Critical Guidelines For Keeping Feet Sound

Veteran University of California-Davis equine veterinarian Jack Snyder has several valuable recommendations for maintaining sound feet in sport horses:

1. The longer the toe, the more pressure is placed on the navicular area. 2. In chronically lame horses, the inside of the foot sometimes is not fully developed and lacks strength. 3. Try to avoid a broken foot axis by keeping the pastern and hoof at the same angle. 4. A combination of poor foot conformation and how the horse is housed can lead to navicular damage.

A “Classic Warning” On Proper Use of Clips

“From clips, lameness may arise,” Willing Hunting wrote in 1895 in The Art of Horseshoeing, A Manual For Farriers. “A badly drawn clip is not easily laid level and flat on the wall. When hammered down excessively, it causes pressure on the sensitive foot, and lameness. When side clips are used — one on each side of the foot — it is not difficult to cause lameness by driving them too tightly against the wall. They then hold the hoof as if in a vise. When shoes get loose or are partially torn off, the horse may tread on the clip, and if it be high and sharp, very dangerous wounds result.”

Taken from this historical horseshoeing book in the American Farriers Journal “Farrier Classic Series,” Hunting’s argument is far from new when it comes to deciding whether, when and how to use clips. The same points are made…

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