A detailed understanding of the discipline that the horse competes in will help you provide better hoof care. Lee Olsen encourages farriers to spend time with their clients to gain a better understanding. Photo: Jeff Cota

Strategies for Shoeing the Underperforming Horse

Farriers can determine a customized approach after understanding why a problem occurs.

Between the sound horses that have no special shoeing considerations and the obviously lame horses needing serious intervention, there rests a unique subset of horses that require a special approach to shoeing — underperforming horses

Lee Olsen, CJF, of Olsen Equine Multi-Farrier Haul-In Practice in Weatherford, Texas, says sound horses are relatively straightforward to shoe. Outside of applying fundamentals that include a balanced trim, correct shoe fit and a shoeing application appropriate for the individual horse, Olsen says sound horses don’t usually require an out-of-the-box approach. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Olsen says horses that present with an obvious lameness also tend to be straightforward in their shoeing needs. Often, they are under a period of prolonged rest. Many are confined to a stall.

“The five out of five, leg off the ground, lame ones are pretty easy to shoe,” Olsen tells attendees of the Mustad How-To Hoof-Care Clinic at the 20th annual International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio. “Because they’re on stall rest, or at least not competing, you can use nearly any shoeing package you want without balancing that against the demands of their job. You can come up with crazy shoeing packages and get away with them because there’s no need to consider the performance requirements for those horses.”

The most challenging cases for Olsen are in underperforming horses. These horses run the gamut, from those that present with a slight lameness to those that simply aren’t competing at peak potential.

“A horse will tell

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all American Farriers Journal content and archives online.

Jessica lash headshot

Jessica Lash

Jessica Lash is an Indiana-based freelance writer, dedicated barrel racer, and lifelong horse enthusiast

Top Articles

Current Issue

View More

Current Issue

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings