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post #1 of 11 Old 02-28-2016, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Horse shoes

What's the difference between a standard metal shoe and those rubber ones? Like the epona shoe. Which is better? Could a jumper wear a rubber one? What are the pros and cons of each? Thanks for any response:)
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-28-2016, 03:52 AM
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I have never seen the Epona shoe. One thing I can say is that if you are riding on rough stone trails and the road, odds on they will not last very long.

When a horse has a metal shoe on and it is on a hard surface, also without a shoe the foot actually slides a fraction as it lands, when we tried revolutionary 'new' shoe our farrier was asked to try, the big hunter that was shod with these was very rough with his trot and after thirty minutes road work there was little shoe left.

I do like that there is more pressure with this shoe but I doubt it would last off grass.
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-28-2016, 11:05 AM
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Here's an article that may help you. Notably, some polyurethane shoes "can offer too much traction for a running horse or not enough traction, such as when the horse travels on wet grass, snow or ice." And, "cost can be a significant issue with synthetic shoes. Prices range from $10 to more than $35 a shoe, along with added costs for studs, clips and other attachments." Find A Place For Synthetics In Your Shoeing Arsenal | 2015-04-01 | American Farriers Journal
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-28-2016, 12:09 PM
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I'd be very interested to hear experiences with Epona or other alternative shoes (especially when gluing or casting was used instead of nails)

In general, I get the sense that alternative shoes are often used for horses that have unhealthy feet as part of a transition to barefoot (and better hoof form) while still maintaining the ability to ride at more intense levels. It seems like they could be very useful for those who don't want to mess with boots or who can't compete in boots (dressage, jumping, etc)

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post #5 of 11 Old 03-05-2016, 07:13 AM
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Hi, some BIG questions! I strongly advise, if you're a new horse owner or thinking of getting your first horse, that hoofcare, hoof health & function is one of subjects that you give precedence to studying for yourself. As with anything horsey, there are different opinions & levels of knowledge & understanding that go with those opinions, even among 'experts', including vets & farriers. And hoof health effects general health, soundness, as well as use of the animal. On that note, the thread link in my signature below is one good place to start.

Now for my opinion on your question... Yes, there are many differences between metal rims and something like Eponas or Easyshoes. I do believe there are more or less 'pros' & 'cons' between different styles of shoeing, depending on how they're applied, how healthy - or otherwise feet are when applied, what they're used for & on what surfaces.

Of primary effect, IMO is the peripheral loading effect of rim shoes, *where effective & appropriate padding isn't used* - whether metal or plastic - when on hard ground. Especially if hard, flat ground. The walls are forced into sole(pardon pun) weightbearing, and the soles & frogs are more or less(*well* shod, frogs aren't quite) out of commission. The extra force on the walls can strain laminae, allowing for easier distortion and put excess pressure on both the coronary & the circumflex arteries, reducing circulation. The lack of support under the foot can allow the inner foot to 'sink' in relation to the capsule - flatter soles but longer hoof capsules, P2/P3 joint inside the capsule. Lack of good use also allows soles to thin and frogs/caudal hoof to be/become weak - 'if you don't use it, you lose it' applies.

Something like Eponas or Easyshoes provide far more weight distribution, protection and support over the whole base of the foot, without the need of extra padding to do this. Rim shoes whether steel or plastic, without pads provide no support or protection for the base of the foot. **To be fair, bare or booted feet, unpadded, can indeed suffer from 'peripheral loading' too.

One thing that applies to metal but not as much to plastic, is the extra high frequency shock, when the shoe hits on hard surfaces. This has an effect on all tissue & joints, including further up the leg, when it's chronic. Still, depends what the material - hard plastic or rubber for eg - & how they're built as to how much shock dissipation they may have.

Unyielding material, firmly attached to the base of the foot, no matter how well, if it's constant pressure, will cause reduction in circulation and 'pressure sores' underneath. 'Corns' at the heel of shod horses are so common the heel corners are aka 'seat of corn'. Flexible material, which allows pressure against the sole on weightbearing, but which is relieved at every step doesn't cause that, but instead, like well functioning bare feet, enhances function/growth.

Eponas & Easyshoes also have quite extensive & flexible heel/frog support and heels can flex up & down independently. IME of Easyshoes actually seem to enhance heel stimulation greatly. I haven't personally experienced Eponas, but have been told they're pretty good on that too. I've noticed heels open up and become stronger with Easy's.

So I think that's about it, the major differences between metal &/or rims, v's Eponas, Easy's, bare feet....

Oh, grip & abrasion resistance - 2 areas where conventional tends to come out on top. Rims are better for grip in slippery(eg mud, clay, slick grass) than Easy's. Easy's are however, not so bad & way better for grip than boots in this way. Tho plastic/rubber is better on concrete/bitumen. Speed & jumping aren't overly great for boots, but fixed shoes, whether plastic or metal seem to be fine. And while boots live up to abrasion resistance in most 'normal' type situations, they may not be as good in some situations, such as long miles trotting on hard/rough ground for eg. Tho in that situation, I'd far & away give preference to hoof function/health over longevity anyway.

Last edited by loosie; 03-05-2016 at 07:20 AM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-05-2016, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verona1016 View Post
I'd be very interested to hear experiences with Epona or other alternative shoes (especially when gluing or casting was used instead of nails)
Can't tell you that one, personally. I planned to get some experience with glue on & casting shoes, for the sake of variety of tools, but in my too damp environment, the thought of glue on... gives me a facial tic! I understand that well applied & in the right situation, glue can be lasting, but in less than great applications/environment, it doesn't last.

Quote:
In general, I get the sense that alternative shoes are often used for horses that have unhealthy feet as part of a transition to barefoot (and better hoof form) while still maintaining the ability to ride at more intense levels. It seems like they could be very useful for those who don't want to mess with boots or who can't compete in boots (dressage, jumping, etc)
Yep, I reckon you're right. And carriage horses, city police horses, for eg, working on hard, flat(& more slippery for metal) surfaces. But they're not just for those situations
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-05-2016, 10:50 AM
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I have synthetic shoes on my mare over the non-snowy months. They really help with neutralizing the concussion of the food hitting the ground where as a metal shoe is like a tuning fork (hence the clip-clop sound). When my mare walks on concrete her barefoot back feet are louder then the plastic on the front feet! It seemed to make an immidate difference in my mares stride (she had mild navicular). I do not notice any issues with traction, even on grass, but I wouldn't dare use them in snow/ice.

These are the easy walkers. This photo is after 7 weeks of being ridden on sandy trails and 24/7 turn out on RCA.



Here is what they look like on. And yes, they are nailed on. I didn't want to spring for glue on.



Here is a side shot.


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post #8 of 11 Old 03-07-2016, 10:43 PM
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^Hope you've resolved that long toe & heel prob slide, as that will be exacerbating 'minor navicular'.

As you will see OP, there are a number of different types of 'plastic' shoe, with different specifications. Some are essentially little different to a rigid rim shoe, some, as above, more like a bar shoe, some, like Easy's & Eponas, more like a boot, in effect.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-07-2016, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
^Hope you've resolved that long toe & heel prob slide, as that will be exacerbating 'minor navicular'.

As you will see OP, there are a number of different types of 'plastic' shoe, with different specifications. Some are essentially little different to a rigid rim shoe, some, as above, more like a bar shoe, some, like Easy's & Eponas, more like a boot, in effect.
Sorry, I don't recall asking for a hoof critique, nor do I appreciate the little jab.. These photos were from last spring and her second trim from coming home with totally rectangular feet.
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-08-2016, 02:15 AM
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^Little jab?? What the??

I beg your pardon. Get confused sometimes between members, but thought you had posted about hoof problems in the past. So sorry I offended in hoping you're horse was doing better...
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