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RE: [RC] corns-what to do - heidi

When the shoer last shod my horse I saw bruses on the trimming's of his heels 
(never noticed before) he said it was corn's and they had been worse-have no 
idea if he's improving it. He also trips occasionaly and seems to look for 
softer ground on the trail.(live in the rocks and hard ground) When I moved 
up here changed shoers-the old one had shod my horse for years with no 
problem-but a personality conflict started developing with my other 
horse-shoer didn't like him-he didn't like the shoer (current shoer has no 
problem with this horse) Been using him for about 10 months. All the info 
seems to blame the shoer and horse confirmation and hard ground doesn't help? 
He's coming in 2 weeks and gotta figure what to do. If anyone has delt with 
this would appreciate suggestions.

Corns are indeed a farrier issue.  They are the result of shoes too
small and/or shoes not shaped wide enough.  To understand how horses
get corns, first you have to understand that when the hoof strikes the
ground, it expands, particularly out through the heels.  This expansion
can make the hoof up to 1/4 inch or more wider on each side at the time
when it is under maximum stress and concussion.  But too many farriers
shape the shoe to "fit" the unstressed hoof.  Properly shaped shoes
will "fit" around the toe, but will become gradually wider than the
"at-rest" hoof at the bars, and will be as much as 1/8 to 1/4 inch
wider at the heels.  The shoe will "show" sticking out when the horse
is standing at rest.  The heels of the shoe should also be just a tad
longer than the end of the horse's heels--in other words, should stick
out a little bit behind the heel as well.  

Many farriers are resistant to shoeing this way, because it doesn't
"look pretty" in their eyes.  But if your farrier won't do this for
you, run far away and find another one.  Imagine shoehorning your own
feet into shoes too small, with no room for expansion.  You might be ok
sitting around doing nothing when you wear them, but I guarantee you
they will hurt when you try to walk or run.

Heidi (who would personally hate to have to go barefoot, but who sure
prefers shoes that fit!)


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