EasyCare has a new tool for your toolbox – the EasyShoe Versa Grip Wedge! The EasyShoe Versa Grip Wedge attaches to all Versa Grip shoes using three included screws. The Wedge provides 2.5 degrees of heel lift. It can also be stacked to provide 5 or 7.5 degrees of lift. It is available in 10 sizes for both front and hind patterns.
Many hoof care professionals are utilizing the Wedge for therapy and rehabilitation purposes. Here’s what EasyCare Dealer, Daniel Meegan, has to say about his experience using the new Versa Grip Wedge:
The Wedge for the Versa Grip lineup by EasyCare has just added another tool to the equine industry’s toolbox to help horses. A 2.5 degree wedge pad. Having the ability to add a wedge pad to the Versa Grip lineup means we can increase the coffin bone angle, thus improving the HPA (hoof pastern angle), all with a polyurethane bar shoe that supports the caudal part of the hoof. Research has shown that negative palmar angles can lead to problems with the navicular bone. My client horses using the Wedge are showing great progress with correcting negative palmar angles and giving relief to the DDFT (Deep Digital Flexor Tendon).
Typically when you apply a wedge pad to a shoe, you either use a nail or a rivet to attach the pad to the shoe and then trim away the extra with a knife, sheers of some sort, or a sanding wheel. When applying the Wedge to the Versa Grip line, it takes three screws to attach the pad to the shoe. After attaching the pad, you simply shape the shoe the same way you would if you were applying a Versa shoe without a pad. Use a nipper to trim away the extra or take it to a sanding wheel. Very simple and easy with a clean finish.
The Versa Grip line has brought caudal support to a lot of farriers’ and owners’ attention. They are seeing the benefits over an open heeled shoe. When the Wedge is added to the Versa shoe, you are just giving a needed angle bump to the already supported hoof. To go further into supporting the distal end of the hoof, I like to add DIM (Dental Impression Material) between the shoe and the hoof. This gives support and padding to the distal end of the hoof. It also stimulates digital cartridge to develop a thicker cushion, giving support and relief to the DDFT by supporting the coffin bone when it is loaded, distributing the weight across the distal end of the hoof and keeping it from collapsing the heels.
One of the greatest benefits EasyCare has given us with Versa Grip line is finding out what the horse needs by testing different shoeing packages without having to remove the shoe. Let’s say we put a standard shoe on a horse and the horse still isn’t moving right. I would have to pull the shoe off and either add a wedge or go with a shoe that has a built-in wedge already. Once I reapply the shoe, I will go out and watch the horse move again to determine if that is the correct choice for this horse. With the Versa Grip line and the Wedge, I can screw a Wedge to the already applied shoe. Just by adding an additional screw or two at the toe. Then I can watch the horse move before making the call to pull the shoe and make it permanent.
I do not recommend leaving the Wedge on the ground side of the shoe for more than just assessing the horse’s movement for a short lunging session. Once I have assessed how the horse is moving with the Wedge, I will go back and either pull the shoe and apply the Wedge to the hoof side of the shoe, remove the Wedge and grind more breaker into the shoe, or go without the Wedge all together.
The Versa Grip line has given me the ability to help a variety of horses and their specific needs in my day to day practice. From modifying the shoe itself, to applying a Wedge or a Rocker. My clients and their horses are seeing the benefits of how the polyurethane shoes are changing the equine world and I look forward to seeing what the next 10 years brings.
The Natural Barefoot Farrier