New Spin On The Steward Clog Keeps Horses Working

The Klimmick shoe has helped horses with therapeutic needs continue to work in various disciplines

The Steward clog or wooden shoe is well known for its use in laminitis treatment, but it also has proven to be a beneficial system for rehabilitation in a variety of hoof and leg conditions of equids. Farriers must address five entities to alter the 3D planar direction of hoof balance and load (to enhance hoof rehabilitation) —all of which can easily be accomplished using the roller motion Steward clog:

  • Leverage. The shortening or lengthening of moment arms.
  • Tension. The adding or subtracting of forces on the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT).
  • Pressure. The loading or unloading of certain areas with ground reaction forces or weight forces.
  • Protection. Guarding against the high frequencies of impact with EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) pads, solid base shoe, web size, etc.
  • Stabilization. Stabilizing the hoof wall, sole or the distal phalanx through clips, nails, glue, casts, shoes, cuffs, etc.

Not only can the wooden shoe accomplish these, it can do so economically. Generally, the use of the “wooden shoe” is for rehab during a layoff. Speed work is generally not recommended in the wooden version of the clog. Weatherford, Texas, veterinarian Paul Loe has used the wood/EVA clog on a cutting horse in the finals of the National Cutting Horse Association futurity after a bout of laminitis between the qualifying round and finals.

Whether transitioning out of clogs for laminitis rehabilitation or other hoof or leg pathologies, many choices are now available to make the horse more comfortable and retain soundness in the altering…

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Britt Conklin

Britt Conklin, DVM, is a farrier and veterinarian based in Bushland, Texas

Micheal L Steward

Micheal Steward, DVM, is an International Equine Veterinarian Hall Of Fame member and is based in Shawnee, Okla.

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