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Doyle Blagg told farriers at the International Hoof-Care Summit that sometimes, despite their best shoeing efforts, horses will interfere. He says in his experience, this is rarely the fault of the shoer. “Poor conformation is the primary reason most horses interfere or hit themselves, not shoeing,” he said.
Yet that doesn’t let farriers totally off the hook. Blagg emphasized that a good understanding of anatomy is essential in addressing movement faults — as well as letting owners and trainers understand what’s out of your control due to conformation concerns.
In a navicular syndrome study by Michigan State University researcher Robert Bowker, it was found that blood flow and tissue perfusion varies significantly with the ground surface. With shod hooves, he found blood flow often almost stops when the horse stands due to high internal foot pressure.
Both blood flow and tissue perfusion increased when barefoot horses stood on pea rock and foam, yet decreased on hard surfaces such as cement and wood. The researchers hope that this study will enhance the beneficial effects of medical treatments for navicular disease.
If you get kicked in the head by a horse, a minor blow can be deadly even if the symptoms don’t show up for days or weeks. University of Texas, Houston neurosurgeon Alex Valadka says bleeding inside the skull may cause a delay in symptoms such as increased sleepiness, a severe headache that…