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Last month, the American Farriers Journal message board hosted discussions regarding padding materials and snow pad packing.
Farrier Tony Lowe raised one online discussion with a question regarding leather and plastic pads.
“Which do you prefer? I have heard leather is the only good pad material—that plastic actually causes too much moisture retention, doesn’t allow the foot to breathe normally, and makes underrun, sheared and squashed heels even worse.
“I use both leather and plastic in my practice. I have found that the quality and elasticity in plastic pads varies greatly. Also, I find that leather won’t hold up under all situations.
“I recently used some Luwex rim pads on an endurance race horse. They held up wonderfully and I got a reset out of them. When I shod Thoroughbred race horses I used a pad material that became soft when heated and would mold to the bottom of the foot and hardened as it cooled. It worked great for that situation.
“Now, I do buggy horses that are the primary transportation for their owners. I put leather pads on these horses (those that need them) because of the environmental conditions they’re in. Any opinions or advice on whether you think one type of pad works better than the other? Does anyone have an opinion on pour-in pads (Equi-Thane, etc.)? I’ve never used them. What applications do they work best for?”
—Tony Lowe, TonteeL@aol.com
“As you point out, both plastic and leather pads have their places. We use both leather…