing and see what I get.

    I'm just curious if other Cother's have experience with both and what you've found.

  • #2
    Equipak

    I've used both in thin-soled TB's and both mine have gone better in the pour-in's than the leather pads. Just make sure to have the shoes drilled for studs if you ride in grass a lot, as the pour-ins are slippery!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by KnRponies View Post
      I've used both in thin-soled TB's and both mine have gone better in the pour-in's than the leather pads. Just make sure to have the shoes drilled for studs if you ride in grass a lot, as the pour-ins are slippery!

      Thank you. That's good to know because I do ride in grass quite frequently. I haven't noticed any issues with slipping with the leather, are the pour ins really that much more slippery? I've never used drilled studs only tiny ice studs in winter. How many studs do you use per shoe and what size/type?

      Can you be more specific in the differences you noticed? Just curious..

      Thanks again!

      Comment


      • #4
        I have had several clients whose horses wore equipack. My farrier did it under the regular pads for some. It does make them less tender and their canters were less up and down, covering more ground instead. I used them during show season (outdoor shows) and in winter went with just regular pads.

        The only problems I have found is the pour in direct can come out and when under the pads can allow accumulation of mud if the ground is bad. This can happen with regular pads anyway. I had one horse who would limp but, once the shoe was pulled and reset all was well.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have one that has improved significantly with pour-in pads I don't know how this horse would have done in leather pads, but he had crappy hoof walls too, and I'm glad we didn't have to find out!
          My farrier uses a tough open web/mesh layer fitted between the shoe and sole and trimmed just like a pad, then pumps he the Equi-Pak in. It goes through and around the mesh. He doesn't make it level with the bottom of the shoe though. It seems to just cover the mesh and barely projects into the 'thickness' of the shoe. He works hard to make sure it's level so there won't be any areas of uneven pressure. It has a sort of rubbery feel; like sneaker soles.
          Our guy has been in pour-ins for about 6-7 months. The farrier is very pleased with how his soles have thickened up. He wanted to leave them off last time, but I begged for one more time. IMHO, the stuff is well worth the money.
          I hadn't really thought about the pads making things more slippery. They seem grippy to me and they're below the surface of the shoes. We have a grass ring and our guy is a jumper, so his shoes are tapped for studs anyway.

          Good luck!
          Y'all ain't right!

          Comment


          • #6
            Because a pad fills the "cup" in the bottom of the foot, it can cause traction problems on soft footing and sod because the foot does not sink in as deep. If I put pads on a sport horse, I will usually put a rim shoe or drill and tap for studs for the additional traction - especially on wet sod.

            The problem with Equipak is that the foot must be TOTALLY DRY in order for the urethane to stick to the sole. I use a commercial heat gun or a blow torch to heat the sole and drive off moisture. In spite of that, I still have problems occasionally with moisture seeping in under the Equipak and the pad losing adhesion to the sole.

            A good leather pad will suck up against the sole and stay there for the duration. But I've had some bad leather that caused problems - last year threw away $200 in leather pads because they just became wet and floppy after a few days.

            One of the best products to come down the pike is a leather/plastic pad from my friend Ray Steele at Horseshoes Unlimited. The ground side of the pad is plastic, the foot side is leather. Ray makes these in several variations including wedge and frog support.

            Click here for a picture of one of these pads on a gimpy thin soled TB with Magic Cushion hoof packing. Sexy, huh?

            If your farrier wants to try these pads, have him or her give Ray Steele a call and tell him Tommy said, "Seeing is believing - send them a free sample." It's the sort of thing that once you have it in your hands, you just gotta try it.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Tom Bloomer, CF, RJF View Post
              Click here for a picture of one of these pads on a gimpy thin soled TB with Magic Cushion hoof packing. Sexy, huh?


              Hmmm...do they offer this pad in non-wedge form? It looks like the site only lists wedges?

              I saw the magic cushion in Smartpak. I know my farrier usually adds some sort of antiseptic packing under the leather and then does a silicone seal to keep mud/gravel out as once some got caught in there and made my guy lame until he could come out and pull/clean/reset.
              Do you think the magic cushion WITH leather pads would be better than just leather?
              Do you have any clients that went from leather to Equipak and noticed an improvement?

              Comment


              • #8
                i have had good luck useing spider plates on these types of horses with no packing, allowing the owner to treat the soles with dura sole. again you may need to tap the shoes for corks depending on what type of work your doing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LookinSouth View Post
                  Hmmm...do they offer this pad in non-wedge form? It looks like the site only lists wedges?
                  The site hasn't been updated in about 6 years. Not even 10% of the products are listed there. Most farriers learn about Ray Steele's products from trade shows or word of mouth. I've tried to get him to do an on-line catalog, but it appears that Ray thinks that farriers would rather see his stuff in person and hold it in their hands.

                  He's probably right about that. I'm more the exception than the rule for farriers when it comes to computer literacy.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by D Murray View Post
                    i have had good luck useing spider plates on these types of horses with no packing, allowing the owner to treat the soles with dura sole. again you may need to tap the shoes for corks depending on what type of work your doing.
                    Have you seen Ray Steele's plastic spider plates? All the rage with the harness race platers.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LookinSouth View Post
                      Do you think the magic cushion WITH leather pads would be better than just leather?
                      I think leather pads with magic cushion is the bee's knees. Forshners hoof packing went out of business. Ray Steel makes a custom blended packing for me that is similar to Forshners and I mix magic cushion with that if it is too firm.

                      Do you have any clients that went from leather to Equipak and noticed an improvement?
                      I only use Equipak for temporary therapeutic situations. I do not view that product as a "standard" hoof maintenance thing. For my purposes, Equipak is a way to redistribute weight bearing over the surface area of the sole when the wall is significantly compromised. In fact I use very few pads at all except on horses new to my practice. I don't have any rocks in my sand pile, just sand and mud. If the terrain was different or I was plating harness race horses I would be using more pads for sole protection.

                      HOWEVER, I use 5 or 6 CASES of Durasole a year. Before Durasole, I used a lot more pads and had a lot more horses in shoes. Since Durasole, my business is about 90% barefoot.

                      Just remember, my sand pile and my practice is probably different than yours. If I was to move to your area I would probably be asking YOUR farrier what works for them and taking advantage of their experience with the terrain to keep myself from making whatever mistakes I would be making without the benefit of living in that area for several years.

                      BTW, Durasole prevents Equipac from sticking to the sole. So you can't combine the products. You can put Durasole under a regular pad and then put hoof packing, magic cushion or forshners over it. It does a good job of preventing stuff from growing under a pad, but forget about ever using it before you try to make something adhere to the foot.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        I think leather pads with magic cushion is the bee's knees.
                        Thanks. I am trying to explore other options besides Equipak since my farrier is willing to do it but in his experience he doesn't think it's worth the cost. I.E. he hasn't seen remarkable results in our area. He did have some ideas of various packings under the leather we could try if the Equipak doesn't help after one shoeing. I am going to ask if Magic Cushion is one of those..

                        I definitely like the Durasole under pads idea. Last year I caved and bought the Keratex hoof hardener (my horses feet in general don't have issues chipping etc..just thin sensitive soles). I looked up Durasole and boy do I wish I bought that instead! 15.00 versus 40.00?

                        Just remember, my sand pile and my practice is probably different than yours.
                        I agree. I am just looking for general experiences with the Magic cushion vs. equipak products. Of course my farrier and vet will have the final call. It's just nice to have an informed opinion myself too. Thanks again for sharing your experiences.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm from a totally different area with different terrain, but FWIW, my farrier's general recommendations for padding are Magic Cushion + leather pads in the winter and Equipak in the summer. I requested Equipak in February when my horse failed his barefoot transition, and my farrier said he'd tried Equipak the previous winter and had had some horses react poorly because the Equipak got really super hard on frozen ground and sored the horses. It's not that he dislikes Equipak--once the ground un-freezes in late March, he prefers Equipak over Magic Cushion/leather pads. I assume this is honest advice as he charges about $15 for Magic Cushion/leather pads and $40 for Equipak, so it would be to his financial benefit to do Equipak year round.

                          Not an expert here, just reporting what the farriers said.

                          If you go with Equipak, have you considered buying your own? My previous farrier would let clients buy their own. Some of them would purchase it in cases of 12, which could get the price down to $20-$25.
                          Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
                            Not an expert here, just reporting what the farriers said.

                            If you go with Equipak, have you considered buying your own? My previous farrier would let clients buy their own. Some of them would purchase it in cases of 12, which could get the price down to $20-$25.

                            Thanks for the feedback. I have not thought of providing my own and considering my farrier is only charging 40.00 for the equipack on both fronts he won't really be making much a profit off it anyway, I am sure he wouldn't mind if I supplied my own. I think we will probably give the Equipak a shot for one shoeing and see what happens. If I notice a big difference then I will definitely consider buying my own in bulk to save money. In the winter my horse is shod with snowpads and ice studs. I can have magic cushion put under the snow pads for winter.

                            Comment

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