Seeking Advice on Adjusting a Patten Bar Shoe

Q: What would you suggest for dropping the angle of a patten bar shoe? How much time do you allow between adjustments and how many degrees at a time? This is a 10-degree bar on a mare who has had a lot of damage to the deep digital flexor tendon and surrounding tissue.

She has had surgery in the past to remove calcification. Every once in a while, she reinjures it. The owner is concerned that if we leave the shoe too high for too long — more than two weeks — then the mare will have trouble with stretching the tendon back out. I am thinking of dropping her down 2 more degrees today. Her shoe is about 8 degrees now and that would mean I will have dropped her 4 degrees in one month.

— Josy Griffen

A: Remember that you are not a vet. I hope that you haven’t taken on this job without vet assistance.

The only way I know to lower the lift on the patten bar is to “crush” the bent areas on the shoe. Unfortunately, this will widen the shoe, increasing the chances for the horse to pull it off or hurt itself. It looks like you have to make a new one each time if you want to continue to use the patten bar.

But Danny Ward (the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame member from Martinsville, Va.) taught us about the “pipe” shoe for situations like this. Take a keg shoe and…

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