Friday, August 3, 2007

Custom Fit your Hoof Boots

If you ever experience a little twisting with your hoof boots, boots that fall off, or boots that get an excessive amount of debris in them, you may want to consider a custom fit. The idea is that we make a perfect match of your horse's hoof inside the boot with either Easyfoam or Equithane. We would follow the directions for using the Foam and Equithane, BUT you use Pam (the cooking spray) on your horse's hoof so that it doesn't stick to the hoof. Then let the foam/equithane set up so that it adheres the the inside of the boot, take if off, and then you have a perfectly fit boot for your horse! I find it lasts a long time, just about as long as the boot lasts. It is best to do this right after a trim. This works for all different brands of boots. If you use the Easycare boots with Gators, make sure you REMOVE the gator, because the foam will ruin the gator.

7 comments:

Marta said...

can you elaborate a bit more on this? i use bares with gaiters, so i'd remove the gaiter, then follow directions for use of equifoam, then once it sets take out the hoof but the foam impression remains in the boot, correct? and then when you go back to put the boots on you slide the hoof back into this 'impression'? so it creates like a liner of sorts?

thanks!

marta

Tracy Browne said...

Yes, this is exactly right. Only make sure that you have sprayed Pam on your horse's hoof, everywhere, underneath, around the top. Get it lathered on there, and then take a paper towel and wipe off the dripping excess. Then follow the directions on the bottle for foaming, only this won't adhere the boot to your hoof, you will be able to pull it off after an hour or so of setting up. You may want to put a piece of duct tape over the screws so that if you need to remove the screws, they aren't foamed. Make sure the little gold nuts are kept in your taper. Also, remove your heel strap if you haven't already.

Now, be aware that if you do custom fit your boots, you need to keep the horse trimmed up nicely all the time, at an equilibrium. Otherwise, if you horse hasn't been trimmed in 6 weeks, the boots may be too tight to get on.

Also, you may need to use a mallet to help set the toe once you have foamed them. They will be harder to get on since they are custom.

Marta said...

tracy

one more question. i'm currently using comfort pads (although feeling frustrated with their short life-span lately) since my mare had her last bout of laminitis in june. so if i foam the inside of the boot, i do it with the comfort pad in there as well, correct?
so how long does the foaming last and what happens when it 'wears out'? and also, what if i need to change the comfort pad b/c of wear? have you done that?

thanks again!
i love all the info on your blog. especially the idea about grinding the sole of the bares:)

Tracy Browne said...

No, do not use comfort pads, the foam needs to adhere to the bottom of the boot, and creates an impression. If your horses needs comfort pads, this may not be the way to go... Comfort pads are wonderful for really supporting a hoof, especially a laminitic one. The foaming lasts a long time, at least a year... I haven't had it wear out yet, it is very hard and will probably outlive the boot, really.

Marta said...

thanks tracy!
maybe i'll hold off with the foaming for now then.
she definitely needs a little cushion in the boot so she can comfortably cover all terrain.
marta

Sarita said...

Hi Tracy,

I think this is a great idea! I would love to try it. A few questions. I am currently using boots without a gaiter because the gaiter bruised my horse's heel bulbs. Therefore, I am using a back strap. Can I do this with a back strap? My horse's boots are pretty tight already, but they do fall off. I would like to do ECTRA competitive trail rides with him but they require that the boots sit below the coronary band. Do you have any other suggestions for keeping boots on?

Thanks! I am enjoying your blog!
I appreciate your willingness to share your knowledge.

Sarita

Tracy Browne said...

Sarita,
I am so sorry, I didn't see your comment. For rides like that, just foam on the boots to stick to the hoof for the ride. Karen Chaton has a good description how to do this on her blog. Just pour in the foam on your boots to stick them to the hooves for the whole weekend and pull them off on Monday. Peel out the foam immediately after you pull off the boots, and then you can reuse them. Or go barefoot - just make sure your hooves are conditioned for similar terrain.

Good luck,
Tracy