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BIG JOB. Sometimes, a therapeutic shoeing job requires a shoer to be part farrier, part design engineer. The shoe shown in these photos was designed by farrier Steve Sandvil, of Johnsburg, Vt. The shoe provided a raised heel and included sockets for rails that went up past the knee to serve as a brace and support for other injuries to the leg.
You can’t really take a “back-to-basics” approach to therapeutic horseshoeing. By its very nature, shoeing horses that have suffered traumatic injuries is beyond the basics. But there are some guiding principles that are important to keep in mind when you are doing this type of shoeing.
Ric Redden, the Hall Of Fame equine veterinarian from Versailles, Ky., touched on therapeutic shoeing during a presentation on management of traumatic injuries to the hoof capsule at the third International Equine Conference on Laminitis & Diseases of the Foot at Palm Beach, Fla., during November.
Redden said a well-designed therapeutic shoe will:
Redden stresses the need for cooperation between a farrier and veterinarian in designing shoes for treating hoof capsule injuries. He says the mechanical approach must be planned with an eye toward optimum tissue healing as well as the immediate needs of the patient.