If you’ve never glued on Scoot Skins, it may have been because the process sounded overly complex. While it’s true that there are a lot of steps, once you get into the groove of gluing, it’s actually quite easy. Keep in mind that your mileage may vary!
I glue on Skins a bit differently (easier, in my opinion because the horse is standing the whole time!) and have had much success. Let me walk you through the steps.
2-3 weeks before: Size and order the Skins; you may need to go down one size because there’s no shim or gaiter. Order Adhere and a glue gun. I personally like the 50cc tubes of Adhere and the 50cc dispensing gun (also known as the "girlie" gun). It’s helpful to have an extra tube of glue on hand and additional glue tips (be sure to order the 50cc size) because you never know. You can glue on one pair of Skins with the 50cc tube of Adhere.
1-2 days before: Trim the horse, find a large piece of cardboard, and find a hair dryer or heat gun. Get some medical gloves for you and some denatured alcohol (yes, it must be denatured alcohol!), as well as some plastic Popsicle sticks from a craft store (wood ones are okay but may break). Check the fit of the Skins and slightly scuff up the inside with a Dremel, angle grinder, or rasp (much more difficult). From the exterior, cover up the large side holes on the Skins with duct tape. Put on the medical gloves and wipe down the inside of the Skins with denatured alcohol and place them back in the bag.
Glue Day: Do not put any oil-based anything on the horse, including hoof oil or fly spray! Get the horse to stand on the cardboard with extra special hay in his or her face. Put on the medical gloves and don’t touch anything the least bit oily.
Slightly scuff up one hoof and do a few quick waves with the heat gun (don’t overheat or harm the hoof!). Do one quick wave on the bottom. Apply denatured alcohol on the side of hoof (not bottom) and dry it again with the heat gun.
Get a Skin from the bag and place it on the hoof. Maneuver the Skin to exactly where you want it. Place 4 Popsicle sticks vertically into the boot, 2 on each side, with one about 1” (2.5 cm) from the back, and the second about 1.5” (4 cm) in front of it.
Place the glue cartridge in the glue gun (I also peel back the label so I can see how much glue is left) and evenly cut off the end tip. Place a glue tip on it but don’t squeeze yet!
Reach down and slightly angle the first Popsicle tip outward so that you can fit the glue tip between the hoof and the boot. Squeeze the glue gun quickly as you angle out the other Popsicle sticks. The most important place to get the glue is the front, i.e., between the front center of the hoof and the side holes. Don’t worry too much about the area between the side holes and the back. You’ll use about 1/3 of a tube for this step; don’t go overboard as you’ll risk getting glue under the sole. Remove the Popsicle sticks as you complete each section.
Get the hoof situated just right and insert Popsicle sticks.
The moment you’re done, set down the glue gun and press the Skin with your hands hard onto the hoof to maximize adhesion. Hold that for a couple of minutes.
Repeat Steps a-f for subsequent hooves.
After the glue has hardened (about 5 minutes), remove the side tape. Put on another glue tip and outline the perimeter of each Skin, including the side holes with glue. Outline the front center area, but leave about 1/2” from top and bottom of the hoof. Be sure not to get any glue at the toe. Don’t put any glue on the back of the hoof.
After the glue dries, if the glue job is embarrassingly messy or you care about pretty, gently smooth out the protruding glue with an angle grinder (I only smooth out glue that wickedly sticks out).
Voila! (Take photos, because this is a milestone moment.)
Not a beautiful gluing job, but functional. A little too much glue on the coronary band. Boots stayed on perfectly.
At the Ride: Always have an extra pair of Skins, Adhere, and glue gun, just in case. Hopefully, you won’t need to apply a new Skin onsite, but I typically feel a little more confident applying a few extra dabs of glue here and there (or at least knowing that I can).
Removing Skins: The best tool is an upholstery removal tool, and it’s very well worth its minimal cost. Wedge that upholstery tool between the Skin and the hoof, starting at the back of the hoof and working your way forward. Assuming you did a great job gluing the boots on, it’s going to be some work to get them off. I can get off a superbly glued pair of Skins in 8-10 minutes, but expect your first pair to take at least 15-20 minutes. After you’ve taken off each Skin, take a good look inside to see where your glue did and didn’t adhere and make some notes for next time. If you see any glue at all on the sole, you applied way too much glue.
Congratulations! You’ve now successfully glued on and removed Scoot Skins!
TIP: Especially when gluing the first time, an extra set of hands helps immensely!
Jo Harder is an endurance rider in the Ocala, Florida, area and trims her own Off-the-Track Thoroughbreds. She focuses on completing endurance rides with a happy, healthy horse and having fun!