Farriers Helping Farriers

Endurance Shoeing

Q: I recently started shoeing an endurance horse. The toes of both fronts have nearly worn through in less than 5 weeks. Is there anything I can do in regards to shoe type, the placement or hoof-angle adjustment to help alleviate this problem? He has very upright pasterns and the hoof angle on both fronts is 55.

—Brian Fitzgerald

A: Have you tried Drill Tek or a polyurethane shoe? I’m always bragging about Ground Control’s Polyshoes, which are relatively light, absorb a lot of concussion and usually outwear metal shoes.

I don’t know what kind of terrain your client is riding over, but obviously they are using the horse. Toe wear is completely normal and it’s typical to have to replace an endurance horse’s shoes every 3 to 4 weeks.

I’d hesitate to try to prevent the toe wear, because as the foot grows out and the toe wears down, at least the hoof is maintaining some semblance of proper breakover and timing. Applying Drill Tek to just the toes offsets the horse’s angles, so it will also become necessary to apply Drill Tek to the shoe heels, which can hamper the horse’s foot-fall timing.

When I did endurance riding with my horse, I preferred using World Race Plates. The aluminum kept her feet light and the shoe has a steel-insert wear bar at the toe. But remember, it is not a toe grab — like on standard racing shoes. We always replaced the shoe at no more…

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