A farrier's story
Posted by jcdill on 8/13/2012, 9:49 pm, in reply to "Thanks!"
I was a full-time farrier for 6 years. One of the last "new clients" I took on is the only horse I'm still working on now, years after I gave up shoeing. (I only do trims now - sold all my shoeing equipment.) When I started I was told this mare was navicular and needed to be shod with wedge pads etc. But her hoofs were all messed up - underun heels, long toes, flare, crooked, etc. |
I shod her with wedge pads as instructed but also worked to get her hoofs to reshape to a more normal shape. The following winter her owner wanted to leave her barefoot for a few months since she wouldn't be riding. This gave me more room to help remodel her hoofs and by spring her heels were wider, were more under the bulbs instead of run forward, I had the flare and long toes under control, her hoofs were balanced, etc. And she was still sound even though she was barefoot. Her owner was only doing light riding and with regular trims she stayed sound and her hoofs remained in great shape.
SO... If the vet recommends wedges, give them a try but don't think that means your horse will necessarily have to stay in wedges forever. Hoof shape changes. Hoof conditions change. Even "navicular changes" can change. Strained tendons or ligaments can heal. Bone can remodel. Even arthritis can sometimes be remedied with joint injections. So take prescriptions as a STARTING point, see if it works, and then if it does talk with your vet and farrier about the possibility of working to reduce the "prescription" over time. If you don't ride much in the winter that's a good time to try something a bit different and see how it goes.
JC Dill Photography
San Jose & San Francisco
Horse Portraits, Horse Show Photography