Think Before You Patch

Modern materials make it much easier to repair cracks and lesions, but British farrier stresses the need to address the cause first

British farrier Simon Curtis thinks the modern methods and materials available for repairing hoof cracks are great, but he stresses that one thing hasn’t changed.

“We have some wonderful repair materials now. Certainly 30 years ago, we couldn’t do what we can now,” the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame member from Newmarket, England, told attendees at the Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners seminar. “But — and this is a very big but — the cause must be addressed. There is no point in repeating and repeating a repair if we do not first address the cause of the lesion.”

Very often, Curtis says, a hoof crack develops because the hoof is not properly balanced, or has become distorted due at least in part to improper trimming.

“Any repair has to be based on proper balance and returning a hoof to its proper proportions,” he says.

Find The Cause

Curtis displayed a slide of a hoof with a toe crack and noted that the foot had a very long toe. It was the typical long-toe, low-heel type of foot that is all too common.

“We shouldn’t be surprised when we have a foot with that much of a lever on it and it gets a crack in that area,” he says.

Curtis says most farriers seem to understand the need to dress the toe back, or set a shoe back, but says that’s not all that needs to be done in most of these cases.

“Most of us understand that…

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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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