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Sometimes Taking your Best Shot Isn't the Wisest Course

Q: I had a customer call me tonight asking about putting a hospital plate on a young horse that has an abscess.

I have an idea that I need to fit a shoe and cut an aluminum plate to fit it, drill holes through the plate, drill holes in the shoe and tap them. I need to use bolts in holes — careful not to go through to hoof. Do I have all of this right?

Do I need to shoe the other hoof or will it be fine barefoot until the sore foot heals? Any other suggestions or ideas?

I told her that I had never done this kind of work before and would do some reading and try to get back with her tomorrow.

— Jennifer

A: Slow down, Jennifer. If it is a simple abscess in the white line, medicate it and wrap it. If it is a solar abscess, there’s not a whole lot you can do.

A hospital plate is fine as long as the client fully understands it and knows how to open and close it.

If you do any hunters or jumpers you probably have a 5/16-inch tap in your rig, so use that size bolt on the plate. C- clamp the plate and shoe together and drill them as one unit, then tap the hole and apply the bolt before moving on. This will take a lot of the guess work out of lining them up later.

But try the wrapping and…

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