Shoeing for Sport Horse Injuries

UK researcher: Evidence-based studies are lacking; here are my experiences and shoeing strategies.

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Shoeing for Sport Horse Injuries
Smith discussed the biomechanical principles he considers most important in treating foot-related sport horse injuries at the 2019 Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners Symposium. | Photo: Courtesy NEAEP

Much like previously injured runners experiment with different shoes, socks, and insoles until they cover ground efficiently and without pain, farriers and veterinarians must rely on trial and error when shoeing injured sport horses. Sure, basing shoeing decisions on volumes of published research would be nice, but few sufficiently objective studies are available, says Professor Roger Smith, MA, VetMB, PhD, DEO, Dipl. ECVSMR, DipECVS, FRCVS, Professor of Equine Orthopaedics at the U.K.’s Royal Veterinary College Hawkshead Campus, in Hatfield.

Instead veterinarians and farriers must lean on sound biomechanical principles. Smith described those he considers most important in treating foot-related sport horse injuries at the 2019 Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners Symposium, held Sept. 25-27 in Saratoga Springs, New York.

“There are a large number of products out there, every farrier has their favorites,” he said, acknowledging that the products he has access to might be a little different than what some of the veterinarians and farriers at the symposium use in the United States

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Written by:

Stephanie L. Church, Editorial Director, grew up riding and caring for her family’s horses in Central Virginia and received a B.A. in journalism and equestrian studies from Averett University. She joined The Horse in 1999 and has led the editorial team since 2010. A 4-H and Pony Club graduate, she enjoys dressage, eventing, and trail riding with her former graded-stakes-winning Thoroughbred gelding, It Happened Again (“Happy”). Stephanie and Happy are based in Lexington, Kentucky.

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