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3D Hoof Care? FormaHoof Brings Horseshoeing Into A Three-Dimensional World

Since the dotcom bubble burst back in 2000, technology has radically transformed our societies and our daily lives. From smartphones to social media and healthcare, in the two decades since the crash, technology has advanced in so many ways.

While many facets of the equestrian industry have benefitted from advances in technology (from wearable sensor technology for horses, to robots that are able to safely lift and maneuver a horse during operations), horseshoeing has, quite simply, been behind the technology curve. Until now.

Two thousand years ago, nailed-on, two dimensional shoes were at the cutting edge of hoof care technology. However, despite incremental improvements over the following 20 centuries, it’s an unfortunate fact that today the vast majority of horseshoe products on the market directly resemble these early metal shoes.

In today’s three-dimensional world, where even teenagers are designing and 3D printing products in their own homes, now is the time for radical change and one company has set about bringing horseshoeing into a three-dimensional, 21st Century world: FormaHoof.

FormaHoof is a 3D system that not only provides the surface protection of a traditional 2D horseshoe, but also provides 3D support for the entire hoof and, consequently, to the horse’s entire biomechanical system.

Why would farriers consider moving away from nailed-on metal horseshoes?

3D Hoof Care Difference

The hoof is nature’s perfectly designed appendage. It supports the strength and weight of the horse as it naturally flexes and moves to absorb strain and promote blood flow, as it forms part of a healthy vascular system. As farriers know only too well, the modern-day life of horses necessitates the use of a hoof protection system, since, more often than not, they operate in environments outside that which the natural hoof has developed for.

No one can dispute the fact that two dimensional, nailed on horseshoes have had their place. They have protected our horse’s hooves for centuries, allowing them to go further, for longer. But they also have many disadvantages: Traditional nailed-on horseshoes compromise the structural integrity of the hoof wall, making it weaker and liable to crack. They also increase concussion up the horse’s limbs, with the rigid metal shoe offering no impact absorption, and the frog no longer where it is meant to be – in contact with the ground. And when it comes to a horse with hoof disease or injury, the limitations of two-dimensional horseshoes put up an abrupt and often pain-filled wall and put severe limits on the assistance that farriers can provide to horses in pain.

Are boots and glue-on’s a good alternative to nailed on horseshoes?

Alternatives such as hoof boots and glue-on’s are available on the market, but these also are not particularly innovative, as the Romans produced the first “boots” or “Hipposandals” back in the BC days.

The theory behind boots is good. The horse owner can put them on when they need them while providing protection to the horse’s hoof and a degree of impact absorption. However, can you imagine trying to run with a loose running shoe that is gathering dirt and contaminants along the way? Doesn’t sound comfortable, right? This is exactly how horses feel with a less than perfectly fitted hoof boot.

And when it comes to glue-on’s, the industrial adhesives required to keep a glue-on shoe in place can do untold damage to the hoof during removal, whether this is accidental or intentional.

All these products have one thing in common. They try to tackle a three-dimensional problem with a two-dimension approach, completely missing out on the opportunity and benefits that an extra, third dimension offers to the horse.

The three-dimensional difference

FormaHoof was designed from the ground up to do one thing very well; to mimic the natural biomechanics of a completely healthy hoof, while providing additional protection and support to the horse’s own natural hoof.

The engineers behind the design understood that if you were to support a three-dimensional flexible structure such as a hoof, you needed an approach which matched its performance and real-world characteristics.

By harnessing the expertise of equine hoof care practitioners (vets, farriers & podiatrists) and combining this with the most up to date 3D technology, FormaHoof has created a completely new approach to horseshoeing that combines advanced materials and usability with an application process that is highly efficient and repeatable.

3D – adding a new dimension to injury and disease rehabilitation

Before And After FormaHoof Pictures

When looking at existing hoof rehab treatments, we often see that they adopt a progressive approach, dealing with one issue, crack, or problem at a time. This may work if the damage is superficial, but it leaves space for other issues to worsen in the meantime.

FormaHoof allows you to treat multiple problems at the same time, with one innovative overall solution which can not only help to achieve healthier hooves, but also allow muscles, tendons, and ligaments to benefit from the adjusted hoof aliment.

Francisco Benardoni, horse owner & farm manager at leading US Polo centre Cotterel Polo Farms, comments:

“It seems to us that by putting the horses at the correct hoof angles, coupled with the increased blood flow in the hoof thanks to FormaHoof, we can achieve faster recovery times. We also put one of our homebreds, Moonshine, in FormaHoof to help heal a tendon issue. Within 12 weeks not only did we see an improvement in the tendon, but we noticed she developed bigger shoulder muscles than she had prior.”

horse polo

How Cotterel Polo Farms Uses FormaHoof To Tackle Hoof Problems

Education and progress in a modern, post-pandemic world

Two years into a global pandemic, it’s clear to see that the way we are doing things is changing. Unfortunately for many horses, change cannot happen fast enough, as changing mindsets and skillsets can be a challenge in the equine world.
Thankfully, modern technology is providing the answer as online training tools can offer full education on the benefits of FormaHoof’s new 3D shoeing technology and the process by which exceptional results are achieved.

Sven Targett, farrier & FormaHoof Certified Applicator in Perth, Australia comments:

FormaHoof has excellent online training modules which are accessible for owners and farriers alike. FormaHoof is a real game-changer in the way that we can approach our rehabilitation plans, helping these wonderful equine athletes to live long and productive lives after racing and I’m so happy to be able to offer FormaHoof as a solution, not only to our clients but their horses as well.”

Horse's Hoof Before FormaHoof OTTB

Thoroughbred Hoof Care With FormaHoof – On And Off The Track

With the FormaHoof system, owners and professionals alike can educate themselves and learn more about the possibilities FormaHoof provides to horses, with a wealth of free online resources and an exceptionally supportive and informative online community in the FormaHoof Experience Exchange Group.

Additionally, the FormaHoof team is always on hand to assist and help and there is a team of experts available to provide independent consultations for owners.

A question of cost

FormaHoof provides a unique solution at a very competitive price. Over the last two years, prices have been reduced as economies of scale are reached and the product is highly competitive when compared to other alternative shoeing methods, even though FormaHoof should not really be compared to any of the 2-dimensional products on the market as it will have a far greater impact and success rate in resolving hoof related problems.

FormaHoof can add another revenue stream to your business, while you provide next level care to your equine customers. And with the FormaHoof Certified Applicator program farriers can rapidly upskill their FormaHoof knowledge and join a growing community of professional applicators and safely and securely offer FormaHoof as a new service to customers.

Since its foundation, FormaHoof has crossed language barriers, shipped to over 50 countries across six continents and nearly tripled the number of horses benefiting from three-dimensional hoof protection and support, year on year. There’s one simple fact behind this – passionate equestrians are looking for a true solution to hoof problems, not just a “band-aid”. Horse owners, vets, farriers, and trimmers taking the leap of faith and trusting in FormaHoof are being amply rewarded with measurable results, in remarkable, unprecedented timeframes.

Are you ready to step into the third dimension? Read what farriers have to say about how FormaHoof has helped their equine customers and their businesses in the FormaHoof blog.

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