Farrier's Roundtable

Q: “Should a horse with a dished hoof be trimmed more often?”

—Kentucky farrier

A: In my experience, dished toes are usually the result of excessive heel length. Whether the distortion is caused by neglect, conformation or lameness, it should be ad­dressed in a similar fashion.

Normally the laminae is stretched and the sole is low; if this is the case — leave the sole alone!

Lower the heels and round the heck out of the wall. I’ll nip the wall at a 45-degree angle, then dress all of the flare that I can from the top, being careful not to make the wall too thin and weaken it more than it already is.

Lowering the heels will take the leverage off of the toe, and ease the break­over.

If the horse is to be shod, fit the foot at the quarters, seat out the shoe and bring back the break­over.

It’s not necessary to dress the toe all the way back to the shoe. If you just round it up, the foot stays stronger.

If the horse is shod in short enough intervals, not allowing the wall to spread over the shoe will eventually tighten the foot back up.

— Kelly Vermeer, Oakdale, Calif.

A: Yes and no. Why the horse’s hoof is dished is an important consideration. Is it an inherited problem? Or is it a problem because of improper maintenance?

Most horses with dished toes have high heels and tend to have club feet as well. This…

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