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Glues for Gluing Horseshoes

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Most (if not all) glues currently on the market for the application of horseshoes fall into one of two categories. The first one is an acrylic-based glue and the other is a urethane-based glue. Both are two-part glues in which curing is achieved by a chemical reaction between the two parts. The curing creates heat. As the heat is generated, gases may be released. The gases can be toxic to your health if inhaled over a long period of time. Please follow the safety instructions for any glue. You need also to check the glue labels and the MSDS (material safety data sheet) for these products. If you have any questions you should call the manufacturers directly.

Acrylic glue

Acrylic glue has been used for quite some time and has been performance tested. Quite a few racehorses have raced with glued-on metal shoes, for instance. This glue is available under several different labels. According to our best information, some of these variously-labeled glues are actually the identical chemical formulation. This glue comes in a two part tube. You will need an applicator gun and mixing tips. Note that the mixing tips are not reusable. A 14 oz tube will be enough to do six to eight shoes. The acrylic glue comes in two different styles - slow setting and fast setting. The slow-set glue cures approximately in about 6 minutes. The fast-set glue will cure approximately in 1 to 3 minutes depending on the weather. The warmer the weather, the faster the glue sets, the cooler weather the longer the curing. We always use the fast-set formulation - you don't have to hold the foot up for as long. The ideal temperature for storing the glue is 40 to 70 degrees. You need to protect your glue from the elements while working with it. Keep the glue from freezing or getting too warm.

Safety caution

In order to apply this glue safely you need work in a well ventilated area (outdoor with good air flow is ideal) and/or you need to wear a vapor mask. We advise anyone working in an enclosed area to wear a mask at all times. You need also to wear rubber gloves to apply this glue. Although we have been using latex gloves for some time, we have learned recently that latex is not the safest material as it can allow certain chemical agents to pass through it. Ideally, one uses natural rubber, neoprene, or nitrile gloves. You do not want to have this glue setting on your skin, it will burn and irritate your skin. You need to read the manufacturer's label and the MSDS for this glue.


What you need to have before applying the glue

* Glue
* Glue gun
* Mixing tips
* Rubbing alcohol, or acetone
* Rubber gloves
* Paper towels
* Vapor mask

How to apply the Acrylic glue

Before applying the glue make sure that you have taken the adequate safety precautions. You absolutely need to have rubber gloves prior to use the glue. Handling the glue, changing the tips, etc requires gloves. It also advisable to work in a clean and dry environment. Working on rubber mats is ideal. If this is not available to you, you can always try to wrap the cleaned and trimmed hoof with a clean and dry cloth before applying the shoe.

Hoof preparation

* First trim the hoof as you would usually.
* You need to brush the hoof thoroughly and make sure it is clean.

We used alcohol (regular rubbing alcohol) for several years to clean the hoof, but we have heard that some people claim this is not a good idea. It is possible that the alcohol "draws out" some oils from the hoof, and then when the alcohol evaporates, these oils are left behind on the surface, and that causes a weaker bond. We're not real sure on this -- we don't think its a big effect, but it also seems that the best thing is a final light rasp just before gluing.

Metal or Plastic shoe preparation

* For most shoes, you need to rough up the metal or plastic shoe with a grinder. In the case of the EponaShoe, since it was designed all along to be a glue-ready shoe, it is ready to be glued just as you receive it, without further work.

Applying the Glue

* You need to be aware of the weather conditions prior before applying the glue. If the weather is very cold you can keep the glue in a tub of warm water to make sure that the glue will set. In hot weather (about 95 degrees and above) you need to work faster or switch to the slow setting glue, whichever you prefer. Or, place the glue in a bucket of cool water.

* Apply about 1/4 inch of glue on the shoe (maybe even thicker at the heels). Start at the quarter just in case the glue does not mix quite right at the beginning. We prefer to have a weak point at the quarters than the heels. Move the glue tip back and forth to make sure the glue is mixing well.

* Place the shoe with the glue onto the hoof. Do not forget to have your rubber gloves on. The glue is quite slick when you first put the shoe on. Place the shoe in the desired position. As long as the glue is rather slick you can play with the shoe placement. Work the excess glue around the hoof. As the glue begins to set, do not try to change the shoe placement, the glue is already creating a bond and moving the shoe make weaken the bond. If you have too much glue at the sole you can use your gloved finger to remove it. Wait till the glue becomes hard before releasing the hoof. You will feel heat as the glue sets. Note you may want to wait a little bit till you let the horse go back its stall, paddock etc. This is because the glue bond continues to gain strength for several minutes after it appears to be set.

How to Order the Acrylic glue "Equibond"

EponaShoe has is a distributor of the EquiBond acrylic glue. It is available from the EponaShoe Order Form and retails for $55 plus shipping per 14 Oz tube. We also can supply the mixing tips and the glue gun.

Disclaimer: We believe the information in this document to be accurate for certain specific situations, but the reader should do their own research and contact the vendors of the materials described for up to date information.

We have recently added some more information from our experiences using the Equibond acrylic glue on flexible shoes which you can read here.

We also have a step-by-step guide for glueing on an EponaShoe with EquiBond.

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