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Wooden Shoes Offer a Transitional Solution to a Variety of Hoof Problems

Farriery option stabilizes hoof capsule, promotes hoof wall growth at the coronet and increases sole depth


Pictured Above: A) Ground surface. B) Side view of the wooden shoe. Note the bevel around the perimeter of the shoe and the flat platform on the ground surface.

Farrier Takeaways

  • The wooden shoe is a simple, practical and effective farriery option for treating a variety of problems including acute/chronic laminitis,
    extensive white line disease, fractures of the distal phalanx/navicular bone and horses that have feet with thin deformable soles.
  • Understanding the principles of the wooden shoe, the appropriate foot trim, proper fit and placement of the shoe on the foot along with its application are essential.
  • The application of the wooden shoe must be combined with the
    appropriate foot trim for the clinician to achieve consistent
    effective results from this modality.

There are many practical farriery options available to the clinician when an alternative to a horseshoe may be necessary or preferred. The wooden shoe is a simple, practical and effective farriery option for treating not only chronic laminitis but many other foot problems (Figure 1).1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Among those that may benefit from the wooden shoe are acute/chronic laminitis, extensive white line disease, fractures of the distal phalanx/navicular bone and horses that have feet with poor hoof wall growth combined with thin deformable soles.

The wooden shoe is used as a transitional device to stabilize the hoof capsule, promote hoof wall growth at the coronet and increase sole depth. Once the structures of the hoof capsule have improved with sufficient mass to achieve stability and realignment of the…

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Stephen O’Grady

Dr. Steve O’Grady is a veterinarian and a farrier. He operates Virginia Therapeutic Farriery in Keswick, Va., which is a referral practice devoted to equine podiatry and therapeutic farriery You can read informative papers by him at Equipodiatry.com. He is a member of the International Equine Veterinarians Hall Of Fame and the American Farriers Journal Editorial Advisory Board.

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