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Pads are a versatile and beneficial tool in a farrier’s arsenal. Although they are primarily used for protecting the bottom of the foot, pads can also provide concussion relief and enhance movement
The resourcefulness of pads can be seen in the everyday work of farriers. According to the 2020 American Farriers Journal Farrier Business Practices Survey, 20% of horses are shod with pads, while pour-in pads are applied weekly by 61% of farriers.
Bob Smith of Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School in Plymouth, Calif., led a discussion with attendees on the use of pads during a How-To Hoof-Care Product Knowledge Clinic, sponsored by Castle Plastics, at the 2022 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio.
While hoof pads are common today, they weren’t always a welcome application in some corners. They were seen as a tool of a substandard farrier.
“Early on in my career, it seemed like farriers would say there’s something wrong with your horses if you were using pads,” an attendee recalls. “I fell into that trap for a long time and found that…