Chapter Six

Fitting Hoof Boots

Chapter Seven

Booting Different Sized Horses

Chapter Eight

Using Hoof Boots for Rehabilitation

Glue on vs Shoes?

Horse owners are often interested to hear about different hoofcare products, and glue on horse shoes are no different.

We’d like to point out from the outset that we would still class the horse that wears these items as ‘shod’, because they are permanent, as opposed to temporary, like a hoof boot. The benefits of glue over nails are that the integrity of the hoof wall is less compromised, because the hoof has not been driven into with metal.

There are several brands of glue on horse shoes - they include Sound Horse from Sigafoos, which have a rim pad made from polyurethane that claims to offer better shock reduction capabilities than metal shoes. It is cold formed and shaped with conventional farrier tools, and bonded to the hoof with acrylic adhesive. A second brand is the Glushu, which uses an aluminium shoe under a flexible rubber cuff, claiming to provide a light, cushioned shoe which reduces stress or damage to the horses hoof caused by metal nails. They’re affixed using a glue gun

We are not personally advocates of glue on horse shoes of any brand, as in our opinion, they do not promote the enhanced circulation that a barefoot lifestyle provides, and also load excess weight peripherally onto the equine’s hoof wall - however, there are good arguments for the fact that nailing a shoe on is especially bad for horses with low, weak heels, contracted feet, thin soles or brittle hooves, and that glue is less invasive.

Hoof boots

The benefits of using glue on hoof boots over glue on horse shoes is that the ‘load’ of a glue on hoof boot is distributed more widely across the horse’s hoof, as oppose to the ‘horse shoe’ shape of a glue on horse shoe, which sits along the hoof wall’s outer edge. Glue on hoof boots are notably used as an option for horses in speed and long distance events. They are ideal for multi day events, as they don’t need to be re-applied, and offer an obviously close fit, to prevent rubbing or twisting. The Easyboot Glue-On is a good example – it has a flexible shell and a seamless design. It is recommended that they should not be left on for more than ten days in a dry environment, or five days in a wet, humid environment.

Another option is the Renegade Pro-Comp Glue-On boot, which claims to provide an easily installed alternative to a strap-on hoof boot. Primarily intended for competition use, they are flexible, durable and long lasting and have shown to remain well attached for weeks at a time – although in our minds, this would not be an objective!

Contentious

Even glue on hoof boots are contentious, with some horse owners quite rightly contesting that a horse with a semi permanent structure glued to its hoof surely cannot be classed as barefoot. However, even if the hoof boots are used for several weeks at a time during the competitive season, there is a strong argument that this is better for the horse than 24/7 horse shoes, whether glue on or metal, as over the course of a year, the horse that wears glue on hoof boots will still spend the majority of his time without anything permanent attached to his hooves!

Obviously, the ideal alternative to any kind of glue on product is the barefoot regime, whereby the horse is maintained without horse shoes and utilises temporary hoof boots for the duration of its riding, exercising or competing. A lovely modern hoof boot, if you are looking to maintain a barefoot regime and ‘boot up’ when necessary, is the New Mac Hoof Boots, from easycare.