~ UNDERSTANDING POLYFLEX ~
#1 - What are Polyflex Horseshoes, and how do they work?
Polyflex Horseshoes are a shapable polyurethane direct glue on shoe that mimics the natural composition and wear characteristics of the hoof. Our shoes are often used in performance and therapeutic cases as an alternative application with horses that become unresponsive to conventional shoeing methods.
With their ability to mimic the mechanic properties of the foot - Polyflex Horsehoes enhance the function of the hoof, rather than restraining it. This often results in a more comfortable horse with healthier growth.
#2 - What are the benefits of Polyflex shoes?
Polyflex shoes offer multiple benefits for the horse. Most commonly, we hear customers referring to the shoes ability to function as a natural extension of the hoof as the most desirable feature. The direct glue application along with the shoe’s composition are believed to preserve the normal hoof functions of support, traction, shock absorption and proprioception by flexing with the hoof.
In our opinion, conventional glue on shoes over long term use tend to reverse the initial benefits achieved due to the casting nature of a rigid shoe. In comparison, our observations have found Polyflex shoes to be successful for long term use and appear to create healthier horn growth.
#3 - How long will the Polyflex shoes last?
Polyflex Horseshoes are designed to have the same or similar life span as traditional shoes. We recommend shoeing your horse according to the average cycle of 4-6 weeks, based on their personal needs.
#4 - Are Polyflex shoes more expensive than traditional shoes?
Yes. The time it takes to create our shoes, in addition to the materials and craftsmanship needed for the application process makes Polyflex Horseshoes a true investment.
#5 - What determines a horse as a good candidate for Polyflex shoes?
Under our "Shoes" tab, you will find "Selecting A Candidate" option in the drop down menu. If you view this page you will find a thorough description of the four primary points we consider before deciding if a horse is a Polyflex candidate.
~ COMMON CONCERNS ~
#1 - Aren't Polyflex shoes slippery?
Regardless of how a horse is shod, there is always risk associated with surfaces such as asphalt, wet grass and other examples of poor footing. That said, our shoes are widely used on turf courses and grass rings in the performance world. In fact, several of our designs have stud features intended specifically for greater traction. In comparison, we have found Polyflex shoes to be no more slippery than a traditional shoe.
#2 - I can see metal on the toe of my Polyflex Horseshoes - is this normal?
The majority of our shoes comprise a wear plate in the toe region to help eliminate excess wear on the shoe. If you look closely at most aluminum brands of shoes - you will see the same thing. As your horse begins to wear his shoe - the plate will become more visible. This feature is an expected process within the shoeing cycle and is considered normal.
#3 - Will Polyflex Horseshoes fall off?
While all shoes have the potential to come off, the success rate of our shoes staying on is dependent entirely on the application process. In fact, with correct technique and application - Polyflex Horseshoes can be ideal for horses with a tendency to pull shoes & will stay on as well, if not better than traditional shoes.
#4 - Will my horse be able to wear Polyflex shoes long term?
Absolutely. While Polyflex Horseshoes are not intended to be a permanent shoeing choice, they do offer many benefits to the health of the horse's foot. Many clients and farriers agree that they see increased horn growth, structural integrity and sole depth after consistently using Polyflex.
#5 - Can I shoe my horse with Polyflex Horseshoes and traditional shoes simultaneously?
Yes, in fact it is common to have a horse wearing Polyflex in front & traditional shoes in back. What is important to remember is that every horse has different needs. What may work well for one horse may not work well for another. Polyflex Horseshoes are intended to be used in a variety of combinations that benefit each individual horse.
#6 - Once I shoe my horse in Polyflex Horseshoes will I be able to switch back to traditional shoeing methods?
In most cases, absolutely. Polyflex Horseshoes are often used as a means to an end to achieve a specific therapeutic or competitive goal. Depending on your horse's particular needs - it is quite possible that your horse could return to traditional shoeing methods. Occasionally, we do have horses that thrive in Polyflex shoes, and end up becoming some of our long term customers.
#7 - If I cannot find the size or shoe I need for my horse, may I place a custom order/request?
Of our available shoes, we offer a multitude of options to best meet the needs of as many horses as possible. Occasionally we do fulfill custom orders, however we require compensation for the shop time and materials needed to create specific modifications for the shoe. If your request matches a custom order we have had in the past, we may already possess the mold for it. If your request does not match any of our previous orders & is feasible - creating a new original shoe requires a significantly greater investment.
#8 - I noticed that not all Polyflex Horseshoes are the same shade of amber color - what does this mean?
Our shoes are made from a raw material and these batches can sometimes have different shades. While their color may not be identical, all of our shoes are of the same quality.
~ APPLYING POLYFLEX SHOES ~
#1 - Why do you recommend that I use your type of glue and adhesive products for applying Polyflex Horseshoes?
The truth of the matter is that we are not as concerned about brand name as we are about quality of product and type used. Over time, and after much trial and error we have developed a very specific application process using materials that we are confident in. We've had the most success with long term bonds using a methacrylate blend glue with our hoof sealant - and highly recommend using this type of adhesive in conjunction with our application instructions for the best outcomes.
#2 - Why do I need to flash dry the foot before applying Polyflex shoes?
While it may feel dry to the touch, the hoof is technically considered wet after a fresh trim. If any part of the hoof contains moisture at the time of gluing, the adhesive properties of the bond will be compromised. This is why we recommend flash drying the hoof with a torch prior to gluing on the shoe. To find more detailed instructions, visit our Application Process page to view a video tutorial and read our instructional article.
#3 - Can I apply glue on shoes in weather extremes?
Yes, the key is selecting the right type of glue, managing temperature of your glue and controlling your moisture levels in the foot.
We prefer the use of fast set glue - however if you are applying glue on shoes for the first time, slow set will provide you a larger time gap to prepare & apply.
When attempting to control the temperature of your glue, try to avoid extreme changes. In cold weather - store you glue in a room temperature environment & keep your glue on a heating pad while you are preparing your foot. In hot weather extremes, storing your glue in a refrigerator & packing your glue in a cooler will provide you good temperature control also.
Finally, always remember to flash dry the foot using a torch prior to applying the shoe. After a fresh trim, the horse's hoof is considered wet. By flash drying, you will create an ideal surface for your adhesive to bond to.
If you are mindful of these three things and combine it with the correct application process you can get very good results shoeing in all weather types.
#4 - What options do I have for shaping a Polyflex shoe?
Unlike traditional shoes, our Polyflex Horseshoes are designed with an encapsulated wire to allow for shaping. Additionally, our shoes come in various toe widths and modification options to adapt to breed & discipline specific needs.
That said, we do not advise using a hammer to shape Polyflex Horseshoes. Our personal preference is to use the end of a hoof jack to shape the shoe. By putting the branch of the shoe that you are wanting to shape into the top of the aluminum post of your hoof jack (after removing the rubber cap that your hoof sits on) you are able to bend the shoe. By exaggerating the bend, you are generally able to achieve the degree of change you are looking for.
If you need further assistance selecting the right shoe for your horse or creating the perfect fit, please call anytime for advice. In the meantime, be sure to check in to watch our upcoming instructional videos!
#5 - Can Polyflex Horseshoes be nailed on?
No, Polyflex shoes are never meant to be nailed on. Due to the nature of their design Polyflex shoes are only to be applied using direct glue. If you were to nail on a Polyflex shoe, the natural flexibility of the polyurethane would create enough excess movement to induce stress on the nails, thus resulting in damage to the hoof wall.
#6 - How do you remove a Polyflex Horseshoe?
Our best advice is to treat a Polyflex shoe like an extension of the horse's foot and to trim it off. However, be mindful of the glue to make sure you are not taking part of the hoof off with your shoe.
#7 - Can Polyflex shoes be reset?
Polyflex Horseshoes are meant to wear according to the horse's natural foot fall and are not intended to be used for more than one shoeing. Depending on the discipline of your horse & the surfaces he/she is ridden on, the shoes will wear at different rates. We highly recommend that you maintain your horse's shoeing routine, and do not stretch the shoeing cycle.
#8 - How do I find more information about the glue on process?
We have additional resources for learning about our glue on process on our website under the "Shoes" tab. If you select "Shoes" the drop down menu will offer you an "Application Process" option. That page will offer you an instructional video, step by step article and a link to our Quarter Crack video. If those resources don't provide you with the answers you are looking for - please feel free to give us a call anytime. We are more than happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.
~ miscellaneous ~
#1 - Why do I need to call to order my shoes?
Over the years, our one on one relationship with our customers has proven to be extremely effective for achieving positive outcomes. We want you and your horse to succeed. By having a phone conversation with you - we make sure that we meet your exact needs.