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Foundered horses climb the road to recovery one step at a time in heart bar shoes, according to farrier Esco Buff. The key, he believes, is to apply those shoes exactly as needed according to detailed radiographs and meticulous records of the horse’s progress.
That’s why Buff created a comprehensive form for measuring and tracking the progress of a foundered hoof several years ago.
The forms and accompanying instruction sheet are meant to teach consistent radiograph techniques that provide accurate information to help vets and farriers assess a foundered horse, determine the prognosis and establish treatment. The forms also indicate exactly where the frog plate of the heart bar shoe should be placed.
Buff made the forms available to other horseshoers and equine veterinarians directly from his Farrier and Founder Service in upstate Webster, N.Y., and from some farrier supply shops.
His recently released book, Founder Data Collection and Analysis — How to Take, Read and Interpret Radiographs for the Prognosis and Treatment of the Foundered Horse, offers a far deeper look at obtaining reliable, consistent radiographs and tracking data than the original instruction sheet ever could.
The 96-page paperback (5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches) focuses tightly on the subject. It does not tackle the various theories about the cause of founder. Rather, as Buff notes, “The goal is to provide the veterinarian, farrier and horse owner with the most successful treatment techniques now that the horse has foundered.”
Many vets and farriers look at each case…