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Tuesday December 7, 2021

Gluing On Aluminum Shoes

Written by Rusty Freeman
Category: General Farriery
Hits: 6697

This is a nice application for the horse that has chipped, illness brittle or thin walls. Also, hooves with large flares that are difficult to nail into and constantly loose their clinch, allowing the shoe to work, loosen up and eventually tear off.

This also is a nice alternative for the horse that is sore in the hoof and may not be able to stand the concussion of the nailing process.


Materials Required:

  • Safety Glasses, Dremel ¼ Carbide ball bit, Paper cup
  • Latex gloves, Rasp, Tongue depressors
  • Saran wrap, Hair dryer, Small brush
  • Denatured Alcohol, Play-Doh Rusty’s Deadloc 2 part acrylic glue
  • Trim the hoof
  • Establish the size and type of aluminum shoe
  • Shape and fit the shoe

I believe in completing this process first. The benefit is that once you start to prep the hoof and shoe for adhesion, most of the handling will be done. This will limit the surface contamination factor.

Examine the sole closely for bruises, abscess, seedy toe etc… Note: Play–Doh will be applied where the glue is not desired later in the procedure.

If you find several problem areas during this examination, apply “Pure Gum Turpentine” for a couple days before continuing with this process.


Now rasp or use your dremel tool to clean the outer hoof wall, old nail holes, etc.... Be careful not to touch the surface after prep work with your bare hands. Prep the shoe bearing surface by passing your rasp lightly over this area.

I favor the approach of applying a light coat of “Denatured Alcohol” with a small brush to the prepped area, then wrap hoof in Saran Wrap.


Wrap the hoof in saran wrap then give the horse a break.


Lightly grind the hoof bearing surface and sides of the shoe. The intent here is to score the surface, removing contamination and shoe-manufacturing marks to aid adhesion.

Cover shoe with paper towel or Saran wrap. Keeping surfaces uncontaminated from dust, fingerprints and moisture cannot be stressed enough!


Place the Glue, “Rusty’s Deadloc,” a two part acrylic, in a paper cup and mix thoroughly. Put on your latex gloves. Always wear safety glasses, latex gloves and have good ventilation when using any acrylic.


Unwrap hoof and dry thoroughly with hair dryer. Move your heat around the hoof to make sure the hoof is completely dry.


Using a tongue depressor, apply a thick coat of adhesive to the shoe surface - ¼ inch thick at least. This will allow for a base to form when applying to the hoof.


Apply Play-Doh to the bottom of the hoof where glue is not desired. Remember, if the hoof has abscesses, deep bruises, etc..., consult your veterinarian before applying. It’s better to find time to do the job right the first time than it is to find the time to do it right the second time!

As you acquire expertise in this area, these conditions will be easier to identify.


The shoe is now applied to the hoof. Apply firm pressure to seat the shoe and fit it to the hoof. Note: Do not push excessively on the shoe. Your target is to have at least 1/16th of an inch of base glue around the entire weight bearing surface.


The adhesive is built up around the hoof and shoe in the heel area as outlined. Better too much than not enough in this area. It is easier to remove excess than reapply. This important process (as outlined in the photo) acts as a support wall.


Wrap the hoof in Saran wrap and apply low heat from the hair dryer to enhance the curing process. Keep the hoof suspended from the ground until glue is hard on the sidewall. You can check by pushing on the excess glue in the sole area. Once the glue has cured, hold for an extra minute and then release.


Remove the Saran wrap, clean off excess glue from the sole with your hoof knife or dremel bur tool. Remove the Play-Doh by picking it out with a nail.

This results in a nice professional looking application.


The pictures to the left show (top photo) build the glue ½ inch up the hoof wall from the top lip of the shoe. Make sure that you cover the entire shoe (middle photo) in the heel area. You then clean the wall up for a nice smooth finish (as in the bottom photo).


In summary, this technique is one that takes the 3P’s - preparation - patience - perseverance. Once you start to prepare the hoof and shoe, exercise plenty of caution not to contaminate the surface.

Shelly walls, flares, and chipping hoof wall problems will disappear.

As with everything else, with a little experience you will find this to be a nice application to add to your practice.

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