Easy Shoe opinions

I am at a crossroads. My new gelding Eddie is indeed as advertised. He is gentle, trustworthy and all around a real pro. When he came to me he was not bad on weight but his nutrition left a lot to be desired. They were riding him on the coast barefoot, where everything is sand. Now that he is here is the rocky piedmont, his feet are falling apart. We think this is due to the poor diet he had (they only owned him 8 months). We will also add that our terrain is rocky, I am 100lbs heavier than his previous child rider and he is heavier, not fat, pleasure stock horse round and muscled. He is a 5 on the Heineke. He lacked muscle and top line where he was before.

My farrier is a natural trimmer, very anti shoe. He has been doing my horses for 12 years without ANY complaint.

So we put him in Cavallo treks, fit them carefully, broke them in correctly. We have been using them for over a month with and without comfort pads. He hates them, I hate them. It hurts my back to put them on. He moves "differently " in them, not the flat kneed, reaching stride we see on soft ground without them. ( You know the movement I paid a lot of money for) He has more knee action, won’t lengthen stride and almost feels like he is paddling a bit. No boots needed in the rear.

So, coach and I are convinced he needs front shoes. He was wearing aluminum ultra light racing plates when he was last shown successfully in breed shows .He cannot show in with my hunter barn in hoof boots, my local show series won’t allow them in pleasure classes and frankly they are pain that makes us both frustrated.

We are not sure he will need them forever, so I am thinking of going with a nail on flexible shoe like the easy shoe that will let the hoof expand naturally. Anyone used these? Glue on or nail? How often did you reset? He is needing done every five weeks now.

I can have my coaches farrier put him back into aluminum and put the boots on him for Rocky trails, etc. I want him to stay with my farrier and hoping this will be a win for all, comfortable horse, light hoof damage to try barefoot next year and a horse that can actually be shown. Please wise COTH help me out!

You can also try a more performance oriented boot like Scoots.

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We tried the scoots (thankfully my neighbor’s horse and mine are the same size) and the upper strap rubbed, the right boot twisted so he would end up with his lateral heel off the boot. The cavallos fit really well, stay put and don’t rub. We also tried the easy boot (rubbed) and a German made boot and the cavallo were by far the best fit, sadly.

I have heard plenty of good reviews on the easy shoes… They have quite a few different options. Just know that with composite shoes the sizing needs to be pretty exact, and shaping is pretty limited, so if you have odd shaped feet it may be tricky. If his feet are falling apart, is there enough left to hold a shoe?

I have one in Ground Control shoes right now due to hard ground. They are a bit fiddly but I have been pleased with the results.

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We have good hoof wall, on a small stock horse foot, upright pastern, grows a ton of toe that always looks raggedy but no serious cracks, if he does take a chunk out the hoof it is always on the quarters, decent wide heel, shallow clefts and flat sole. He does not seem prone to abcess but has several stone bruises from turnout. We have plenty to nail to it is just trying to get the sole off the ground.

Another shoe to consider might be EasyCare’s “Versa” line; there are a few different models.

My horse that lives with residual founder issues has been in them almost two years with much success. They are great for reducing concussion.

He wears hind shoes on the front because his hooves are on the narrow side and the farrier cuts the clips off.

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Those are exactly what I was looking at! Glad to hear someone else is having success! He has no sign of Navicular at age 12, no previous founder issues but his foot is SMALL and patterns are upright, his career has been long and his default action is to go on the forehand. I watch his front end like a hawk. I just want him comfortable and granted his work is ridiculously easy, I just want him to stay sound well into both our old ages.

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They didn’t fit him then. Many of the scoot boot reps have a fitting program. If you send them pictures with measurements they will send you a few different sizes to try. Don’t ask for fit advice from Scoot Boot, they will be wrong. Go through a rep.

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All I can say about this is that you should not use the word “farrier” for someone who is anti shoe.

Why wouldn’t you just have your trainer’s farrier put him back in shoes? I mean, seriously, if your trimmer is so against shoes, he is not the right person for the job - clearly the farrier is not giving the horse & you what you need to do the job he is doing now.

And, there is nothing here that sounds like he might not do better in shoes forever, either. Especially the part about rocky terrain and the type of riding/showing you want to do. It’s possible that a change in diet may help, but it’s also possible that it will not be enough.

I love my farrier too, but if he wouldn’t shoe a horse that needed them, I would find one who would. Not all horses are barefoot candidates, based on their genetics AND the job they perform. (E.g. all those draft police horses who are shod in cities - they would be crippled if they rode barefoot on pavement every day.)

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We farrier and I had a long talk this morning and have decided that he will be getting shod next week. He will be going to my coach’s who has done glue on as well as standard shoeing.

I wouldn’t say that. Like I mentioned this “trimmer” farrier has kept my broodmares, geldings, a particular OTTB who has multiple lameness issues comfortable along with being a real wiz with keeping babies feet growing correct. There is value in that. He does not refuse to shoe, he just encourages barefoot.

He was disappointed my guy would not be able to continue on his barefoot journey but, was the first to say, shoe him, we will pull them during the winter break and he see how he does next season. He would prefer they be glue on but knows the other farrier and respects his opinion on what would be best for this horse.

I have heard the same thing, but sadly the Scoot boots are not allowed in the showring. So we are back to a shoe of some sort.

So, I guess we will trailer in for front shoes the rest of the season, my farrier will continue on with my other horses. I will order the easy shoe versa and see how he goes.

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I really wish this would change… a lot of people are seeing the benefits of barefoot when the horse can do it.

I’m not sure where you are but Daisy Bicking at Daisy Haven Farm is in SE PA. She does a lot of great work with easy shoes.

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I live in dry hard rocky desert. None of my horses, even my non trail show horse manage to go without shoes. I have scoot boots, but on my pleasure horse it makes him move to awkwardly. So he goes in metal shoes or Poly shoes. I had zero problems with metal shoes as long as a good job with trimming and shoeing was done. However I do love Plastic shoes. I nail on the ones below. They flex well and fit well. My only downside is they can pick up mud underneath when it’s wet.

https://groundcontrolhorseshoes.americommerce.com/home.html

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I glued on easyshoe performance myself for years. Great shoe and actually had less lost shoes than with nail on. Done properly they last 6-8 weeks.

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Ok. You were the one who said “farrier is a natural trimmer, very anti shoe.”

A good farrier should do what the horse needs. It’s bizarre that a farrier would be disappointed that a horse wouldn’t “continue on a barefoot journey.” That sounds to me like someone that is actually anti-shoe.

As for glue on v. nailed - I agree that when the hoof wall is broken and brittle it can be tough to nail and keep the foot intact for the next shoeing cycle. If you can break that cycle of breaking/crumbling, you may find that nailing is easier and faster. Glue works well but can be tough to do well in wet conditions (hoof needs to be perfectly dry before application.) It definitely takes longer.

Yes I have used Easy Shoe NG’s and loved them. They are very popular in endurance. I have a mare who does not do well in traditional shoes (she is missing part of her coffin bone in the LF) and needs the additional support of something like the NG’s or easy boots.
When using them, we both nailed and glued them but I put them on for extremely rough terrain that I’m planning on moving quickly over for many miles. For ring work or just hacking out, I would have done glue only