All images by: Wesley Powell

What's This? Give it a Rest


From time to time, hoof-care clients come across some gems and share them with their farrier. Wesley Powell, DipWCF, was recently fulfilling an appointment when his client showed the Hereford, England, farrier this old shoe to learn more about its purpose.

There are various names for the application — stifle shoe, hospital shoe, cage shoe, and perhaps the most applicable, rest shoe.


Its intention is to promote healing by deterring a horse from loading the limb that it’s applied to, explains Steve Kraus, senior lecturer and head of Farrier Services at Cornell University. Although the shoe can be used in the shoeing of fractures, wounds, or other injuries, many farriers and veterinarians use it with horses with a stifle injury or surgery — thus the reference to it being called a stifle shoe.


If you have more information about the shoe, please share it with us at

SOURCES: Wesley Powell, Dip WCF; Steve Kraus, CJF

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