More On Nailing
- Don't remove too much sole. No need to "cup out the sole". If you were trimming for barefoot, you would probably leave more material than if you were trimming for steel. Trimming for plastic is sort of "in between" -- so think that you are trying to leave more sole because you are going to let the horse go barefoot -- but then put the EponaShoe on.
- Fit the shoe "tight to the hoof". On the sides, this avoids the opposite foot "stepping off" the shoe. In the back, we do not believe in "trailers" -- the practice of hanging the shoe out the back of the foot -- especially with a flexible shoe, this will have little effect except to make it harder to keep the shoe on. Our shoe can be rasped down to shorten it, both at the heels and at the toe. On the sides, don't reduce by more than 1/8" on each side. We have 16 sizes so that large reshaping should not be needed if you have our proper shoe.
- We like to use our "packing material" so the back part of the foot is full of material and in contact with our frog-support. Referring back to point #1, why remove sole when you are just going to re-fill it with packing material? What nature has supplied is better than artificial material, so just leave it, and also use less of our packing. As shown in our instructions, let the horse stand on the packing material to totally flatten it -- you don't want a ball or a bulge. This packing simulates the natural situation of horses in nature whose feet fill with dirt & mud.
- We like Mustad MX-60 nails, possibly MX-55 for small feet, and possibly E-type nails for bigger feet. Drive the nail down to "level with the tread" and then when you use the "block" hit the nail a couple more times to set it and get the head just below the tread. You shouldn't need any special tools or tricks to do this. Our nail holes initially look large to farriers and they worry the nails will wiggle, but when the heads seat down (particularly if you use the larger head nails we recommend) they lock in and it is absolutely not a problem.
- The shoe can be "set back" and this is extremely beneficial to many horses. Farriers have to worry with steel shoes not to have the front web getting under the tip of the pedal bone, but our shoe can be more safely set back -- you can even let a bit of the toe hoof wall extend beyond the front of our shoe. This is particularly useful to those horses with "long toes and underrun heels." For a very "upright foot" this is not required. Our shoe is a bit thicker than a metal shoe, and as the shoe gets thicker, having it set back and with a bevel becomes more important.
- You can use your rasp and increase or change the toe bevel after the shoe is on to get it how you like it.
- If it's a horse that likes to lose shoes, you should use the rear-most nail holes of our shoe. Many farriers are taught to avoid the "furthest back" nails because they don't want to impede the hoof flexing, but with a shoe which is inherently flexible, this is less of an issue.
- Changing a horse from metal to a flexible shoe can sometimes act differently than putting a flexible shoe on a horse that has been barefoot for a while. The steel shoe has been holding the foot, and once out of metal, the foot may expand by a size, and sometimes, due to this, it is harder to keep our shoes on during the first transition. On some horses, this seems not to be an issue at all.