2MT - Tech Question - Keeping Vettec Pads in on Rocky Terrain
When riding over rocky terrain, some of our softer pad materials can get chewed up. There are different options for keeping the pads in shape on rough ground. I recently received a question on this topic and wanted to share the question and answer with you all.
I am using Equi-Pak CS as prescribed by my vet to stimulate sole growth in my horse that has half the sole depth he should have. However, in my rocky conditions in Arkansas it gets beat up and chips out very quickly, after a week or two. With the next shoeing I am going to boot him over the shoes and use a pour in pad when I ride to try to protect it. But it is only 2 weeks in and one foot has lost the center of the pad. Is there any way to add more material to patch it and get it to adhere to get me to the next shoeing?
Thanks for the question about repairing the pads. When first applying material you can add more to the pour in pad. After it has set this long and has been in contact with the ground, the product will not bond to itself and the new pour will likely fall out. You could give it a try but a lot of prep is needed. Clean around the area that needs repair and see if you can expose all new clean material to bond too. Keep in mind that the new product probably will not stay in for long, removing the chewed up pad and reapplying the pour in is a better option.
If you want to go without boots, you have options that will hold up to the rocks a lot better. Consider pouring Equi-Pak CS in the foot but not all the way to ground level, leave a bit of a space between the Equi-Pak CS and the ground. Then pour Sole-Guard over the Equi-Pak CS to ground level. Sole-Guard is a firmer material that will hold up to the rocks and protect the softer Equi-Pak CS pour. This package will still stimulate sole growth and will provide protection and support.
If you choose to go with boots, you can always use the Equi-Pak CS as a filler to keep out rocks, mud and debris as well as provide comfort and support. After you fit the boot, but before you put it on, prep the sole area for a normal Equi-Pak CS pour, hold the foot up and pour enough in to cover to the white line. Then put the boot on the foot. This will allow contact with the sole of the boot and the ground, provide comfort and stimulate sole growth.