Prospective horse owners depend on pre-purchase exams to uncover issues that could potentially affect a horse’s performance — particularly hidden lameness. Adam Pendleton, an equine veterinarian and farrier, discussed a pre-purchase exam he conducted on a 10-year-old Quarter Horse mare during which he utilized an interesting method to determine the mare’s soundness: the Equinosis Q with Lameness Locator.
Angular limb deformities in foals are not created equal. Yet, corrections can be made with quick and appropriate farriery and veterinary intervention.
After nearly a half-century of hoof-care experience, including 2 decades as the head farrier at the University of California Veterinary School in Davis, Kirk Adkins has considerable experience with angular limb deformities, particularly in Thoroughbred foals.
The characteristics of a flexure limb deformity, commonly referred to as club foot, are easy to identify. Growth rings are wider at the heel, the toe is usually dished, the hoof is high on the heel and the coffin joint axis is broken forward. Radiographs often reveal that the coffin bone is deformed or remodeled. But what causes it?
One of the more common hind end problems that vets and farriers see is associated with negative plantar angles. This issue can present itself as a subtle limitation in performance to outright lameness.
The life of one of the most promising racehorses of our time was cut short in 2006 after a long struggle to recover from a shattered fetlock. Barbaro’s injury at the Preakness Stakes and the New Bolton Center's heroic attempts to save him drew a lot of attention to the question of why so many young performance horses suffer from broken bones and ruptured tendons. Are these kinds of injuries inevitable? Should we give up trying to solve this problem?
Farriers know too well how the effects of weather and where a horse is kept greatly affect the overall health of that horse’s hooves. Often, that familiarity comes because farriers must deal with the problems that result.
Hoof flare is one of the most common issues facing farriers today. Yet as often as it’s seen, hoof flare is also potentially crippling to the horse. Recognizing hoof flare and treating it can be crucial to keeping your clients’ horses healthy and sound.
Before purchasing a horse, it is common for buyers to contact a veterinarian for advice on the animal prior to the sale. Wise buyers also will seek the expertise of a farrier during the evaluation. After all, farriers are the ultimate experts on the hooves and these days it is increasingly important for owners to understand the hoof health in relation to the rest of the horse.
Campbell, Texas, farrier and American Farriers Team member Sawyer Spradling demonstrates his approach to tuning a distorted pritchel to a punch, a skill that has served him well when he travels to clinics and competitions.
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