Glue-on Boots Series Part 2: Scoot Skins using Glue-U Shufit Glue
This is part of a 3-part series on glue on hoof boots and covers how to glue on boots with Glue-U SHUFIT or other fast-set glues. If you're not sure which type of glue you'd like to use, please click over to the following article first: Which glue should I use for gluing on my Scoot Skins?
Glue on Hoof Boots are a great solution for endurance riding and multi-day riding. You can leave them on for a full trim-cycle if desired, and sometimes do multiple resets! There is zero worry about rubbing which is why they are a go-to for endurance riders doing rides of 50 miles or more. Scoot Skins have even been used to complete the Tevis 100-mile ride, one of the nations toughest most notorious 100-milers! We used them on our horses for several endurance rides this year and I just LOVED them.
Victoria Mosser completed the 2017 Tevis 100-miler in Scoot Skins
Application of glue on boots is not for the faint of heart, however. If you have a big important event coming up, don't have that be your first try. Do a set and use at home first. It takes time, patience and practice, but we hope these instructions help make your first try a success.
There are many ways to glue on boots but in an effort to keep a not so simple process as simple as possible, this article will just discuss one method, using Glue-U SHUFIT acrylic glue.
Tools and Materials Needed
The first thing you'll need to do is start gathering tools and materials. This includes:
- Rasp, buffy or grinder for prepping hoof. Choose your favorite!
- Isopropyl Alcohol - for removing oils from hoof
Boots, properly sized! We carry Scoot Skins here at Timberline Tack (https://www.timberlinetack.com/collections/featured/products/scoot-skins). Typically you should get Skins a size smaller than your regular strap-on Scoot boots but contact me if you'd like help sizing or checking fit.
Sharp scissors or tin snips - for cutting down boots
Glue - We recommend using Glu-U SHUFIT acrylic glue. Scoot Boots are flexible, and this glue is more flexible than epoxies such as Adhere, typically used for glue on shoes and boots. Be sure to get SHUFIT. Glue-U makes other glues with similar names (do NOT get SHUFIX or SHUFIL). SHUFIT is available online in the US from EDSS or Well-Shod. If you can't find SHUFIT, Equilox is also a good choice.
The glue can be dispensed with a regular caulking gun but you will need the black adapter shown in the photo below, usually available where ever you buy the glue. If you get the kit it should also come with mixing tips which will be needed if dispensing glue directly onto the boots. If dispensing into a cup and hand-mixing you still need the adapter but not the tips. (I usually just mix in a cup)
You can usually do about three hooves with a 150ml tube, four once you are practiced! (Verify)
- Dremel, or Drill with stiff wire brush - for roughing up the inside of the boots.
- Vet Wrap or Plastic wrap. If using plastic wrap, rolls like this are easiest: https://www.amazon.com/Industrial-Wrap-Durable-Self-Adhering-Packaging-PACK/dp/B0833Z9B8F/ref=sr_1_6?crid=3JH0G0EVN9TQA&keywords=stretch+film&qid=1640061159&s=industrial&sprefix=stretch+film%2Cindustrial%2C484&sr=1-6
Caulking gun, stubbie adapter, sturdy plastic cup, and popsicle stick for hand mixing
Caulking gun with stubbie adapter and tips (see photo above) for applying glue directly to boots.
Either is fine; I normally just mix in a cup.
- Note: The stubbie adapter is needed to be able to dispense glue from the small tubes with a regular caulking gun. Here is one source to purchase, there are others! https://tnfarriersupply.com/products/hla
Latex Gloves - to keep glue off fingers
Rag - to keep glue to a minimum on everything else!
Paper towels - for expressing unmixed glue
- Optional: Heat gun for drying hooves. Useful if humid and may be necessary if horse has been out in wet conditions. The pros sometimes use mini-butane torches but as these instructions are for newbies we will stick with the safer heat gun. A heat gun is also useful to warm the hooves before gluing if temperatures are cooler.
Once you have gathered all the materials think about your basic steps. We like to break things up and not do them all in one day.
A week before gluing - If using boots that had previously been glued, remove glue using a wire brush. A Dremel can be used for tight spots. You can leave a very thin layer of glue as long as it is firmly melded to the boot and not flaking off. Remove enough glue so that the boot is flexible. This is a messy dusty job, wear a mask.
If using new boots that have not been glued, rough up the inside of the boots thoroughly with a stiff wire brush on a drill, or a Dremel
2 days ahead Trim the hoof, try on the boots, prep the boots.
a) Do a nice neat tight balanced trim before gluing because we won't be able to touch the feet for a while once glued.
b) Round the corners off the front of the boot. This not only lets the toe sit forward for better breakover, and helps with hoof wall contact, but will also save on glue. These lines show how we typically cut the boots but we will take more off if there are any gappy spots. Be sure to take the little "shelf" off that's at the top of the boot - this is needed for stability on a strap on boot but is not needed on a glue-on. You can use good sharp scissors, tin snips, or a dremel cutting wheel.
c) Try the boot on, make sure the sole fills the entire boot nicely, and see if there are any spots on the walls of the boot not making good contact with the hoof wall. These can usually be addressed by rasping the hoof or cutting a bit more away from the boot.
d) Make sure the toe can seat right to the front of the boot for good breakover. You want the toe right at the front of the boot. Cut away more boot wall at the lower front of the boot if necessary.
- The night before: If outdoor conditions are at all wet, pick out feet carefully and keep the horse inside in a clean dry place overnight. You may want to put strap-on boots on to keep the feet clean and dry. If you don't have strap on boots, then put down fresh shavings.
- Gather all of your materials for gluing. You don't want to be running all over on glue day.
You will need a clean and dry but well ventilated place to work. Lay out ALL of your materials BEFORE beginning any of these steps. If you have to rush around finding things in the middle of gluing it will be stressful and time consuming. The glue sets up fast so you need to work quickly and calmly. If you can recruit a helper the process will be much easier! A dry hoof and good hoof prep is absolutely critical to success!
- Pick out the hooves carefully.
- Remove any loose flaky sole and make sure there are no flaps in the frog hiding wet material.
- Rasp or sand the hoof wall to rough it up. Don't be too timid with this! You must remove anything oily or waxy that will comes into contact with the glue.
- If conditions have been wet at all or it's very humid, you may want to dry the feet with a mini butane-torch or heat gun.
A torch especially must be used with caution. Keep it about 6 inches away and keep it moving. You can (carefully!) test on your own hand first, starting with it a foot away and moving in more closely to get an idea of heat levels.
A heat gun should also be held 2 or 3 inches away using a constant waving motion.
- Apply rubbing alcohol to the hoof with a clean microfiber cloth and allow to dry.
- Put gloves on
- Load glue into caulking gun using adapter.
- Get ready to work quickly! If you are new you may want to only dispense enough glue for one boot at a time
- If applying to boots direct from caulking gun use mixing tips. First express glue from the container onto a paper towel until it appears gray. The first material that comes out will be white and will not set up properly - discard it.
- If using a cup and popsicle stick to mix and apply the glue, you don't need mixing tips. Dispense the glue into the cup and mix until the glue is a consistent gray color.
- Put cap back on glue! Or, if using mixing tips have a second tip ready as the first one will harden and need to be discarded.
- Apply the glue to the inside side-walls of the boots, taking care not to get any on the sole of the boot. The glue dries hard and you do not want any lumps pressing into the sole of your horse!
- Spread the boot wide open in front and carefully place onto the hoof without scraping any glue off the boot wall onto the sole of the horse or the boot. If any does get on the sole use a popsicle stick to remove it as much as possible.
- Make sure the boot is on straight and looks good, then quickly wrap the hoof tightly in plastic wrap, being sure to cover the heel bulb. Don't scrimp on plastic, use enough to secure the boot in place while the glue dries. It won't be on long so don't worry about wrapping too tightly - the tighter the better:
- Check glue instructions for cure time (Glue-U Shufit takes about 2 minutes depending on ambient temperature) and hold the hoof up for the full cure time.
- Place the hoof down carefully and keep the horse still.
- Leave the plastic on as you move to the next hoof.
- Repeat for next hoof!
- After finishing all hooves remove the plastic wrap.