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Ethylene-vinyl acetate — better known as memory foam — is noted for its softness and flexibility. Manufacturers use it for mattresses, pillows and shoe liners to provide comfort and support for human consumers. Lake Elmo, Minn., farrier Scott Lampert uses them for the same reasons with horses by placing a lightweight memory foam pad under a foot.
“These pads are also extremely valuable for laminitic emergencies and can be used on unshod feet, as well,” he says. “It’s easy to grind mechanics into the pad to offer the horse the greatest relief.”
Wally Lieberman, a veterinarian at Panorama Equine Medical and Surgical Center in Redding, Calif., tells The Horse that physical rehabilitation and movement are important during treatment of pathology.
“Turning a horse out in a big area is a form of treatment,” he says. “Many horses need controlled exercise in hand, walking under saddle or bitted in a surcingle with exercise in large circles. If a horse just stands around doing nothing, then static blood flow in the foot won’t allow healing.”
A mare with serious foot problems will be going to a national show in 3 weeks. The trainer asks the farrier to put on a set of shoes that will definitely help the horse, but they’re illegal in the show ring. The trainer is aware they’re illegal, but intends to have them switched out before the…