Why Heart Bars Work With My Foundered Cases

This farrier has tried nearly every founder treatment idea that’s come along

SIDE VIEW OF HEART BAR SHOE. Note tongue adjustment and rocker toe. Borium is shown on the ground surface of the shoe due to Northeast weather conditions.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve worked with most of the known or publicized methods of shoeing the foundered horse. Like most farriers, I’ve had my share of successes and failures.

As different methods of shoeing the foundered horse have evolved, one problem remains constant: What appears to work on one horse might not be as effective on another.

What Works Best

As a result, I’ve pulled together a variety of methods for shoeing the foundered horse set forth by more learned practitioners such as Dr. Ric Redden and the late Burney Chapman. By including a number of my own theories, this modified system has proven extremely effective on many foundered cases over the past year.

Reducing Upward Migration

The hoof wall consists of a thick, outer layer of horn and a thin inner layer. At the ground surface, this inner layer forms the white line, which has thousands of tiny corrugations called insensitive laminae. These corrugations interlock with similar projections also called sensitive laminae that originate from the laminar corium which overlays the coffin bone.

This interlocking connection bonds the coffin bone to the hoof wall. The strong union of laminae is sufficient to support the horse’s weight and aids in the absorption of concussion.

To allow for new horn worn away on the unshod horse, it is necessary for the corrugations…

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