Penn Vet’s Farrier Service at New Bolton Center is one of the oldest and well-respected programs in the country. Our farriers have created pioneering techniques using glue-on shoes and synthetic polymers for hoof reconstruction, and continue to conduct groundbreaking research on hoof care.

In honor of National Farrier’s Week, Penn Vet is proud to highlight the Farrier Service, one of only a few working farrier programs in the country that is part of a veterinary school.

Since the soundness of the hoof is so critical to the overall health of a horse, our farrier partners with veterinarians in our Equine Sports Medicine Service as well as Surgery and Internal Medicine to diagnose and treat horses.

Chief of Farrier Services Pat Reilly today continues to explore new materials and techniques for the advancement of hoof care, with several important research studies underway:

  • Development of a protocol for in-shoe force measurement as a means of quantifying the effect of different shoes on the hoof.
  • Computer analysis of the hoof that can lead to a better understanding of deformation of the equine hoof.
  • Methods to treat and prevent laminitis, including development of orthotics to help horses distribute weight more evenly across their hooves. Laminitis – a life-threatening condition – occurs when structures that stabilize the foot become inflamed and painful, and can be caused by placing excess weight on one or more hooves.