A recent review of terms searched for on our website, www.americanfarriers.com seems to confirm the belief of many farriers that high-low syndrome is virtually endemic among U.S. horses.

During the first 6 months of 2013, high-low syndrome was by far the most-searched term, fully 45% higher than the second-highest hoof-care term. But significantly, that second-most searched term was club foot, a related term and one some use almost interchangeably with high-low syndrome. Throw in the fact that long toe, low heel, another related term, also finished in the Top 12 and it would seem clear that this is a common issue that both farriers and horse owners deal with.

That is also borne out by other anecdotal evidence. I don’t think I’ve ever spent a Shoeing For A Living day with a farrier who didn’t have to deal with at least one horse that had some degree of club foot or high-low syndrome. And the Hoof-Care Roundtables during the International Hoof-Care Summit that are based on those topics have always been among the biggest draws — and have featured some of the most heated discussion.

A recent AFJ online webinar, “Shoeing The Club-Footed Horse,” featuring Bob Smith’s 2013 IHCS presentation, has drawn more than 15,000 views since it was originally posted in February. (All our webinars can be accessed through www.americanfarriers.com. Just go to the website and click on Webinars under the Resources menu).

Other Terms

Other hoof-care search terms that round up the Top 12 most-searched-for list include:

  • Quarter cracks.
  • Shoeing the gaited horse.
  • White line disease.
  • Balance.
  • Canker.
  • Navicular.
  • Laminits.
  • Abscess.
  • Lacing cracks.
  • Underrun heels (another term that often crops up in connection with high-low syndrome).

The one item on that list that surprises me a bit is “Shoeing the gaited horse,” as in my own mind, that tends to be a bit more of a specialty situation than the other terms. All of the others are about what I’d expect. Canker is a relatively rare condition, but if farriers or owners even suspect a horse is inflicted with it, they are going to want information in a hurry.

Quarter cracks (and the related lacing cracks), white line disease, balance, navicular and abscess are all terms associated with very common hoof-care problems. I’d expect them to make this list.

What’s On Your List?

What about you? Do any of these surprise you? Are there other hoof-care conditions you commonly faced that you would have expected to see on this list? Post your thoughts and let us know.