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Has anyone done this: DIY glue ons after farrier trims

I’m brainstorming solutions to a problem I just can’t seem to fix easily - I like my farrier’s barefoot trim pretty well, but I’m not a fan of the shoeing. CAVEAT: the horse I have shod right now has contributing factors that make him wreck his own angles, so I can’t say this is just a “switch farriers” issue - especially since I’m running out of farriers to try (I’ve moved the horse all over the area for rehab/training/retirement).

I’m not confident in my skills to go completely DIY, but I’m able to rasp and make minor adjustments to a good base trim. My horse’s bare hinds seem to have improved with this farrier, but his shod fronts are a mess. I’m thinking of taking him barefoot, and booting or trying glue ons if he needs more support. Boots are 50/50 if they’ll stay on in turnout, so shoes have a use for me.

Has anyone done their own glue ons while having their farrier do the trim? Experiences, shoe suggestions, etc? My idea is to have him trim, I can touch up to where I’m happy, and glue the shoes on. I can remove them before farrier day. I’m hoping to find boots that’ll work for us, but he’s out 24/7 so no pulling them off to dry for half the day…

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Yes I have. Check out easy care’s line of glue ons. They are fantastic and fairly easy for a layman to appyl, plus they have lots of great step by step videos


I have heard good things about the octos - since they go on with superglue and are perhaps easier to handle. They are #1 on my research list!


Heres the hooves in question - these are posted on another thread but I didn’t want to derail it further.

Before shoes (only a couple trims with this farrier)

After several shoeings

the question is - who would be doing the trimming? If it’s the farrier who has gotten the feet in worse condition with shoes, you need another one, or a trimmer


My layman’s opinion is that his hinds (that have been bare the entire time) are improving. It’s the shod feet I’m not liking. In theory, this farrier would trim.

If it’s clear in these pics that the hinds are way worse and I’m just not seeing it, I’m happy to be corrected. I don’t know what I’ll DO, but I’m happy to learn :sweat_smile:


The photo angles of the hinds are off enough that it’s really hard to say if they’ve improved, stayed the same, or gotten worse.

When will your farrier be coming to trim again?

The problem is - you putting shoes on a trimming setup that’s making his fronts worse, isn’t going to resolve anything


He’s out next week.

And yes, I’m aware that the trim is most important! The barefoot horses in the barn here have pretty decent angles (and it’s all of them, not just a lucky few). I can also do SOME touching up, rasping toes and heels, but not something major like going 100% DIY. At least not yet.

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I’ve used both the Octos and Versas and been really happy with both. If you go the super glue route buy a couple extra bottles until you get the hang of the process. I can tell a pretty big (positive) difference in my horses with the glue ons vrs steel


I know a few folks who have done it with relative success. Things I would suggest having on hand as someone who does a lot of gluing:

  1. At least at first, buy a few sizes. Preferably one size up and down from what you think you’ll need. The Octos especially require a tight fit to be successful, and especially on a horse with a tripping issue, you’ll want to make sure the fit is good. If you want to try the 3Ds, I size down as they will stretch over the course of a cycle. I find I need the 3Ds in one size down from the Octos (horse in a 130F in octos goes in a 126F in 3Ds).
  2. A sharp rasp with a “fine” side, or ideally a buffy/some sort of sander. You don’t need to buff a TON but you do want to be able to lightly prep the hoof wall. If you’ll be gluing immediately after your farrier trims, then as long as they prep the hoof wall as shown in your pictures, you should be okay.
  3. Like tabula_rashah said, several bottles of super glue are helpful to have on hand.
  4. The EasyCare website suggests their plastic wrap, but personally I LOVE using electrical tape. Apply the glue to the tabs, press them down lightly, then tightly wrap with electrical tape starting from the bottom up. Stays in place, easier to maneuver than the plastic, and less likely to get stuck. Then I just cut the wrap off after about 20-30 mins and do a light bead of glue around the edge of each tab.
  5. Some sort of antimicrobial – I like Artimud. I’ve also had success using things like leather pads with magic cushion. If you’ll be using any sort of hoof packing like DIM or magic cushion, I suggest getting the plugs. I just superglue them in. I also always cut out the debris guard, it affects fit and I haven’t found it helpful for any of my horses. I have a pair of Wiss EZSnip shears I use for this purpose.
  6. If at all possible, an angle grinder or some sort of bench grinder to help with shaping the shoe. Especially for a horse with a history of tripping, you’ll want to grind in a stronger bevel than what the shoe comes with. You can do it with nippers and a rasp, as well, it just sucks lol.

If you’re not already in it, I suggest joining the Glue-On Composite Shoe group on Facebook. Lots of folks in your situation as well as professionals posting ideas and suggestions for fit and tips for success.

Good luck!


Omg thanks so much for all this!

I’m doing research and just thinking about options - this keeps happening though (trim struggles) so idk if it’s just my horse or if it’s the nature of the business here. Like I said, I think the barefoot trims are decent (not like a “trimmer” might, but the angles are pretty good and there’s very little chippy/cracky stuff going on. My horse has suddenly grown good concavity behind as well, something he never had before).

I’m also planning on asking the BO about composites on the hinds - maybe hard plastic is less of a “brass knuckle” than metal shoes. I think this guy needs them. If I can learn how to do all this, I’ll probably end up with a similar setup for the other gelding.

I remember when I didn’t have to worry about all this. The horses just got shoes or they didn’t - I know it’s cause I was less educated, but boy was it less stressful :joy:


Does this farrier do a good job on your other horses? I have had a farrier or two in the past who could trim most of my horses just fine but it seemed they struggled with what one needed.

I just chose to find a farrier competent enough to trim them all. The fact that they didn’t appear to have the skills to do them all correctly just made me doubt their overall competence.

Not what you want to hear but you need a farrier who can correctly trim & shoe this horse.

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IMO yes:

And in the defense of this farrier (and others), this horse has a lot of issues higher up that NEED good angles, but also actively work against them. I’m not sure I can do “better”, but I’m out there daily and can focus on my handful of personal horses vs a client list they see once a month or so.


Unfortunately a lot of folks are in this situation. It’s HARD to find a good hoofcare practitioner in a lot of areas, and I think as a whole we are so accustomed to seeing pathological feet that our sense of normal is super distorted. I started learning to trim shortly before a move. I had tried to find a farrier or trimmer in the new area–which is quite horsey and near a major vet school!–but couldn’t find anyone I would allow to touch my horse’s feet. My trimmer at the time offered to teach me, and I did a six month every weekend crash course with her. It’s been almost a decade and it’s evolved into having a handful of clients, lots of clinics and continuing education and experimenting. There’s now one other person in my area who I would potentially trust to trim feet, and I’ve referred her to folks who have asked me if I could take on more clients. I have a regular day job and no desire to trim full time.

So…this could be good or bad. Sometimes the concavity in a hind foot is because the NPA has gotten worse. :upside_down_face: The more broken back P3 is, the more room there is for “concavity” to develop under it–it’s a bit of guesswork without rads, of course, but you can also sometimes tell by measuring the depth of the collateral grooves near the apex of the frog and near the heels. If it’s noticeably deeper at the apex than towards the heels, it’s very likely NPA. You can sometimes tell from pictures, too, but would need better pictures to really make an educated guess.

I have my horses out together 24/7 and some of them are in composites front and hind. Knock wood, I haven’t found a kick with a composite to be any worse than a kick with a bare foot. I wouldn’t turn horses out together with steels, but am not particularly concerned about composites, especially ones that are completely composite without a metal insert.

I’ve been SUPER pleased with the EasyShoe 3Ds for hind feet with NPA especially–of course the trim is essential, but I’ve seen really positive growth. This is the left hind of a horse who had horrible NPA behind and ongoing struggles with the fronts–the top left picture is from September, the day I first put on the 3Ds. The top right is from late October, after 5 weeks. The bottom picture is from late December, two cycles later. I did end up tweaking the trim a bit more on this foot in the bottom picture, but didn’t grab any other pictures. His comfort has noticeably improved.

I feel this to my core! Every time I trim and glue I wistfully think back to when the farrier came every six weeks, I wrote a check, and didn’t think much of it. It was certainly simpler and much less stressful! On the other hand, I’ve learned so much and am glad for the control and knowledge I have…but sometimes I wish I could just write a check. Alas, I can’t put that particular cat back in the bag! Although there’s no way I could afford to pay someone for the packages I can do myself!


The problem here appears to be, just based on the pre-shoes vs the now in shoes, that he’s simply not taking enough foot off each trim. His actual angles aren’t all that bad but that’s ONLY because his heels are standing up more than their crushing, so the whole foot angle isn’t getting lower and lower.

And lack of competent, accessible farriers is what led me to DIY trimming, and I was fortunate to find excellent hands-on help in the beginning ,and it wasn’t someone remotely local. Cindy Sullivan (of Tribe Equus) just so happened to come through my area every 6 weeks, so she added me to her route until I “graduated” from needing her. It was a whole process of weaning/educating me into trimming, progressing to trimming right before she came, to having her come every other trip, and then I just emailed infrequent questions

Ditto all that barnesthenoble said about concavity, and even be careful about a “nice healthy fat frog” as the prolapsed (due to NPA) frog can appear fat and healthy, when it’s anything bug :frowning: Also, extreme concavity isn’t healthy either, it can be a sign of a retracted sole, so take a look here and make sure this isn’t what you’re seeing


I’m not sure if you have another thread about the trim itself and don’t want to derail this too much but I would not be pleased with that farrier. Those fronts look much worse IMO. And I get the trouble of finding a good one - BTDT and it’s enough to make you want to get out of horses (I kid, but not really).

I’ve done the go barefoot and boot or shoe the horse myself thing. Boots are a PITA - I took my horse’s boots of for at least an hour everyday, cleaned them, and put antibacterial powder in them. I had luck with 24/7 turnout in Cavallo Simple Boots FWIW. I didn’t ever figure out a pad + boot situation that made me happy as far as frog support and caudal stimulation went which led me to glue on shoes. I did the Octos with super glue. Acrylic glue intimidates me even after watching them be applied a million times by someone else. The superglue is finicky IMO. Some times it stayed on a full 4-5 week cycle, sometimes 24-48 hours. I prepped as instructed by Easy Care (tips below). Hinds were worse than fronts as far as staying on. I eventually got away from them as I got fed up trying to keep them on and it was killing my back. I think success depends on the hooves, horse’s living situation and temperament, and your climate. My current, lovely farrier say the superglue is trickier than acrylic and the one that has done the super glue Octos a few times says you couldn’t pay her any amount to do them again.


  • Keep the shoes and glue warm ish. Around 50-70 degrees is best (too warm and the glue sets faster, too cold and it takes forever/ doesn’t bond well).
  • Clean dry feet are important! I would stall in thick clean shavings for a few hours before I trimmed/ shod if it was at all wet out. Same for an hour or two after application if it was wet.
  • I used a butane torch 3 x on each foot prior to application. I did it once per hoof at first then switched to 3x per Easy Care recommendations but didn’t notice a difference.
  • I had better luck when I light rasped the outside of the hoof wall after trimming before gluing.
  • if you use DIM make sure it doesn’t touch the tabs/ wall and same for the glove that touch the DIM! This meant a glove change mid application for me. The DIM has a greasy reside that can make the glue bond fail IME.
  • I used seran wrap over the glued on tabs and think it helped.
  • The superglue gets everywhere no way around it (at least for me).
  • I used hoof knives to pry the tabs off the wall and that worked best for me.
  • Reapplying shoes with your already on them gets iffy at some point.

It’s so funny, I’ve had WAY more luck with superglue than with acrylic but I seem to be the outlier. I think a lot depends on climate and how your horse moves. I’ve only had one horse with a really big issue with the octos on hinds, but he also straight up twisted the tabs off the Versa Glues with acrylic, too. :upside_down_face: One thing I’ve noted is that superglue doesn’t like a super dry foot–I don’t glue with it soaked, but I have better luck when I don’t use a torch. I also sometimes lightly dremel the tabs on a brand new pair of octos–they arrive so darn smooth that I think it can be hard to get a good bond.


Derail away - the other thread was originally about PSSM. And I have probably 5 other vaguely hoof related threads out there about this horse (usually coinciding with a move + new farrier).

Horse has good quality hoof, but the form is the problem. He lives out 24/7, in a clay base pasture that can get cannon deep mud or packed to dry concrete, depending on season. We are in the SE US. He does come in for meals and sometimes stays in for a while (like today where they’re in for a couple hours to dry before going back out). I don’t control that though since I board. He’s The Boss, and does some interesting athletic shenanigans out there considering he’s NOT sound :roll_eyes:. Hind shoes have historically been tough to keep on, and yeah of course he’s NPA or flat all around last time I checked.

It’s a freaking struggle y’all, but I really want to do the best by him. And my other one who I’m hoping to be able to ride if it ever stops raining.


Just for fun, here’s a progression of this horse:
Jan 2022

April 2022

Continued ->

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November 2022

January 2023

March 2023

Continued ->

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