Farriers' Roundtable

Q: Is there a way to realign a negative palmar angle without using wedges?

A: This is a great question, but the better question would be, “When I use a wedge pad to make a horse with a negative palmar angle look pretty on radiographs, does the horse really improve over time?” Or another would be, “Should we use wedges to realign a negative palmar angle?” No easy answer!

Too many times we make use of wedge pads to “realign the bony column.” While this can result in immediate improvement radiographically, it only takes into account the concept of static balance (balance while at rest). I try to trim for static balance and shoe for dynamic balance (balance in motion). Remember that most horses aren’t lame when they’re not moving!

Establish your landmarks (such as the junction of the live frog and sole), take the heels back to the widest part of the frog and establish a uniform thickness of hoof wall. That way you should have something that looks like a hoof. Now it is time to have radiographs taken.

I love when I get a new client that has a set of films from 3 months back that they want me to work off of. If I didn’t see the hoof when the films were taken, I can’t guess what has gone on in the interim. As a side note, when you evaluate these radiographs, take a peak at the palmar process. How does it look? Any bony…

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