Iron horseshoes have had a distinguished presence in the lives of horses ever since the beginning, way back when horses first took the noble role of giving mankind a helping hand in both work and leisure. But all great things must come to an end to make room for bigger and better creations; enter polyurethane! Polyurethane never ceases to amaze and make the world a better place, and this time it’s our beloved four legged friends who have an extra spring put in their step!
We’re not horsing around; those in the equine fashion business call them “crocs for horses” and they come in colours ranging from neon pink to gray. Others refer to “the end of the Iron Age” whilst even more are raving about the physical and medical benefits of the new application. No matter what is being said, there is a stampede of commentary coming in. OK, we know you’re chomping at the bit to find out more so we’ll rein in the commentary and tell you what exactly we’re talking about!
New plastic horse shoes have made an appearance in the equine market. In the past there have been many ways to shoe a horse, but each has had its drawbacks. Even though the traditional heavy iron or metal horse shoe has been the most popular shoe in the past, it has saddled many a horse with their fair share of problems as it requires the shoe to be physically nailed to the hoof of the horse. The potential trauma and pain is avoided, however, with this new “slip on” plastic hoof shoe, which is glued onto the horses’ hooves thus makes nailing horseshoes a thing of the past.
The new creation did reportedly stirrup some feelings of excitement amongst the veterinarian community, not because of the shoes’ style and comfort but manely due to the fact the shoes also are an effective means of applying treatment and medicated creams in a way that they work effectively on the horse’s hoof!
But why the long face? Don’t worry, this does not mean the end of the long tradition of farriers and an unbridled disaster for the farrier industry which shoes horses , as many European countries legally require the shoe to be installed professionally.