Manufacturer: Ground Control Horse Shoes
Model: Clear Plastic
Category: Horse Health and Well Being
Purchase: I have been trying natural hoof balancing; various hoof boots (Easy boot, Epic, Boa, Cavallo) with no true luck. I have a 10-year-old Haflinger Mare that is not ridden much, but was sore on hard ground or gravel. She had spent her life before me in metal shoes. I had heard another person that used the Ground Control shoes with their driving horses. I figured that if it could stand up to driving on roads, and provided better shock absorbs ion than a metal shoe, it had to be worth a shot. It took me 6 months to finally try the shoe out, I was sort of brain washed into thinking horseshoes were evil. I paid 9 dollars a shoe, plus around 6 dollars in shipping from www.plastichorseshoes.com. The shoes shipped fast, via USPS. I plan to order more. I only ordered two to try out on the front feet.
Likes: The shoes are light in weight and flexible. As the horse walks, you can actually see the shoe and hoof flex, unlike a rigid metal shoe. Instantly my horse was walking on coarse gravel (crusher run driveway), loose asphalt and hard compacted earth. Her trot stride lengthened and her hind legs came forward and up and under her more. Before the Ground Control shoes, she would gingerly walk on these surfaces and when being ridden, she had a very choppy gate. The center frog support appears to protect her frog, while also providing support to the frog. Otherwise, a metal shoe would just leave the frog suspended in the air, and open to damage by rocks. Traction seems improved, and there is no loud clanking horseshoes. Actually, I think with the plastic shoes, the horse hooves are even quieter than when they are bare. The company sends a very nice, color brochure that describes how to attach the shoe to the hoof. The shoe has been on now for 3 weeks and seems solid. Only thing I noted was that the Clinches of the nails has risen on the hoof, perhaps the nails have driven further into the shoe, but otherwise everything seems tight. I will have it checked by the farrier when he comes by the barn.
Dislikes: I have a very open-minded Farrier for starters. I can see where some farriers might laugh at a plastic horseshoe. However, my farrier was open minded, and a little interested to see what happened. I told him it was an experiment, if the shoe fell off in two days I would not blame him. Only thing he found was that while the clear plastic was nice to see through while nailing to the hoof, he felt his nails were not going in where he wanted them. Therefore, he took the shoes and pre-drilled nail holes. Once that was done, the shoes went on quickly. So if I had to make a suggestion, it would be pre nailed holes (however I figure the nail holes are not predrilled so each individual farrier can decide where they want the holes. I am undecided about the frog support. It think it is great to support the frog, and overall it seems to shed mud, but I also feel that I cannot get in and clean the hoof as well as I would like. The weather has been very dry so I have not had much concern with normal wet weather foot ailments such as thrush. However, I am concerned that such ailments might be difficult to treat if the frog support is left intact. The support can be cut out if desired; I guess if the need arose, I could experiment with cutting out the support.
Quality: Construction and Quality seem high. Between the two shoes I ordered, there was a slight difference in color. One shoe was clear; the other had a sort of white haziness to it. However, if I closed my eyes, and flexed the shoes, I could not tell a difference between the two. And seriously, it is going on my horse's foot, the color does not have to match. Actually the clear sort of blends in with the hoof, because once on and it gets dirty, the plastic looks sort of hoof color (my horse has light black hooves)
Summary: I highly recommend these shoes. They are a good middle ground between metal shoe, and a barefoot or booted foot. I currently only have them on my horse's front feet, but plan on ordering more and putting them on her back feet as well.
Usefulness Rating: 4.34426 out of 5.
61 reader(s) voted.
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