All I know is what I read In the American Farriers Journal
The May/June issue: An interview with farrier Mike Chance gives up some good advise from Mike. He says that all horses are the same and that he has never fallen into the trap of trying to shoe one type of horse different than another, they have different jobs and different kinds of shoes on but you don’t trim and shoe them differently. This is good advise for some of you trainers out there that get some wild ideas. This is also good advise for farriers on why we need to be educated and keep our clients educated. Mike says that when the hind feet are out of wack, the hind end doesn’t drive like it should and the front ends up pulling more than it should and can develop a lameness, the focus then goes on the front and we don’t address the hind. I have got to say that I have seen this missed by some of the best lameness vets. “feet are dynamic”, Mike says to do a good solid job with the basics but pay extra attention to the details.
In an article about therapeutic shoeing, Bobby Menker talks about keeping things simple. he gives some good general information about shoe placement like using a thumbs width between the apex of the frog and the inside of the shoe. he talks about a foot with a high heel that he calls “heel stack”. The position of the heel was causing the foot to rock-back when the fetlock extended during the load of the limb. His remedy was to move the heel down and back. This sounds reasonable but we have got to understand why this foot wants to grow the high heel. What are the dynamics of the deep flexor tendon, the bone angle of P3 and how much palmar angle (heel and frog) are needed for equilibrium of the limb? I like simple but we have to understand the complexities.
A good article explaining the ‘Equinosis Q Lameness Locator’. Three sensors positioned on the horse trace it’s movement through algorithms that compute precise lameness metrics. this provides baseline data that is not subjective; gives feedback on the effectiveness of nerve blocks; evaluates gait asymmetry due to being mechanically asymmetric. A case study was evaluated with pre and post shoeing data. I think a paper that presented a bunch of case study results from before and after shoeing cases would be great information but the data would have to get down and dirty on specifics to mediolateral, craniocaudal, palmarodorsal balance and ventral depth of feet. You know: just keep it simple.
Grant Moon talks about shoeing performance horses; says we need to be proactive. what this means is we need to be adjusting to the balance requirements of the feet as needed. feet don’t always grow -off the same way at every shoeing interval so you may not trim or shoe the exact same way as the last time (see the second to the last sentence in the last paragraph).
In an article about suspensory injuries, farrier Dave Farley says that in conversations with veterinarians, 80% of sport horses have suspensory issues. Their reason for this they believe is because of synthetic surfaces that don’t allow the foot to slip. The shoeing therapy is to shoe these feet so there is more flotation in the toe (less penetration the ground) and thinner branches in the heels to allow penetration, the idea is to unload the suspensory ligament and load the deep flexor. I would sure like to see the feet on these horses, all of the suspensory lameness’s that I see are already low in the heel. These negative plantar angled feet are very prevalent in the industry and very much over-looked. Another good study that needs to be done.
What about club feet; estimated to be in 5% to 20% of the equine population. Does that mean that 12.5% of horses have this? The club foot is a morphological change in the hoof that’s due to a shortening of the muscle-tendon unit of the deep flexor. There are four grades with #4 being the worst. There are still some who think that the way to treat these feet is to just cut the heel down, if it was as simple as that there would be no such thing as a club foot. These feet can be managed by lowering the heels behind center of rotation, this will widen the base of the heels and move them back under the foot but the angle lost needs to be recreated by the deep flexor tendon through rockering the toe back to center of rotation and often wedging the heels up. You can’t take the knot out of a rope by pulling on it, you have to throw some slack in the rope.