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Utilizing Pads in Your Footcare Practice

Proper use and application is crucial for the well being of the horse

The following article is based on Blake Brown's presentation at the 2019 International Hoof-Care Summit. To watch the presentation, click here.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Improper application of pads can aggravate pathologies and even make them worse.
  • Modifying a performance pad so that it is beveled to avoid contact with the bottom of the foot is effective for horses that have pedal osteitis or a flat sole.
  • A wedge pad that allows a horse to stand up on its foot or even tilted on its toe to relieve heel pressure can help promote growth in the caudal region.

Over the more than 50 years that Blake Brown has been shoeing horses, he estimates that about 85% of the lameness issues he’s dealt with have been the result of hoof imbalances.

That’s not to say that they are the result of poor farriery. Rather, hoof imbalances can stem from a variety of causes including genetics, poor hoof quality, poor conformation and owner neglect. In many lameness cases, a therapeutic hoof pad can help correct or alleviate problems. Yet, they must be used correctly in order for them to work.

During a How-To Hoof-Care Product Knowledge Clinic, sponsored by Castle Plastics, the Penryn, Calif., farrier discussed the benefits of performance pads and frog pads at the 2019 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Performance Pads

“The performance pad is a hard plastic pad,” Brown says. “I’ve used it primarily for laminitis, pedal osteitis (inflammation of the coffin bone) and tender-footed horses that had…

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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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