Information on Horseshoes For Dressage Horses in Georgia
How Often Should You Shoe Your Horse? The Real Deal on Hoof Steel
Some recent and not so recent research has prompted my writing this article. Over the past two decades horseshoe manufactures have been inadvertently or perhaps purposely setting trends that could be proving to be detrimental to even those horses that go barefoot. You read it right; trend set by horseshoe manufacturers could have an effect on your barefoot horse. Not through their production of horseshoes, but rather by the style of shoes that they produce.
Thinking back to when I began as a farrier almost 25 years ago, I can remember making my weekly pilgrimage to the local farriers supply store to purchase the required horseshoe inventory to stock my shoeing truck for the week. I would calculate the number of pairs and the sizes I would need for the coming weeks' work. As my business increased, it became more difficult finding the time to make those weekly trips, and I soon found myself buying inventory for the month.
Establishing a horseshoe inventory was pretty straightforward. I, like most farriers at that time, would buy fullered, punched keg shoes by the case, in the most common sizes 00, 0, 1, 2, 3. The term keg shoe defines the most common of machine made horseshoes. The keg shoe comes in a generic oval shape and was called the "keg shoe" because they were originally shipped in kegs (barrels). This type of shoe almost always needed to be shaped to fit the hind or front foot of the horse. All too often the hurried farrier simply would spread, or close the shoe to fit a foot, and then shape the foot to the shoe., rather than the shoe to the foot.
This practice was likely the first in the beginning of what would become trend, started by the type of shoe that was available from a shoe manufacture. It was the shape of the early manufactured keg shoes where it all began, trend setting.
As new manufacturing techniques developed, manufactures began producing shoes in a variety of new shapes. The first new style shoes to be offered were front and hind pattern shoes which came out of Europe. American farriers who at the time were taking flack for setting the trend of long toe and low heels, this said to help increase stride, were quick to embrace this convenient way of addressing breakover. This ws the beginning of a new trend, ont that may prove to be just as damaging to today's horse as long toes and under run heels.
It was the hind pattern shoe that really changed things. The hind pattern shoe was the first readily available shoe to be offered with a square toe. Quickly manufacturers introduced hind shoes with ready-made side clips, and front shoes with toe clips. The front shoe pattern was often rounder than the standard keg shoe that many of the farriers were using at the time. This may have been why some farriers began using hind patterns on the fronts of the horse; this proving to be a simple way of providing a square toe to the front foot, making fitting easier.
Twenty years ago, the square toed horseshoe, was more often viewed as a remedial or corrective type horseshoe. It was not often used as a keg shoe. Prior to being able to purchase the square-toed shoe, the square toe needed to be forged.
Over about a ten year period pattern shoes flooded the market.
American based companies began producing front pattern shoes that were not as round as the European type pattern shoes. These new patterns more closely resembled the traditional keg shoe. With increase in production came price reductions, making it more economical to purchase clipped shoes, rather than forging them. In the mid nineties Eventer-type shoes were introduced. These pattern shoes had a rolled cross section, claiming to aid in breakover, they also came in front and hind patterns.
About the mid nineties, we say increase in the use of the Natural Balance Shoe (NBS), which was fashioned after the footprint of the feral horse. It too had square toe and came in front and hind patterns. Each time a new shoe was introduced, it was accompanied by claims that the shoe aided breakover, and / or provided needed heel support. This is still true today, of most newly developed horseshoes.
So where is all this going?
To the point, shoe manufacturers have been setting trends that influence the way the farrier addresses the foot.
Recently, I have compiled research on a little understood malady that affects many of today's horses, the black hole seedy toe.
Our research began in 2001, the opening of the International Institute of Equine Podiatry. Inc., since which time we have examined over 1200 hoof cadaver specimens. We observed a dramatic increase in the occurrence of black hole-type seedy toe. Investigation has now provided evidence that suggest that various trimming and shoeing trends could be that cause for this increase in the incidence of this malady.
Our research has shown that more often that not, the black hole is evidence of a Hyper Keratinized Horn mass, located at the creana marginalis of the coffin bone (seen as a notch in the coffin bone). One theory suggests that an abnormal increase in the size of the creana marginalis was likely due to a compromised blood supply. Further studies implicate that the cause of manifestation of the HKH mass at the site of the creana marginalis is stress.
Biopsies were taken from twenty (20) specimen masses and prepared for examination. Opinions gathered from several pathologists were unanimous; the HKH mass was the result of hyperplasia of epithelial cells with keratinization, this likely caused by stress.
Microphotographs of tissue samples from the masses often showed elongated secondary epidermal laminae (SEL); this occurrence has been associated with changes in response to stress.
Measurements were taken of the solar foot print of the twenty specimens from which the masses were harvested. This showed us that the greater the variance in balance, the larger the mass often appeared. The most widespread causes of imbalance were the under run heel, and the creation of excessively short breakover.
The research has allowed us to develop a number of hypotheses.
1. The theory that abnormal increases in the size of the creana marginalis of the coffin bone is the result of a compromised blood supply due to long toes is no longer tenable.
2. Research supports the theory that abnormal increases in the size of the creana marginalis may be nature's way of increasing surface area in response to increased stress.
3. Evidence supports the theory that stress and the resulting HKH mass is the cause of the enlargement of the creana marginalis of the coffin bone.
Our conclusion are that trends perpetuated by various shoe types and various trimming techniques proposed over the past decade, are responsible for an increase in the development of the HKH mass, and the resulting black hole seedy toe. The majority of the proposed techniques promote dramatic reduction in breakover, which can lead to improper positioning of the coffin bone within the hoof capsule. There are a number of factors that have surfaced, many of which are the result of improper trimming.
What this all means to those of you that have chosen to go shoeless with your horse, is that you should look more closely at the way your horse is being trimmed.
Here are some recommendations that may help in preventing mass growth, and may aid in stabilization of an existing condition.
- Aggressive rolling of the wall at the toe should be avoided. Avoid dubbing the wall or rockering of the toe into or palmar of the whiteline.
- Avoid ground parallel coffin bones.
- Do not lower the heels to the viable (live) sole at the angle of the bar/wall (often results in ground parallel coffin bone).
- Under run heels do not justify radical break over placement.
- Treating of black hole seedy toe with topical solutions or soaks will do little to remedy the problem.
- Balance should be addressed and any cause of stress relieved; this does not mean excessive removal of material at the toe.
This new evidence bring into question the Universal Sole Trim theory, Natural Balance trim, and any other method that may disrupt balance, causing stress at the site of the creana marginalis (tip of coffin bone).
There are far more studies to be done. Immunology studies are underway, and further research into the cause of the HKH mass is ongoing.
# 1 – What are Nanoflex Horseshoes, and how do they function?
Nanoflex Horseshoes are a shapable polyurethane straight glue on shoe that resembles the natural make-up as well as put on qualities of the hoof. Our footwear are commonly used in performance and also restorative situations as an alternative application with horses that become unresponsive to conventional shoeing techniques.
With their capability to resemble the technician residential or commercial properties of the foot – Nanoflex Horseshoes boost the feature of the hoof, instead of limiting it. This commonly leads to a much more comfortable equine with healthier development.
# 2 – What are the benefits of Nanoflex shoes?
Nanoflex footwear supply several advantages for the steed. Most typically, we listen to customers describing the shoes ability to operate as an all-natural extension of the unguis as the most desirable attribute. The direct glue application together with the shoe’s composition are thought to preserve the regular hoof features of assistance, traction, shock absorption as well as proprioception by bending with the unguis.
In our opinion, traditional adhesive on footwear over long term use tend to reverse the preliminary benefits attained because of the casting nature of an inflexible footwear. In contrast, our observations have found Nanoflex shoes to be successful for long term use and also appear to produce much healthier horn development.
# 3 – How much time will the Nanoflex shoes last?
Nanoflex Horseshoes are created to have the same or comparable life expectancy as typical footwear. We advise shoeing your horse according to the ordinary cycle of 4-6 weeks, based on their personal demands.
# 4 – Are Nanoflex footwear much more costly than conventional shoes?
Yes. The moment it takes to produce our shoes, in addition to the materials as well as craftsmanship required for the application procedure makes Nanoflex Horseshoes a true investment.
# 5 – What makes an equine an excellent prospect for Nanoflex horseshoes?
Under our “Shoes” tab, you will certainly find “Selecting A Candidate” alternative in the drop down menu. If you see this web page you will certainly find a comprehensive description of the 4 main factors we take into consideration before determining if a horse is a Nanoflex prospect.
Name: John Filipelli
Organization: Nanoflex, Inc.
Address: South Florida Trotting Center: 7563 State Road 7, Lake Worth FL 33449, USA
Phone: (954) 857-6337
Find Horseshoes For Dressage Horses in the State of Georgia
Where to find information about Horseshoes For Dressage Horses in Georgia
How Often Should You Shoe Your Horse? The Real Deal on Hoof Steel
Who can shoe Horses?
There is a misconception that blacksmiths shoe horses - they don't. Blacksmiths work with iron, but may never come into contact with horses. Blacksmiths can shoe horses if they have also had training to become a farrier. The profession of farriers is a very old one, established in 1356, during the reign of Edward III. The formal description of a farrier's work is 'any work in connection with the preparation or treatment of the foot of a horse for the immediate reception of a shoe thereon, the fitting by nailing or otherwise of a shoe to the foot, or the finishing off of such work to the foot'. The blacksmith might make the shoe, the farrier will fit it. It's a bit more complicated though, as the farrier also needs to have training as a blacksmith to make or modify the shoes correctly.
To put a horse shoe on a horse you need to be properly trained - it is not enough simply to have a horse shoe of the right size, you need to understand the horse's hoof and his conformation and how his feet are affecting the way he moves. Domesticated horses need regular attendance from the farrier.
The farrier's tools and apron have remained virtually the same since the 14th century, the only difference nowadays is that horses don't normally go to the forge to be shod. The 'forge' is more usually a portable gas oven which means the farrier can travel to the horse.
Shoeing a horse takes expertise and knowledge. To become a farrier you must serve an apprenticeship of just over four years.
Shoeing a Horse
The first step is to straighten the clenches - these are the pieces of nail bent over the side of the hoof wall. They are straightened with a buffer and hammer. The shoe can then be levered off using pincers.
Next the surface of the hoof is levelled off using a rasp. Horses hooves grow like our fingernails, so the excess growth has to be trimmed off with hoof cutters. A drawing knife is finally used to tidy up the ragged pieces of the sole and frog. This does not hurt the horse at all - it's just like having our nails trimmed. The hoof is now prepared for the shoe.
Shoeing can either be hot or cold. Precise measurements need to be taken and the shoe normally shaped off site with cold shoeing. As only very slight adjustments can be made to a cold shoe, hot shoeing is more common and more versatile. The farrier either carries a range of horse shoes in various sizes, or straight pieces that can be shaped to the foot. With hot shoeing the shoe can be very precisely shaped to the foot.
Firstly the shoe will be placed in the forge until the metal glows red hot. Using a pritchel the hot shoe is held against the surface of the hoof. When you watch this for the first time it is quite dramatic, as hot smoke and steam rises from the shoe and the air is full of the smell of burning. But the horse can feel nothing. The slight burning marks left on the foot will show where alterations need to be made, and the farrier will remove the shoe and shape it over an anvil. The process will be repeated until the farrier is happy with the fit. Once the farrier is happy the horse shoe will be quenched (immersed) in a bucket of cold water.
Now the shoe is ready to be nailed onto the horse's foot. Normally seven nails are used, but the condition of the hoof will dictate how many are needed. The nail is driven in so that it slants towards the outside leaving part of the nail sticking outside the wall of the hoof. The excess nail is cut of, and the sharp point smoothed down with a rasp. The nail is then bent over to make a clench.
The whole process is repeated for each of the four hooves. Assuming the horse hasn't lost a shoe in the meantime, the farrier will revisit in about six weeks to replace the set of shoes.
Why do Horses wear Shoes?
So why do we shoe horses? In the wild horses move on continuously to find fresh pasture and go over a variety of terrains and surfaces in his hunt for food. This naturally keeps the horses hooves down to a smooth, hard and even state. Our domesticated horses walk around less, and their feet do not have the same opportunity to harden. Nutrients such as carotene are essential to healthy hooves, and carotene is found in far higher amounts in live vegetation, rather than in processed or dried food. Our horses also are asked to do more - they are ridden or driven - which means their legs and feet are more weight bearing then they would be in the wild!
When were Horses First Shod?
As horses hooves are delicate, and people depended on them people as far back as Ancient Asia wrapped hooves in rawhide and leather.
The Romans were the first people who used a combination of leather and metal to shoe their horses so they would be able to travel further on the roman roads. Metal shoes as we know them appeared in Europe in around the 6th or 7th century. Hot shoeing became common in the 15th Century.
Looking after your Horse's Feet Today
A horse in regular work also needs to have his feet checked regularly otherwise the hoof will grow large, long and fragile, and cracks may appear. If his hoof gets misshapen his legs may become damaged if he walks abnormally - not only will this be uncomfortable for him, he won't be able to be ridden.
Even horses which are turned out without being worked need to have their hooves checked and trimmed regularly.
Normally horses need shoeing every six weeks, and arrangements should be made for a farrier to attend at this interval. Sometimes shoes which have not been worn down too far can be re-used and replaced after the hooves are trimmed. Some hooves grow at different rates depending on the time of year - fresh spring grass can cause a growth spurt.
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