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Horses Benefit From Frog and Sole Support

Pour pads can provide the necessary help for a variety of issues


Pictured Above: Casey Allen’s horse Switch benefits from pour pads because moist dirt fails to ball up on the bottom of its feet.  Photo: Emily Gethke

It’s often said that the horseshoe provides protection for the trim and the equine foot. Yet, there are times when horses need a little bit more support, particularly for the frog and sole.

Vandergrift, Pa., farrier Todd Allen provided some helpful tips during a How-To Hoof-Care Product Knowledge Clinic, presented by Vettec, at the 2019 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“Every time a foot steps down or bears weight, the inside pushes down — there is internal descension,” he says. “The foot expands or contracts. But on the high-heeled foot, the frog sits farther back and the sole and the frog are farther away from the ground. We need to give that foot some extra help.”

When farriers put a shoe on the bottom of the horse’s foot, it takes the frog and sole away from the ground and doesn’t spread the load, Allen says.

“We put it all onto the shoe and the hoof wall, and then we can’t figure out why the walls deteriorate,” he says. “A pour pad makes me look like a really good horseshoer, just because the feet hold up.”

Farrier Takeaways

  • Pour pads can provide support for thin-walled horses by reducing the load on the hoof capsule.
  • Use caution when heating the urethane material during cold weather. It can begin setting up when it gets too warm.
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Heather Smith Thomas

Heather Smith Thomas is a freelance writer based in Salmon, Idaho. She has been writing books and articles for nearly 50 years.

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