Therapeutic Shoeing for Horses With Orthopedic Injuries: Six Key Points

Given the link between the external shape of the hoof capsule and its internal function, trimming and shoeing should optimize functionality and ultimately reduce stress, both to prevent injury and to treat established pathology, one veterinarian says.
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therapeutic shoeing for horses
Given the link between the external shape of the hoof capsule and its internal function, trimming and shoeing should optimize functionality and ultimately reduce stress, both to prevent injury and to treat established pathology. | Photo: Erica Larson/The Horse

While quality evidence-based research on trimming and shoeing techniques remains scarce, there’s no doubt it plays an important role in managing horses with orthopedic issues. In fact, we might underestimate its importance, said Maarten Oosterlinck, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ECVSMR, ECVS, at the start of his presentation at the 2018 British Equine Veterinary Association Congress, held Sept. 12-15 in Birmingham, U.K.

“Given the link between the external shape of the hoof capsule and its internal function, trimming and shoeing should optimize functionality and ultimately reduce stress, both to prevent injury and to treat established pathology (disease or damage),” he said.

Oosterlinck, of Ghent University’s department of surgery and anesthesiology of domestic animals, in Belgium, described six biomechanical points of focus for trimming and shoeing horses

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Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

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