Flip-Flops Gaining Foothold In Show World

New York farrier shares some advantages and disadvantages of the pad

Flip-flops are the footwear of choice for a great number of people around the world. Now, they are becoming increasingly popular in the equine world, as well.

The flip-flop, or Flapper, is designed by Grand Circuit mainly for lameness issues, and it’s gaining positive results in some important circles, says Blasdell, N.Y., farrier Tim Cable.

“The show horse world is becoming more and more aware of the flip-flop,” the accredited professional farrier told attendees at the American Association of Professional Farriers Hoofcare Essentials Clinic in mid August at Anvil Brand in Lexington, Ill. “The heel expansion that a flip-flop offers is really key. It’s the closest thing to having a horse barefooted. The high levels of the show world — jumpers and eventers — are getting this prescribed by veterinarians because they have seen it work.”

Since the flip-flop is not particularly thick, it’s not an ideal application for show horses. However, Wellington, Fla., farrier Curtis Burns of No Anvil is developing an alternative, Cable says.

“There’s just not a lot of depth in the flip-flop to be able to handle shoes made for the show horse world,” he says. “Curtis is trying to make a flip-flop that you can put an 8 mm thick shoe on. That would eliminate the drop-off from the shoe to the pad. We want that levelness.”

No Anvil’s version also includes stud holes to maximize traction.

“That will be a big key for the horses that are competing on grass,” Cable says. “The flip-flop…

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Cota

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 25 years. A native of Maine, he is the Managing Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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