panel of farriers

Proper Application of Pads is Vital to Success

Experts agree pads are useful—just be sure to think about how and why you’re using them

PADS ON THEIR RESUMES. A panel of farriers shared their thoughts on pad usage with those in attendance at the 4th Annual International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio. From left are Blake Brown, Lim Couch, Joe Ludford, David Nicholls and Red Renchin.

Pads may not have been around quite as long as horseshoes, but they are far from a new invention. Farriers have been adding materials to horseshoes for years — to change a hoof angle, provide added protection, to attempt to alter a horse’s gait — and from just about the first time a farrier added a pad, there was someone else that though he’d made a huge mistake.

“The Love ’Em Or Hate ’Em Relationship With Using Pads” was the topic of a panel discussion during the 4th annual International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio, earlier this year. Participating in the discussion were a quintet of farriers: Red Renchin of Mequon, Wis.; David J. Nicholls of West Sussex, England; Joe Ludford from Baltimore, Md.; Lim Couch, of Hernando, Miss.; and Blake Brown from Penryn, Calif.

The title of the discussion may have been just a bit misleading. All five of the farriers said they make frequent use of pads in their practices for a variety of purposes. They agreed that problems arise not from the use of pads — but from misapplication.

Each of the five participants tackled the use of pads from a different perspective. Here’s a look at what they had to say.


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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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