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WITH A FEW precautions and some relatively inexpensive materials, I came up with a method that helps horses with a lacerated deep digital flexor tendon.
It involves using a patten bar shoe and a small bungee cord to function in the place of the tendon.
If the laceration is below the fetlock joint, this apparatus works very well and with much less atrophy and soreness than with most casts or braces that veterinarians often prescribe with a patten bar shoe.
This method has worked well on the hind limb, but has been especially effective on the front leg.
In most front limb applications of the patten bar shoe, the horse tries to use the bar of the shoe as a pivot point if the bar is not extended back considerably. (See “Forging The Patten Bar Shoe,” Chris Gregory, American Farriers Journal, December, 2003, Page 84). This method prevents a horse from doing so.
Here’s how to put it together. This particular application was performed on the right hind limb.
First, make a patten bar shoe, with the proper extension for the bar (Figure 1). As a rule, I like to leave a little more extension for front limb applications than on hind limb applications. There are several different ways to make the patten bar shoe. You can use a portable welder or hand forge the shoe. I chose to hand forge this shoe to help hone my skills.
Mark a piece of 5/16-by-3/4-inch bar stock, 3/4 of an…