Preparation comes from Latin praeparare, from prae ‘before’ + parare ‘make ready’. It literally means, “to make ready before (something else can occur)”. In applying an EasyShoe, it’s 98% prep. Think of a ballet. They practice for months, then perform it in just a few hours on one evening. It’s casting, rehearsals, years of dancing, cardio, costumes and staging. It’s a lot of work to pull off the performance.
Same with these shoes: if you want to pull off a perfect performance, you need to have the right prep. Let’s looks at the basics of this prep: The hoof needs to be clean, dry and “roughed”.
If you are going to glue, it needs to be to the surface of something, not the dirt and dust in between you and your surface. Have you tried taping dust? Works fantastically! Er…. not really.
Lint rollers take about 20 hairs off your jacket before you need to refresh with a new sticky sheet. If you own a Persian, you and your lint roller are on a first name basis. Either that, or “everyone can tell you own a Persian.”
Dust, dirt, hoof shavings, frog bits dangling, mud, stall shavings: you name it. If it isn’t the hoof, you don’t want to glue to it! If you have deep crevasses along your hoofwall, you are going to want to tidy those up as well. Dirt hides. Moisture hides. It sounds silly but, if you can’t see what you are gluing to, then you don’t know what you are gluing to!
This isn’t a hoof that’s a shining picture of perfection, but I wanted to make obvious that your hoofwall can’t have a scary, microscopic Grand Canyon harbored in its wall. You can’t sit back and think, “I’ll just fill that will glue! This is going to work out perfectly!” It’s like painting in the dark: you have no idea what surface you are dealing with.
When a surface is wet, you can’t glue to the actual surface. You are gluing to the MOISTURE on the surface. Water can evaporate and slide off of the surface.
Have you tried painting a surface that was too moist? You silently want to curse that Martha Stewart tutorial you saw on Pinterest, because this is probably not the special effect you were looking for.
“It felt dry” doesn’t really fly. If you’ve had a home inspection done, that guy can walk around your house with a moisture meter and assure you where you will have mold and mildew problems. You can’t see it, you can’t smell it, you can’t touch it, but his meter doesn’t lie.
Ignore it and eventually you can “see” your problem. Your dreams of a cute “arts and crafts basement” or an epic “Man Cave” have slid into “I’m never going down into that dark underbelly of mildew and terror.”
If you are unsure of “how dry is dry?” you need to have a moisture meter to check the hoof for optimal dryness. Using a butane torch is really the handiest way to eliminate surface moisture. You can use a huge one or a tiny one but you MUST ensure the hoof is dry.
Have we got DRY? CHECK!!! So our hooves are clean and dry, now they have to be ROUGH. Almost every grippy substance we know, on a microscopic level, is quite rough. Velcro is hooks and loops:
Here’s a funny parallel: Sally Hansen Nail Stickers. They are designer nails that you can just “stick on”. Guess what the first step is? PREP.
Their prep includes: Make sure the nail is clean and dry. Push back the cuticles (trim an unruly frog?) and rough up the surface with the file provided. If you don’t do this, they can’t guarantee that the nails will stick and last 10 days. 10 DAYS. If you want your horse’s shoes to stay on, I think you are going to need to dedicate AT LEAST the same amount of prep that a teenage girl is doing to have zebra fingernails.
How rough is rough? Have you ever been rock climbing? My two bothers free climb. Their hands are beyond strong, all the way down to their fingertips. But I am certain that even a casual observer can spot which is easier to climb:
If the surface is rough, you have something to hold onto. If the surface is smooth, you have less to hold onto. How easy do you want to make it for yourself? GO ROUGH. Microscopically-rough is not the same as I-CAN-SEE-IT-WITH-MY-OWN-TWO-EYES-AND-FEEL-IT-WITH-MY-HANDS ROUGH. We want good, visible roughing.
Lastly, while you can prep a hoof to perfection, you have a second surface to consider: the surface of the glue-on shell or shoe. While they were designed with “clean, dry and rough” already built in, there can easily-avoidable issues.
Leave the EasyShoe in the bag to try it on the hoof. This will keep it clean for when you are ready to actually apply it. No dust bunnies! No dirt devils! No nitty gritties! We want a factory-sterile shoe to put on our hoof. Finger oil is another issue. You don’t want to glue to a micro-surface of oil, you want the surface of the hoof. If you handle your EasyShoe with your naked hands, you will get body oil on the plastic surfaces. You can’t glue to that. “Wear gloves while handling the merchandise.” (I say this with a New York accent while putting on my gloves. It makes the whole experience more entertaining.)
If you’ve even tried to hang something with double-sided sticky foam, you can tell which side you prepped properly and which you didn’t. If the foam sticks to the wall and the “art” drops… the back of the art wasn’t prepped. If the foam sticks to the “art” and NOT the wall, then you know the wall was dusty, moist, not rough enough, etc. to hold the foam. Same with an EasyShoe. If the product comes off the hoof, learn from it: Was the glue stuck to the hoofwall, but cleanly sheared off the product? Then you might have had dust or finger oil in play. Did the glue stick to the boot and slide cleanly off the hoof wall? Then the hoof failed prep and there was either MOISTURE, SMOOTHNESS or DIRT in play.
I prefer being overly perfect at prep, than Monday Morning Quarterbacking. I know I have belabored the point, but I wanted to illustrate WHY they are important and how key they are to your success with our product. Please take the time to review our application videos:
If you have questions, feel free to call us and talk to one of our EasyShoe experts.
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!