She was holding the lead line so tightly her knuckles were white. Her eyes were glued to the farrier’s fingers as they felt the horse’s coronary band. Then she looked into the eyes of the veterinarian and wailed, "You’ve got to do something! I have to show this horse this weekend, and he can’t go to a horse show wearing a bar shoe. No one will ever want to buy him. They remember. It’s a curse. Please, please, please can you take them off?"


PHOTO BY JOHN BLOMBACH/HOOFCARE & LAMENESS

This egg bar is helping a lame horse. A horse shod with bar shoes in this way is probably on stall rest and would be turned out only when wearing bell boots.

Not too long ago, farriers and veterinarians heard this whine in barns all across America. Horses which needed bar shoes often were reshod with open shoes at the request–and, sometimes, insistence–of owners before the bar shoes had finished their jobs. Nailing a bar shoe on a horse was like putting a scarlet letter on the horse for all the world to see. They were a giant flag announcing, "Hey, look! There’s something wrong with my feet!"

All that has changed now. Owners no longer