A bar shoe is one of the most basic of all shoes for the treatment of hoof ailments and lameness. And we know that a horse needs to be shod if it is to be placed into any type of regular service.
Shoeing protects a foot from excess wear when the work a horse is doing produces more hoof wear than the horse is able to replace. Shoes can also improve the way a horse moves or allow a horse to perform to its fullest potential.
While it is also true that shoes can have some undesirable effects, good shoeing practices can certainly keep a horse from getting hurt. Some folks believe that shoeing can be the cause of all lameness, but show me a barefooted horse and I’ll show you a horse that isn’t used enough to become lame.
An earlier article (September/October, 2002, American Farriers Journal) in “The Right Shoe” series discussed the uses of bar shoes. We won’t go over old ground here, but we’ll talk about another practical option.
A bar shoe was traditionally forged from bar stock or a bar was welded into a factory-made shoe. Ready-made bar shoes later became available in either aluminum or steel.
Yet some farriers object to going down either of these routes. Forging or welding facilities may not be readily available during a shoeing appointment, the shoe you need may not be readily adaptable to adding a bar or it may not be exactly the…