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In 50 years of shoeing, a farrier can do a lot of thinking about finding better ways to get the job done. After reading about using glue instead of nails to attach a horseshoe, one farrier thought seriously about how he would go about it.
Eddie Watson, a long-time Certified Journeyman Farrier from Keswick, Va., has developed a technique over time for gluing on horseshoes by adapting methods he had long used successfully for building up or repairing bad hoof walls.
“I’ve used this gluing technique on brood mares, conformation hunters and racehorses,” he says. “Most of the horses I work on are Thoroughbreds. It’s worked on every horse I’ve glued shoes onto.”
If there’s anything the 71-year-old Watson does differently in preparing a horse for glue-on shoes, it’s that he takes extra care in trimming and cleaning the hooves.
“I make sure I get rid of all the flaky sole,” Watson says. “I don’t want anything loose in there when I spread the adhesive. So when I glue a shoe on, I’m extra careful to get the sole solid. I remove any bad wall for the same reason.”
Watson doesn’t want to leave any cracks or pits in the sole that may later become infected and start draining. “I don’t want to cover up anything with glue that fluid can’t get to the bottom of,” he says.
If necessary, Watson uses a Dremel tool with a tungsten carbide grinding bit to eliminate hoof pits or cracks and also grind…