Stephen O’Grady

Stephen O’Grady

Dr. Steve O’Grady is a veterinarian and a farrier. He operates Virginia Therapeutic Farriery in Keswick, Va., which is a referral practice devoted to equine podiatry and therapeutic farriery You can read informative papers by him at He is a member of the International Equine Veterinarians Hall Of Fame and the American Farriers Journal Editorial Advisory Board.


OGrady trimming photo diagram

Casting Method May Benefit Transitioning Horse to Barefoot

Carelessly transitioning a performance horse from shod to barefoot may negatively affect its footcare
The equine foot with healthy structures is superior in its barefoot state with regard to accepting weight, dissipating the energy of impact and absorbing concussion.1 Furthermore, the structures of the foot have an inherent ability to change, strengthen and improve over time by the process of adaptation.1
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Reprinted with permission from the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Originally printed in the 2019 AAEP Convention Proceedings.

Wooden Shoes Offer a Transitional Solution to a Variety of Hoof Problems

Farriery option stabilizes hoof capsule, promotes hoof wall growth at the coronet and increases sole depth
There are many practical farriery options available to the clinician when an alternative to a horseshoe may be necessary or preferred. The wooden shoe is a simple, practical and effective farriery option for treating not only chronic laminitis but many other foot problems (Figure 1).
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How to Identify and Treat Thrush

This article provides an overview of the causes, diagnosis and treatment of thrush
Thrush is a degenerative condition of the central and lateral sulci of the frog generally caused by a bacterial infection. The disease begins when bacteria penetrate the outer horn or epidermis of the frog and is characterized by deterioration of the frog and the presence of black necrotic exudate with a foul odor.
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How to Treat Hoof Abscesses

Farriers and veterinarians often deal with abscesses. Here is some practical advice for understanding and treating these
Hoof abscesses are probably the most common cause of acute severe lameness in horses encountered by veterinarians and farriers. A hoof abscess can be defined as a localized accumulation of purulent exudate located between the germinal and keratinized layers of the epithelium, most commonly subsolar (beneath the sole) or submural (beneath the hoof wall).
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An Overview Of Equine Canker

This article provides a summary view of the diagnosis and treatment of this foot disease
Equine canker is a disease in search of a definition since the cause has not been determined. It could be described as a pathological response to an insult to the foot’s horn-producing tissues. Equine canker has been defined as an infectious process that results in the development of a chronic, hypertrophic, moist pododermatitis of the horn-producing tissues, generally in the palmar / plantar sections of the foot.
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Reprinted with permission from Equine Veterinary Education (EVE). Original published in Equine Veterinary Education Vol 28 June 2016.

Various Aspects Of Barefoot Methodology Relevant To Farriery

This thorough review will help you analyze and plan for transitioning a horse from shod to barefoot
The structures of the equine foot have the unique ability to adapt, change shape and restore. There are multiple benefits in shod vs. barefoot or in allowing the horse to be without shoes for a given time period to improve the palmar section of the foot.
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Sheared Heels And The Correlation To A Quarter Crack

A quarter crack repair will be of little value unless the cause of the defect is not identified and rectified
The strong association between sheared heels and a spontaneous quarter crack is hard to ignore. Although inappropriate farriery may play a role, limb conformation and the landing pattern of the horse appear to be the dominant factors causing this type of hoof capsule deformation.
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How To Evaluate The Equine Hoof Capsule

Understanding the mechanism of hoof capsule distortion allows the farrier to formulate a treatment plan
The hoof capsule comprises the hoof wall, sole, frog and bulbs of the heels; which, through the unique continuous bond between its components, form a casing on the ground surface of the limb that affords protection to the soft tissue and osseous structures enclosed within the capsule.
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