Healthy Barefoot Hooves vs. Protecting Synthetic Non-Metal Horseshoes
Some products are developed for a specific purpose, and during their use, it turns out that users 'misuse' them. This also happened to us with our Classic Horseshoe, a purely synthethic non-metal shoe.
We have developed the synthetic non-metal Classic line for the purpose of using it as a new outsole for worn-out hoof boots. We never originally intended the Classic to be used as a horseshoe. However, over time, we have realized that a few of our Classic models have been successfully used as non-metal horseshoes. The purely synthetic Classic line appears to be a very good compromise solution for many when a horse doesn't do well barefoot, but metal shoes are not an option due to conviction for example.
Even though we are generally convinced that the advantages of composite shoes usually outweigh those of pure synthetic non-metal shoes, here again, it applies: Our world is neither black nor white, and we won't pigeonhole any kind of hoof protection - be it the steel shoe, the plastic shoe, or the hoof boot.
Every type of shoe has its justification and advantages in various situations on the hoof. Therefore, we are also pleased that the Classic line, even though it wasn't originally intended for this purpose, is being used as a barefoot-like synthetic non-metal horseshoe by many of our customers.
Due to the increased demand for the non-metal Classic shoes in 2022, we decided to expand our range of non-metal shoes and offer a model with a closed sole area as well.
The Classic in the Pony Version - Concussion Absorption Now Available for the Tiniest Hooves of Ponies
In the end of 2023, we introduced another version of the Classic model to meet the demand for a shock-absorbing shoe for the very small hooves: the pony horseshoe.
Our non-metal horseshoes for the small hooves of ponies are a special version among our Classic line. They have neither knobs nor nailing slots and are intended solely for a glued application. The smallest pony horseshoe will be size 50mm, so that even the tiniest hooves can finally benefit from the advantages of a synthetic horseshoe.
Renewal of Hoof Boot Outsoles and Use as a Non-Metal Shoe - Photos of our Classic Line
Adjusting a non-metal synthethic shoe to the shape of the horse's hoof.
The non-metal Classic line is available in both a round version for front hooves and an oval version for the hind hooves.
You may equip the Classic models with spikes to enhance the traction of your non-metal shoe.
Big and small at a glance. Our Horseshoes are available from 50mm up to 198mm. The pony shoes have neither knobs nor nailing slots and are only intended for use as a glue-on shoe.
To ensure that the pony horseshoe doesn't feel like a platform shoe, it becomes thinner as the size decreases. We recommend using it in combination with the Wolf Busch® tabs.
If you want to retrofit your pony shoe with spikes (at your own discretion), please use size M. Size L is too large for the small pony horseshoes.
Since the Classic model does not have a stable metal core, it is not as rigid as our composite shoes. Please consider this aspect when using the Classic to protect your horse's hooves.
The main disadvantage of using the Classic as a nail-on shoe is the risk of the nails slipping through the nailing slots due to the absence of a stable metal core. Please consider this risk when using the Classic as a nail-on shoe at your own discretion.
Most of our customers who use the Classic as a non-metal hoof protection decide on a glued application in combination with the Wolf Busch® tabs.
Application and Safety Guidelines for the Non-Metal Synthethic Horseshoe - Video
The Classic was originally developed by us for renewing the outsole of worn-out hoof boots.
Many customers use the Classic at their discretion as a non-metal horseshoe and are satisfied with the results. For this reason, we would like to briefly discuss the similarities and differences between our composite horseshoe with a stabilizing metal core and the Classic as a pure synthethic model.
Advantages of the Synthethic Coating of our Horseshoes - Whether With or Without a Metal Core
- The concussion absorption powers of the synthethic material significantly reduce impacts and high-frequency vibrations during the landing phase of the hoof.
- An integrated frog support can improve the blood circulation of the hoof.
- The flexible synthethic material supports the natural mobility of the elastic structures of the hoof.
- Most of our models feature an integrated synthetic debris guard, greatly reducing the risk of snow, mud, and arena debris sticking to the horseshoe.
- Weight reduction - as a composite shoe is typically lighter than a steel shoe with equivalent additional features.
- Reduced risk of injuries in a herd situation.
- As a model with closed sole area, it can be used with padding material.
- The traction of a synthethic horseshe on various surfaces typically resembles that of a bare hoof more than a steel shoe.
Advantages of Non-Metal Horseshoes
- They restrict the hoof mechanism the least among all types of horseshoes, depending on the hardness of the synthethic material used.
- Further minimized risk of injuries in the herd since no elements of iron or steel are attached to the hoof.
- Weight savings; the non-metal synthethic shoe typically has the least weight as it has no metal components.
- Cheaper than a composite horseshoe.
Disadvantages of a Non-Metal Horseshoe Compared to a Composite Shoe With a Stable Metal Core
- When using the Classic as a nail-on shoe at your own discretion, you must consider two important safety-related aspects:
- The Classic lacks reliable nailing slots. Due to the absence of a metal core, nail heads have an unstable fit in the shoe and can more easily slip through.
- The Classic does not provide additional protection against twisting on the hoof when used as a nail-on shoe.
- A pure plastic horseshoe is less torsionally rigid than a composite shoe with a metal core. The pure plastic shoe has reduced structural stability during the shoeing period, which can result in undesired pressure on the hoof if the plastic shoe deforms unevenly.
A Glue-On Composite Shoe for Your Horse or Pony
Due to the disadvantages described above in nailing-on a non-metal horseshoe, most of our customers use the Classic as a glue-on shoe. Therefore, we provide our gluing instructions at this point.
Please pay attention to the special safety instructions regarding the adhesive used during the gluing process.
Gluing on a Pony's Hoof - Special Considerations for Pony Sizes
In our view, the well-liked Wolf Busch tabs in size 3 are suitable for our shoes ranging from size 114mm down to pony horseshoe size 90mm. The tabs will soon be offered in even smaller sizes. For updates, stay tuned to our social media channels; we'll keep you informed.
In general, when working with small sizes for ponies, it is crucial to always keep an eye on the size of the tabs and adjust the height and, if necessary, the width of the tabs according to the hoof. Of course, this applies to all other adhesive shoes as well, but especially with the smallest sizes for pony hooves, manual adjustments are more likely to be the rule than the exception.
You can find further details, among other things, the product description of the glueing accessories.
Please note that the Classic was originally designed for renewing the outsole of hoof boots. Customer experience has shown that it can indeed be used as a non-metal horseshoe. Nevertheless, as a purely synthethic shoe, in comparison to our composite shoes, it has different functionalities and poses certain safety risks, especially when used as a nail-on shoe. The use of the Classic in the function of a non-metal horseshoe is always at the discretion of the on-site hoof-care specialist. Please also refer to our general safety advice.
|non-metal synthethic horseshoe
|Classic; Pony Horseshoe
|490, 491, G490, G491
|renew the outsole of hoof boots, alternative horseshoes, concussion absorption powers, stimulation of hoof mechanism, promoting natural hoof movement, non-metal horseshoe for ponies and foals
|Riding Styles and Disciplines
|a.o. leisure riding, trail riding, ground work
|Admission for Tournaments
|non-metal horseshoes are approved for various competitions; for more information please contact the respective association (f.ex. AQHA, FEIF, FN, FISE, SVPS).
|Therapy Shoe / Rehab
|The model is also suitable for supportive use in the orthopedic and therapeutic field. We expressly point out that our products do not diagnose or cure any diseases and advise for any use with a therapeutic or orthopedic background to work closely with the hoof specialist or veterinarian on site.
|u.a. Warmblood, Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, Paint Horse, Haflinger, Icelandic, Arabian, Friesian, Andalusian, Hanoverian, Welsh, Shetty, Minishetty, American Miniature Horse, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Classic-Pony, Falabella, Pony of the Americas
|Recommended: to renew the outsole of your hoof boots
At your own discretion: nail-on shoe
The horseshoes for ponies without nailing slots cannot be used as a nail-on shoe.
|can be found under FAQ → Instructions
|can be found under FAQ → Safety Information
|round / oval
|Sizes Round Shape
|Pony Horseshoe with closed sole area: 50mm-98mm
Non-metal shoe with open sole area: 102mm-170mm
Non-metail shoe with closed sole area: 102mm-146mm
|Sizes Oval Shape
|Pony Horseshoe with closed sole area: 50mm-94mm
Non-metal shoe with open sole area: 98mm-166mm
Non-metal shoe with closed sole area: 98mm-146mm
|in 4mm steps
|Based on the shape of the hoof and the widest part of the hoof (after appropriate hoof treatment) or, in a pinch, also based on the horseshoe size that has fit so far. In the section FAQ → Sizes and Shapes, you will find a free template.
|depending on the temperature, their usability without traction enhancing devices may be limited in the cold season
|Pony Horseshoe: The information will follow once all sizes of our pony shoes have been produced.
Version with open sole area: 110-306g
Version with closed sole area: 155-263g
|depending on the size - for details please visit FAQ → Sizes and Shapes
|the respective size in mm
|Size 50-62mm: 12mm
Size 66-78mm: 13mm
Size 82-94mm: 14mm
Size 98-170mm: 15mm
|Non-metal pourely synthethic shoe without stable knob arrays. The soft integrated knobs do not protect the shoe
from twisting on the hoof.
The synthethic horseshoes for ponies in the pony sizes do not have any knobs.
|Benefit from the concussion absorption powers of the synthethic material.
|The molded synthetic lip (version with open sole area) acts like a debris guard - similar to a snowgrip® - and reduces the amount of snow and debris balling up.
|Depending on the size, 6 to 8 nailing slots. Due to the absence of a metal core, they provide
little support for the nails.
The pony shoes do not have any nailing slots.
|The ideal nail size varies depending on the hoof situation and size - you can find a general recommendation in our store at the hoof nails. Please consider the above-mentioned risks when using this non-metal shoe as a nail-on shoe.
|can improve the blood circulation of the horse's hoof
|open or closed sole area
|you may grind a toe rocker to adjust breakover
|The version with open sole area has a deeper thread pattern.
The version with closed sole area does not have a deeper thread pattern, but you can grind in a more pronounced profile yourself.
|For additional slip resistance of your synthethic shoe, you can use spikes. In general, you must adjust your speed to the surface and, for example, ride at a reduced speed on slippery surfaces. In case that you want to add spikes to your pony horseshoe (at your own discretion), please note that the L-spikes are not suitable. For your pony's shoeing, please use the slightly smaller M-spikes.
|Risk of Injuries in Herds
|Minimized risk of injuries in herd situations and in case of irregular movements in comparison to a metal horseshoe or the sharp-edged border of a barefoot hoof - please also read our safety information.
|The flexible synthethic material encourages the mobility of the elastic hoof structures.
|with an angle grinder, belt grinder, nippers or toeing knife
(at your own discretion)
|more or less wide, extend
|Accessories Standard Sizes
|a.o. Wolf Busch® tabs, glue-on tabs Pro and Easy, extensions, colored stripes, glue, welding device, Megafoam, abrasive blocks
|Accessories Pony Shoes
|a.o. Wolf Busch® tabs, glue, welding device, Megafoam, abrasive blocks
|from 20 pieces per size (article number)
|Exchange and Return
|Possible under certain preconditions within 3 months within the EU.
For returns from outside the EU please contact the Customer Service Team.
For further details please look at FAQ → Service & Conditions.
|worldwide; deliveries to France, Switzerland and Canada are carried out by our our country representatives
Tips and Tricks
At this point, we would like to provide you with some helpful tips and information. The Classic, like all our products, is a product 'from farriers for farriers'. We understand the invaluable value of professional experience, especially in the field of hoof protection
Whether it's about barefoot trimming or the use of various types of shoes, every horse has its individual challenges and needs. Therefore, the requirements for hoof protection not only vary from discipline to discipline but even from hoof to hoof. Especially with the non-metal Classic line, it becomes evident that as a manufacturer, we often think in a different direction than you as the user. We would be very pleased if you could share your experiences with us in the form of a brief product review.
Successful Use as a Non-Metal Glue-On Shoe
Since the Classic is often used as a glue-on shoe, we'd like to provide you with a few tips for a successful glued application. Besides the proper fitting of the shoe to the hoof, there are several aspects to consider during the gluing process to ensure that the horse doesn't loose the shoe.
Loosing a glued shoe can have several reasons:
- An unstable welding seam between the shoe and the tabs.
- An unstable adhesive bond between the tabs and the hoof.
- The horse / pony stepped on the shoe and damaged the tabs.
Especially in the case of torn tabs, one is usually fortunate, as otherwise you would likely have to call the vet instead of the farrier. Since a significant force is required to tear the tabs, one can only imagine the pressure that tendons and ligaments would have been subjected to if the tabs had not torn.
Let's get back to our tip for a stable welding seam: To achieve uniform and stable welds, we have developed a special device. Once you have welded the synthethic shoe and tabs together, a glassy bead should be visible along the entire weld seam. After the welding seam has cooled, we recommend conducting a tear test.
When it comes to the adhesive bond between the hoof and tabs, it becomes a bit more complex. If you buy the gluing products from us, you will find plenty of useful information in our online shop.
Many more tips on gluing can also be found with the gluing tabs and our Nailless shoe, which was specifically designed for use as a glue-on shoe.
The Right Size and Shape of Non-Metal Shoe
If you're unsure about your horse's hoof shape or the correct size for your non-metal synthethic shoe, we have provided a printable template for you.
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