My Megasus Experience
An Interview with Marion from the Megasus task force
The Megasus Task Force is our tireless testing team of hoof experts and horse lovers that play a significant role in developing and refining the Megasus Horserunners serial product.
No matter if it’s in the rain, on snow, in mud, on grass, asphalt, gravel or in the woods – our Task Force is always on the move in order to give feedback and help make the Megasus Horserunners even better.
Marion has been a Megasus Horserunners tester since the beginning and has for months put the Mega-Lock system to the test. Today, she tells us about her experiences with the Megasus Horserunners prototype and what her horse Ribanna, lovingly known as ‘’Muh’’ (Moo), thinks of her new sports shoes.
Thank you so much Marion for taking the time to answer a couple of questions about the Megasus Horserunners and specifically the Mega-Lock system. Can you first tell us a bit about yourself and your horse Ribanna, and also your previous experience with hoof protection?
“Ribanna – her nickname is Muhi (Moo-ee) by the way – is 20 years old this year and I’ve had her since she was about 4 years old. At age 3, she was shod, first on the front hooves and then on the back hooves due to the extensive use as a school horse. It hadn’t occurred to me at the time whether or not she needed the iron horseshoes because every horse in our riding stable was shod and the farrier had diagnosed them with bad hoof material,
We perceived this type hoof care, having all 4 hooves shod, to be normal. After going back and forth, due to a lack of knowledge and failed attempts at going barehoof, in 2012 she finally made the transition. In principle, we didn’t have any issues in our daily routine. At the beginning, the gravel paths that lead to the pasture were a bit uncomfortable, but things always got better with time. In the riding arena, we had no more problems and we only needed hoof protection when riding on gravel roads. Ribanna has lived in an open stall since 2014, where she can go barehoof wonderfully.”
Can you explain, how your Megasus Horserunners work and how the Mega-Lock system functions?
”Put them on, ride, take them off. It’s not much more than that! The first time mounting the Megasus was really time intensive and a bit of craftsmanship is needed because customizing the shoes for the hoof requires cutting them. On the first try, if you haven’t found the right technique for you and the horse, it will take longer, but then putting them on and taking them off is quick. The Megasus Horserunners are practical with the high performance ‘’Velcro’’ fastening tapes for the Mega-Lock system. If I don’t need the Megasus, I just put on the Mega-Lock Cover to protect the tapes.”
How are the Megasus Horserunners mounted? Did you need assistance?
”For the first mounting, you will need to trace the hoof on the Megasus base plate with a marker and then use a jig saw to cut the Megasus. With a grinder, you can smooth out and round the edges and corners. Next, situate the Side Clips exactly where they need to be on the hoof, like a custom shoe. Here you need to pay attention that the wings of the Side Slips are as close to the hoof as possible. Afterwards, mark on the hoof where the front two Side Clips will go so you know where to stick on the Mega-Lock Tape. After applying the primer to this area, simply stick the tapes on, wait a bit and clip the Megasus on for a ride.
Because I’ve never worked with a jigsaw, I had one of my colleagues from the Task Force Team assist me. After having worked with the jigsaw, I felt confident and was able to do it myself by the second time around.”
How many prototypes have you tested? What worked and what needed improvement?
”Ooo, that’s a good question. I guess, about 8 pairs. Since the very first pair, the so-called original-prototype, a lot has changed. As with any prototype and the first time around, we tested many different types of glues for example – working out which ones were suitable and which material to use. When you take the very first prototype and hold it up to the latest pair, you can clearly see the progress, which has happened in just the last few months. The Side Clips are much softer and not so stiff like they were in the beginning. With the very first prototype, we didn’t have the wing, which allows for the perfect fit on the hoof. The Megasus Horserunners have gotten better with each prototype. For me, they have always stayed on well. The issue was the Mega-Lock Tape, which needs to have a proper glue component to stick to the hooves. At first, the tapes didn’t last long, staying on only 1-2 weeks, which was naturally below our expectations. After attempts with different glues, we resolved this issue. Losing the shoe or it sticking in mud have never been issues for me.”
When do you use your Megasus Horserunners? Would you advise against using them for certain grounds or weather conditions?
”In order to really test the Megasus, I have had them on almost permanently. Later, I will most likely only use them for riding, so only when needed. In snow and ice, I wouldn’t use the Megasus without studs or spikes. For these conditions, I wouldn’t recommend hoof boots either and in general for safety reasons, on ice, I wouldn’t ride at all. Otherwise, there is no terrain or weather conditions that come to mind where I would recommend not using the Megasus Horserunners.”
If horses could talk, what would Muhi say about her Megasus Horserunners?
”I think she really loves the Megasus. She would probably say that she likes wearing them on the rocky grounds because she doesn’t have to feel the sharp stones anymore and she is able to happily trot and gallop without having to be too careful where she steps. Moreover, she thinks they are a good fit – we don’t have to go back and forth looking for a lost shoe and then put it back on again – she is a bit impatient!”
What do you particularly appreciate about your Megasus Horserunners?
” I thinkthe product will be helpful for many horse-human pairs if they want to transition to barehoof. The Megasus make transitioning easier. You can do so in peace and without limitations to riding or movement. What I also appreciate about the Megasus Horserunners is that I never have any fear when taking long rides, that something will rub, which can be the case again and again with hoof boots. You can also go through water and over deep sandy grounds, without having to worry about small rocks getting pressed into the shoe.
I find that the Megasus Horserunners, in comparison to hoof boots, make riding more carefree. In addition, I find that my horse has a more secure hold with the Megasus than with hoof boots. By this, I mean that the hoof doesn’t twist in the Megasus or move around. In the riding stables, many were envious because they still have to wait for their Megasus sets and are looking forward to equipping their horses with the Megasus Horserunners. I believe that the waiting, even if it is for a very long time, is worthwhile in any case. Through our numerous and extensive tests, the Megasus Horserunners have been successively improved, which allows everyone to look forward to a product that really holds to what it promises. Naturally, we are staying busy with tinkering and testing, we always want to improve!”
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us, Marion!
The End of The Iron Age