Submitted by Deanna Stoppler, Team Easyboot 2015 Member
This week I attended the 13th Annual International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio. More than 1,100 farriers attended the four-day event with more than 130 vendor booths set up in the Duke Convention Center.
EasyCare, Inc. and Polyflex Horseshoes booths were crowded with farriers and offered a unique opportunity for farriers who signed up in advance to compete in one of two horseshoe glue-on competitions. EasyCare offered the Easyboot Flip Flop Glue-On Division and Polyflex Horseshoes offered the Polyflex Horseshoe Glue-On Division.
Prizes in each division were $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. Competitors were scheduled by the hour and only had an hour to complete the application. All competitors finished in the allotted time.
Derick Vaughn, of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Second Place Winner of the Flip Flop Glue-On Division.
Hoof preparation for both glue-on applications were very similar; in fact EasyCare’s Garrett Ford adopted many techniques developed by Curtis Burns, owner of Polyflex Horseshoes.
The Polyflex horseshoe was applied using the steps outlined below.
- Rasp solar surface of foot to clean any debris off foot after your trim.
- Treat all bacterial areas with Thrush Off and seal with Polyflex Seal-It.
- Use a drill and buffy attachment (60 grit buffy paper) to clean and rough up the outer hoof wall and heel area.
- Use a wire brush to clean the outer wall.
- Use a handheld torch to dry the hoof wall. Torch then brush. Repeat three times.
- Use a wire wheel to remove dust and debris from the solar surface of the hoof.
- Dremel the heels (removing all overgrown periople) and bar region.
- Use a handheld torch to dry the sole then remove all dust with a wire brush.
- Shape your shoe using a stall jack or by hand. Do not use a hammer to shape the shoe.
- Clean the sole side of the shoe with a Dremel (use 9931 bit), roughing up the glue surface of the shoe. Be sure to get the inside and outside of the heel area roughed as well.
- Use Keratex putty mixed thoroughly with copper sulfate crystals to pack any bacterial areas in the hoof, preventing glue from entering the depressions.
Polyflex Horseshoe Application
- Dispense 2 oz of Polyflex Bond in a plastic rimless cup and mix with a 1/4 tsp of copper sulfate crystals.
- Mix glue and copper sulfate with a wooden tongue depressor (cut one end of the depressor at a 45’ angle to use later).
- Once glue is completely mixed, apply evenly on the sole surface of the shoe.
- Set the shoe on the foot and use the remaining glue from the cup to blend in the heels and quarters.
- Use the angled end of the depressor to remove glue from the sole surface of the foot.
- Do not wrap the foot with plastic wrap.
- Hold the foot until glue is completely cured.
- Once the glue has completely cured, use the buffy to smooth the glue and create a nice transition from hoof wall, glue, to shoe.
- Use the Dremel to clean up excess glue from around the heel and bar area of the shoe.
1st Place Polyflex Division Winner, Pete Van Rossum, prepping the Polyflex Horseshoe.
The Easyboot Flip Flop was applied using the following steps:
- Use a drill and buffy attachment to clean and rough up the outer hoof wall.
- Use a wire brush to clean the outer wall.
- Use a handheld torch to dry the outer hoof wall then brush with a wire brush.
- Repeat three times.
Flip Flop Application
- Load a cartridge of Vettec Adhere in the Vettec glue gun.
- Make sure Flip Flop is clean and free of debris.
- Cut the tip off the Vettec Adhere cartridge.
- Purge a squirt of glue before attaching the Vettec tip and purging another squirt of glue.
- Dispense glue on the cuff of the Flip Flop, filling only about 2/3 of the cuff from the top with glue so that glue does not get under the solar surface of the foot, creating sole pressure.
- Apply the Flip Flop to the hoof making sure that the toe is completely set into the cuff.
- Once the glue has set for about a minute, place the foot on the ground.
- Use more glue to trace the outer cuff of the boot, creating a smooth seal between the hoof wall and boot cuff.
- Once the glue has completely cured, use the buffy to smooth the glue and create a nice transition from hoof wall, glue, to cuff.
- Be sure not to sand down the sides of the cuff where it ends and transitions to hoof wall. Sanding this area too much could weaken the glue bond.
When the hoof preparation and shoe application methods are followed as listed above shoe failure will almost never occur.
Flip Flop Glue-On Division Completed Shoes
Curtis Burns and Garrett Ford judging all entries
The winners of this year’s glue competition are as follows:
Polyflex Horseshoe Glue-On Division
1st Place: $500 – Pete Van Rossum, Farrier and Owner of Pete Van Rossum Natural Hoofcare, Ramona, California.
2nd Place: $300 – Steve Norman, Farrier, Georgetown, Kentucky.
3rd Place: $200—Ashley Gasky, Farrier and Owner of Precision Hoof Care, Ballston Spa, New York.
Polyflex Horseshoe Owner, Curtis Burns, with Polyflex Horseshoe Division Winner, Pete Van Rossum
Flip Flop Glue On Division
1st Place: $500 – Jeremy Ortega, Farrier and Owner of From The Ground Up, Mokelumne Hill, California.
3rd Place: $200 – Daisy Bicking, Farrier and Owner of Daisy Haven Farm: School of Integrative Hoof Care, Parkesburg, Pennsylvania.
4th Place—Shawn Skorstad, Farrier Apprentice for Kendra Skorstad, Owner of Connected Healing Hoof Care, Rochester, Wisconsin.
Jeremy Ortega, First Place Winner of the EasyShoe Glue-On Division, with the EasyCare crew, Kevin Myers, Garrett Ford, and Debbie Schwiebert
Ashley Gasky, Jeremy Ortega, Deanna Stoppler, and Pete Van Rossum
Along with the competition, EasyCare displayed the new EasyCare Therapy Click System. Choose from a five degree or ten degree wedge pad that clicks into place on the bottom of the Easyboot Flip Flop and uses screws to lock the wedge into place. The Therapy Click System can also be used in conjunction with the Easyboot Cloud and eight other hoof boot models.
The cutest displays in the booth were the new Easyboot Mini Horse Boots. The boots have a simple construction and are easy to adjust. They can even be used as a therapy boot if your mini suffers from a hoof abscess or has an injury that requires the hoof to be wrapped and kept in a clean environment while healing. I already have clients lining up to purchase these boots for their minis.
The booth was fun, interactive, and exciting. I can’t wait to see what EasyCare has in store for us at the 13th Annual International Hoof-Care Summit.