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They might have been in “Gold Country,” but members of the Western State Farrier’s Association were more interested in mining nuggets of horseshoeing knowledge during the annual Northern California Classic in Placerville, Calif.
Clinicians Myron McLane, an American Farrier’s Association Certified Journeyman Farrier from Somerset, Mass., and Don Reed, veteran California racetrack shoer from Arcadia, Calif., offered advice on dealing with quarter cracks, a topic of real concern in an area where racetracks are plentiful.
Reed and McLane both note that track shoers often have to patch or otherwise repair quarter cracks — essentially stress fractures just behind the widest part of the hoof wall — in order for a horse to race. They said a non-racing horse with a similar hoof injury might be fitted with an egg bar or other protective type of shoe and put on light duty while the hoof was allowed to regrow.
A horse blows a quarter today and he might run next week,” says Reed. “And they can’t let him sit without training him. I’ve filled quarter cracks as late as the day the horse is going to run.”
McLane points out that new hoof growth from the coronet band is the only real “cure” for a quarter crack. He says when treating such injuries on a horse he knows will be rested, he will trim the hoof, clean out the crack and keep weight off the affected area by using bar shoes or a bar shoe, pad and patch combination.