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Even if you’ve relied extensively on steel and aluminum shoes for years, maybe it’s time to take a break from tradition. By carrying a few synthetic shoes in your rig, you might come up with a few innovations to deal with troublesome footcare concerns that occasionally show up with some of the horses you regularly work with.
As Larkin Greene pointed out during a “How-To Clinic” at the 2015 International Hoof-Care Summit (IHCS), synthetic shoes can add another option to your footcare toolbox.
Based in northern California, the western states sales manager for Vettec told IHCS attendees there are as many as 2 dozen types and brands of synthetic shoes made from polyurethane, plastic or rubber on the market today.
Instead of sticking only to the traditional steel and aluminum products, he urged farriers to take a closer look at synthetic shoes. He suggests taking time to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of these shoes, analyzing how the shoes are manufactured and the special materials used, how these
shoes might help the horse in therapeutic, event and daily use situations, ease of application and the impact various application methods may have on how well the shoes will stay on the feet.
To gather information on these shoes, Greene urged farriers to visit each manufacturer’s website and talk to others who have used synthetic shoes.
Greene says it’s important to not let any biases about synthetic shoes cloud your views. This means not discounting the value of these shoes due to…