On February 18, we had a representative from Vettec here at Jeffers. Her name is Lynne Myers, and she is a bundle of energy! I walked in and she immediately drew me in by the joke she made – “Well it’s about time, we’ve been waiting 20 minutes!” As she got into teaching the class we were having, she kept my attention because she was so engaged. This lady really knows her stuff! She brought in samples of the different padding materials they use, already mixed. That was super helpful for all of us here who don’t own any horses and have never been exposed to the need for hoof care products.
Jeffers has been in business for over 40 years. For over 15 of those years, we have been a supporter of Vettec. Our own Equine Specialist, Kim Cahill, uses their products on her horses. Here are her thoughts on Vettec, “Horseshoes have their place, but not at my farm. I got my OTTB, Jackson, from some dear friends. When I brought him home he had front shoes. After Jackson got settled in, I then had his shoes removed. He had shoes for a long period of time, so naturally, he was ouchy. I purchased Sole-Guard by Vettec in an attempt to make my sweet boy more comfortable. We all know the saying, “no feet, no horse”…Well, the transformation in Jackson’s attitude because of his feet not hurting was huge! What’s even better is that prep and application were far easier than I anticipated. I am able to apply the Sole-Guard by myself (however, I would recommend having more than one person for horses that are not comfortable with their feet being handled). I still use Sole-Guard on Jackson because racing until the age of 8 has done a number on his poor front hooves. Jackson and I highly recommend this product to anyone that prefers to not use shoes, but feels that you have no other choice in regards to keeping your horse comfortable and happy.”
Their hardest hoof pad, Equi-Build, is primarily used to seal out moisture and dirt. It is a very sturdy, durable packing material. Its primary design is to share the load with the hoof wall to promote fast heel, sole, and frog growth. Often used for endurance horses, it is a very firm material. Caution is recommended when dealing with sensitive soft or thin-soled feet.
If you aren’t sure which material strength you need, according to Lynne, you can’t go wrong with Equi-Pak. It gives support and protection for the bottom of the foot. This one can be used with or without a pad. It keeps out moisture and debris.
For horses who battle thrush, Equi-Pak with Copper Sulfate is the way to go. This is great to prevent and treat mild to moderate cases of thrush. It contains copper sulfate, which helps to heal the foot. NOTE: If your horse already has thrush, treat it first with Kopertox® or one of our other thrush remedies. DO NOT use Equi-Pak with CS if your horse’s sole is bleeding or has white necrotic tissues.
Equi-Pak Soft is softer than the normal Equi-Pak. It stays soft, even in colder temperatures. This pack MUST be used under a pad. This is highly recommended for therapeutic uses, as well as tender footed horses.
For horses who are not shod, or for those who wish to transition to non-shod, Vettec offers something for you, as well. The Sole-Guard offers a firm yet flexible padding for protection and support. This bonds to the foot for two weeks.
The Equi-Thane SuperFast is good for foal extensions, or temporary custom shoes. It is also used to help with small hoof repairs and toe cracks. With a quick set of 30 seconds, it can be nailed to or rasped like the horse’s actual hoof within minutes.
Vettec has also created an adhesive, the Equi-Thane Adhere, which can be used in a multitude of ways. It is able to be used as a glue for shoes and boots, as well as wall repair. The Vettec Blog is a great resource for ideas, tips, and recommendations. When doing an adhesive, it is a good idea to put it on in layers – set a layer, let it dry, repeat.
Equi-Mesh is a great material for extra support and strength under the hoof padding. It is nailed in under the padding. Lynne equated it to using rebars in concrete!
During the training, Michelle and I took some extra notes from the things Lynne mentioned. I thought I would share those with you all, and maybe help if there is any confusion.
- Equi-Pak and Equi-Pak CS must have a shoe.
- Horses in dry climates and wet climates often have different hoof care needs. Since horses exposed to wetter areas are more inclined to develop thrush, good hoof padding is a good preventative for it. Horses in a drier area do not have as much need for padding against thrush.
- Each Pak will (usually) cover two hooves. If your horse has larger hooves or is draft horse size, you would need two Paks.
- First-time users might want to buy more than one Pak. You never know what could happen. Having some help, preferably from your farrier, is recommended.
- The product must be warmed to room temperature to be used correctly and give you success. If it is too cold out, it could explode when you try to squeeze it. A good rule of thumb for making sure the product is ready is to look for bubbles. If you see an air bubble moving around somewhat freely in the bottle, you should be good to go. If it is slowly moving, it is probably still too cold. If you squeeze it and feel resistance, it is probably still too cold.
- To warm it, place the bottle on the dash of your truck with defrost on or drop it in hot water. If you choose to drop it in water, make sure the bag is still on it. Don’t lay it in the sun – the sun will discolor it. Do not microwave – it will warm unevenly.
- The temperature of the product matters more than the outside temperature. It could be 80 degrees outside, but if the product is still too cold, it will not apply successfully and could result in a big mess.
- The padding materials typically stay in the foot for the duration of the shoeing cycle. However, this varies for each individual horse’s needs. The average duration is 4-6 weeks.
Vettec does a great job with their products. Visit their website to learn more about their products, their staff, and more.
For detailed application instructions, visit Vettec’s Instruction Page.
You can reach their blog here.
For Vettec’s product comparison chart, click here.
As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact us here at Jeffers.