Our in-depth eGuide on “Options Aplenty To Give Working Horses A Little Extra Help” offers plenty of field-tested, practical ideas ranging all the way from the trim to the need for protection and support to keep working horses on the go. Plus, it’s FREE.
Dear Hoof-Care Professional,
Anyone who’s been working on horse’s feet for some time knows the surprise barn scenario only too well.
After arriving at a barn and asking how the three horses you work with are doing, the owner tells you one horse came down with some lameness issues a week ago. Maybe it’s a horse that has had a number of lameness concerns. Or it might be a horse that has always had good feet that has been wearing open heeled keg shoes with no issues — until a week ago. Regardless of the circumstances, the owner is very concerned with the hoof pain and expects you to fix the problem.
Authored by American Farriers Journal Technical Editor Red Renchin, this 9-page eGuide zeroes in on dozens of practical ways to deal with different types of lameness concerns.
So what should you do?
Start out by asking the owner about her concerns and details on what has led to the unsoundness worries over the past few weeks. Then watch the horse walk to see for yourself how lame the horse really is and which leg seems to have the problem.
Since pain in a horse’s foot can only come from two places — something internal to the foot or something causing pain from an external source — your first course of action should be to eliminate any causes of pain that are due to external forces on the foot.
Get this eGuide for Free with a Free Account!
This means rechecking the shoeing and making sure the shoes are not causing problems by shifting or having a hoof that is overgrown. If the feet look good, pull the shoes and do a thorough examination of the foot with a pair of hoof testers. If there doesn’t appear to be any obvious source of hoof pain, it’s probably time to call the vet and get his or her opinion on the potential causes behind the hoof pain worries.
Once the problem is properly identified, it’s time to formulate a course of action. Consider how the horse might benefit from modifying the trim, adding some type of mechanics at the toe, offering more or less caudal support or providing some type of sole protection. As you already know, some of options can be used to deal with several critical concerns.
Here are examples of four farrier takeaways that may work for you when you download this free eGuide...
- When using soft pour or dental impression material, avoid filling the foot so that it’s level with the shoe. If you do this, the horse may experience reduced traction and suffer from sole bruising.
- Many horses, particularly those having flat soles, often benefit from sole or caudal support.
- Hospital plates work well when you need to access the bottom of the foot for treatment without needing to remove the shoe.
- A shoe or pad is often the answer if a farrier can’t align the coffin bone with the wings parallel to the ground and with solar margins that run 3 to 8 degrees parallel to the ground.
This FREE eGuide demonstrates why an unexpected lameness or hoof pain issue is not uncommon. In fact, nearly every horse you work with will likely have some kind of lameness issue sometime during its lifetime. Maybe it’s caused by an injury. Maybe it’s simply wear and tear on the legs.
It’s not a question of whether a horse will turn up lame sometime during his career, but more likely when and how bad it will be. If a horse keeps working throughout most of its life, there eventually will be concerns. Even horses with near perfect conformation are still subject to many types of lameness injuries.
If how you’re handling lameness cases isn’t working, then change it.
This eGuide offers lots of details on a number of techniques (along with shoe illustrations) that will help solve critical lameness concerns. Various sections in this FREE download include details on:
- Trimming options.
- Shoe selection.
- Enhanced breakover shoes.
- Rolled toe shoes.
- Rocker toe shoes.
- French roll shoes.
- Wooden clogs.
- Pads with heel cushions.
- Shoes that either increase or decrease caudal support.
- Shoes that absorb concussion.
- Composite shoes.
- Soft pour pads.
- Orthotic devices.
- Hoof boots.
- Sole protection options.
- Hospital plates.
- Hard surface pads.
The best way to deal with lameness concerns is through a team approach — including the farrier, owner, trainer and vet. Each party can offer assistance in developing a strategy for dealing with lameness issues.
This FREE 9-page eGuide also spells out how the owner needs to follow good stable management practices. These include such items as proper turnout, proper nutrition, a good fitness and training routine and after exercise care — often including leg wrapping and icing.
Staying open-minded is essential.
Keeping horses sound is an ongoing challenge. As a farrier, you already know how discouraging it can be to have a horse improve and later relapse back to its former unsoundness situation. This is why it’s important to keep an open mind and continue experimenting with different products and lameness strategies, such as described in full detail in this valuable “working horse” report.
You can’t hope to hit a home run every time, but you want to do all you can to keep that problem horse in the game.
Yours for better hoof care,
American Farriers Journal
P.S. Many hoof pain and lameness failures are due to costly mistakes that are made before anyone analyzes the reality of the issues. Learn how to avoid these concerns by downloading “Options Aplenty To Give Working Horses A Little Extra Help.” The ideas in this FREE 9-page eGuide will help you be fully prepared when that next horse shows up with unexpected lameness issues.
P.P.S. Long-time farrier Red Renchin shares his knowledge from hundreds of lameness cases that he successfully handled over many years in dealing with everything from the most simple to the most complex hoof pain and lameness issues. Learn many of the highly practical solutions he used to deal with these issues by downloading this FREE eGuide.
Get this eGuide for Free with a Free Account!
What new insights did you gain from reading this eGuide? What jumped out at you?
Share your observations below.