When applying a hard support system, it’s critical that the horse has a healthy frog and can tolerate the positive pressure.

Cortona, Italy, farrier and veterinarian Hans Castelijns shared a tip at the 2016 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio, on how he ensures that the horse will stand for the application.

“If I’m going to use a hard support system like a heart bar or a strong silicone or hard material, I like to do a test,” says the Hall Of Fame equine vet. “I take a wooden handle (Figure 1), place it under the frog and have the other foot lifted up. If the horse is perfectly all right with the heels off the ground and doesn’t object to standing on the wooden handle, then I’m pretty sure I’m not going to run into troubles if I put positive pressure on it.”

You can read more heart bar tips from Hans Castelijns by reading, “Appropriate Uses Of Heart Bars For Wounds” in the December issue of American Farriers Journal.