Old Mac’s - Frequently Asked Questions
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Q. What are Old Mac’s used for?
A. Old Mac’s Multi-purpose Horse Boots™ are a genuine replacement for the metal shoe in day-to-day riding. Old Mac’s will assist injury prevention and/or rehabilitation as well as protect both Stallion and Mare against kicking injuries and slipping during serving. No matter your discipline, Old Mac’s should be worn during ALL transportation.
Q. What benefits are there for horse and rider if I choose to use Old Mac’s™?
A. Peace of mind for both you and your horse! Old Mac’s provide Hoof Suspension™, helping prevent concussion-related injuries to the horse’s limbs. Old Mac’s unique high-tech performance outsole offers improved traction, eliminating slipping during transportation as well as preventing hoof and lower limb injuries. Old Mac’s potentially mean fewer veterinary bills and will give your horse more confidence.
Your horse’s hooves will be stronger and healthier without the presence of nails and, because your horse CANNOT throw an Old Mac’s — no more frustration of having to replace metal shoes!
Q. What benefits are there for my horse in removing metal shoes?
A. The benefits are many and varied, the most important being the vast improvement to a horse’s ’natural hoof mechanism’ the contraction and expansion of the hoof. This process helps absorb concussion otherwise directed to the sensitive structures of the hoof, and ensures proper blood flow throughout the hoof. The metal shoe greatly restricts the natural hoof mechanism, leading to serious conditions such as Navicular disease and Ringbone. Using Old Mac’s will reduce the concussion delivered to your horse’s lower limbs and ultimately extend his working life.
Q. Are Old Mac’s comfortable for my horse?
A. Design is unrestricted to allow full freedom of movement. this keeps pressure low on the hoof wall and spread evenly throughout the whole boot, so that no one area receives concentrated and potentially harmful pressure. All materials are fully flexible and soft against the pastern.
Q. Am I going to be able to put Old Mac’s on my horse on my own?
A. YES. The simplicity and practical design of Old Mac’s means ANYONE can fit Old Mac’s Multi Purpose Horse Boots™. The user-friendly fastening system ensures optimum fit and security, providing maximum confidence and comfort for your horse.
Q. Where can I ride with my Old Mac’s?
A. You can ride anywhere, on any terrain, at any speed, with 100% hoof protection!
Q. How do Old Mac’s cope with hoof growth and expansion and do they allow the hoof sufficient slide as it contacts the ground?
A. Old Mac’s unique outsole design and sizing allow for natural growth, and expansion and contraction of the hoof. This design not only allows for necessary movement at ground level but also forward movement of the whole hoof within the boot. Suspension offered in the toe of the boot ensures the whole hoof can safely and comfortably project forwards in a fast stopping situation. It is this action, along with the small amount of slippage allowed by the sole of the boot, which minimizes stress delivered to the leg.
Q. Can I turn my horse out wearing Old Mac’s?
A. YES, you can turn your horse out wearing Old Mac’s — either to get him used to wearing or breaking in the boots, or to provide protection in the case of injury or any other veterinary application.
Q. Do I need to gradually break my horse into Old Mac’s Boots?
A. YES. It is recommended you give your horse time to adjust to wearing Old Mac’s. The first time you fit your horse with Old Mac’s, just walk him out. Gradually increasing the duration and length of rides wearing Old Mac’s will ensure your equine friend has become accustomed to his new ’hoofwear’. Too much too soon can lead to chafing. If time is of the essence and your horse has particularly sensitive skin, Old Mac’s Pastern Wraps, vet wrap or a similar bandage can be used effectively in the initial stages of using Old Mac’s.
Q. If I choose to only use Old Mac’s for transportation purposes, how do I select the correctly-sized boot to wear with metal shoes?
A. Simply measure your horse’s hoof WITH METAL SHOES ON and follow Old Mac’s sizing instructions. Wearing Old Mac’s during transportation provides total hoof protection, eliminates the problem of your horse throwing a shoe, and minimises the chance of injury, including hoof wall bruising. When you arrive at your destination, no matter your discipline, your horse will be ready to compete.
Q. Can I ride my horse with Old Mac’s over metal shoes?
A. YES, but the warranty does not apply.
Q. Can the main webbing strap interfere with the movement of my horse or cause chafing?
A. If Old Mac’s are properly fitted and correctly sized, the main webbing strap will not interfere with your horse’s movement nor cause chaffing. This strap is non-weight-bearing and does NOT exert any pressure. The strap is secured on a non-moving part of the horse’s hoof (around the upper portion of the second phalanx) and therefore does not create any friction.
If your horse experiences chafing around the area of the main webbing strap, it is most likely that the strap is secured too tightly. You should be able to comfortably slip a finger between the horse’s pastern and the webbing strap. The boot turning slightly on the hoof could also be a cause of chafing around the area of the main webbing strap. This turning can be caused by one or more of the following:
a) You have selected an Old Mac’s size too large for your horse.
b) Your horse’s hoof is twisting excessively as sometimes seen in gaited horses. Some riders have reported success after filing down the tread to lessen traction so that the boot moved more freely with the twisting hoof. Try this is at your own discretion as any adjustment to the sole voids the warranty.
c) The main webbing strap and/or outside buckle strap is NOT secured firmly enough.
d) The trim is uneven (for example, one side of the wall is longer than the other) and the resulting imbalance can cause the main webbing strap to slide with friction.
If after addressing the above your horse still experiences problems, please contact your Saddlery or Old Mac’s directly.
Q. I understand that I can only exchange boots that are UNUSED and in pristine condition – so how can I determine if the boots fit without going for a ride?
A. Refer to Old Mac’s Fitting & Sizing Checklist (included when you purchase the boots) to help determine a properly sized boot. To keep the boot clean, we suggest covering the hoof with a thin plastic bag, and performing the checks on the clean dry surface. There can be NO signs of wear, if you require an exchange.
Q. Are Old Mac’s worn on all four feet?
A. Most horses will only need Old Mac’s on the front feet as the front feet bear approximately 70% of a horse’s body weight during rapid movement — this action causes most concussion-related injuries to the front lower limbs. If you intend riding your horse over considerable distances, or frequently work on hard or uneven surfaces, you may require Old Mac’s on all four feet.
If you are competing at a top level in any discipline, it is advisable to take full advantage of the superb traction on Old Mac’s outsole and use boots on all four feet. Not only will you and your horse have the added benefit of security and comfort, but fitting Old Mac’s on the back feet can increase the arc of the back hooves, therefore shortening the stride and allowing the front hooves to clear themselves after breakover. This is a great advantage to horses that overreach at high speed. For transportation it is recommended Old Mac’s be worn on all four feet.
Q. Can I use Old Mac’s as a treatment boot?
A. YES, you can use vet wrap or duct tape to transform your all-terrain drainage boot into an all-terrain treatment boot. Our high quality specially-formulated materials will not break down.
Q. Do I require the same size Old Mac’s front and hind?
A. Not necessarily. You should follow Old Mac's sizing instructions to gain an accurate measurement for EACH HOOF. For the perfect fit for performance work your horse may require smaller sized Old Mac's on the rear.
Q. How long can I leave Old Mac’s on for?
A. We recommend you DO NOT leave Old Mac’s on any horse longer than 24 hours at a time. This is due to the risk of bacteria buildup from sweat.
Q. Are there circumstances under which my horse should NOT use Old Mac’s?
A. Old Mac’s MAY not be suitable for horses suffering conformation and/or gait abnormalities. This includes overreaching, forging, cross-firing, toe dragging and excessive hoof twisting under weight bearing. If your horse shows any of these traits, Old Mac’s can be of great benefit during transportation or for veterinary applications. However, you should confer with a qualified veterinarian and/or Old Mac’s representative before using Old Mac’s as a replacement for metal shoes.
Q. What does a corrective trimming program involve?
A. A hoof can be rendered dysfunctional due to a number of factors including improper trimming and/or shoeing, injury, environmental conditions or genetic defects. A corrective trimming program allows a gradual return to the correct functional shape of a hoof. Corrective trimming is a specialised practice which should only be undertaken by a qualified individual who understands the anatomy and physiology of a horse’s hoof and has an understanding of the relationship between hoof balance, hoof shape and gait of the horse.
Q. What are the causes and effects of a horse having contracted hooves?
A. Contracted hooves are often caused by improper trimming and shoeing. Environmental conditions can also play a part. If the frog is not in direct contact with the ground, the heels of the hoof do not hold correct position. The hoof then fails to properly expand and contract with weight-bearing. Contracted hooves often go hand-in-hand with underslung heels, resulting in a reduced length of weight-bearing wall. The heels pinch inwards and prevent proper hoof mechanism.
Q. If my horse has contracted hooves will Old Mac’s be beneficial?
A. YES. To rectify a contracted hoof it is necessary to promote hoof expansion and a properly functioning frog. One way this can be done is with a corrective trimming program undertaken by a skilled farrier. (Refer to Old Mac’s Barefoot Trim manual). For those horses’ hooves that are severely contracted (excessively long and narrow), Old Mac’s inserts are available for the rehabilitation period.
Q. My horse has an extensive hoof twisting action when he makes ground contact and wears metal shoes unevenly. Can I use Old Mac’s?
A. NOT FOR RIDING, NO. This extensive twisting is a sign of bad conformation and until this can be corrected you should ONLY use Old Mac’s for transportation. The reason being that the amazing traction of Old Mac’s prevents the boot twisting with the hoof. This means that the hoof will twist in the boot, and possibly cause the main webbing strap to chafe in rapid movement. This extreme action is obviously absent during transportation when your horse is only walking.
Q. What are Old Mac’s Inserts and when do I need to use them?
A. Old Mac’s inserts are available to better accommodate excessively long and narrow (contracted) hooves and provide extra security if needed. Old Mac’s Multi-purpose Horse Boots™ are designed with a correctly proportioned, functional hoof in mind. The unique design feature of Old Mac’s does indeed allow for width and length adjustment and also allows for natural hoof growth between trimmings.
Old Mac’s inserts should ONLY be used in the case of excessively long and narrow (4 or more size difference) hooves, where there is a possibility of the boot turning on the hoof.
Old Mac’s inserts are available in two sizes (Small and Large) and are sold in sets of four (two per boot). Small inserts are suitable for Old Mac’s boot sizes 0 –4, Large inserts for Old Mac’s boot sizes 5-8. Old Mac’s inserts help fabricate the perfect hoof shape until it grows NATURALLY.
Made of quality 1000-denier nylon and high-grade Velcro®, Old Mac’s inserts secure in place on either side of the Old Mac’s Multi-purpose Horse Boot ™. The 1000-denier nylon pouch containing two 4 mm thick E.V.A. (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate) pieces sits inside the boot to fill out the hoof width. Placing one insert on either side enables the hoof to balance in the centre of the boot.
We include two layers of E.V.A material to enable variation in the thickness of padding. One of the 4 mm layers can be removed as the hoof expands to its natural shape. Our aim is that, with time and proper hoof mechanism and trimming, the hoof will expand to a full wide shape, eliminating the need for inserts.
Q. What are Old Mac’s Pastern Wraps and when do I need to use them?
A. Old Mac’s Pastern Wraps are designed to secure around the horse’s lower leg at the Pastern joint to offer extra cushioning and protection. When correctly sized and fitted and gradually worn in, the soft foam collar on an Old Mac’s Multi-purpose Horse Boot™ will comfortably mould around the pastern bone. Your equine friend will become accustomed to his new ’hoofwear' without any trouble from chafing.
If time is of the essence, however, or your horse has particularly sensitive skin, Old Mac’s Pastern Wraps are ideal to offer that extra protection in the initial stages of breaking in the boot. Made of quality breathable and aerated Neoprene (foam), Old Mac's Pastern Wraps simply pull on over the hoof and velcro onto the inner sides of each Old Mac's Boot.
Sold in sets of two (one per boot), Old Mac's Pastern Wraps are available in three sizes: Small, Medium and Large. Use Small Pastern Wraps with Old Mac's boot sizes 0 -2; Medium Pastern Wraps with sizes 3 -4; and Large Pastern Wraps with sizes 5 -8.
For those new to the barefoot program and/or new to Old Mac’s, Pastern Wraps will ease any concerns about rubbing the horse’s leg.
Old Mac’s Wraps can also provide extra fill around the pastern to inhibit small debris from entering the boot when the gap between the pastern and the boot is excessive — particularly useful for finely-boned horses or when riding in sandy conditions.
Q. Can I fit Old Mac's on my mule?
A. Old Mac's Multi Purpose Horse Boots are intended for horse's hooves which are wider than mules hooves. Mule hooves are generally long and tubular, while Old Mac's are designed wider and conical to accommodate a horses hoof expansion. We have many mules successfully using Old Mac's. Considering the width of the boot these are fitted with Old Mac's Inserts and supported by a regular natural trimming program.
Q. What are Old Mac’s made of?
A. The easy-to-fit, fully adjustable upper utilizes high-quality, waterproof 1000-Denier Nylon combined with specially developed cushioning foam laminated to waterproof leather.
These materials, together with high grade Velcro®, waterproof thread, rust proof metal, high density foam and special abrasion-resistant leather, result in a durable, protective covering for the entire hoof.
The revolutionary Multi-purpose Horse Boot ™ also incorporates a high-tech performance outsole moulded in a specially-developed Thermo Plastic Urethane (TPU) compound.
This Hoof Suspension ™ System features:
• High Tensile Strength
• High Abrasion Resistance
• High Tear Strength
• High Traction on all surfaces
• High Shock Absorption Qualities
Q. Can Old Mac’s get waterlogged?
A. NO. Any water that does enter the boot will automatically drain through the side slots and at the heel area. ALL materials used in the production of Old Mac’s are of the highest quality and are 100% waterproof.
Q. How much does an Old Mac’s weigh?
A. A single size 4 Old Mac’s boot weighs 475g (1 pound).
Q. How long will my Old Mac’s last?
A. This depends on a number of factors, including how often you ride, on what sort of terrain, and for how long. Old Mac’s will far outlast the metal horse shoe with the added benefits of injury prevention. Old Mac’s are fully guaranteed for 90 days; this equates to up to 4 shoeings given that a horse would be shod every 5-7 weeks. You will find that in the first few riding sessions the first sign of wear will be the toe of the boot. This is normal while the boot finds the hoof’s most comfortable breakover point.
Q. Do I need to waterproof my Old Mac’s?
A. NO. ALL materials used in the production of Old Mac’s are of the highest quality and 100% waterproof ? no extra waterproofing treatments are needed.
Q. How do I clean Old Mac’s?
A. After each ride, sponge or hose down Old Mac’s with cold water and remove grit with a brush if necessary. Mud and dirt should be removed from Old Mac’s while they are still wet. If Old Mac’s become saturated with water, allow them to dry naturally. DO NOT expose the boots to naked flame or use artificial heat to dry as this may damage the upper and outsole materials.
Q. Are Old Mac’s guaranteed?
A. YES, for 90 Days
Q. Do Old Mac’s have traction?
A. Old Mac’s have more traction than a metal shoe but not as much as a shoe with studs. The superb traction on all surfaces includes aggressive mountainous terrain, creek beds, asphalt, loose gravel, and wet grass where horses can lose their footing. Old Mac’s all-terrain sole pushes out mud, sand and debris. The high-performance tread remains intact rather than becoming smooth and slippery.
Q. Do Old Mac’s affect breakover?
A. The fully flexible sole is rounded to allow for natural breakover. The breakover is not forced and the toe is not squared. The cosmetic design of the pointed toe does not affect the rounded breakover underneath at the sole.