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POURING IN SUPPORT. Some farriers find that drilling a hole in the center of a hoof pad is a good way to make sure material such as Equi-Pak from Vettec spreads evenly across the foot.
Horseshoes and hoof pads have a lot in common. For one thing, just as most horseshoes were once forged by a farrier from bar stock, early hoof pads were usually cut from whatever material a farrier found handy that he thought might suit his purpose.
Today, just about any type of manufactured horseshoe can be purchased at a farrier supply store. And not far from the shoes, you’ll usually find the pad section, with — if anything — an even wider selection than you’ll find for keg shoes.
Like shoes, pads also come in a variety of materials. There are leather, plastic and rubber pads, as well as pads made from a wide variety of other synthetics. Some synthetic horseshoes are bonded to or have otherwise built in pads. Pads are also available “in the tube” in products like Equi-Pak from Vettec.
The November, 2005, American Farriers Journal “Farriers Supplies And Services Guide” lists pads in 11 separate categories, from “Pads, Bar Wedge,” to “Pads, Wedge.” Within those categories are literally dozens of brand names, sizes and styles.
The basic reasons for using pads are also the same as those for using shoes: to provide additional support, redistribute weight, provide protection and absorb shock.
And like just about everything else in horseshoeing, there is a…