Flex-Step Rubber Draft Shoes

Q: This summer, I’m going to outfit a carriage company in a town that requires rubber shoes.  Apparently, the town fathers got tired of Borium tearing up the streets. 

The two options I’ve found offering synthetic shoes in draft horse shoe sizes are the Remuda Tire Co., and a company called Flex-Step. I called Remuda and found them to be very helpful with installation tips and real-world information. 

I called Flex-Step and was told the following: “We’re sorry, but the person who used to know anything about those shoes has retired.”  That answer alone should make the decision for me, but Flex-Step shoes are carried at the local farrier store where my customer buys harness tack and they sure look like they would work well. 

I’m having a problem figuring out how to attach the Flex-Step shoes properly. It’s obvious that you drill a nail hole, but what size drill bit should I use? Countersink them or not? What size nail? How do you cut the shoe to size when it’s an inch thick of grey rubber and I don’t have a bandsaw on my truck? 

Is there anyone who has used Flex-Step shoes on draft horses who can warn me or give me some installation tips? With the Flex-Step shoe, I fear I will drill a hole, nail it on, send the horse off with a load of tourists and wait for the horse to tear the shoe off because of an application error. 

Most likely, we’ll go with…

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