Plastic shoes for horses are rapidly gaining popularity in the market. While they may presently not have a robust market presence, they are starting to get more attention.
It is becoming a niche product line, and the farriers who have the relevant knowledge are beginning to turn a handsome profit. Designers are also working hard to come up with the latest technological innovations around plastic horseshoes.
We will further discuss the plastic horseshoes for horses in our article below. We will look at the pros and cons as well. We hope that the information will help you decide whether it is the direction you would want to take for your horse.
Why Do You Need To Put a Shoe On a Horse?
There is an interesting debate going on around whether you should leave the horse bare foot or shoe it. After all, those in the wild do not have any shoes, and they seem to fare on just fine.
We also have domestic animals such as cows and goats that do not wear shoes. The experts will, however, tell you that you need a shoe for your horse due to the following reasons:-
Protection for the feet
Your horse may normally walk on stony or hard ground that may bruise their feet. They also perform tasks like racing and jumping that will impact on their heels.
You have the option of temporary solutions such as step-on or glue-on shoes. the option you choose should provide sufficient protection without falling off.
You optimize the performance of your horse. Some terrains will require that the horse has excellent traction to perform. Since you avoid soreness and bruising when you shoe the horse, it will perform much better than it would if it was barefoot.
The physical condition of the horse
some physical conditions will require that you provide additional support for your horse with shoes. Such include old age, arthritis, among others.
Plastic Shoes for Horses:
In an exciting shift, horse owners are turning to plastic shoes, instead of the traditional metallic ones. What makes it interesting is that most of the varieties available in the market have the benefit of the latest technological innovations.
Metal shoes have been in existence for centuries, and most of them still maintain a traditional form.
Before launching new products, companies that design plastic horseshoes for horses take the time to test the performance and positive aspects of plastic shoes.
It becomes a win-win situation for the horses and the owners. You get remedial capabilities for navicular syndrome, laminitis, and a host of other hoof issues.
Proponents of plastic shoes for horses say that they place less stress on the joints and tendons. The hooves also enjoy better padding or cushioning, which the metal shoes cannot give.
It also eliminates the need for lengthy shodding processes, which require the use of specialized tools and nails.
The plastic shoes are made from different types of plastic, such as polyurethane. Instead of using nails to fix them into position, you use different kinds of adhesives such as cyanoacrylate glue.
Other brands use urethane rubber that allows for flexibility, better blood flow, and general comfort against pain. The installation process is easy and comfortable for both you and your horse.
Some designs mimic crocs that you slip your feet, in this case, the horse’s hoof. The fashion-conscious groups are also appreciating the range of colors available with the plastic varieties.
The pros and cons of Plastic Horse Shoes For Horses
- They provide a much lighter material than conventional metal, making them more comfortable.
- Plastic horseshoes have therapeutic benefits, especially for horses with sensitive heels. They also have advantages for horses that have thin walls and slow growth in their hooves.
- You will enjoy a more prolonged period between shoeing. They, therefore, offer more convenience and affordability in the long run.
- Some of the designs will allow the foot to expand and contract naturally in a vertical or lateral movement.
- The horse can run over different terrain without worrying about concussions or vibrations .
- The plastic designs allow for breath-ability of the frog and sole.
- They are lightweight and have better shock-absorbing capabilities .
- You can easily apply creams or medications in case of an injury.
- They have become a popular fashion accessory, due to the range of colors available.
- They are a better choice for older horses that have arthritis, ring bone, conformation, and joint suspension problems.
- They are easier to shape than metal horseshoes, and you do not require specialized equipment to install them.
- The material allows the shoe to flex with the hoof, making it more comfortable.
- Some have in-built softer pads that give the sole healthy natural support. It allows for less stress on any pressure points on the sole or front.
- The initial cost may be higher than for traditional shoes. However, the cost-saving aspect is due to the length of time it will take to replace them.
- Some horses find the shoes hard to adjust.
- They may be aesthetically unattractive for some people.
- You must be careful about the type of glue you choose because some are not durable.
- They are not very common, and you may need to place in a special order.
- Most farriers do not have the relevant knowledge or experience to use them.
infographic Of Plastic Shoes For Horses:
To shoe or not to shoe? We do not necessarily foresee a situation where the debate on whether to shoe or not to shoe your horse will end anytime soon.
One thing for sure is that shoeing a horse has so many benefits, including protection of the heels, better performance, among others.
With technological innovations, we now have plastic shoes that are a departure from the metal ones. Plastic shoes have a lot of advantages, including flexibility and convenience.
The benefits to your horse are plentiful, as we have highlighted above.
Medically, you will save on costs that come from dealing with conditions such as arthritis, joint issues, among others.
Aesthetically, you have the option of so many varieties.
Technologically, the thought process that has gone into coming up with some of these designs has taken years to perfect.
You are, therefore, sure that the plastic shoe will serve your horse well.