Kentucky farrier Steve Norman primarily works at Keeneland and Churchill Farms, along with various Thoroughbred farms in the state. In the high stakes world of horse racing, many trainers often expect farriers to provide quick fixes to get a Thoroughbred back on the track or protect the foot while it rehabs. Norman says many of the issues he deals with are related the back half of the foot.
“If a racehorse is ever going to get inflammation or a lameness, it is usually going to be in the back part of the foot,” he says. “So you have to devise a shoe that will protect that area.”
Here are two options that Norman has used to address problems it he back half of the foot:
“I used this on a horse with suspensory problems above the knee — nothing was torn,” says Norman. “The trainer had given the horse time off. They actually had recommended this solution because t is easier for the toe to break over because there is nothing there to impede it, and it supports the heel region.”
I’ve used this solution for various other reasons because it is very simple in its approach. You have to protect the heel because that is where most of the soreness occurs. I’d love to race a horse in these, but the trainers would laugh at me. The number one concern of a trainer is traction, so they want some shoe upfront with some added traction like an XT.”
“This is another plate you could weld anywhere to help the horse,” Norman says. “I placed this shoe in the back of the foot to protect it from concussion.”