Shoeing Requirements for High Performance Equine Athletes
Every discipline and to some extent, every horse, has different shoeing requirements. These needs vary widely depending on the
sport. Dressage, jumpers, barrel racing, and cross country horses all travel on different footing, whether it’s grass, rocky ground or
a dirt arena floor. Therefore, shoeing requirements will change for each sport. The variety of shoes are designed for different types
Different Shoes for Different Horses
For example, an eventer horse would wear a shoe that is creased all the way around the edge, it’s also concave and is called a ‘fuller’ shoe. The crease fills with dirt and offers a lot of traction. It’s designed to help the horse get a better grip on the surface it is
traveling on. It has a thinner web width (the width of the flat part of the shoe) and allows the horse to sink into the ground a bit more and allows the horse to get a little bit more traction.
A dressage horse would wear a shoe with a wider web because they are typically traveling on softer footing and you don't want them sinking into the footing too much because you don’t want them straining ligaments and tendons. A wider webbed shoe allows the horse to ‘float’ on top of the footing more easily.
A jumper horse would wear something in between the two sizes of the web. They're most often shod in a steel shoe with a bit of a rolled toe, which helps to remove some of the stress off the horse's heels. Some owners will have the front feet shod in aluminum to make them lighter and help the horse to tuck their feet up under them more easily when jumping. Many jumpers suffer from heel pain and the more we can do to ease the break over, in order to take the stress off, will help to alleviate the heel pain. A jumper’s steel shoes are most often drilled and tapped for removable caulks or cleats depending on the footing, which may be wet grass, and weather conditions. There are a broad variety of sizes of caulks/cleats for every type of footing and situation - each allowing better traction for the horse.
Extra Hoof Support
Sometimes performance horses such as dressage horses or jumpers will wear a bar shoe, which gives better support to the lower limb and helps to de-stress the heel, especially if your horse has heel pain. The shoe would have a roll toe to assist in alleviating heel pain. Bar shoes can also be applied preventatively. A heart bar shoe covers the frog area of the foot, and helps to distribute the weight on more the surface area of the foot. It offers more support for a horse with really low hoof capsule, or low or crushed heels. Bar shoes can be made of aluminum or steel.
Horse Athletes Get Injuries
Performance horses can be injured in many ways while competing. From a stone bruise, a sprained or twisted ankle, tendon, or
ligament strain inside the hoof capsule, to a quarter crack in their hoof. The harder a horse is worked, the hotter the weather,
the more fatigued they get, sometimes they'll simply miss-step or slip and end up getting injured.
When a horse's hooves are allowed to grow too long, the more lever you create and the more out of alignment the hoof
becomes, this is one of the reasons horses get injured. Quarter cracks happen when the horse is due for a trim and shoe,
rarely does it happen after they've been trimmed and shod.
For the love of your performance horse, book your horse’s hoof maintenance early and schedule them regularly. Please give us
a call for superior reliable service.
What Our Clients Say
"We wouldn’t trust any other farrier with our horses. Kyle has worked really hard on helping us get our little girls roping horse as sound as possible! He’s very knowledgeable in all areas of hoof care. He genuinely cares about our horses. I also appreciate the fact that he goes the extra mile and invests in his business and takes time away from his family to attend clinics and seminars to gain more knowledge!"
Joe and Jamie Wolfe
"I want to say thank you to Kyle and Kristie. They have done a great job with our horses. They have given us some very good tips when we have issues. Very professional and nice. Would definitely recommend them to anyone who cares deeply about their horses."
"Very knowledgeable and kind. I was ignorant to horse hoof care before using foundation. They take care of my pasture princess with the same respect and professionalism they would a working horse. Kyle keeps me accountable with great advice and valuable information."
"There truly are no words. Mr. Kyle was professional from start to finish. He took the time to teach us about my mare's feet and for the first time in 2 years I can breathe knowing that we have the very best farrier. Thank you just isn't enough."
"In my opinion, I think they are the best of the best in the area. Kyle is always willing to listen to the client and the horse. He’s always going to conventions to continue his education. He has done an amazing job every time he comes! My gelding, Elvis loves Kyle so much!"
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