More Advice On Using Hospital Plates

Farriers share quick tips on using this therapeutic protection device.

In most cases, I recommend that farriers select a hospital plate that is simple to create and practical to use. There are a lot of varieties and ways to create a hospital plate, but the ease of use is the most important factor for horse owners and veterinarians.

I use the four-bolt plate (with two removable bolts diagonal each other and 2 false bolts that are fixed at the other diagonal, to form a stable base. I also like to use the “Farley” plate because unlike the four-bolt plate, which raises the foot a significant amount, the Farley plate has minimal thickness increase. This is due to it being secured with one bolt, that doesn't come into contact with the ground, and a tab at the toe. It also requires a little more fabrication and can cause the foot to have no traction on mud and grass surfaces.

The use of diamond plate aluminum can easily solve this problem. Correctly fitting the shoe to avoid heel bulb pressure is paramount because of the bent heel. Despite more work for the farrier in creating the Farley plate, it’s the easiest for horse owners and veterinarians to remove and reinstall. Egg bar shoes are the preferred choice. Use at least 5mm thickness for aluminum plates, thinner gauges for stainless or mild steel. Ideal to have the shoe shaped to fit the foot before any procedure or surgery is done to the foot. While the foot is being operated on or prepared, the…

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