Farriers' Roundtable

How do you deal with a horse that has a quarter crack, but you can’t patch it because of its environment or cost?

Q: How do you deal with a horse that has a quarter crack, but you can’t patch it because of its environment or cost?

A: My ideas on repairing quarter, toe or heel cracks might be old school, but they’re affordable. I have never had the luxury of shoeing for people with a lot of money. My clients do the best they can to keep their horses sound and in good shape, but in this economy, it’s a struggle.

Depending on how high the crack is determines what I do. For a quarter or toe crack that is part way up the hoof and about an inch below the coronary band, I Dremel it out, float it and put a clip on both sides of the shoe. Then I take a U-iron and burn the hoof just above the top of the crack. This stops the crack from going any higher. I used to use hoof staples, but can’t find them anymore.

On heel cracks, I use a bar shoe and float the heel. I do not burn a heel crack in case there’s an area that might be subject to infection.

I know my response will cause some discussion among farriers, but these methods are affordable and have worked for me for a long time. I’ve been shoeing for 46 years and have found some of the old methods work as well as new ones.

— Steve Eastman, Kenwood, Calif.

A: In cases with quarter cracks due to an…

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