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Fitting Instructions for ThoroFlex®

The synthetic horseshoe ThoroFlex® differs in several important ways from conventional horseshoes:

  1. ThoroFlex® is a cushioning shoe.
  2. ThoroFlex® is not a heated shoe.
  3. ThoroFlex® is not a so-called corset (iron horseshoe).
  4. The foot holding properties of ThoroFlex® are similar to those of the bare hoof.
  5. ThoroFlex® weighs much less than a conventional 8mm iron horseshoe.
  6. With ThoroFlex® rubbing on the extremity of the lower leg is prevented.
  7. ThoroFlex® stimulates growth of the horny laminae by massaging the hoof.

Preparing the Hoof

For ThoroFlex® the hoof should be pared and shaped, as it would be for the horse going bare hoofed. Somewhat more of the outer portion should be retained, as ThoroFlex® requires little more supporting surface (resulting from the wider design). Prepare part of the sole for this.

Rule of thumb: The sole should be filed back to be roughly as wide as the hoof wall is thick. The outer portion should be a load-bearing part of the hoof and the shoe. Therefore it is cut back only so far as to allow the bridge of the shoe to sit on the outer portion so that it bears part of the load. At the same time the outer portion will be thus massaged, which stimulates blood circulation and growth of the horny laminae. So on soft ground, the outer portion does not sink so much.

At the outer wall of the hoof (up to a height of 5mm) the circumference should for a right angle with the shoe. In this way the hoof won’t grow so quickly over the edge of the shoe. Without a supporting corset (iron horseshoe) the hoof quickly takes on a somewhat wider shape. That can mean that during the first shoeing period the hoof may need to be worked on earlier than usual.

Choosing the Correct Size

At present ThoroFlex® is available in sizes 3 and 5, with one toe clip typically used on the fore-hoof and quarter clips typically used on the hind hoof. Bridges are available in sizes 1-6. Thus, with the 2 size shoes and 6 bridge sizes there are 12 sizes of shoes.

The shoe and bridges should be chosen so that at its widest part the hoof projects by about 2mm.

The bridge is finally fastened with four screws. We recommend a small guide hole be drilled to ensure straight tapping.

Putting on ThoroFlex®

The white line can easily be recognised through ThoroFlex® , due to their transparency. The nail holes should be marked with a suitable pen. Up to nail size 4 the nail holes are made with a 2-2.5mm drill; for larger nails, use a 3mm drill. Given that the nails must withstand greater sheering pressure than with conventional horseshoes, when horseshoes are fitted, nailing should be about 5mm deeper than with conventional iron shoes. The nails should be inserted parallel to the hoof wall. We recommend that six nails be used per shoe. The exact placement for the nails should be selected according to the stability of the hoof wall. At this time, before fitting, it is recommended that the top, outer edge of the trailing arms (the portion that may be caught if the horse overreaches) be rounded off to further help prevent the shoe from being thrown.

We recommend REG for sizes 1-4 nails and E nails for sizes 7-9, although E size nail heads will suffice across the size range. We believe that sizes 8 and 9 will be seldom used. With a punch the nail is driven deeply, firmly, and evenly (approx. 1 – 2mm below the lip of the nail positioning hole) into the shoe so that it is properly fixed. The nails are finally clinched hard with a clincher. When doing this one must be sure the keep the head of the nail on the underside, otherwise the nail can pull when being clinched, endangering the correct seating for the shoe. Clinchers with a guiding element on the straight shank have proved useful.

A correctly fitted ThoroFlex® horseshoe has a normal shoeing period of 6-8 weeks.

ThoroFlex® can be fitted with studs in sizes M10, M12, W12, or with spikes, which allows them to be used under the most trying conditions.

With additional processes ThoroFlex® can also be glued. It is therefore also suitable for complicated cases.

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