Unload The Wall, Then Let It Heal

While the shoeing industry hasn’t accepted this controversial sole support concept, the author sees a role for it in tackling founder and hoof cracks

Up until now, there has been only limited success in managing founder and hoof wall crack concerns.

In my studies, the 5S Equine Sole Support System has been highly effective in unloading the hoof wall and laminae while comfortably managing the sole load. Yet the footcare industry has been slow to endorse the use of sole support to unload the hoof in managing these problems.

Fighting Tradition

Loading the sole involves principles and techniques that are contradictory to currently accepted shoeing interpretations and techniques. As a result, it’s understandable that veterinarians and farriers trained to use traditional methods are reluctant to consider this controversial and scientifically untested technique.

Users of this concept find that anticipated complications relative to sole loading are minimal and manageable. The foot condition quickly returns to normal sound condition and is limited only by the amount of existing permanent tissue damage. Most horses enjoy a high level of comfort and mobility with the system.

To understand how unloading the hoof wall works, you must consider these ailments as physical injuries to specific tissues. When the horse suffers from laminitis, certain factors place the laminae in a weakened state that is often unable to support the load. These laminae fail under the normal tension forces relative to weight bearing and locomotion. They tear as the hoof wall is displaced, resulting in a high degree of pain and inflammation to the laminae.


BEFORE. A chronic foundered hoof before the wall is unloaded.

With hoof wall cracks, a combination…

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