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The most basic of pads is the rim pad – but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t complexities in its use. As with any pad, the most important think is to apply it correctly.
Rim pads are most often used for absorbing shock and concussion, according to Blake Brown, a veteran farrier from Penryn, Calif.
“You can buy rim pads, cut down a full pad or cut rim pads from some other material, such as felt,” says Brown. “Different materials will provide different levels and amounts of cushioning or energy absorption.”
Rim pads – like most manufactured pads – are available in a variety of materials, including leather, plastic, rubber, neoprene, nylon and other synthetic materials. Several firms also now market special rim pads engineered for maximum shock absorption and some shoes are available with what is, in effect, a rim pad bonded to the shoe.
Leather pads are preferred by many shoers and are good for many uses, but Brown cautions against using them in wet environments.
“With leather pads, moisture can be a real problem,” he says. “If they get wet they deteriorate, even more quickly than a full pad because there’s less material.”
Some farriers and veterinarians believe rim pads are useful in cases of pedal osteitis, because they help absorb some concussion to the coffin bone. However if the pedal osteitis is due to a thin sole, a rim pad won’t help.
“You can also use them with flat-soled feet to get the horse up off…