Packing & Glueing EponaShoe

There are various ways to use the EponaShoe.  This is our recommended method when the shoe is going to be glued.  Read this whole article before starting.

  1. We try to trim the foot so that the frog is level with the hoof wall at the heels. After trimming, we wipe the foot with alcohol using a paper towel.  This is to act as a ‘degreaser’ and to clean the foot.  Then, let the foot dry before placing the packing.

  2. Mix (by hand) equal parts of the packing components.  While you’re at it, liberally sprinkle in some of our “granules” – they will keep any bacteria or fungus to a minimum (and they are quite gentle to the sole).

  3. Get a foot-sized piece of a paper towel ready.  Place the packing in around the frog, filling spaces that might normally be filled with dirt or mud.  See figure 1. Then place the paper towel over the sole, and let the horse stand on it.  This totally flattens the packing.  See figure 2.

  4. Pull the paper towel off the horse’s foot to be ready for gluing or nailing.  If need be, you can trim the packing (to flatten a bulge) with your hoof knife so the shoe fits up against the packing and the hoof walls at the same level.


Figure 1: Apply packing around frog


Figure 2: Let the horse stand to flatten the packing.

  1. The glue works best when it is around 70 to 80 degree Fahrenheit.  In the winter, we place it in a bucket of warm water for a while ahead of time.  In the summer we keep it cool inside or in the shade.

  2. If you have a new tube of glue, you must turn the valve 90 degree to open it.  Before placing a mixing tip on the tube, squeeze out some glue until you see both parts flowing (one part is brownish, one part is white).  These parts are not in equal volume (less of the ‘white part’ is used).  Once it looks like both part are primed and ready to flow, you can screw on a mixing tip.

  3. Put on gloves!!  Do not forget this because you’ll need to smear the glue a bit with your fingers, and you don’t want to get it on your skin.  Use rubber, or latex, or nitrile gloves.

  4. Place the shoe on the ground, sole-side up, and near the horse so you can quickly move it onto the hoof.  Squeeze out glue onto the hard gray outer rim portion of the shoe.  You use quite a bit of glue: generally the glue is about ¼” high on the shoe.  See Figure 3.


Figure 3: Liberal amount of glue put onto the shoe

  1.  As quickly as you can after dispensing the glue, pick up the foot, pick up the shoe, and place the shoe onto the foot.  You want to do this while the glue is still fresh and juicy – if you wait and the glue has begun to set-up at all, results will not be as good.  Another important thing: when you first place the shoe against the hoof, do not press too hard – or else all the glue will come squirting out the sides.  But within 10 to 15 seconds, you can press a little more firmly.  Generally, we’ll end up with about a 1/8” layer of glue between hoof and shoe when we are done.


Figure 4: Place the shoe quickly over the hoof and packing.  Don’t press too hard at first.

  1.  Get the shoe located properly on the foot as soon as possible, and then stop moving it around – you don’t want to be moving it while the glue is setting up or you may damage the bond.  As you place it, and just afterwards, work the glue around with a fingertip to smear it and fill in any spaces around the shoe.  Excess glue can often be placed back around the heel – or if you really have too much, wipe some off with a paper towel.

  2. The glue heats up as it cures, and it changes color slightly.  The time required before you can set the foot down may be from 90 seconds to 3 minutes depending on temperature – the warmer the glue is, the faster it goes.  On cold days, we put our glue in a bucket of warm water; on hot summer days, we take care not to leave it out in the sun.

  3. You can tell that it has set when you can no longer make a mark in it with a thumbnail.  Then try to set the foot down gently – if the horse slams the foot down the bond may be adversely affected.  We generally, then let the horse stay rather still for 5 more minutes.

  4. If you made a giant mess with glue all over the hoof and all over yourself, don’t worry – you’ll get better at it after you’ve done it a few times!  Glue can be rasped off the hoof wall if need be.


Figure 5: Glued on.  Note packing may or may not extend over the sole where the heart-shaped opening is in the shoe.  Our packing “breathes” a bit, and with the granules added it will not make the sole soft or moist.  The granules also include a desiccant (drying agent).

  1. Our goal is to have the “inner pad” of the shoe right up against the frog of the horse.  So, when optimally placed, the shoe should look like the one in figure 6 from behind – the sole pad is against the packing, and the frog has support.  Rocks and debris cannot get between the shoe and the sole, as the packing forms a gasket.


Figure 6: Shoe placed so frog contacts the “inner pad”

  1. The completed job should look something like figure 7.


Figure 7: Complete.

  1. We often follow up the gluing by placing a couple nails on each side of the shoe.  The glue is not a perfect system, and a few nails help a lot.  The glue still spreads the load evenly and gives a shock-absorption layer.

The following are some “action shots” as world-famous farrier Don Birdsall applies the EponaShoe…


Figure 8:  Glueing, and afterwards placing a couple nails on each side of the shoe.


Figure 9: Nailing: We often use just 1 or 2 nails per side with the glue.


Figure 10: Set nail heads just below tread level.  No need to seat them in deeper. We like Mustad MX-60 nails, but you can probably use whatever kind of nail you like.