Maintaining a full tool box in hoof care is a philosophy that Sedalia, Colo., farrier Jason Critton and his C-Cross Farriers team strongly believes in. So when a show hunter was having problems staying sound, Critton wanted to take a different route with the gelding.
Bogey had a low palmar angle that resulted in chronic corns and regular abscesses that would render him unsound. Three years ago, Critton suggested applying Polyflex shoes. Bogey hasn’t had an abscess since.
“We can’t keep him going as well in steel as we can with Polyflex,” Critton says. “Now, there’s no way I can talk the client out of them.”
“They allow the foot to flex, which increases blood flow,” he says. “It’s one of the big things with glue-on shoes, their feet grow like crazy. The amount of movement that the foot gets allows the lateral cartilage to move, which helps circulate blood flow.”
It’s worked so well that he often applies them in situations in which hoof growth benefits the horse.
“When I have a horse that’s not growing a lot and I can get my clients to put the horse in the shoes for three cycles, it’s amazing what I come back to,” Critton says. “They’re an awesome tool for lots of different situations, such as quarter cracks and sheared heels.”