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Sport Horse Presents Tough, Unresolved Case

Presented with a horse not responding to hoof-care, farrier Stuart Muir tries different footcare strategies to achieve soundness


Pictured Above: This left front lateral radiograph shows mineralization of the deep digital flexor tendon.

As farriers, when we are managing therapeutic cases, we like to see our work benefit the horse so that it can return to the same capacity that it was previously working in. Of course, that isn’t always the case and despite our best efforts, many horses won’t return to their previous levels of performance — or at all.

This case study encompasses numerous challenges that farriers navigate on a daily basis. There were many complexities and variables that influenced my decisions as I negotiated the differing situations. Sharing this case will hopefully raise awareness of the need for timely and well thought-out shoeing plans, professional relationships, and an unwavering desire to offer the horses we treat the best possible care.

When managing cases like these, a farrier’s experience, and knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics can play an influential role in the end result. The finesse and attention to detail that therapeutic shoeing involves is something that sometimes only a farrier can appreciate. The infinite variables that a farrier faces while shoeing unsound horses can be both challenging and rewarding.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Consider the possible unintended consequences that…
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Stuart Muir

Stuart Muir is resident farrier at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

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