Beware of Scabs When Repairing Quarter Cracks

Recognizing, removing and drying wounds is critical for a successful patch

Farrier Takeaways

  • It’s important to acquire enough experience and knowledge before repairing difficult quarter cracks involving raw tissues.
  • Covering a scab prematurely can result in an abscess and other
    embarrassing complications.
  • Using the same drying agent on wounds can result in multiple scabs.

Information is important, but as Albert Einstein once said, it’s not knowledge.

“The only source of knowledge is experience,” said the famed theoretical physicist. “You need experience to gain wisdom.”

Successfully repairing quarter cracks certainly requires experience and knowledge. After 46 years of shoeing horses, Vero Beach, Fla., farrier Tom Curl has gained significant wisdom when addressing quarter cracks.

It’s a double-edged sword, though. The 2006 International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame inductee warns that a lack of experience can “get you caught.”

“When I say, ‘get caught,’ you will look unqualified because you can be certain that you’ll have an abscess,” Curl told attendees at the mid-November Thoro’Bred Extravaganza in Anaheim, Calif.

He points out that patching quarter cracks is a specialty and is not taught in horseshoeing schools.

“You need experience,” Curl says. “You need knowledge. From that, you’ll develop your skills. From your skills, you’ll get more knowledge, more experience.”

How does one acquire knowledge when experience is necessary to repair a compromised hoof wall?

“Get some help,” he advises. “Work with someone who has patched a lot of quarter cracks. Work on cadaver feet or small cracks that don’t have a lot of raw, live tissues looking at you. Work with it and get…

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Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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