Benefits of the Omni-Directional Horseshoe

Extensive experience and knowledge are required before application

Ninth in a Series

In this series, we have examined different shoeing applications and various alternatives for achieving the same desired outcome. In this final installment, we explore the light rail or omni-directional shoe.

Achieving the benefits of the therapeutic applications that have been covered over the past eight installments generally can be replicated by most any skill level and budget. The same is not true for the ninth and final subject — the light rail or omni-directional shoe.

Each option detailed in this article is arguably the most difficult shoe to recreate and apply that have been featured in this series. Unlike most of the previous installments, incorrect application of a light rail/omni-
directional shoe will have devastating outcomes for the horse.

It requires significant education and skill levels from both the farrier and the equine veterinarian. We recommend attending Dr. Ric Redden’s 5-day Equine Podiatry Course for a greater understanding of the concepts and application of this shoe. In addition, the horse owner should expect a larger than normal financial commitment regardless of whether manufactured shoes or modified shoes are applied.

Farrier Takeaways

  • The light rail/omni-directional shoe can provide a multitude of therapeutic benefits for horses with laminitis, founder, arthritis and others.
  • It’s critical that both the farrier and veterinarian understand the purpose of the shoe, anatomy of the limb, how the shoe affects the limb and how to apply the shoe. Improper application will prove detrimental to the horse.
  • Communication with the client is critical to ensure…
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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, APF-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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