What can a shoe tell you...

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by retroremedy, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    I am amazed that you can tell with the pair of eventer shoes that the horse has a back problem! It is mind blowing.

    Sil those shoes are pretty out there! RR do you have any of the 'bar' shoes you were talking about for the horse without a very low heel? I would like to see one to understand how it supports the heel and where the bar is. If you don't no drama I am sure you have something else in your stash to test us with.

    I have learnt so much from this thread. It has opened my mind up to the world of shoeing and why it is such a technical profession.
  2. sil

    sil Gold Member

    hint: it's designed for a long footed horse
  3. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    But a horse shouldn't have long feet!!! More hints please Sil.... :)
  4. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    I do :) I just have to take some photos for you. Sil has to answer this latest shoe first!!!

    Its not that hard to tell once you have it pointed out....such wear for that type of problem is generally typical....as a nurse you observe certain symptoms that point to particular issues...its the same! :)
  5. sil

    sil Gold Member

    This is a shoe made to take a plastic and leather pad. Because the angle of the hoof must remain the same, each pad makes the overal hoof a 1/4" wider and a 1/2" longer.

    The shoe is therefore made with longer bars to keep the foot stable and correctly supported, but the trailing bars do not physically interact with the hoof wall so they don't need to be wide.

    The wide wedge is designed to correct a horse that wings out to the side. The law of inertia means that a hoof in flight will follow where the weight goes. This allows the lateral torsion of the knee to be substantially reduced, allowing the horse to travel in a manner that will encourage long term soundness of those joints, due to the conformational issue.

    So ultimately this type of shoe would help a horse with bad feet that may need pads or a wedge pad to finely adjust and ensure minimal stress on the knee and pastern joint, that also needs a winging action to be reduced.

    In the hands of an amateur this shoe could cripple a horse, but a master farrier can use it to make a conformationally-challenged horse go straight as a die and sound as they come.
  6. Trojane

    Trojane Well-known Member

    This is fascinating stuff - but a question...do you necessarily need to correct "crookedness" in mature age?
    If a horse has grown up swinging a leg out or such, wouldn't its structures have grown to fit with this?
    There are plenty of crooked horses about that seem sound enough (just recreational horses mind you, not racers).
  7. sil

    sil Gold Member

    Maybe not for the average horse, but if you have a valuable horse competing at a higher level of sport, you're going to want every option possible to ensure its soundness and safety.
  8. JustJam

    JustJam Well-known Member

    Great thread RR - very interesting!

    Just wondering:
    My boy has 'suddenly' (not done it in the 3.5 years I have had him) started obviously standing (and less noticibly moving) with his OSH twisted out #( I have recently changed farrier (3 - 4 shoeings ago)... could this be caused by the shoes? Would poor shoeing be a possible suspect in this case? If so, is there a way to tell?
  9. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Yeah I wonder about correcting crookedness in the older horse too Trojane. My boy has an off set knee, don't know that I would like to make too many changes to that particular hoof now in effort to 'correct' the knee.

    What do other people think about correcting crookedness in the mature horse?

    Justjam has anything else happened to cause change in your horse other than shoeing?
  10. Trojane

    Trojane Well-known Member

    Yes - I fear it could be like what they say about not degreasing old motors. :)
    My 16 year old sort of swings a front leg out (actually after this I must take a better look) Yet he has been sound for my 6 years and is very smooth and comfortable to ride.

    I know our bodies are not perfectly symmetrical either and most of us have oddities like one leg sightly longer too, most not troubling us - despite the chiros.
    So wondered if straightness was next to godliness or some such human impost.
    However I do see Sil's point - in a high performance machine you want everything running straight and smooth as possible.
  11. Trojane

    Trojane Well-known Member

    Does he wear lycra??? :D
  12. Eoroe

    Eoroe Gold Member

    bahahahaha! *#) :)*
  13. Excelsior Centerpiece

    Excelsior Centerpiece Well-known Member

    id love to post a pic of my horses shoes and see whats going on!

    thanks for the thread! its really made em think about having a good look next time instead of just chucking them!
  14. SMR

    SMR Well-known Member

    This is a great thread RR! :)

    ...just wanted to add that my mare had a resection under Eustace's suggestion. It looked horrid, but gave my mare so much relief she looked almost sound. I certainly don't want to take this thread off track, but just wanted to add that it's not as horrid as it looks or sounds...a life-saver IMO ;)

    I'll get some photos of a set of shoes to add ;)
  15. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    It could certainly be! Put some photos up or if you want to be more discrete PM me!
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2011
  16. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    Key thing is that you don't "correct the crookedness" as such....you can't....you SUPPORT the problem. So for your horse with its offset knee you would shoe to support for this issue so that the knee is evenly loaded (which at the moment it can't be)...you do this by providing more shoe on the opposite side to the offsetness (if that is a word!) and bevel it reduce it being pulled off.

    Now off to upload bar shoe photos!
  17. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Trailer shoe? Does anyone know what this is and what it does? My freinds horse has a back injury and a body worker has suggested put a trailer(sp?) shoe on her off hind to help.
  18. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member


    A trailer shoe is technically a corrective shoe and allows a hoof to LEAVE and TRAVEL straight. The shoe that Sil put up is a side weighted shoe and influences TRAVEL only. A sore back caused by a gait problem (rope walking behind etc) could be helped with a trailer by improving this movement issue BUT bars shoes are really a better option for providing support in such a situation as they are a bit of a safer option. I also wouldn't just go off a body worker...personally I would want to find out if the horse has a gait problem and if so why and then look at treatment and management possibilities!

    Now that takes us to bar shoes....here is an example of a "straight bar shoe". There are actually lots of different types of bar shoes that all provide a variety of different support for certain issues. How do they work....well on the photograph I have highlighted approximately the location of the 4 pillars of support. What a bar shoes does is unload these 4 pillars and transfer the support to the whole weight baring structure of the foot. Why does this work....the horses weight is spread out over a larger area of ground than with a conventional shoe (or if the horse is barefoot) the horse therefore feels more supported and comfortable and therefore moves better.


    For under-run heels you would go for an "egg bar shoe" this helps because the weight of the horse with this problem is usually concentrated at the back of the hoof causing excess tendon stress and the egg bar helps by extending the base support (by unloading) and redirects the horses weight forward towards the centre of the hoof and also helps reduce the strain on the tendons. (reference: Maximum Hoof Power by Cherry Hill and Richard Klimesh CJF...quite a good book!).
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  19. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Thanks RR for the tips about my boys knee. When he gets shod to trek I will take it into account.

    Yeah I agree with what you have said about the trailer shoe, the horse has lots of issues with its back and needs more management than just bodywork and a trailer shoe. Now that I have seen one I can work out how it assists to straighten them when they push off from the hind.

    I am really liking the bar shoe. I get what you mean now with the bar. It provides a lot of protection for those heels and good weight distrubtion. So this shoe may be good for OTTB's without much heel that have come off the track and are still in plates as well? What other chronic or acute hoof situations would you use do you use it for?

    Thanks for taking the time to put up photos I am learning heaps.

    Have any of you other girls/guys that shoe got some photos? Even of shod 'problem' hooves would be good so we could see what how the shoe is working to alleviate issues.
  20. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    I guess a good example of a horse that would be a candidate for a bar shoe is the horse in the thread when we ended up debating flat verses heel first landing ;) This horse had collapsed heels, so to give this horse fast relief and to rehabilitate the hoof a bar shoe would be an option. Some OTTB just need to be shod well and given heel and lateral support like the examples I have already put up! It just depends how bad they are.

    Other hoof situations....many...for instance in the photo I have put up of the straight bar, this horse has DJD in his fetlock joints...which of course ends up changing his gait as he tries to make himself comfortable, also there are changes in the loading of the hoof etc etc etc the unloading of the hoof and transfer of the support therefore brings comfort the the horse and has assisted to correct his gait and has made him more comfortable...and he is moving beautifully at the moment, in fact he scored 8 for his paces at his last competition.

    Egg bar shoes can also be used for issues such as sheared heels to chronic suspensory problems. Heart bar shoes (many varieties)are used in laminitis to support the coffin bone. Full support shoes (egg bar with frog plate) can be used for flat or dropped soles or very weak and/or underrun heels....or even issues involving the loss of hoof wall. Basically issues that benefit from unloading.

    Agreed GTD, time for someone else to pop up some photos if they like! :))
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2011

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