As farriers what can we do when there has been damage to the hoof capsule and we need to protect areas or need to apply a shoe but there is nowhere to place nails?
Why Reconstruct a horse hoof?
Damage to the exterior of the hoof wall can happen through a number of different ways.
Following is a list of three reasons that horse hoof reconstruction may be needed.
Remember in all cases a professional farrier is the best person to seek advice from.
This is a direct injury or blow resulting in immediate damage to the hoof wall.
Wire injuries are the most common in Australia.
An injury to the coronet band
The coronary band becomes either temporarily or permanently injured thus resulting in an interruption of hoof wall growth.
One of the most common is when an abscess bursts out at the coronary band resulting in a “ hole” growing down the wall.
Infection or injury behind the wall meaning that we need to remove the external wall to cleanse.
Seedy toe is the most common example of this.
Horse Hoof Reconstruction
Left is a photo of a horse that had an injury to its coronary band, and as the wall grew down it was actually deformed and was bulging out!
When the foot was loaded this bulge was actually pushing up with excessive force and causing pinching at the coronary band.
The vet had reseccted (removed the wall and dead tissue) before we got there. It was then our job to apply a shoe to enable this horse to get back to work as quickly as possible.
As part of this horses problems had been from ground reaction forces I decided that I did not actually want to nail into any hoof wall but to keep my nails in the glue alone. You’ll see what I mean later in the article.
Using Glues Or Adhesives
There are a range of modern materials that have really helped farriers keep horses in work.
When applying modern glues or adhesives there are a number of choices.
Different glues or adhesives have different properties and excel under different tensions.
They also have different curing times so this is also taken into account. Some of the choices will come down to personal preference and what individual farriers have had success with in the past.
Keep The Area Clean and Dry!
The most important thing is that the area you are going to apply must be clean and dry.
If it’s not, you will not get a good bond or you will get infection. Both will result in the job having to be done again.
Therefore before we applied the adhesive we thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the entire area. We then applied the adhesive and wrapped in Clingfilm.
The reason for wrapping in Clingfilm is so that if the horse moves he does not get any on him!. It also helps the adhesive set even quicker by increasing the heat.
Leave It To the Professionals
Please be aware that as the chemicals mix and the glue begins to set it gets hot. If you therefore apply to any sensitive areas you can cause the horse a lot of pain. The last thing you want to do is to cause lameness in horses.
Therefore these products should only be used by people who have had training in how to use them.
After about 5 minutes with this particular glue we removed the Clingfilm and rasp any excess off.
You then can nail into it with confidence and finish the job.
How Long Will The Glue Last?
A common question people always ask – how long will it last?
This is impossible to answer. If the horse takes a direct blow on it, it can come out. It also depends on where it is and how exposed it is.
For example this particular adhesive and shoe lasted for the full shoeing cycle of six weeks, but this is not always the case.
Article written by Ben Pollock
Ben Pollock Farriery is located in the Adelaide hills in South Australia. We service a wide range of clients from pleasure horses to performance and have a good association with the local veterinary practices.
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