The Answers You Need
WHY SHOULD I CAST MY HORSE?
After 35 years of shoeing and gluing horses I have found this to be the most efficient way of protecting and aiding a compromised foot. A shoe can be nailed to a cast very easily as in effect you are creating a thicker wall that absorbs and distributes force. This thicker wall can be nailed to without the risk of close nails.
IS IT SUITABLE FOR STABILISING A HOOF WALL CRACK?
I have found this to be the moss effective crack repair to date. The video on this site will give you an insight into stabling the crack. The other alternatives of screws, wires and braces can be risky if there is no wall thickness to work with. As long as an interface is placed over the crack itself then there is very little risk involved.
WHEN DO YOU USE A FULL PAD CAST VERSUS A WALL ONLY CAST?
If I am presented with a bruised foot or suspected corn then I will use a full pad with a medicated osmotic gel. This will protect the foot from further injury and basically float the sole of the hoof within the cast giving it time to heal while still exercising or racing. I use a wall only cast on the hoof wall that in the past I would have applied a glue on shoe. By casting, I am creating a new thick wall that accepts nails with little risk and gives me a good few cycles of shoeing to nail to.
WHAT SIZE CAST SHOULD I USE, 2" 3" OR 4"?
I generally use a 2" cast for wall rebuild on a racehorse with a size 4-7 race plate. If it's a larger foot or I also want to cover the sole, I would opt for the 3". The 4" is used for very large feet or to apply a clog.
DO I NEED TO PREPARE THE HOOF FOR GLUING THE CAST?
I do not recommend stripping the dorsal wall or roughening it to apply a cast as this removes all the natural hoof varnish and will weaken and soften the wall. A light sanding is all it needs, especially at the anchor points at the heels. This way when the cast is ready to be replaced or removed it will come off easier with little damage to the wall. The shape of the cast when applied will hold it in place as well as the small amount of glue needed.