I have tried other pads. Here is my experience with Happy Hoof Pads.

I’d like to give a testimonial – this is a great product! I’m so glad to have found you! My 31 year old Connemara pony has had coffin bone rotation since she was a weanling due to contracted tendons that she had surgery for. For most of her life it was managed well and of no consequence. This past winter she rotated more in one foot. Corrective shoeing was tried, with no results. I began to experiment with things myself, so that I could continue to rasp and shape her foot between trims. I found the Hoof Slipper and continued experimenting with padding – including pool noodles, exercise half rounds, closed cell foam, etc. – and finally found Happy Hoof Pads. These have the effect that I’ve been looking for! Thank you for this great product. As I reviewed your website, I only wish I had found you a few years ago, when I was helping my other horse to transition from being shod to barefoot. Your system makes all the sense in the world.

Lisa, NH

Are the pads used one at a time?

The System pads may be used one pad at a time or stuck together to create a myriad of pad combinations ranging from a single 1/4″ pad up to a single pad or combination of pads equaling 1″. Stacking anything more than 1″ and the horse will struggle to ‘find the ground’ and the pads will then defeat their purpose. If the horse cannot feel as though he’s standing on soft, but firm ground, he will not appreciate the pads and will avoid them if at all possible. Pad combinations should therefore be kept to a maximum thickness of 1″.

Can this make my horse feel too good?

Yes.  Not all horses will be able to go out and run and play after the correct pad for the given situation is applied.  There are horses that do feel well enough to go out and run and play.  We don’t want any horse that is recovering to be able to do this.  If your horse when on a lead line feels too good please lower the pad density by one or two.  If you are using an 8 lbs please try a 6 or 4 lbs. density.  You don’t want to create more damage by them going out and doing too much too soon.

How do I know what size to purchase?

From the bottom of the hoof measure the widest width from side to side and heal to toe. If your horse isn’t comfortable to stand with one leg up to measure the hoof then walk the horse onto a piece of paper and trace the outline of the hoof wall.  Once you have measured both the width and length you can see with pad will best suit your horses hoof.  The sizes are small 4-3/4 x 5 inches, medium 5-1/4 x 5 ½ inches and large 5-1/2 x 6 inches.  If your horse as the exact measurements as the pad then go one size up.

Do you have anything to help with transitioning from shoes to barefoot?

The System pads are great in aiding a horse while transitioning the horse from shoes. No horse should be expected to simply go straight from shoes to normal activity barefoot. Many people can’t go straight from shoes to any surface or activity being freshly out of shoes and a horse shouldn’t be expected to either. But if a transition period is allowed and there is some logic and common sense to how the transition takes place, then a horse will be able to transition. This is all relative to how long the horse has been in shoes, how badly deteriorated the feet have become and how much damage has taken place, but the horse can transition back none the less. It’s simply a matter of time, common sense and empathetic understanding. This is where boots and The System pads can help. They will each allow the feet to be protected at the times they are needed most and the pads help with circulation, stimulation, comfort and support. They are not to be left on forever, but they may be helpful more in the beginning of the transition / rehab period and should be used less and less, in affect weaning the horse off of the pads, as time goes on.

Are the pads only used for horses that are barefoot?

The System pads can be used in conjunction with shoes, however, only the 1/4″ pads are recommended with shoes, and preferably only when a horse owner deems that they have no option of removing shoes to allow the feet to begin functioning and rebuilding. The System pads are intended to provide the maximum range of artificial stimulation to the sole, frog and bars of each foot, as well as the internal structures of the hoof capsule. Comfort and support are the primary purpose of HHP.

My horse isn’t navicular or foundered. Can I still use the pads?

The System pads are used for more than just navicular, laminitis or founder; they are also great for cushioning the feet, bones, joints and muscles of virtually any horse being transported for any distance. The System pads are good options for old or arthritic horses. The foam rubber pads are able to cushion the jolting concussion as the horse walks, and are also able to provide a softer surface to stand on for those older horses that just refuse to lay down to take a load off their feet. The System pads are useful for providing comfort to horses suffering from an abscess. It’s very easy to modify the pads so that the foam can cushion and support the sole of the foot everywhere but where an abscess site is detected. In that case, it’s easy to cut out a hole where the abscess is located so that no pressure is placed on that soft, tender sore spot. In fact, HHP, due to their resilient nature, are able to apply pressure to all of the sole and, in effect, provide negative pressure over the abscess spot to allow for quicker movement of the abscess fluid to allow the fluid to drain quicker.

Will these pads cure my horse’s problem?

The System pads are not intended to be the ‘cure’ for founder or navicular, but as an essential component to providing comfort and / or support during the recovery period. As with virtually all hoof problems and ailments, the primary key component to achieving sound, healthy feet is a proper, well-balanced trim. Pads are intended and designed to assist the trim with the comfort, support and recovery effort.