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Is the practice of grooving beneficial when managing a quarter crack?
Conventional wisdom seems to indicate that it does. However, Bedminster, N.J., farrier Bob Pethick had doubts. So when a client, who happened to be a veterinarian, bought a Quarter Horse with a bleeding quarter crack and a displaced heel quarter on the front foot, the Hall Of Fame farrier was presented with an opportunity to experiment.
A few months before, Pethick was called in to help Gumby with a recurring bleeding quarter crack. The English pleasure Quarter Horse had displacement in the back half of the foot and the medial bulb was starting to rise above the lateral bulb.
Grooving a quarter crack allows the hoof capsule to come out, but does not change displacement.
Floating the displaced heel relieves the stress, allowing it to settle and promotes new growth without continuous cracking in the quarter.
Floating from the buttress to forward of the crack, or to the second nail hole of a keg shoe, will ensure enough relief of the displaced heel.
“The owner wanted to sell this horse quite quickly because she had just gotten married and now she was going to have a child,” Pethick told attendees at the 2016 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio. “We needed to fix this thing pretty quick, and simply patching the crack was not going to help.”
At the time, Pethick and Maryland farrier Dave Ferguson were weighing the merits of grooving in an effort…