Shoe for Rough Ground Part II
This online article is continuation of an story in the October 2009 issue of Western Horseman.
Story by Jennifer Zehnder â€˘ Photography by Ted Shanks
Hawaii-based farrier Ted Shanks offers these tips for keeping your horseâ€™s hooves healthy on rough ground.
When it comes to keeping horseshoes on in difficult riding conditions, such as rocky or muddy terrain, glue-on shoes are some of the most secure available, if applied correctly. Though a clean environment, such as on concrete, works best, these shoes can be applied in less-than-perfect conditions. A farrier doesnâ€™t need to trim differently to accommodate a glue-on shoe, but he must make sure the hoof is clean around the heels and bars. Shanks uses an aluminum shoe with clips for the glue-on process, as steel shoes tend to oxidize quicker in a wet environment and release the glue. Excess product can be used to â€śclean upâ€ť the hoof wall at the heel where a shoe is vulnerable. Todayâ€™s adhesives ensure glue-on shoes stay put eight to 10 weeks after applicationâ€”longer than the typical horse requires. The increased longevity allows additional time for hoof growth, which is especially helpful for horses with rehabilitative needs.
This photo series shows how Hawaii-based farrier Ted Shanks applies a glue-on shoe.
Sole thickening products wonâ€™t necessarily increase sole depth, but when applied regularly they will slow down the exfoliation process, and help preserve the sole. But beware of sole hardeners. They may sound like a good idea, but the sole of a horseâ€™s hoof was never meant to be rock hard, Shanks says.
â€śThe sole is soft for a reason,â€ť Shanks says. â€śIt requires movement to displace shock and stress and protect the hoof.â€ť
The best way to keepÂ a horse sound is to leave as much natural sole as you can.
â€śWhere we live, trimming out thrush is an everyday deal,â€ť says Shanks, who lives in Hawaii. â€śAfter we started leaving more sole, we noticed we had less thrush, bruises, and tender-footed horses.â€ť
Â For more information contact Ted Shanks at (808) 635-1556, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send comments on this story to email@example.com.