Can I Show My Horse Tomorrow?

Clients must realize that issues affecting their show horses may not be a simple case of “fixing it”

Farrier Takeaways

  • Pain will override the mechanics of the hoof and shoe, provided the shoeing practices have not contributed to that pain.
  • Pressures on how to shoe a horse from the ill-informed owner shouldn’t supersede what your expert opinion determines is best for the horse.

Most of us have been asked this question above in our careers. Those clients who ask it are certainly concerned about the problem they are facing with their horses’ feet, but is that problem serious enough to limit that excursion?

I was recently presented with a very nice Western pleasure Quarter Horse at a horse show. The owner was already upset that her horse had “popped another quarter crack,” which was bleeding and “off.” Figures 1 (top of page) and 2 show the challenge that we as show farriers may encounter. Unfortunately, in this case, it becomes like triage at a MASH unit. How does something get this bad without some kind of intervention that is productive to this horse’s soundness? What failures of thought and practices have occurred to allow this horse to even be present at a horse show and be showing?

Look closely at these Figures 1, 2, 5 and 6 to see how much mechanical failure you can isolate as problematic to the hoof’s integrity. Looking at the right front, there are quarter cracks on both medial (already patched once) and lateral (two cracks), a horizontal abscess history on the lateral side and both bars are cracked. The left front has…

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Randy luikart 2014

Randy S Luikart

Randy Luikart is a Hall of Fame farrier based in Ashland, Ohio. He has shod horses for more than 50 years and is a past president of the American Farrier’s Association.

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