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TOPIC: Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please!

Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please! 02 May 2011 13:52 #1

After some long and heated discussions, online, and elsewhere, I am looking for the wisdom of the broad group of farriers, blacksmiths and sometimes Vets, that frequent this forum. Please tell me what the short, and long term effects of shoeing horses a mix of longer toes, heavier shoes, higher heels, multiple pads, etc. can be, in your experience and understanding. I am looking for facts, here, not trying to create an emotional trainwreck.

Obviously, the guys that are out there doing this for a living are doing just that, working for a living, but after years of watching this, while I have my own thoughts, I am looking for those with greater experience than mine, and actual hands on knowledge.

Thanks!
My Shakey tails do dressage!
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RE:Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please! 02 May 2011 15:33 #2

  • reillyshoe
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The short answer is that there are plenty of opinions but very few facts on the subject. I am not a fan of this style of shoeing, and I do not shoe in this manner, but I do recognize that many horses remain sound when shod with exaggerated length and weight. One would expect that the incidence of navicular syndrome of flexor tendon injury would be very high, but I have not experienced this to be true. One might expect the probability of underrun heels to be much higher than the population of "normal" horses, but again, I have not found this to be true.
P
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RE:Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please! 02 May 2011 15:44 #3

  • mwmyersdvm
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I personally enjoy shoeing the Saddlebreds and have found that one can incorporate good mechanics into the packages and not only preserve soundness, but can actually assist horses currently rehabilitating from soundness issues. I keep the hooves relatively short, around 4 inches (less for smaller horses) and use the package to gain height if the horse needs this for more animation. Wedging is used only to maintain the pastern axis in alignment and the toe is rolled or rockered to get the breakover into a correct position. "Snapping" the deep flexor tendon by elongating the toe and lowering the heel to produce extra animation simply is an old wives tale and does not work. It will lower animation as the horse becomes sore from the attempt. Aligning the hoof with the DP axis of the limb will prevent winging and paddling. Place the package in alignment with the limb regardless of what the hoof looks like in most instances and the limb will track much better. Many of the toe or toe out configurations of long footed horses are actually long maintained flares and not true conformation defects.

As you can see I really like to disucss this topic so if you wish to email me or call do feel free to do so.

M. W. Myers, D.V.M.
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RE:Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please! 02 May 2011 17:44 #4

  • seminolewind
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I would think you would have to take what the owner tends to do with the horse. Show/more animated horses will be shod differently than pleasure horses of the same breed.
Karen Fletcher
still trying to get it right
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RE:Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please! 02 May 2011 18:37 #5

  • Travis Reed
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I'm gonna have to agree with Doc on this matter and just how he put it...the horses feet are not that long and out of wack...4 inch toe on those guys is not that long..wedge to get good alignment....I can show you many ASB that are well up in age that still get along just fine...my quess..not fact but a guess on what I have seen from working on ASB and jumpers...you find 100 of each then flex all 200 and see what one would come up with ...my bet is way more issues on the jumpers..that quess is just the way I would see it from working on both diff kinds of horses.. look at some of Rick B padded work pics and I think Doc posted a pic of a padded horse ....take ur eyes off the pads and look at the foot they are not horred by anymeans they all must handle the shoes just fine its only been on horses for what ..many many years and still a lot of old ASB running around
Travis Reed.....


www.sporthorsefarrier.com to direct link..
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RE:Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please! 03 May 2011 14:14 #6

Thanks for your replies. Here are some things I have seen that concern me-- perhaps you can explain if my perceptions have any merit:

1. Contracted heels onfront feet, particularly.
2. Horses who become contracted in the tendons where wedges have been used for any period of time.
3. LONG toes- I have seen horss consistently showing much more than the four inches you mention.

These horses generally have wonderful feet- to start with- and seem to be able to stay sound, with the exception of the gaited horses, whose hid ends start to show wear and tear. The old adage "the good ones go light" seems to absolutely apply- and you do see some top horses with a shorter foot- but, there are a bunch with a much longer toe, an a big ol' show package on them.
My Shakey tails do dressage!
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RE:Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please! 03 May 2011 15:25 #7

  • Rick Burten
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ASB Stars wrote:
Thanks for your replies. Here are some things I have seen that concern me-- perhaps you can explain if my perceptions have any merit:

1. Contracted heels onfront feet, particularly.
2. Horses who become contracted in the tendons where wedges have been used for any period of time.
3. LONG toes- I have seen horss consistently showing much more than the four inches you mention.
1. Contracted heels can happen when the feet are kept overlong. Can, not necessarily, must or always.
2. Horses do not get the condition known as 'contracted tendons". Tendons have but two lengths--resting and working.
3. Long toes are part of the conventions of the show ring. To achieve the 'foot waver' animation in the appropriate gaits, weight and length are prime factors in the equation.
These horses generally have wonderful feet- to start with- and seem to be able to stay sound, with the exception of the gaited horses, whose hid ends start to show wear and tear.
The hind end of those horses usually shows less wear and tear than do the hind ends of many dressage horses, hunters, jumpers, reiners, etc.And, for all the length and weight in front, most of those horses have less front end problems/issues than do their counter-parts in other disciplines.
The old adage "the good ones go light" seems to absolutely apply-
It Depends.
and you do see some top horses with a shorter foot- but, there are a bunch with a much longer toe, an a big ol' show package on them.
Form to function and conventions of the show ring apply. Many of those horses, even the ones that are considered 'light shod' (whatever that means), will trip over their own shadow when the show package is removed.
Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."
."


Je pense donc je suis
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RE:Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please! 03 May 2011 20:03 #8

Thanks for your viewpoint! I appreciate it!

I didn't realize that a horse could not have a contracted tendon. So much for those desmotomies!
My Shakey tails do dressage!
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RE:Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please! 03 May 2011 23:44 #9

  • mwmyersdvm
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Most desmotomies are done on stifles. This is severing a ligament. Tenotomies can be used as a salvage procedure on a tendon which has an attendant muscular contracture causing the condition.
I see your ASB's do dressage. They are quite outstanding at it sonce they are easily collected and quite light on their feet. Pretty awesome at eventing and trail, but are a bit strong for endurance riding. They are difficult to rate.

M. W. Myers, D.V.M.
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RE:Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please! 03 May 2011 23:49 #10

  • Rick Burten
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How about front limb inferior(DFT) check ligament desmotomies, Doc? ;)
Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."
."


Je pense donc je suis
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RE:Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please! 04 May 2011 02:05 #11

  • mwmyersdvm
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Ahhhh..thanks for the reminder, Rick. You caught me on a less than optimal sleep time week. I do use the check desmotomies (ligament transection also) for some relief on the deep flexor. I have had good responses with this procedure.

You still have to properly trim the hoof post operatively. Running out the toes post operatively will defeat the attempt.

I have seen a number of these extreme attempts at enhancing action. They often fail over time as the horse becomes increasingly painful.

M. W. Myers, D.V.M.
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RE:Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please! 05 May 2011 12:53 #12

  • reillyshoe
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ASB Stars wrote:
Thanks for your replies. Here are some things I have seen that concern me-- perhaps you can explain if my perceptions have any merit:

1. Contracted heels onfront feet, particularly.
2. Horses who become contracted in the tendons where wedges have been used for any period of time.
3. LONG toes- I have seen horss consistently showing much more than the four inches you mention.

These horses generally have wonderful feet- to start with- and seem to be able to stay sound, with the exception of the gaited horses, whose hid ends start to show wear and tear. The old adage "the good ones go light" seems to absolutely apply- and you do see some top horses with a shorter foot- but, there are a bunch with a much longer toe, an a big ol' show package on them.


We tend to think about hoof deformation occurring as expansion, however during the last 20% of the loading cycle the heels actually contract as the hoof begins to unroll. It has not been studied to my knowledge, but perhaps this normal hoof contraction is exacerbated by the trimming/shoeing associated with gaited horses, and might lead to a change in hoof morphology.
P
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RE:Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please! 05 May 2011 14:26 #13

mwmyersdvm wrote:
Most desmotomies are done on stifles. This is severing a ligament. Tenotomies can be used as a salvage procedure on a tendon which has an attendant muscular contracture causing the condition.
I see your ASB's do dressage. They are quite outstanding at it sonce they are easily collected and quite light on their feet. Pretty awesome at eventing and trail, but are a bit strong for endurance riding. They are difficult to rate.

M. W. Myers, D.V.M.

Thanks for the information- regarding endurance and trail riding- you'll have to tell Wing tempo he wasn't a good example- he was only recently beaten for lifetime miles- with over 25K, IIRC- I'd have to look it up, to give you the exact number. I think Elmer Bandit was the name of the horse who eclipsed his record.
My Shakey tails do dressage!
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RE:Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please! 05 May 2011 17:20 #14

  • seminolewind
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Would anyone here recommend that the OP should do "Smitty's cup of Tea" method of learning to learn from someone who works on gaited horses to begin with?
Karen Fletcher
still trying to get it right
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RE:Shoeing American Saddlebred show horses- give me the facts, please! 05 May 2011 17:47 #15

  • Ray_Knightley
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I am Just wondering if this thread is wanting to go one way against shoeing methods on some types of sport horses ....
Not really sure if you made the same question about Horses say here that are Jumping at different levels with the foot wear they need for the Job that you would also Have the same results as looking at Saddlebred in US??

Makes me think......we had a average age for horses here in Germany over all of about 6 years ....Ouch ,but true ...

This has I have heard has gone up to 8,8 years in say the last 20 years....for different reasons such as not as many are eaten as before..
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