Denoix Suspensory Front.jpg

Options for Supporting an Injured Suspensory Ligament

Knowledge and skill necessary for these therapeutic techniques

Fourth in a Series

In this series, we will examine different shoeing applications and various alternatives for achieving the same desired outcome. In this installment, we explore the suspensory shoe.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Excessive stress and repetitive strain can cause injury to the suspensory ligament, superficial flexor tendon, inferior check ligament and sesamoidean ligaments.
  • The appliance is designed to support the suspensory ligament and the oblique sesamoidean. It also enhances toe flotation and heel penetration into the ground.
  • Before applying a suspensory shoe, a farrier needs a few years of experience and mentored by a veteran farrier to check the work, mechanics and balance.

Time after time, equine athletes fill our senses with wonder at their abilities while competing. Their speed and jumping prowess thrill equestrians and fans alike. Yet, like their human counterparts, their bodies can fail. Excessive stress and repetitive strain can result in an injury to the suspensory ligament, superficial flexor tendon, inferior check ligament and sesamoidean ligaments.

The tool that’s most helpful for farriers to lend a hand to these performance horses in this situation is the suspensory shoe. The appliance is designed to support the suspensory ligament, as well as the oblique sesamoidean. The biomechanics of the shoe enhances toe flotation and heel penetration into the ground. Hard or soft footing can change the mechanical effect depending on whether it’s being used for a suspensory branch or the full suspensory ligament with how much heel sink the horse is going to have and how much toe…

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Laura gillespie2

Laura Gillespie

Laura Gillespie is an Athens, Ala., farrier who specializes in therapeutic hoof care and shoes English sport horses, as well as reiners and fox hunters.

Mike hayward

Mike Hayward

Mike Hayward, APD-I, owns a multi-farrier business in Morgan Hill, Calif. He specializes in therapeutic hoof care and shoes English sport horses, eventers, reiners and endurance horses.

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