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Q: “Can and should you use a full-support shoe (bar shoe) to grow better heel?”
—North Dakota farrier
A. A full-support shoe would be a bar shoe of some sort — either an egg bar or a straight bar.
If the heels are lacking they are probably forward of the widest part of the frog. Whatever method is used, the important thing is to establish support back to the widest part of the frog.
An egg bar shoe would do this nicely. The length of the egg bar would be determined by the severity of the heels, but would never extend past the bulbs. Adjusting the breakover with a rolled toe, rocker toe or simply setting the shoe back a bit would not hurt either. The method I would use would be determined by the lack of heel. Under no circumstances would I use a wedge pad.
—Roy Bloom, Drummond, Wis.
A. Most farriers and veterinarians would agree that sloping heels can be congenital or may be due to neglect.
The cases of sloping heels I have come in contact with are the result of neglect, causing the hoof angle to decrease all the way down to about 45 degrees.
A result of this extended toe is that the leverage created by
this condition causes the condition to worsen, forcing the heels even lower. Trimming the feet to their physiological function and trimming them frequently seems to be the best remedy.
I’d apply a regular shoe…