Written by Deanna Stoppler, Horse & Sole Hoof Care
I am a hoof care provider and I love my job. Spending all day with animals. The smell of horses and manure. Strategizing my trim on each foot that I pick up. Listening to the horse and listening to the owner. My job takes a lot of focus, problem solving skills, quick decisions, and intuitive ability. Even though hoof care has a long history, it is continually evolving, as are the products available on the market. I am constantly hunting for new information and new methods to become more proficient in my skills and to stay current with the latest hoof care innovations.
A new innovation from EasyCare Inc. is the Versa Grip Glue shoe. I got my hands on a pair a couple months ago and had some fun applying them on a horse named Legend. Hoof care is serious business, but let’s face it, sometimes we all need to be a bit playful. For this shoeing, I decided to invest in a little bling for Legend’s fancy new kicks.
Legend is a 13-year-old Tennessee Walker with really healthy feet. His owner trail rides in the summer, does some ring work, and likes to shoe him for the summer season. I tend to shoe him in the Versa Grips. Since he is patient, has healthy feet, and gets ridden on a variety of terrain, I decided that he would be the perfect candidate for my first Versa Grip Glue shoe application.
For this application I decided to use EasyShoe Bond acrylic glue and mix it in a cup with black dye, applying the glue to the cuff with a wooden dispenser stick. The Versa Grip Glue cuff is designed so glue can be applied while the shoe is on the hoof, and the horse is fully weight bearing. For this shoeing, I planned to match the glue to the pigment of the hoof and acrylic glue does not come in black, it’s more of a cream color. If Legend had completely white feet, I probably would have just used a mixing tip to apply the glue into the cuff.
The first step was to prep the feet using the following techniques:
- Trim the feet.
- Buffy the outer walls (no need to worry about the sole side since glue is only used on the outer walls).
- Score/rough up the outer walls with the edge of the rasp.
- Dry the outer walls using a mini butane torch.
- Brush all of the dust off the outer walls with a wire brush.
- Protect the feet in the Easyboot Zips.
Now that the feet were prepped and ready to rock and roll, it was time to give Legend a much deserved cookie. Or two.
The late afternoon temperature was mild so I didn’t have to worry about the glue curing faster than normal. A few pumps of glue into a cardboard cup, a teaspoon of black powder dye on top, grab the wooden dispenser stick, and stir. Voila! Ready to spread the glue on the cuff. For these steps I didn’t get photos since I was alone and wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to smooth the glue on the inside of the cuff before stretching the cuffs open and applying the shoe to the hoof.
The shoe application process was easy and efficient. And while Legend stood with his shoes in place, the glue curing, I cleaned up the yard sale that I found myself hosting.
Once my tools and supplies were tidied up, I used the Buffy to smooth the glue on the outer walls and made sure that I didn’t have any holes or gaps which needed to be filled with extra glue. Then I got to do what I was most looking forward to, the entire reason for gluing the new Versa Grip Glue shoes on that day (okay, I might be exaggerating a bit). I got to bling out Legend’s hooves.
All kidding aside, this is a great shoe. It’s cost effective, requires an efficient hoof prep procedure (not as involved as other glue-on shoes), and is easy to apply (simply put the shoe on the foot and put the glue in the holes of the cuff while the horse stands). Plus, the sky is the limit when it comes to applying dyes and jewels to the outer wall!