Glue-ons and Foals: Two Alternatives From Simple Materials

Methods allow customized fits in special situations.

Attaching shoes to the feet of foals is often a daunting task. The very reasons for shoeing often require extensions that are difficult to maintain on any age horse, while the complication of a foal’s long limbs, lack of training and limited hoof capsule for attachment can make for an extremely trying experience.

While it is possible to nail shoes on young horses, most farriers have gravitated towards various types of glue-on shoes as a method of attaching shoes to the foal’s foot. Several manufacturers produce shoes that can be used successfully, however foal feet present a wide variety of hoof sizes and foot shapes. They can vary dramatically as a result of abnormal foot loading. The techniques for attaching shoes presented in this article have a couple of common traits:

  1. The materials used are readily available and relatively inexpensive.
  2. Once the basic materials are on hand, they can be adjusted to fit a wide variety of feet and accomplish a broad range of both foot positioning and mechanical effects through extensions.

Type 1: ABS Dorsal Cuff

Occasionally, foals are presented with concerns of minor abnormalities or with a history of changes in a less-than-desirable direction. Some horses experiencing a growth spurt might develop a mildly upright foot that does not require an extension, but is of concern none-the-less. The opportunity to provide some additional support or protection might be of help in some of these cases, if only to allow for some time while more foot grows. I have…

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