Kyle Ballard

Using The Fishtail Shoe

Nebraska farrier finds it a good alternative for treating a lacerated tendon


Kyle Ballard, a farrier from Omaha, Neb., believes two-way communication between veterinarians and farriers benefits everyone. He says this case of treating a horse with a severed tendon with a fishtail shoe, is a good example of working together.

The longer I shoe, the more value I place on the establishment of professional working relationships with veterinarians. In my opinion, it’s important that this relationship be a two-way street: Not only must farriers listen to vets and their recommendations, but vets must listen to farriers and theirs. When proactive, two-way communication exists, everyone involved benefits — including the horse. The significance of this communication was reinforced for me recently, when it allowed me an opportunity to try a shoe that was new to me — the fishtail shoe.

Severed Tendon

A local veterinarian called me and wanted me to put a patten bar shoe on a horse that had severed his superficial flexor tendon. The laceration was about mid-cannon bone on the near hind leg and had occurred approximately 6 weeks before I was brought in. The horse had been in a splint since the injury.

I have always heard that the patten bar is the shoe of choice for a horse with a severed tendon. I believe that the patten bar is a rest shoe and that it does achieve a purpose. But as I was heading to the clinic, I started to question whether the patten bar was truly the best choice for a lacerated SFT.

Sharing Concerns

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