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The equine veterinarian at the University of Georgia and a member of the American Farriers Journal International Equine Veterinarian Hall Of Fame, adds that it is well known that some shoe and pad combinations can lead to extensive remodeling of the foot.
Parks presented a paper on the “Aspects of Functional Anatomy of the Distal Limb” at the early December meeting of the American Association of Equine Practitioners in Anaheim, Calif. It was among five research papers presented during an in-depth session dealing with the equine foot.
With horses suffering from navicular disease, Parks says heel elevation and moving the point of breakover in a palmar direction are typical shoeing adjustments. The goal is to take pressure off the navicular bone while easing breakover.
He says many farriers find that elevating the heels leads to increased flex in the interphalangeal joint. Even when the horse is at rest, elevating the heels moves the center of pressure toward the center of rotation of the distal interphalangeal joint.
By shortening the movement arm that is exerted on the hoof by the ground, tension in the deep digital flexor tendon is reduced as shown in Figure 1. A reduction…