Farriers' Roundtable

“Can you have too much sole on a foundered horse?” —New Mexico Farrier

A: Since the question is regarding a foundered horse, I will assume that it is beyond laminitis and the third phalanx has rotated.

When the distal tip of the third phalanx crushes the solar corium, severe pain is the result. The sole becomes convex instead of concave, and is much thinner where the bone is pressing downward. The circulation is compromised and the sole usually abscesses and becomes necrotic.

When trying to help these horses, it is my goal to increase the thickness in the viable sole. It is important not to allow the convex sole to bear weight. I like to use a heart bar shoe with a thick leather rim pad beveled out on the solar surface. I use impression material or Equithane from the tip of the frog bar back to the heels and cover it with a hospital plate. 

Regardless of the shoe of choice, it is important to decrease the palmer angle and allow the sole to heal. A good set of radiographs and a forward thinking veterinarian is essential.

—R.T. Goodrich, Wenatchee, Wash.

A: There can be too much sole on a foundered horse. If you let the sole get too thick, it will trap dirt and debris. Along with the foun­der, this will cause more problems for the horse. 

If you keep the sole at its normal thickness, the hoof will have the room to do its thing. We sometimes forget that the hoof has a design and most of the time we…

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