Farrier Q&A: How does the footing that a horse will compete on change your choice of shoes, excluding calks?

A: All our horses go barefoot through breaking. Once they reach the racetrack, we fit them with square-toed aluminum shoes.

If they’ll be running on a deep track or in muddy conditions, we add a longer toe grab. If they’re going to run on turf, we have to remove or minimize the toe grab, per horseracing rules.

— Luanne Bean, Arcadia, Calif.

A: There are several things to look at. How does the horse land? How much does it weigh?

If the horse has shoes, you need to be able to read them and if the horse is barefoot, you’ll have to be able to read the wear on its hoof. Does it need to be in the ground or on top? Traction — toe grabs, Borium, Drill tek, studs — and its placement are major considerations.

— Jim Horn, Santa Fe, N.M.

A: I’ve studied footings for over a decade and changing shoes is done not only because of the footing the horse will compete on, but also the forces and injuries that are common and consistent for that footing.

— Scott Lampert, Lake Elmo, Minn.

A: Depending on weather and hoof condition, sometimes you can’t put on a wide-web shoe. Do I want the feet to stay closer to the surface or have a little less stick? A wide-web shoe is apt to get torn off on a rocky trail.

— Peter Klein, Makawao, Hawaii

A: There are several aspects to consider when…

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