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Drawing on 60 years of experience, master farrier Gene Ovnicek says he and other horseshoers are finally reaching a point where they can help prevent lameness with advanced hoof mapping, reduced ground surface and his newest development, the Freedom Shoe.
Ovnicek has been studying shoeing techniques for decades, which led him to establish Equine Digit Support System (EDSS), a manufacturer of hoof-care products in Penrose, Colo.
The Freedom Shoe uses a solid piece to cover the entire sole and provides leverage appropriate for supporting the internal structures of the foot, Ovnicek says.
“But the most important thing is hoof preparation,” he stresses, “because it is the key to preventing lameness and resolving some of the issues we’re confronted with.”
He recalls that foot mapping started simply with other farrier researchers. Early mapping called for drawing a line across the…