There are many different techniques to therapeutically shoe horses for various hoof disorders. The veterinary and farrier professions are becoming more and more sophisticated in podiatry, using the mechanics of the hoof along with new synthetic materials to complement various shoeing systems.
Often therapeutic shoeing systems are not properly applied or the proper therapeutic shoeing application is not applied to a particular condition. The increasing research on the biomechanism of the hoof and our expanding medical/imaging capabilities can now be combined to help one understand the forces that may lead to the lesions found in many hoof disorders.
Abnormal hoof conditions will generally lend themselves to a change in foot mechanics and subsequently foot conformation. The conformation parameters and the mechanics of the hoof with palmar foot pain as well as overall soundness can often be enhanced with the use of therapeutic shoeing principles derived from successfully treated laminitic cases. These principles are:
The shoeing protocol described in this paper uses not only the above biomechanical principles, but also a tiered shoeing system beginning with a wooden shoe and progressing to a more traditional shoe combined with impression material.
Chronic laminitic cases typically involve too much weight bearing on the toe…