Cushioning the Blow

Your horse’s feet sometimes seem a bit sore after a workout. He’s trimmed and shod regularly. Could hoof pads or packing help? Ontario Farrier Association president Paul Miller said he wouldn’t jump to that conclusion as a primary solution. “Using pads as therapy on a horse’s foot should be secondary to identifying the cause of the unsoundness or lameness,” he advised. This might require a veterinarian’s examination or an assessment of the horse’s conformation. Miller would also consider whether making a change in shoeing might solve the problem. “If the horse is appropriately shod, has good conformation, and has shown lameness after increasing workouts on hard ground that doesn’t have other causes, then a pad may be applied to take the sting out of the knees and feet,” he said. Pads and packing can also be helpful if the foot or hoof wall has been injured to help absorb and…

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