Using Silicone for Better Hoof Care

Versatile material good for adding support, as a filler and in conjunction with pads.

Joe Ludford injects liquid silicone into a pad-and-shoe package.

Construction-grade (DAP) silicone has been used in farrier practices for over 30 years as a filler under pads with good success. At first, the set-up time could take as long as 24 hours and required some type of damming system like tape or putty to keep the silicone from leaking out the back side of the hoof and leaving a sticky mess. Now, with the new silicone materials, set-up time is 4 to 10 minutes and the development of putty-type materials allows a faster, much cleaner and more precise job.

Silicone Basics

The putty material is a durable commercial grade silicone that retains a consistent tone once it is set up. There are modern injectable silicones as well, which require a tip that mixes the hardener and the base silicone material precisely, so set-up times are consistent.

Both the injectable and putty forms are available in different levels of hardness. You can choose hard, soft and — in some cases — medium, depending on the application you are using them for.

Firm is the most supportive, but in some cases it can put too much pressure on the sole of the hoof. This is rare, but it can happen. Soft is often the better choice when your primary goal is to cushion a part of the hoof or for when you need filler.

Support Or Filler?

One of the first thing to decide when using silicone fillers is to decide whether…

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