Options Aplenty To Give Working Horses A Little Extra Help

Whether it’s simply the trim or the need for protection or support, farriers have plenty of tools to solve hoof pain

It is a rare horse that does not have some kind of lameness issue sometime during its working life.

It might be caused by an injury or just from wear and tear on its legs. Horses are like bull riders who keep riding bulls. It’s not a question of if you will get hurt, but when and how bad. If you keep working a horse, eventually you’ll have problems.

Even horses with the best conformation are subject to injury. Lubbock, Texas, farrier and International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame member Burney Chapman used to say, “Horses are made of iron but are held together by store string.” Horses can come out of horrendous accidents unscathed but can suffer catastrophic damage from stepping on a rock wrong.

There is no holding back the clock for humans or horses. Eventually the joints and soft tissue that worked flawlessly for years begin to not work as well. Cartilage in the joints thins, muscles lose their strength and tendons and ligaments show wear and tear from years of use.

Horses that had done well for years in just conventional keg shoes become no longer usable. My adage is, “If what you are doing isn’t working, change it.”

Optimal management of the older or injured horse requires the services of a team of people. They can include the owner, trainer, groom, vet, farrier, chiropractor, massage therapist and acupuncturist. I will explore some of the options for you to consider.

Identifying The Problem

Anyone who has been…

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Red Renchin

Red Renchin is a long-time farrier who calls Mequon, Wis., and Wellington, Fla. home. A native of Minnesota and a member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame, he serves as Technical Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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