The concept behind the T shoe was to develop a navicular shoe that would follow sound shoeing principles. The intent was to keep the shoe design close to nature without upsetting the balance of a foot.
There is no denying that raising the angle of a foot has long been a popular way of dealing with navicular disease. It can be very successful, at least for a short time.
However, there are two drawbacks to using this approach. Raising an angle past the natural angle of a foot increases the amount of concussion to the foot and leg and also upsets the natural balance of a foot. Since the raised angle often helps for only a short period of time, it seems counterproductive to help a lame horse by actually starting with a method that creates discomfort.
While the T shoe was designed for treating navicular concerns, it has a number of other applications. The hightech therapy shoe can also be used with laminitis and other bony column problems where there is painful flexing of front or hind limbs and digits.
The principle of the T shoe is very simple. With a flat shoe the short- and long-term drawbacks of using a wedge are avoided. The key to comfort and relief for the horse lies in the rolled toe. While the horse is allowed to travel with a natural angle, the relief from pain comes from the ease of breakover from the roll at the toe. This provides greater relief than can be obtained from the use of a wedge heel shoe and the potential problems associated with a severely squared toe shoe.
Since the T shoe toe is rolled and not beveled, a horse that is resting may lift his heel and roll up on the toe to find its own comfort zone. The rolled toe also reduces or eliminates the concussion that results from the toe crashing into the ground when the foot lands toe first.
The T shoe is a fairly thick shoe because of the roll at the toe which works well with lame horses. For use on working horses, it is also available in a thinner performance version.
Support Is Essential
As with a wedge shoe, you need some kind of support for the frog and sole. The frog on a navicular horse must be kept healthy and active or contraction will surely follow. The amount of pressure that the horse can stand will have to be determined on a horse-by-horse basis.