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Re: [RC] pads as shock absorbers? - Beth Walker

I currently don't use pads, either, though I have in the past. ?What you say certainly makes sense. ?I also think there has to be a physical limit on the amount of shock absorption that a pad can give, based on the thickness of the pad and/or the materials. ?I'm also not convinced that a pad can offer enough shock absorption to really make a difference.

However, to my mind, I don't think the major benefit of a pad is in the shock absorption. ?Aside from theraputic uses, I think the major benefit ?is in the protection the pad may afford to the sole of the foot from sharp rocks, etc. to prevent bruising. ?Even many 'rim' pads have a smaller opening than a totally bare or standard-shod hoof, which decreases the chance that the sole will contact a rock hard enough to bruise the sole.

As for shoe / pad combos staying on the foot -- I think it depends on the composition of the pad, and the individual farrier. ?I used wedge pads on my old horse, as he had feet that went long toe / low heel no matter what the farrier did. ?He had a way of going (from the time he was born) that just crushed his heels. ?In his 20's, he developed arthritis. ?Using wedge pads opened up his angles and made him much more comfortable. ?The farrier I had (same one I am still using) in his 20's had no trouble keeping his shoes & pads on. ?Other farriers I had used in earlier years couldn't keep shoes on him for 2 weeks.

My guess for why pad / shoe combos come off: ?if the pad 'squishes' too much, it allows the nails to get torqued on every stride, bending them very slightly each step. ?Won't take too much of that for the nails to shear right off. ?

On Oct 18, 2007, at 9:31 AM, Tx Trigger wrote:

I read an article recently about "shock absorption" in pads.? It had said that for something to significantly absorb shock, the pad would have to compress and decompress with each stride. Kind of like your running shoe sole kind of "squishes" as your foot hits the pavement as you run.?But imagine if the pad did compress, or "squish" down as the horses foot hit the ground, what would happen with that nail holding on the shoe and pad. Each time the foot hit, pad compressed, the distance between the head of the nail, and the clinch on the outside of the hoof would get shorter, then as the foot came up, and the pad sprang back in to shape and full thickness, the distance would lengthen again. So, if the pad was indeed compressing and decompressing, that nail, in the hoof would be sort of moving up and down through the hoof with each stride, or, the hoof is moving up and down the nail. ?This kind of made me think about what the article said. Some pads are pretty hard plastic, and indeed, I don't think they compress and decompress. But I remember farriers using leather pads for years, and leather does "squish" some. So, are the nails having the hoof move up and down on them with some pads/ And is this why it seems we will see more shoes with pads off along the trail than just shoes, because the nails are loosening up some?? ;-)??? It was just something to consider. I really am not sure, and am not a pad user, and can't remember the last time I padded a horse.?
To me, the very best thing you can add to a horses hoof to give additional concussion protection is a hoof boot. Putting easyboots over a shod, or unshod foot will do more in my mind to give extra concussion than any pad.? I remember during the long XP in 2001, that I did not remember seeing many who had added pads for those day after day rides across America, but more were putting Easyboots on over their horses feet to give them some protection to the pounding of so many days of trail in that 8 week period.? Just my thoughts.
Jonni in TX

[RC] pads as shock absorbers?, Tx Trigger