Does Glueing on Shoes Really Work?
Glueing on the EponaShoe with Equibond works pretty well, but it is not a perfect system. Below we cover some of the factors to success that we have found in our own shoeing practice.
Lateral view of a glued-on EponaShoe.
We have had glued-on flexible shoes stay on the horse for 12 weeks, and still they had to be pried off. On the other hand, we have had cases where the shoe is lost within a week of application. Often, at least in our local experience, glued-on shoes will stay on for 4 to 6 weeks. Results can vary and seem to depend on various factors.
Some Observartions on Glueing Flexible Shoes
1) The glue bond, if it fails, fails from the hoof, not from the EponaShoe. Hence, hoof preparation is fairly important. We clean the foot with alcohol and let it dry.
2) We generally apply the glue to the shoe, then put the shoe onto the hoof. It is a good idea to get the shoe onto the hoof quickly. You can still modify it's position for many seconds, but it's important to get the fresh glue against the hoof surface soon -- before it starts to set at all. In hot weather, the glue sets faster, and this becomes more important to pay attention to.
3) We have noticed that a horse that has metal shoes pulled, and flexible shoes glued on, is more likely to lose the glue-ons quickly. It seems that the hoof, newly unconstrained by the rigid shoe, moves around in the first few days and can help cause glue failures. But not always. So, if possible, leave the horse barefoot for a few days to let the hoof expand, and then glue on the EponaShoe.
4) Hoof conformation can have an effect. Horses with a "good conformation of the hoof" or perhaps slightly to the "upright" side, seem to keep glue-ons very well. We sometimes have more trouble with long-toed, low-heeled conformations.
5) The terrain and use of the horse. As with any shoeing sytem, difficult terrain and hard use of the horse can cause more shoes getting lost.
6) We have found that Equibond will work well both in wet and dry conditions. However, sometimes when conditions change (from wet to dry, or from dry to wet as occurs seasonally in California), we may experience more loss of shoes. This is due to the hoof which changes it's physical properties quite dramatically as it's hydration changes.
7) After we've glued on the shoes, we sometimes also set a couple
nails as well. Just adding 2 nails per hoof (one on each side) is
enough to give the glue some help.
This can be a good compromise between using nails or glue only.
8) Experience and glueing 'technique'. Like anything, you get better at glueing on shoes as you do it. You get to know how much glue to use, how best to get the shoe into position, how not to make a mess, etc. You may have a failure or two when you first try it, but if you stick with it, you'll get better.
We don't mean these observations to scare you off from using glue-ons. We find the benefits from glueing are well worth the 'hinks and kinks' you'll face with the process.