The Importance of Properly Trimming the Bars in Horses Feet

Overgrown keratin can lead to painful corns and abscesses for the animal

Pictured Above: Bars grow and distort much like hoof wall. If they are not trimmed, the bars will bend and lay over.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Overgrown bars can meld into the sole and create painful corns and abscesses.
  • Relieving the seat of corn while trimming reveals the origin of the bars.
  • Black fissures the run adjacent to the hoof wall are an indication that the bars have melded into the sole.

We often hear that it’s not what we take, it’s what we leave when trimming the foot that’s important. In many ways, that’s true. However, sometimes if we leave too much, it becomes important for the wrong reasons.

Take the bars, for example. We can get a little knife happy while trimming from time to time. It wasn’t uncommon in the past for some farriers to remove too much of the bars. Over the years, though, we learned that the bars serve an important role in maintaining the integrity of the foot. While speaking at clinics over the past several years, I’ve found that we turned the corner. The bars were no longer being trimmed too much, they weren’t trimmed enough and we’re leaving a lot more than we should. We can leave too much or take too much. We need to find the happy medium.

Just Like Hoof Wall

The bars have a lot in common with hoof wall. In fact, they are extension of the hoof wall. The bars provide strength and integrity to help the foot support…

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Tab pigg 0519

Tab Pigg

Tab Pigg is a certified journeyman farrier from Azle, Texas, who has served as president of the Texas Professional Farriers Association and an examiner for the American Farrier’s Association.

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