Quarter cracks are a common problem, particularly with racehorses and show jumpers. Tom Curl often sees horses with cracks that are healing that eventually re-occur due to concussion and poor hoof structure.

His solution is to start by drying and hardening the hoof. “This guy’s hair was sticking straight up at the coronary band,” says the shoer from Vero Beach, Fla. “It’s a condition exhibited by many horses with heel problems and I’d estimate that 90% of hoof lameness begins in the heels.”

He’s beginning to put cases like this into the Yasha heel-cushioned shoe developed by New Jersey farrier Ian McKinley. The shoe can be nailed or glued on.

“Horses treated with this shoe tend to quickly settle down and train better,” Curl says. “This rim pad shoe provides much-needed cushioning for horses that perform on hard surfaces, such as Standardbred tracks. I’m very excited about this shoe as it will have many applications.”

Whenever possible, Curl glues on shoes and laces and patches quarter cracks all in one application. “If I can tie the patch in with gluing the shoe, I’ll get a much stronger and better hold,” he says.

quarter cracks

Old lacing marks reveal the chronic nature of this quarter-crack problem. The farrier spent several days cleaning up and drying out the affected hoof area before fixing the crack.

quarter cracks

Hair sticking straight up around the coronary band is common with heel problems. A piece of heel was added and the lacing was tied off for stability before applying a glue-on shoe.

quarter cracks

A built-on heel, laced quarter crack and glued-on shoe were applied at the same time for added strength.

Read more from the Tackling Tough Cases series: