Wedge Pads Prove Effective For His Navicular Cases

Oklahoma vet says simple shoeing combination has an impressive track record of success

Here is a simple, quick and effective treatment for navicular disease and contracted heels that I have used for something like 40 years.

When I was in horseshoeing school, the slipper shoe treatment for navicular disease seemed like just the ticket. The idea was that by beveling the hoof surface of the shoe from the quarters back to the heels, you would force the heels outward and relieve the compression stresses on the internal structures of the hoof.

I used this shoe and it worked — sort of. The problem was that it caused terrible corns — bad, suppurating corns that in some cases were quite painful. I stopped using the shoe because of that.

Hard Rubber Wedge Pads

Then someone came out with 2- and 3-degree wedge pads made out of a hard rubber (not plastic — hard rubber). I thought that if I used this wedge pad and beveled its heels, the softness of the pad might prevent corns from forming.

I was pleased to find that this worked beautifully and it has worked for me ever since.

I used to think that I needed additional heel pressure to better force the heels outward, which I accomplished using a raised-heel shoe with the beveled wedge pad, but I’ve found that’s unnecessary. A plain, flat shoe, fit right under the heels works just fine. Do not leave any extra shoe out there from the quarter back for expansion. Bevel the wedge pad from the quarters back enough so that…

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Jack Roth

Jack Roth of Purcell, Okla., is a member of the International Equine Veterinarian Hall Of Fame and the owner of the Oklahoma Horseshoeing School. He also owns MFC Horseshoeing Tools and Purcell Farrier Supply.

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