Teichman centers his heart bar shoes on the widest part of the foot. He uses them to weight and un-weight different parts of the hoof wall. Un-weighted horn will grow faster than weighted horn. He says shoe placement will cue the hoof on where to re-grow more horn.
Heart bar horseshoes are best known for their use in treating laminitic horses, but Steve Teichman, a farrier from Unionville, Pa., has also found them to be a very valuable tool in keeping the equine athletes in his care going, as well as a useful tool in reshaping problem hooves.
Teichman, of Chester County Farrier Associates, has been the United States Equestrian Federation team farrier since 1996. He draws on more than 35 years of experience, much of it in the very demanding area of international hunter and jumper competition.
“We have a very results-oriented clientele,” he says. “Giving the horse time off is not a solution to any of their problems.”
Teichman says the shoeing techniques he was using a dozen years ago were not always meeting the needs of this clientele — particularly when he needed to keep a horse with some degree of lameness going.
“Then I was a perimeter-fit guy,” he says. “That’s the way I was taught. The hoof-wall was our primary weight-bearing structure.”
But his view has changed and the heart bar shoe has become his go-to remedy for many hoof problems. Teichman says he’s changed his views on how the hoof functions. He expounded…