Long Toe-Low Heel Debate

Q: Our local vet recently attended a symposium on the long toe and low heel syndrome (LTLH) and this is what she had to say to the local farriers in the area:

“Lower the heels to the widest part of the frog and back up the toe to the white line, and past if needed, to achieve the proper angle. Set the shoe back underneath the toe, so that the hoof wall at the toe hangs over the shoe slightly.

“Fit the horse with small trailers for both front and hind shoes. If this is done equally on fronts and hinds, the shoes will not be pulled.”

Has anyone heard of this or had any success with this technique?

—Jessica Peil, jpeil@netidea.com

A: LTLH is one of the biggest headaches for a farrier. No matter what you do or what you call it — shortening the toe and making breakover quicker, raising the angles, rolling the toe, half rounds, rocker toe, Memphis bars, wedge-heeled shoes, backing up the toe — the key is to support the foot and float the heels.

I have no problems using egg bars, but I question using trailers in front. If it’s a Tennessee Walker, you can get away with quite a bit of heel and shoe out to the bulbs. Horses in other breeds might rip the heck out of a trailer that’s sticking out in front.

Make sure that the horse in question is “balanced” before leaving anything, even an egg bar, sticking…

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