Horse Shoe

The Right Shoe: Using An Aluminum Bar Shoe

With this shoe, the horse—not the farrier—determines the raised heel angle where the animal is most comfortable

“The leading edge of the shoe continues to wear until it reaches an equilibrium or balance...”

Commonly known as an N-Shoe, navicular shoe, set-down bar shoe, step-down wedge bar shoe and several other names, the basic premise behind this shoe is to set breakover farther under the hoof. This is done with a wedge.

Yet there is a distinctive difference between a wedge bar shoe and this shoe. With a wedge bar shoe, you artificially set a raised degree in the heel area that you think will be correct. The hoof is locked into that position regardless of the degree of the wedge.

Let The Horse Set The Angle

However, the N-Shoe has a distinct advantage. First, the lighter aluminum shoe does not have the same amount of heel weight as an aluminum wedge shoe. The N-Shoe shown here from G.E. Forge & Tool comes with a 6-degree angle with a leading aluminum edge or “step” that will wear well.

As the horse is used, the leading edge of the shoe continues to wear down until it reaches an equilibrium or balance. The result is that the horse, not the farrier, determines the specific angle where the animal feels most comfortable. This means the wearing of the shoe will eventually range anywhere from 2 to slightly less than 6 degrees.

Relieving Discomfort Is Key

The therapeutic shoeing situations where this shoe has helped include dealing with navicular bursa, low and high ringbone, knee problems, hock problems and stifle concerns. This…

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