Sole Protection

Note: Whilst it is usually advantageous to keep the soles of the equine foot open to the air, it is sometimes required to provide extra sole protection to a flat or very thin sole. Whenever a sole pack or sole pad is applied to the foot, one side-effect is that the sole will sweat and soften. The product may appear to be effective but the foot is liable to become more dependent on the protection and the sole integrity weaken further over time. That said, it has been found in practice that when a material is bonded directly onto the sole this problem is avoided. No oxidisation or sweating occurs unless the bond is broken.

So where it is deemed essential to provide extra protection, the following is recommended:

Sole Protection Procedure – Imprint Sole Reinforcement

  • Debride the sole and frog of all loose or unhealthy material.
  • Clean using surgical spirit and let vaporise.
  • Heat/Soften enough Imprint Hoof Repair Material to cover the sole – excluding the frog – to a thickness of no more than 2-3mm.
  • Wearing latex gloves, apply a thin layer of Imprint Adhesive scribbled onto the whole sole area or part requiring protection.
  • Immediately follow this by gathering the Imprint Hoof Repair into a mass and moulding onto the sole starting at one heel, lipping the edge of the hoof, working round the hoof to the other heel avoiding the frog, but including the bars.
  • Keep the skin thin, mimicking healthy anatomical shape – creating some concavity to the sole even when the sole is flat.
  • This will create an outer bearing surface.
  • Do not fill the clefts either side of the frog. Only form a skin, so that the hoof can function as designed and flex with weight-bearing and movement.
  • When satisfied with shape, and that adhesive is visible around the margins, cool and harden using Imprint Freezer.
  • When hard, allow to stand for approximately 10 minutes or until the adhesive has hardened.
  • All forms of shoes can be either nailed or moulded to this.

Sole Protection Removal

When the hoof needs trimming or shoeing again, the sole protection should be carefully peeled away starting from one heel; exfoliating sole horn will come away with it. If for any reason part or the whole sole protection is to be removed soon after fitting, then farriers’ tools can safely cut the material away.