I’ve been fortunate enough to attend gluing and shoeing clinics with some of the top in the business. I have seen prep and application and finish. What I’d not seen yet was “feedback”.
Yes the horse moved out more easily. Yes, “Sparky was more comfortable” and “Bitsy really seems to like these”.
Recently, I got a batch of shoes that were “used” to review. While normally we review booted product for wear and research them for improvements, this is the first time I was looking at shoes and seeing what really happened with the glue.
In a candid setting, from a learning view and not judgment, I’d like to focus on some close ups and point out “what happened here?” so that we can all benefit from the importance of certain steps.
I’ve nicknamed each shoe. This one is Mr. Shiny.
Son of a gluing-gun, that looks like it set up before the horse went weight bearing. Look at the rest of the glue, it’s filled in the grooves of the shoe bed and looks “flat” and matte black. But ol’ Shiny there tells us that he never touched the bottom of that hoofwall until he was already hardened. This horse wore these shoes for a full cycle and still that glue is glossy, shiny black.
What would that mean if just that portion of glue, right near the quarters, was firmed up? Would feel like a rock in his foot. Or at least a pebble.
Here is another view of Shiny:
He’s about 3” long, about ½” wide and tapers up and tapers down. If this filled a scoop in his foot, we would see hoof stuck to it, or a pattern of hoofwall fiber. (See the shed hoof pieces in the front, that solar glue held on and when the shoe was pulled, the dead flaked out in 3D. But the glue behind it has no hoof stuck to it, and is glossy black.)
Tip #1: Watch the temperature and judge how your glue is setting up. Watch gluing a warm shoe out of a car/van. Your glue can start setting up from the temp of your environment and the temp of the shoe. Get the glue on the shoe, on the horse and get it weight-bearing as soon as you can.
This one is Mr. Mountain Range.
Again, this is a good example of the glue setting up before the horse went weight bearing. You can see that the glue set up like a tiny mountain range. This left peaks and valleys; valleys then filled with dirt. This view is taken at eye-level with the “glue dam” area.
Let’s note the mountain line. Granted, the trims can be uneven and not perfectly level. Generally, I have not seen trims that have this type of “line” in pitch and evenness, so I’m leaning in the direction that the glue made this shape, not the bottom of the hoof. This left the horse without an even platform to stand on.
With the valleys comes the dirt. You can see on the facing and in the 3rd dimension, where the dirt packed in.
Tip #2: Again, get the glue on the shoe, on the horse and get it weight-bearing as soon as you can.
Meet Captain Keratex:
You can see all the glue slots of the solar portion of the shoe are filled nicely. You can see the inner rim is very neat, where I pulled away the glue dam. But if you focus on this spine, you can tell this horse had enough of a crack in his white line that it should’ve had the Copper Sulfate Keratex Putty treatment before gluing. We don’t want mountain ranges of glue, like tiny spines, on the underside of our hooves. The wedge effect promises to drive deeper and deeper into a crevice and cause it to gap wider and wider. Not what your buddy wants to have happen to his white line. Again, if your hoofs are flush, then great. If you have valleys and pockets along your white line, they will fill with sharp blobs of glue. What a long toe does to laminae, a glue wedge does to the white line.
Other side of the same shoe. Same indicator.
The glue is nicely in the glue beds and the solar area looks level and has a routine texture/pattern/imprint of a rasped hoof. You can see how tall that ridge is. That is the purpose of the Keratex Putty. Put it in there so the glue will press out nice and level like the rest looks. Ensure you don’t put Keratix putty any place other than the crevice. You don’t want to smear it on the sole or cover any glueing surface that you don’t have to. But Putty those cracks for sure.
Tip #3: Keratex Putty is your friend. If you see valleys in your white line, get some putty rolled into thin little snakes and tuck them into the chasms before you glue.
Until next time!
Director of Sales
Through a lifetime of "horse crazy" and the fortunate experience of riding nearly every shape and size of horse, I got to see a wide array of hoof shapes and sizes. No Hoof, No Horse is very true to me. I want to ensure that horses on every continent have a variety of footwear to pick from, to ensure the best match is found. I want your partner to be happy from the ground up!