Articles by Heather Smith Thomas

Advice for Dealing with Underrun Heels in Western Peformance Horses

A pair of Texas farriers share how they deal with this all-too-common problem
Many horses tend to have underrun heels, in which the main support for the foot grows out from under them. The toe is often too long and the hoof angle broken backward, putting too much weight on the heels, which tend to become low and squashed.
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Cutting Back on Shoe Loss on Hard-Working Western Horses

Farriers share tips for keeping shoes in place while still supplying proper support for horses working in arenas and ranches
On occasion almost any horse will experience the loss of a shoe catching it on a gate or fence while pawing and jerking it off, or scrambling in deep mud and stepping it off, or some other abnormal situation. Some horses, however, routinely pull their shoes off due to the way they travel and overreach. In these cases, careful measures must be taken to eliminate foot contact.
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Dealing With Thrush And White Line Disease

Combining topical treatments with good hoof care will help you keep these common problems under control
Among the most common problems farriers deal with are thrush and white line disease. Thrush, affecting the sulci of the frog and sometime deeper tissues, is generally caused by bacteria. The most common culprit is fusobacterium necrophorum, which causes a variety of diseases, including navel ill/joint ill in foals, diphtheria in calves and foot rot in cattle.
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Insect Control for Horse and Farrier Protection

With fly season on the way, now is the time to brush up on advice you can share with your clients on how to battle these pests
Biting flies and other insects can be a tremendous irritation to horses and humans alike, especially for someone trying to handle or shoe a horse that is more concerned about ridding himself of these pests than standing still or allowing his foot to be held.
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IHCS Door Prize Opens Door To The "Idea Store"

Winner shares what she learned from podiatry team at Rood & Riddle
For the past 2 years, one of the door prizes at the International Hoof-Care Summit has been the chance for an attendee to spend a week at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., with equine veterinarian Scott Morrison and his podiatry crew.
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Good at the Shoeing Trade

Virginia farrier Paul Goodness has worn a lot of different hats during more than 30 years as a farrier

Paul Goodness is one of those farriers who’s dedicated to trying to find ways to help horses’ feet and keep them healthier. He is also dedicated to helping novice farriers get started in this business — passing along the things he’s learned over the years, to give them a leg up in their budding careers.

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