Farriers' Roundtable

“What are the major concerns about frog pressure and what would you do about it when shoeing?”

“What are the major concerns about frog pressure and what would you do about it when shoeing?”

—California farrier

A: Frog pressure plays a vital role in the health of a horse’s foot and is a key component in the horse staying sound.

Horses that live in an arid environment where the frogs become atrophied or horses that work on hard surfaces often have no frog contact with the ground, because of the thickness of the shoes.

What I have realized over the past 10 years is horses that are stabled on rubber mats do not have any frog contact for the same reason. If a horse lives on rubber stall mats 20 hours a day and is ridden or turned out 4 hours a day, the feet become unhealthy. This produces long-toe and low-heel syndrome due to the fact the frog is not sharing the load with the heels. The heels will crush until the frog comes into contact with the ground or mats. 

Cushion frog pads manufactured by Castle Plastics are helpful in restoring unhealthy frogs, if pulling the shoes is not an option. The frog pad is applied with the frog portion of the pad toward the ground surface between the heels of the shoe. I make sure the frog is then in contact with the pad with something like Equi-Pak hoof pack by Vettec. I might also use dental impression material. This simply puts the frog back to work. 

I also found using a 1/4- by…

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