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[RC] Forging and Mystery Lameness - Ridecamp Guest

Please Reply to: Bonnie Snodgrass chicamuxen@xxxxxxxxxxxxx or 

First, for the person with the mystery lameness that turned out to be a 
ligament tear at the navicular bone. Did the vets at the clinic suggest using 
shock wave therapy? It is particularly indicated for injuries where the 
attachement of a ligament to the bone has been injured. It speeds healing and 
recovery time. You might want to inquire about it and read up on it a bit.

Forging. Boy do I know forging!!! I too have a horse that forges. She is long 
legged and short backed. I've talked to so many farriers about her forging. 
Only one was able to shoe her so she didn't forge and he lives in another state 
and charges $300 for shoeing. He a vet/farrier/equine podiatrist. Needless to 
say I only used him once. But here's what I've learned.

1. A barefoot horse wears their feet naturally and as soon as you put shoes on 
the shoes prevent wear. So the shoes need to be set on the feet in such a way 
as to immulate what those feet would look like after some wear has occurred.

2. Set the front shoes back off the toes so the front toes are squared off 
some. One of the easiest ways to do this is use a natural balance shoe as the 
squared off toe is built into the shoe.

3. Keep the front feet at a lower angle than the back feet. This seems to be 
the norm for horses anyway and the lower the front hoof angle(shorter heel) the 
sooner the foot will lift off the ground and you want that front foot to get 
out of the way. I am not advocating radically changing the angles of your 
horses feet. But remember that barefoot your horse wore those feet off some and 
possibly had a lower heel naturally from wear. With shoes those heels won't 
wear down. It took me a few minutes to understand why a lower heel speeds up 
break over. It has to do with tension on the tendons down the back of the leg. 
The lower the heel the more tension on the tendons sooner so the foot lifts off 
the ground soon. Higer heel means more slack in the tendons and the foot can 
stay on the ground longer and further back under the horses body before it 
lifts off the ground. We actually tried raising the heels at one point with my 
mare and worsened the forging to the point of pulling shoes. Big mistake!

4. Extend the heels of the hind shoes, not a huge amount but they can stick out 
behind a 1/2" or 3/4" without harming anything. This keeps the hind foot on the 
ground longer.

5. Does squaring the hind toe help any? Good question. The thing is squareing 
the hind toes causes the foot to break over faster so it comes forward sooner 
and may exasperate the striking of the front soles. It seems that most horses 
naturally have rather pointed hind toes naturally. My farrier is going to 
experiement with this change the next time my mare is shod to see if NOT 
squaring the hind toes improves things.

Food for thought.

Bonnie Snodgrass

===========================================================REAL endurance is 
sleeping in the tack compartment of your trailer w/the
door open, and your horse snorts/snots on your forehead every 30 min!
~ Heidi Sowards

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