The theme of the 2015 annual fall clinic at the Horseshoe Barn in Sacramento, Calif., focused on looking beyond the surface of the hoof and considering the anatomical structures and systems that affect and are affected by the way farriers trim and shoe horses’ hooves.
It’s no secret that laminitis is a complex condition, and its treatment is even more complicated as farriers and veterinarians try to keep a horse comfortable when it stands on the very source of pain. It’s a condition that has forced podiatrists to get creative with the construction of therapeutic horse shoes.
Whether to pull out that nail or other object found stuck in a horse's foot is a dilemma all horseshoers face occasionally. The wise and recommended move is to leave it until an X-ray can show how deep it goes and exactly what it punctures.
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.
Having used the heart bar shoe successfully for many years and having worked closely with deceased Texas farrier Burney Chapman on it, I feel qualified to speak about its merits in the treatment of laminitis.
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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