Monday, 17 October 2016

Is this the breakthrough for barefoot horse owners?

"The Megasus Horse Runner is the first clippable plastic horse shoe. It is non-permanent and easy to fit and remove."

The transition to barefoot for horse owners can be a tough one. Hoof boots seem to be the answer, with brands such as Cavallo, Easy Boot and Scoot Boot all offering solutions for horse owners wanting to go barefoot. But hoof boots can be problematic for some horses, with owners struggling to find hoof boots which don't rub, are easy to fit and remove and stay on in all terrains.

Could Megasus Horse Runners be the answer?

Charly Forstner, Founder, Megasus HorseRunners
We have recently discovered a company in Austria foundered by Charly Forstner, a previous animal welfare inspector for horses in Austria. Charly has developed a product that he says will "Take the horse out of the Iron Age". The Megasus Horse Runner is the first clippable plastic horse shoe and the result of 20 years of research into horse hooves. It is non-permanent and easy to fit and remove. The 'Horserunners' are flexible and supportive for the horse, unlike steel horseshoes, which do not allow for foot flexion and natural shock absorption. Sounds great!

 So what makes them different?

High-Vis Mega-Pro tape protects the Mega-Lock velcro
The Horserunners are plastic horse shoes which velcro onto your horse's hoof . The velcro (Meg-Lock Tape) is extremely strong, which is stuck to your horse's hoof, even when the runners are not in use, i.e. in the paddock.. When you aren't using the runners you cover the velcro with a high vis tape (Mega-Pro Tape) to keep the velcro clean. 

When you tack up to ride you simply take the protective (Mega-Pro Tape) covers off the velcro and fix the runners in place. You will of course need to remove and replace the velcro as your horse's hooves grow.  Megasus say "The Mega-Lock tape remains approximately 3 weeks on the hoof and is protected with a protection foil during the time the hoof goes bare. The foil has a sealing lip similar to swimming goggles, so that the Mega-Lock tape is prevented from water and dirt intrusion."

But will it work in the UK?

Well let's hope so! UK horse owners battle with mud every year. Will the velcro strips hold up to horses stood in mud? Are they mega enough for our mud? The mud that can suck loose horse shoes off, not to mention our wellies! Have Magesasus accounted for this?  According to Megasus, "Mega-Lock tape remains to the hoof and is protected by the Mega-Pro tape (foil with sealing lips)". Sounds good in theory, but we expect some hesitation from UK horse owners, who will no doubt want to sit back and wait to see how the Megasus Horserunners fare in soggy Britain.

Back Megasus HorseRunners

I for one am excited about this new innovation and hope that they do the job over here as well as they clearly do in Austria and the U.S. And others agree, after just 6 days of their Kickstarter campaign, Megasus reached their funding target of £100,000 on Kickstarter.  If you believe that these could be the solution for your horse going barefoot, you can get a special pre-production price of  £94 per pair when you buy through Kickstarter.  saving you £28. Megasus HorseRunners are set to be available from July 2017.

Watch this space for a possible Megasus Horserunner tried and tested coming up, where we put the Megasus Horserunners to the test in the Great British mud. If you would like to become an Equine Compare product tester, put your name down here.

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