Ground Control Horseshoes

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ground controlGraphic Designer and horse rider, Kristy Watson, of Bergheim, Texas found herself at a crossroads 17 years ago. Her favorite Appaloosa, Hickory, had injured himself by kicking his hind hoof, fitted with a metal horseshoe, into his front leg.

With her horse’s front leg’s ligament torn, Kristy began to rehabilitate Hickory to sound condition, but he was still limping.

Kristy wondered about different options for horseshoes that would make her horse more comfortable. With the help of her brother, John, a plastics engineer, she designed a horseshoe that would help her own horse recover from his injury, and in the process, would help thousands of other horses around the world.

Ground Control Horseshoes offer several advantages over metal horseshoes. They are very lightweight at only 6 ounces per shoe.  Over many miles, this lightness decreases fatigue of the legs.  Traction is improved, which is evident over hard surfaces. Parade riders and buggy drivers will appreciate the safety of being able to trot on the road without slipping.  Trail riders enjoy all the properties that the Ground Control Horseshoes offer over slick shale rock, to steep hills and rough terrain.  Tom Seay of the Best of America By Horseback TV show prefers Ground Control Horseshoes. They have been ridden from Mexico to Canada.

Like a tennis shoe for the horse, the urethane material expands and contracts slightly allowing the hoof to comfortably land and take off without the jarring effects of metal for increased shock absorption. When a metal shoe is applied to the hoof, the frog is elevated and never touches the ground. However, with the Ground Control shoe design, blood flow is increased through the horse’s leg with the action of the patented recessed frog protector acting like a pump.  This contact and movement is similar to how a barefoot horse’s hoof behaves with the ground surface, with the added protection that a shoe provides.

Ground Control horseshoes are easily applied with regular farrier tools. Hoof nippers are used to trim away excess material towards the back, and a rasp is used to shape the sides. Application methods include: using 3 or 4 nails per side, with dry wall screws, or glue where required.

The urethane material is very durable, and can usually be reset once or twice at 6-week intervals just like any shoe. With the flexible properties of the shoe, you don’t have to worry when a horse paws at a fence that the shoe will bend and come off. Instead the shoe will flex and return to the original shape.

Therapeutic uses for the shoes include: founder, laminitis, ringbone, navicular, as well as other lameness issues.

Ground control Horseshoes are made in Boerne, Texas USA. They come in 5 sizes: 000, 00, 0, 1, and 2 and in four colors: Black, clear, turquoise, and hot pink.  They can be ordered online at www.plastichorseshoes.com or by calling toll free 877-872-2846. A set of 4 shoes with shipping is around $50.

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