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If you work with a veterinary practice, you may find cases in which the veterinarian wishes for higher hoof angles for the horses. If collaborating, the team may deal with caudal heel pain, navicular syndrome on a low-heeled horse or an injury to the deep digital flexor tendon, so raising the hoof angle can become an absolute necessity.
Reading through a few older textbooks, a popular veterinary conclusion was to simply request the farrier to apply a wedge pad or a pair of egg bars as a go-to solution. These are simple and have been proven to be effective. However, the qualifier to the effectiveness is “under certain circumstances.” No solution is a silver bullet in every case. If you’ve prescribed these enough, you’ve likely found that they not only don’t work for all horses, but sometimes result in disastrous consequences. Luckily for the equine practitioner today, recent research has focused not only on whether shoeing modalities raise the palmar angle of the coffin bone, but also on possible unintended consequences, giving us a broader picture to enable intelligent, educated shoe selection.
As farriers, we have a wide selection of tools available for raising hoof angles, from mild methods for the horse that…