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Round 4 of the “What’s This?” contest drew another good series of answers from visitors to the American Farriers Journal Web site, www.americanfarriers.com.
Chris Gregory of the Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo., went through the answers and chose the shoer he judged had best identified the hoof problem, its causes and treatment options.
Everyone who said these photos showed a cleft or abscess was correct. Kevin Boyer of Joshua Tree, Calif., was the winner of this round. His answer was excellent, well thought out and correct.
The picture shows the hoof the first time I saw this horse. The owner could give me very little information about it. The horse had been lame, or so the owner thought, around 2 months prior to the time these pictures were taken.
An abscess caused a cleft at the quarter. The weakened laminae attachment allowed the hoof wall to crack vertically, giving the appearance of a quarter crack (although the coronary band is not involved). The horse was not lame, and there was no infection present at the time of the picture.
We shod the horse with quarter clips to help hold the shoe on with fewer nails. The complete shoeing picture series for this hoof can be found in the December, 1999, issue of American Farriers Journal in the article about fitting clips on pages 93 to 98. No topical solution was used, just simple shoeing.
—Chris Gregory, Lamar, Mo. email@example.com
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