Getting Better Results With Hospital Plates

Various insights on using hospital plates can help improve your chances for success when the need arises

As a tool in a farrier’s arsenal for addressing hoof-care issues, hospital plates are like fire extinguishers — they are seldom used, but you are glad to have them as an option when needed. Also like fire extinguishers, incorrect or ineffective application of hospital plates could lead to disastrous outcomes.

To no surprise, a recent AFJ survey showed that most farriers only utilize a hospital plate a few times a year. Even responding farriers working in clinical settings typically don’t exceed a dozen or so applications every year. Common usage includes addressing puncture wounds, severe abscesses and surgical aftercare, among others.

Using hospital plates may call upon some creativity as the farrier. In this article, two farriers share their ideas for hospital plates that they’ve adapted for certain circumstances. In addition, others share their quick insights on ways to use these plates that have proven to be successful for their equine footcare practices.

A Solution For The Performance Horse

Here is how I build the performance hospital plate that was mentioned in Success With Show Horses Demands Managing The Schedule . Not only functional and effective, the beauty of this plate is that any shoe can be used with it. The idea is to keep the horse in the same cross-section that it is used to.

Start with an aluminum spider plate. This will be the attachment point for the cover plate (Figure 1). Make sure to select a size that will allow for a small shelf across the…

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