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EasyCare has a new polyurethane shoe out. It comes in so many models, that it’s best to have a farrier sort out what might work best on a horse, if it’s felt this type of shoe is a good idea:)

https://www.easycareinc.com/easyshoe/Easyshoe_Versa.asp

I bring this up because I just ordered a pair for Joker. I told the farrier I would order them. She knows how anal I am about having product already here for the appointment, so she told me what to order.

We should have never looked at Joker’s recent (in the last month) x-rays because this is all due to the two areas of arthritis we saw in one hoof and the coronet band.

The purpose of these Versas will be to try and reduce concussion when Joker walks — even though he is not rideable, he lives on about six acres of grass, and he is never in mud.

Mehbee they will help, mehbee they won’t but I’m willing to try anything that may improve Joker’s comfort level.

Joker doesn’t get re-set for 4-1/2 weeks. The Versas will go on then, so it will be awhile before I can give a report.

Keep in mind that Joker can’t be ridden, so wear and tear on six acres of grass pasture should be zero. We want to see if there’s enough reduction in concussion ( vs. the steel Natural Balance) to help his arthritis and make it worthwhile to keep buying them:)

And no, boots no longer help his residual founder issues; he has to have wedges and flexible packing, along with the shoes. I have several pair of different types of boots for him sitting in the spare bedroom, now known as The Inventory Room.


Anyway, these shoes are not just for rehab, so I thought others might be interested in reading up on them. They are not at all cheap, so how they wear on trails would be important.

They can be nailed, glued, or cast on.
 

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Can't see what 'long list of features' they have that's different to others, cept they have steel quarter clips. I have asked Easycare for a rundown, seeing as they haven't given one(that I can find). What is it that made you decide on them? If he's only on soft footing, I don't believe it will make any difference to concussion, but the biggest factor going for composites over steel IMO is flexibility - and that of itself can provide less 'torque' on joints too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Can't see what 'long list of features' they have that's different to others, cept they have steel quarter clips. I have asked Easycare for a rundown, seeing as they haven't given one(that I can find). What is it that made you decide on them? If he's only on soft footing, I don't believe it will make any difference to concussion, but the biggest factor going for composites over steel IMO is flexibility - and that of itself can provide less 'torque' on joints too.
1. They do make polyurethane shoes without the steel inserts or the clips but I ordered the ones with clips, which Joker has never had trouble holding shoes on but maybe the farrier wants the clips because of this different material - I forgot to ask:frown_color:

2. I didn’t know about the Versas until farrier texted me the link. She wants to try them and see if they make a difference for the better. I agree with you, I can’t see they will matter regarding concussion, given Joker’s lifestyle but he truly is like keeping Humpty Dumpty together, when his fractured sacrum is factored in.

The chiro was here two days ahead of the farrier. Joker was out in his sacrum, plus he had managed to stiffen up the muscles in his neck as well.

She stood under his head, with her hands linked over his poll. She initially only put enough pressure on Joker to ask him what he wanted.

I had commented he liked what she was doing, as he was licking and chewing. She said what I couldn’t see was all of the pressure he was putting on her head. Soon as some “thing” released, he lifted his head off her head and let out a big sigh.

Meaning, the sweet fella is so out of whack everywhere, the farrier is hoping these flexible shoes might up his level of comfort somehow. If they don’t, Joker will go back in the Natural Balance shoes and the farrier will buy the Versas from me to use on another horse, somewhere down the road.

The Versas won’t go on for 4-1/2 weeks. It is going to be into December before I have anything substantial to say but I will be closely monitoring how Joker feels and moves.

I will also try to get fotos when the Versas go on. She generally takes three hours with just Joker and I am generally almost horizontal on a bale of hay, with one of her dogs, halfway thru the process and forget to take pictures:beatup:
 
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Daisy Bickering just did a youtube demo of these shoes on the ELPO book of faces group. I was thinking of trying them for my Navicular mare. She is also no longer ridden but is less and less happy in the pasture without boots on - I trimmed her yesterday (just filed really) and she was sore this morning which is unusual. I believe along with Navicular (diagnosed via x-ray) she also suffers from negative palmar angle. I would love to try these shoes out.

Let us know how they work
 

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I guess this means I really am obligated to NOT nap with the farrier’s dogs on a hay bale, take pictures, and get videos, if I can ever catch Joker doing more than four steps out the door and it’s head down to eat, lollol
 
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I believe along with Navicular (diagnosed via x-ray) she also suffers from negative palmar angle. I would love to try these shoes out.
Whether with the help of these shoes or other *flexible* ones, or hoof boots, I think support under the caudal foot(NOT under heel walls) is vital to low/neg angles, and that often IS 'navicular' - it's not a separate entity, but one prime cause of damage/pain to the area.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited by Moderator)
Joker’s lucky to be alive and that I have some spare money to experiment. If he’s not happy in these Versas, once they go on, believe me they will be off him before the week is out.

I am ecstatic he’s made it to 25 with all that is wrong with him. He absolutely can never be ridden again. This shoe is another effort at keeping him as comfortable as possible with all he has to deal with.

He’s not at all ready to quit, so the farrier, who interned under Ric Redden, and has had therapeutic courses, is trying to research things that may keep Joker more comfortable.

If it didn’t cost $800, I would buy one of those Sports Vibe massage therapy blankets but I don’t have that kind of money, if it wouldn’t help his shoulders and back.

https://www.smartpakequine.com/pt/s...MIgujc9ZfL7AIVBaSzCh2uCguvEAQYAyABEgLNyvD_BwE
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
The farrier came today and put the Versas on Joker. It was a four hour visit this time (Rusty got ~20 minutes of that). The shoes and the pads had to be ground to fit.

We had to change the pads to a solid pad, as the Versas have frog supports. She put the “silly putty” packing under the pad.

The shoes are nailed on, two nails on each side.

@carshon my farrier is looking at a different brantd of flexible shoe that is a glue on but this other brand does not glue on from the bottom, which can sometimes cause whiteline problems.

This other brand comes with removable clips that somehow get attached to the shoe and then to the hoof. She is still researching them but if you’re interested in researching for your navicular horse, I can ask her the brand name.

There is an improvement in Joker’s arthritis discomfort and he acts like he WANTS to move out but the arthritis in the P3 and at the coronet band is holding him back. This sudden cool down to low 30’s at night has his bones popping:(:(

There is no magic bullet but I think these pliable shoes will bring a bit of relief.

We decided to reset Joker every four weeks instead of five, and let Rusty go to eight weeks. Except for his minor club hoof, Rusty has the hooves every horse owner wishes their horse had. He keeps his hooves worn down and only needs the farrier to keep them tidy and balanced:)

My farrier also shoes an endurance horse and recently switched that little Arab to a different model of these shoes. The horse is doing great. I think I will tag @phantomhorse13 on this:)

Here’s a couple fotos of the shoes with full Castle brand plastic pads, and the “ShuFil” packing underneath. And of course Joker, waiting for the farrier this morning.

The single shoe fotos are the same hoof. I posted them because they drive home the point of how a camera angle and lighting can skew a foto.

97AF542A-81CC-4E77-8CAB-6C0506E0BF06.jpeg
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EF9BD5E7-42D6-4CEF-95AC-36698D7ED51D.jpeg
1FB9E20E-DED6-4C6E-8E15-A984EF61324B.jpeg
 

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Daisy Bickering just did a youtube demo of these shoes on the ELPO book of faces group. I was thinking of trying them for my Navicular mare. She is also no longer ridden but is less and less happy in the pasture without boots on - I trimmed her yesterday (just filed really) and she was sore this morning which is unusual. I believe along with Navicular (diagnosed via x-ray) she also suffers from negative palmar angle. I would love to try these shoes out.

Let us know how they work
Wanted to mention that Gene Ovnecek, aka ELPO, has had success using Steward Clogs on navicular horses with them applied nailing as with a regular metal shoe. They allow the horse to arrange the angles of the hooves to the most comfortable position.

They do however cover the entire foot so that anti microbial material is needed between the shoe and the hoof.
 

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@Hondo , a few re-sets back, my farrier was sure Joker was having a bout with laminiti. He did not react to the hoof testers but, with Joker, that doesn’t mean anything.

He did not have heat in his hooves, he did not have an increased pulse in his legs. But, givenhe has had mild laminitis bouts since the Big One in 2012, she erred on the side of caution and put those clogs on him.

It was right when my leg exploded with cellulitis for the second time in 2+ years, I couldn’t get to the barn, and had too high a fever to argue, lollol.

She did mixed “Blue Crystals“ into the ShuFill she packed the hooves with, as she always does whenever the ShuDill is used as a packing.

After the fact, we both concluded it was the arthritis in the P3 and the coronet band that had decided to rear its ugly head.

The clogs DID bring Joker relief, so they were the right thing for the wrong reason:)

Casting Joker made me a nervous wreck as I worried about the hooves drying out too much from being completely covered in the casting tape. I managed to last four weeks before I called the farrier back (a week early), to “uncast“ the hooves. The hooves were a normal dry - nothing excessive.

I didn’t think about using them for navicular. They may help.

Ground Conditions a horse lives in daily might also be something to consider. We sit at a high elevation with the best natural drainage I have ever lived on. We barely know what mud is, not even after five straight days of rain, so Joker walks in ideal conditions all the time. An ice storm would be the only thing that would make me put the horses in lockdown for more than a few hours.

There sure is a lot of new and newer stuff on the market. New and Improved (or mehbee not so improved:) seem to be coming available faster than a shoe can get glued or nailed on the hoof:)
 

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Just for the record, an unshod hoof will widen a bit with each landing. Some claim to restrict the widening reduces blood flow in the hoof which is supposed to be undesirable.
 

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Thanks for sharing Walkin. Yeah seen the duplos & they look fine... & a damned sight cheaper than easyshoes! They've been around for years & tbh I can't recall why I discounted them back then, but seems worth another look
 

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Ok, here’s an update on how the Versas are working for Joker:

They seem to be helping - for now:giggle:

He still has a slight gimp but he is at least walking in a normal motion, rather than moving three legs, then bringing the right front along after the fact, if that makes sense.

He‘s been standing up every morning but one, when I get to the barn, so that’s a good sign.

Next week the bottom drops out of our nice Fall SE U.S. weather, with highs only in the 40’s (F) and lows in the 20’s - blah:censored:

I dug out Joker’s Back On Track leg wraps - the horse version of Olivia Newton John’s “Let’s Get Physical” leg warmers:love::love:

Hopefully they will help keep the legs warm and the blood circulating. The lameness vet had told me in the past, if hooves get cold and stay cold more than 2-3 days, to wrap the legs. My purpose is to help the arthritis by keeping the legs warm.

So, until further notice, these Versa shoes seem to be a big help in reducing concussion, while still trying to deal with the plethora of other issues Joker lives with. He is still happy with ears forward and bright eyes. Long as he tells me he can do this, I will do whatever I can to keep him comfortable and still let him live “a horse’s life“.
 
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