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The wedge shoe was one of the first therapeutic horseshoes. It was marketed as a 3-degree, open-heel aluminum horseshoe in 1972 by Dutchtown Forge.
The original concept was two-fold. If the heels of a horse were lowered, the foot could be given a longer ground surface. The longer ground surface would provide more foot to support the horse, which helped immensely with a weak-heeled foot. The longer foot surface also increased heel support by moving the base of support toward the rear.
The wedge shoe was then used to restore the foot to a more natural angle. The wedge could also be used to restore a natural angle to a foot that was low in the heels, such as a low-heel, long toe syndrome.
Later on, the wedge shoe was widely used to treat ailments that would respond to raising the foot angle. Horses suffering from suspensory conditions such as sprained tendons responded very well to a wedge shoe.
Another popular use for the wedge is with horses suffering from early navicular disease. Raising the angle of the foot tends to relieve the pressure on the navicular bone. When used for navicular, the shoe seems to work better when the toe is squared, rolled or even both. However don’t carry the square toe to an extreme.
When treating navicular disease, it’s often a good idea to use a frog cushion such as Supreme Support. A little bit of mild…