Submitted by Deanna Stoppler, Team Easyboot 2015 Member

During the winter season in Vermont the use of studs and snowball pads is imperative.  Recently, I decided to get creative and attempt using the EasyShoe Sport on the front feet, making snowball pads out of Equipak CS.

I knew that attaching a snowball pad to the EasyShoe Sport wasn’t likely to work as well as it would in a steel shoeing package because I’d have to rivet the pad to the shoe and then use glue to adhere the shoe which would now have a pad attached. EasyShoes are direct glue which means that adding a pad to the shoe would change the gluing surface of the shoe and I would now be direct gluing the pad that was riveted to the shoe.  Probably not the sturdiest application.

Instead, I decided to apply the EasyShoe Sport as I normally would but fill the exposed sole with Equipak CS, creating a makeshift snowball pad. The Equipak CS would prevent snow from packing in the foot.  For traction I used the EasyCare Quick Studs, two in the heels and two in the toe region for a size #1 shoe.

Since this application was new to me and I wasn’t sure it would hold up, I was a bit skeptical, but figured it was worth trying on my own horse.

Once the shoes were set I filled the shoe from the toe region to the base of the frog with Equipak CS, using duct tape as a dam to prevent the Equipak CS from filling only the toe region of the shoe and to keep the packing in place.

Another alternative to duct tape would be to use a small piece of Styrofoam board cut to size and setting it on top of the Equipak CS, holding the foot up while the packing material sets.

Waiting for the final touches of glue to set before finishing feet with the Buffy.

On the hind feet I applied the EasyShoe Compete, using only two quick studs per shoe in the heel region.  Unless a client specifically requests snowball pads on the hinds, I don’t use them.  The hind feet tend to let go of snow quickly and don’t get packed with snow like the front feet.  If they do it seems the horse will flip the snow out as he walks.

Glue takes longer to set in the cold weather.

It has been three weeks since this application and the Equipak CS snowball pads are holding up well! I was surprised that it worked so well and that the product held in place with very little attachment to the rim shoe.  My horse has been turned out in snow and ice and ridden four times per week.

Three weeks post shoeing and still going strong.

For those not interested in using the EasyShoe Sport in the winter months, the EasyShoe Performance works great and can be filled with impression material or Equipak CS.  The full sole coverage of this shoe, when filled with a packing material, acts as a snowball pad.