Battling a White Line Case Caused by Bad Shoeing

Iowa farrier faces two-fold problem of keeping Saddlebred going through the show season while restoring health to its feet

SPECIALIZED SHOER. Jeff Ridley of Leighton, Iowa, was one of the first farriers to earn the therapeutic endorsement from the American Farrier’s Association.

A couple of new horses were brought into one of my Saddlebred barns over the summer. The trainer had called me in advance to warn me that their feet were in desperate need of help. He said he didn’t know how they were still able to walk, let alone perform. When the horses were brought out, it was apparent that both horses had chronic cases of “unskilled farrier disease.”

Now, I know that one never knows what the previous farrier had to work with. I also know you should “NEVER” find fault. However, sometimes the shoeing work is just so blatantly wrong that you can’t help but wonder, “What was he thinking?”

The owner told me she had been struggling with bad feet on these horses for a couple of years, the whole time that they had been in a specific barn. To me, this reinforced my diagnosis of unskilled farrier disease syndrome.

If The Shoe Doesn’t Fit ...

In the case of the horse shown in this article, the shoes did not fit the foot. The fact that it was a long-footed horse only exaggerated the adverse effects as the foot struggled to compensate. The foot was allowed to flare and pull away from the laminae. This created the ideal environment for white line problems. The nails pulled on the hoof wall, tearing it up. The…

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