EasyCare has a wide range of composite glue-on shoes in the EasyShoe lineup. EasyShoes provide a healthy alternative to a traditional iron horseshoe. However, it can be difficult to choose the correct EasyShoe for you and your horse when each style is made with different materials and has a different application method.
Here are four key factors that will help you with the selection process.
First and foremost, fit is the biggest determining factor. Check the sizing chart for each shoe. They vary in order to accommodate a variety of hoof shapes.
We recommend that you ensure your width measurement is accurate. The length for all EasyShoes can be trimmed, but only the EasyShoe Flex can have its width trimmed as well.
- The Performance, Performance N/G (which you can nail or glue on), Sport, or Compete are all shoes that have some stretch to them so their sizing range is dependent on how much each size can spread out.
- The EasyShoe Flex doesn’t have the same horizontal mobility because it has extra urethane material that must be physically removed using a grinder, hoof buffy and/or rasp.
2. Application Type
Next, decide if you want to glue on or nail on. The Performance N/G has a nail-on option and so does the Flex line. All other EasyShoes need to be glued on.
Preparation of the hoof wall is the most important part of gluing applications. If you have a local hoof care practitioner who is experienced in EasyCare products that would be the best way to go. However, we do have application videos with step-by-step instructions.
Form to function is critical for selecting the correct shoe as well. For example, the Compete is the most comparable to a standard iron shoe in design. This shoe will provide maximum traction but won’t provide as much concussion absorption as a wider webbed shoe, such as the Sport. If the horse needs a lot of solar support and frog stimulation the EasyShoe Performance or EasyShoe Flex Heart would be the best shoes for that horse. If the horse needs a wider-webbed shoe, but no frog support, then the Sport or Open-heeled Flex would be appropriate.
One of the big benefits of the EasyShoe versus a traditional shoe is its ability to flex with the horse’s movements. However, there are times when more stability is needed. In this case, consider the EasyShoe Flex with its spring steel core. The EasyShoe Flex Full Metal Heart Bar option is the most rigid shoe that EasyCare offers.
Due to their flexible design, EasyShoe models work well across different disciplines, but here are a few examples of how our customers are using each model.
- The EasyShoe Flex has been used successfully by Amish working horses, carriage horses riding on roads, mounted police, and endurance conditions to name a few. This shoe provides a nice balance of support due to the spring steel core, and shock absorption from the urethane on hard surfaces. The tread has held up well in challenging environments.
- The EasyShoe Sport has been used from the trail to the arena. The wider web allows for the pressure to be dispersed over a wider surface.
- The EasyShoe Performance is useful for many disciplines but adds frog support and some protection in the frog area. The Performance shoes have been used for therapeutic benefits in lame horses, trail riding, and dressage.
- The EasyShoe Compete was designed to be most similar to a traditional shoe as an option for race horses. It can be useful in arena events that require high traction such as barrel racing.
Keep in mind that the ideal EasyShoe shoe is determined by your specific hoof needs and experience. If you are new to gluing take a peak at our product pages which provide step-by-step video instructions on application and removal. If you have a Hoof Care Practitioner with gluing experience, they may be a great resource to learn more about which option would be right for your horse.
As always, if you need help, contact our Product Specialist Team at 800.447.8836.
Submitted by Jordan Junkermann, EasyCare Product Specialist Team