Custom Glue-On Shoes Could Help Laminitic Horses

A custom-fitted thermoplastic glue-on shoe, designed to support the frog, made study ponies at-risk for laminitis more comfortable within three days, researchers said.
Please login

No account yet? Register


Glue-on shoes for laminitic horses
While the shoes offer promise for laminitis-prone ponies, the best weapon against the disease remains prevention, including weight loss in overweight equids. | Photo: iStock

If you’ve ever seen a laminitic pony trying to hobble across a paddock, you know how sore those tiny feet can get. A lightweight therapeutic shoe, however, could give these little animals some pain relief, say Dutch and Belgian researchers.

A special, custom-fitted thermoplastic glue-on shoe, designed to support the frog, made study ponies more comfortable within three days, said Janneke Sleutjens, DVM, PhD, ambulatory equine veterinarian in the Utrecht University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, in the Netherlands.

In their study, Sleutjens and her fellow researchers measured various foot-related forces in healthy and sound Shetland ponies (half obese and half a healthy weight) as they walked with and without thermoplastic shoes (thermoplastic materials become plastic on heating, harden on cooling, and are able to repeat these processes). The moldable shoes had a heart-bar design and rolled toe, intended to relieve laminitic pain in affected horses. They were lightweight, custom-sized and fit to each horse, and glued to the hooves

Create a free account with to view this content. is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.


Written by:

Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

How do you prevent gastric ulcers in horses? Please check all that apply.
153 votes · 358 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with!