Using half-rounds to deal with a toeing-in problem

Q: I have an 11-year-old Paint horse that toes in with his right foot. He also has arthritis in his fetlock joint on the same leg, due to the stress he puts on that joint from toeing in. He is reasonably sound, but does get lame when ridden too much.

How would you recommend shoeing this horse? One farrier tried a lateral extension on the shoe. It didn’t help and it made him turn his foot even more. Should he just be trimmed and shod to his normal way of going? Would pads help to cushion the foot for the arthritis? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

— Jackie Howell

A: I am a big believer in the “KISS” approach — “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” This is an old horse and changing his legs or hoof angles in my mind would be more detrimental than helpful. His bones are set. I suggest:

  1. Trim him the way he stands.
  2. Shoe him with half-round shoes.

He is used to moving with his leg situation, so why change it now? Half-rounds reduce all stress by allowing the horse to break over where he wants to, thus relieving the stress on the joints and easing the arthritis affliction.

You could use Vettec’s Equi-Pak as a viable solution to concussion. But mostly use good common sense when using this animal and keep his arthritic condition in mind as to where and how you use him. That will help as much as anything. He has restrictions…

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