The Benefits of Pads and Packing in the Show Horse Ring

Equine athletes compete more and at a higher level with sound choices

Pictured Above: A MAPP torch (left) or a hot plate (right) can help dry the foot and encourage a stronger bond with urethane pour-in pad material, while also killing bacteria that could thrive in the hoof while encased until the next shoeing.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Rim, full and V pads are integral tools for show horse farriers to help mitigate traction and concussion-related problems in the equine distal limb.
  • While plastic pads are helpful for many horses, they hold moisture against the foot, which aggravates a problem that’s created by multiple baths during the course of each day.
  • The choice of packing material is critical for preventing dirt and debris from collecting under the pad and creating sole pressure that can lead to a lameness and prevent a horse from showing.
  • Drying the hoof with a MAPP torch or hot plate can encourage a secure bond with urethane packing while also killing harmful bacteria.

A show horse farrier’s job is to keep the athlete sound and in the ring. The hard truth of it is that if the farrier can’t keep the horse sound and showing, the client will replace them with someone who can.

Coshocton, Ohio, and Wellington, Fla., farrier Dave Farley has been shoeing equine athletes for more than 4 decades and strives to do his part so the horse can perform at a high level. A big part of keeping these athletes going is understanding the show ring footing and applying a shoeing package that benefits the horse.

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Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the editor of American Farriers Journal.

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