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Shoes for the dressage horse

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  • #41
    Originally posted by SendenHorse View Post
    1. Do you ride like this (where your horse never goes off easy footing)? If so:

    My horse is barefoot. Pasture, stall, arena. Occasional light trail rides. Dressage horse.

    2. How many times a week?
    Works 5x a week in arena, T/O daily.

    3. For how long? At what level are you riding/training?
    Horse works 45 mins- 1hr 3x a week and light ride 1-2x or longe 1-2x. Horse is somewhere training-second level depending on day, but we don't just WTC.

    4. Do you keep shoes on your horse all year round? In front only or all 4?
    Never had shoes on him

    5. If you do keep shoes on, why? Seriously -- what prompted you to make this choice? Reasons could be: tradition, I've been taught to do it this way; vet/farrier/trainer said, 'better safe than sorry'; horse has crappy feet -- I'm lucky he can walk; our footing really isn't THAT good;

    I would use shoes if it was needed. I prefer not to have shoes on. I worry about slipping.
    My answers would be just about the same, although our footing is pretty good. Horse is 13 and has been barefoot most of his life. I'd put shoes on him if needed them, but he doesn't.
    __________________________
    "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
    the best day in ten years,
    you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

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    • #42
      5 year old (in May) KWPN, barefoot although not opposed to shoes if I felt he needed them. Normal work load is 5 days a week including walking trail rides on sometimes rocky ground. 24/7 t/o except in summer when in during day due to bugs and heat.

      His feet are beautiful. Excellent trimmer comes every 4 weeks. After owning a horse that had a myriad of hoof problems, it is wonderful to not have to think about hooves (no lost shoes, no chipping, no cracking, no thrush, no hoof ointments) except to admire them.

      Comment


      • #43
        Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
        When I see dressage horses (...) in shoeing packages that rival those found on saddlebreds and TWH, I think there is likely room for improvement in the management of that horse.
        What are you talking about?!? Shoeing packages for dressage horses?

        Who is that Olympic dressage Luso with the uber funky shoes?[/QUOTE]

        It is not a luso. It is a PRE and it is Fuego.

        Hoofcare Blogspot European Rock n'roll horseshoes 2011

        Hoof Care Blogspot European Rock n'roll horseshoes 2012

        Ravel has been wearing Eponas.
        and Totilas hearth bars.
        ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

        Originally posted by LauraKY
        I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
        HORSING mobile training app

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        • #44
          I currently ride two horses, one coming six years old, working on training and the other twelve years old, working on 2nd/3rd level. 5~6 times/week.

          The six years old I keep him bare foot all year around. A this time, I don't consider putting shoes on him, not only because he is moving very well barefooted, but also because he had devastating hooves injures when he was three months old and I am fairly certain shoes will destroy the sound hooves we have slowly built up over the years. We have a fantastic barefoot trimmer who keeps him sound and well balanced. I have yet found a farrier that trims nearly as well as this barefoot trimmer.

          The twelve years old I have kept all four shoes on for the last couple years, year around with front pads. The attempt to pull his shoes produced unfavorable result - tender footed. He was more comfortable in shoes. The strange thing is, I tried again pulling his shoes before this winter, and this time, he goes really well bare footed: no more tender foot, and starting flying lead changes, which was impossible only a few months earlier fully shod. Maybe two years of shoes made his hooves sound; maybe the different feed we're giving him contributed the success. I'm not sure. I'm still debating whether to put shoes back on for show season.

          Comment


          • #45
            I have two horses.

            One wears a fancy pants shoeing set up, flip flops in front and steels behind, and is for the most part retired. He teaches beginner lessons and otherwise hangs out in the pasture.

            The other has never worn shoes in his life, does arena work in a pea-gravel arena, goes on trail rides, goes out in the pasture, jumps 3'6" when we get around to it, and is schooling 3rd and 4th level dressage with plans to show those levels this summer.
            The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
            Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
            Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
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            • #46
              Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
              What are you talking about?!? Shoeing packages for dressage horses?
              Luso/PRE same diff.....

              and those shoes are funky..... entering the realm of 'package' as they use in walking horse/saddle bred land.
              "Friend" me !

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              • #47
                Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                Luso/PRE same diff.....

                and those shoes are funky..... entering the realm of 'package' as they use in walking horse/saddle bred land.
                Did you read the explanation for them?
                It is actually kind of neat how they (allegedly) make lateral work easier for the horse.
                The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                  Did you read the explanation for them?
                  It is actually kind of neat how they (allegedly) make lateral work easier for the horse.
                  I read the explanation. I looked at the shoe and how it was set and how the horse stood on it. My impression is that the whole weight of the horse is concentrated in a much smaller area. This seems to me to approach the function of "cleats," allowing for more grip and less slip on any given footing.

                  There is also daylight between the edge of the hoof wall and edge of the gripping surface. I'm sure this does permit easier lateral movement. It also reduces stability in three directions. I'm not sure that's a Good Thing.

                  If these things are made of AL then they won't weigh all that much. If they were steel they would be in the range of a light weight Plantation shoe.

                  The real proof will come in five years or so. If these horses are still sound and competing on these shoes then we have an answer. If they are hopeless cripples we still have an answer. I'll reserve judgement for the time being, but will admit to a level of skepticism.

                  G.
                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                    Luso/PRE same diff.....

                    and those shoes are funky..... entering the realm of 'package' as they use in walking horse/saddle bred land.
                    Demonstrably incorrect.

                    It is not remotely similar in any way, shape, form or function to a gaited horse shoeing package.

                    By the way, shoeing "package" does not refer any one particular type or level of shoe. It just refers to whatever the farrier puts on the horse's hoof.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                      There is also daylight between the edge of the hoof wall and edge of the gripping surface. I'm sure this does permit easier lateral movement. It also reduces stability in three directions. I'm not sure that's a Good Thing.
                      It may reduce stability but the purpose is reduced leverage. It was noted in one of the articles that the shoes were remarkably stable on hard ground but that the horses spent the majority of their time in softer footing.

                      I've had horses in clogs (one is wearing them now) with extreme leverage in all directions and have not seen any problems, only greater comfort for the horse.

                      If these things are made of AL then they won't weigh all that much. If they were steel they would be in the range of a light weight Plantation shoe.
                      The shoes are aluminum.

                      The real proof will come in five years or so. If these horses are still sound and competing on these shoes then we have an answer. If they are hopeless cripples we still have an answer. I'll reserve judgement for the time being, but will admit to a level of skepticism.

                      G.
                      This type of shoeing application has been around since the Middle Ages. Fuego and others are known to have been wearing them for several years and are (apparently) still sound and competing. I have had two horses in similar setups (clogs) and have known a few others that have worn them long-term, with no harm done.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by LarkspurCO View Post
                        This type of shoeing application has been around since the Middle Ages. Fuego and others are known to have been wearing them for several years and are (apparently) still sound and competing. I have had two horses in similar setups (clogs) and have known a few others that have worn them long-term, with no harm done.
                        They SAY they have been around since the Middle Ages but they also say that they have no documentation. So how do they know? Artifacts?

                        How old is this particular shoe design? How widely has it been used?

                        I'm not a horse and thus any analogy will be of limited value. But I put on my work boots, laced them up real good, and then stood on a large jar lid that was just about 3/4" smaller than my instep. Forward breakover was distinctly easier. Lateral instability was significant. I didn't try walking, just standing. I suspect I could get used to it, but I wonder. I could feel stress on the lateral portion of my knee as I moved around (shifting balance left, right, fore, and aft.); less in the ankle (but that was also laced up pretty good).

                        Having a great deal of familiarity with the devices used on gaited horses (I was trained as a DQP) I have a strong, negative suspicion about radical shoe designs. As noted, I'd like to see a farrier's opinion. I'd even more like to see the opinion of someone familiar with equine movement (like Dr. Clayton).

                        G.
                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                          They SAY they have been around since the Middle Ages but they also say that they have no documentation. So how do they know? Artifacts?

                          How old is this particular shoe design? How widely has it been used?
                          I don't know, but I've seen a illustrations from old horseshoeing texts and museum collections but don't have any handy. Here's one I found doing a quick search -- see Figure 57 for a roller motion design:

                          http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Horse_...ses/Chapter_IV

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by LarkspurCO View Post
                            I don't know, but I've seen a illustrations from old horseshoeing texts and museum collections but don't have any handy. Here's one I found doing a quick search -- see Figure 57 for a roller motion design:

                            http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Horse_...ses/Chapter_IV
                            I don't see that much similarity in Figure 57 and nothing like the "rock and roll" shoe in any other design.

                            So, again, I'll await either a more scientific analysis of the shoe and its function or revisit the issue in five years.

                            G.
                            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                              I read the explanation. I looked at the shoe and how it was set and how the horse stood on it. My impression is that the whole weight of the horse is concentrated in a much smaller area. This seems to me to approach the function of "cleats," allowing for more grip and less slip on any given footing.

                              There is also daylight between the edge of the hoof wall and edge of the gripping surface. I'm sure this does permit easier lateral movement. It also reduces stability in three directions. I'm not sure that's a Good Thing.

                              If these things are made of AL then they won't weigh all that much. If they were steel they would be in the range of a light weight Plantation shoe.

                              The real proof will come in five years or so. If these horses are still sound and competing on these shoes then we have an answer. If they are hopeless cripples we still have an answer. I'll reserve judgement for the time being, but will admit to a level of skepticism.

                              G.
                              Reasonable people may have differing views on these shoes, and I do not think I'll be putting them on my barefoot horse any time soon, but they do not appear to me to have anything remotely to do with walking horse "packages."
                              The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                              Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                              Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                              The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
                                ...I've heard of people who keep shoes all around on their horses and was rather surprised, since I thought a horse with "a good hoof" should be able to handle this sort of use without shoes.

                                So I'd like to hear from regular dressage riders who use their horses primarily for dressage or arena work:

                                My questions:
                                1. Do you ride like this (where your horse never goes off easy footing)? If so:
                                2. How many times a week? 5-6 time per week
                                3. For how long? About 1 hr/ride At what level are you riding/training? 3rd/PSG
                                4. Do you keep shoes on your horse all year round? In front only or all 4?
                                Front - only because she has a cluuby hoof and likes to paw - which makes the clubbiness worse.
                                5. If you do keep shoes on, why? Seriously -- what prompted you to make this choice? Club hoof + pawing means more wear on that hoof and more imbalance. Other mare (lower level) had poor hoof quality - so kept shoes on to help prevent sand cracks.
                                Reasons could be: tradition, I've been taught to do it this way; vet/farrier/trainer said, 'better safe than sorry'; horse has crappy feet -- I'm lucky he can walk; our footing really isn't THAT good;

                                ....
                                See responses above. If I didn't need to keep shoes on I would not bother, a horse can go to GP barefoot IF it has good hooves.
                                Now in Kentucky

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by Melissa.Hare.Jones View Post
                                  My simple test for whether or not a horse benefits from shoes is to simply put them on. If he moves more freely, they stay on. If there's no difference, they come off.
                                  This is pretty much what I think...my mare was fine barefoot for two years, then came into more work and wasn't feeling the same. Put shoes on and it made a big difference, they've stayed on since.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                                    Did you read the explanation for them?
                                    It is actually kind of neat how they (allegedly) make lateral work easier for the horse.
                                    Yes I read it. And if that were true, then it would be even MORE reason for me to label them 'sketchy.' You know my horse does better extensions with spring loaded shoes, can I use those?

                                    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=6967,8070155 The fact that I remember these makes me feel old.....

                                    I think the rock and roll deal is over the top and starting to get us into the territory of action device as opposed to 'keep horse from getting sore feet.' I am ever so curious to see what the next step down that line is...
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                                    • #58
                                      I'm in a slightly different situation, because my dressage horse was recently retired, which involved a DRASTIC lifestyle change, which (I believe) made the difference in his feet that allowed him to go barefoot successfully. But I'll answer the questions anyway

                                      Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
                                      1. Do you ride like this (where your horse never goes off easy footing)?
                                      Yes, although I now don't believe that sand is necessarily easy footing. Our work did include some hacking in a hay field that was clean, mowed, and well-maintained and while on rolling terrain, was still relatively level (does that make sense?)

                                      . How many times a week?
                                      When in full training, we rode 6 days per week.

                                      . For how long? At what level are you riding/training?
                                      Each ride approx. 45 minutes long. At the time my horse was retired, we were schooling PSG and showing 3rd Level.

                                      . Do you keep shoes on your horse all year round? In front only or all 4?
                                      He had shoes all year round, all 4 feet.

                                      . If you do keep shoes on, why? Seriously -- what prompted you to make this choice? Reasons could be: tradition, I've been taught to do it this way; vet/farrier/trainer said, 'better safe than sorry'; horse has crappy feet -- I'm lucky he can walk; our footing really isn't THAT good;
                                      Well, your option "horse has crappy feet - I'm lucky he can walk" is pretty much spot-on for my guy. I got him when he was 12, and my trainer had known him since he was 7, and he'd always had very poor hooves: thin hoof wall, shelly, thin soles, heck it took feats of strength and ingenuity to even KEEP the shoes on. And when they (inevitably) came off, they took large chunks of hoof with them.

                                      That all changed when he was retired. He moved to my parents' farm, and for the first time since he was 3, lived outdoors for the majority of the day, every day of the year, on grass. From the time he was 3 in Germany, until I retired him at 17, he'd been stalled the VAST majority of the day (and at my trainer's stable, was stalled on a concrete floor with rubber mats). He got a small amount of turnout in a sand paddock, which was often full of water. He very rarely was on any surface other than concrete or sand.

                                      His feet haven't touched concrete since he moved. Now, when he is stalled, it's on a clay-and-limestone base with a deep bed of shavings, much less concussive IMO than mats on concrete. Also drains much better.

                                      It took a while, but the lifestyle change, which involved:
                                      grass/dirt footing vs. sand
                                      outdoors vs. indoors
                                      soft stall floor vs. concrete
                                      being dirty vs. being hosed off after almost every ride
                                      and living a more normal life that includes walking around in a pasture most of every day
                                      contributed to make it possible to take the shoes off.

                                      Knowing the horse as well as I do, I think it's *maybe* possible that he could have been in full work but managed differently so as to make the shoes unnecessary, but I have my doubts. Right now, he does zero work and is sound enough to fancy-trot around the paddock with his buddies at dinner time.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                                        Reasonable people may have differing views on these shoes, and I do not think I'll be putting them on my barefoot horse any time soon, but they do not appear to me to have anything remotely to do with walking horse "packages."
                                        I would concur that they are not an analog of TWH shoeing practices unless made of steel, and then only because of weight.

                                        G.
                                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          When and How to Use the Full Rocker Motion Shoe

                                          Written and presented July 2006 by R.F. (Ric) Redden, DVM

                                          Introduction

                                          The present day full rocker motion shoe has a convex ground surface and is designed to offer a self-adjusting palmar angle (PA). For optimum results the most prominent point of the convex surface is placed directly beneath the center of articulation of the coffin joint. The design and degree of rocker dictates the range of PA adjustment. The ability to adjust the PA while in the static state sets the mechanical action of this shoe well above those that do not influence the static PA. Square toes, rocker toes, rolled toes and flat shoes set back under the toe to decrease breakover effort can offer advantageous mechanical action when the horse is moving, but fail to allow self-adjustment when resting. The rocker action has a profound effect on solar fimbrae reconstruction and subsequent sole growth, apparently via the altered Deep Digital Flexor (DDF) tension.

                                          Flat shoe enthusiasts consider the shoe radical or extreme as it differs greatly from the more recent traditional shoe. However, blacksmiths in the 14th century were forging a very similar full rocker shoe throughout most of Europe for many problems similar to what we encounter today. Unfortunately, the shoe was not described at the time of popularity, simply because there were no authors, editors or printers publishing books during that era. Today, it has once again become an extremely valuable tool for treating foot ailments that are influenced by the DDF.

                                          Indications

                                          Sport and speed horses are frequently diagnosed with caudal heel pain and long toe, underrun heels. Clinical and radiographic examination reveals that a broken back digital axis is a common finding in horses with crushed heel syndrome. It is common knowledge that horses suffering from the long toe, lower heel syndrome require less breakover to combat the effects of long toe. Backing the toes up has been considered a reliable means for aiding breakover. Unfortunately, pulling the toes back has very limited mechanical advantage. Removing the face of the wall back to the stratum medium gives the illusion that the toe angle has improved, though the PA and heel angle have remained unchanged.

                                          Wedge shoes and pads are frequently used to correct the low toe angle hoof as they are an effective tool for correcting the PA to some degree. The positive effects of the wedge can often be seen immediately. Unfortunately, the downside of raising the PA with a wedge too gradually from toe to heel is that it invariably crushes the digital cushion. Use of wedge rim pads or wedge shoes allows the frog and cushion to fall through the shoe, further compromising the heel tubules. Despite the long term ill effects of this method, the concept remains popular simply because the technique of backing the toe up and using a wedge system greatly enhances the appearance of the foot. The thought that if it looks good it must be healthy is a common misconception.

                                          The full rocker motion shoe has numerous mechanical advantages that allow self-correcting digital alignment. The rocker action greatly enhances the static stance phase that does not occur with flat shoes, square toes, rolled toes and shoes set back under the toe. The advantage this shoe has over all other flat shoes is the ability to quickly and easily alter tension in the DDF. Load forces are constantly being transferred from areas of inflammation to less painful, healthier areas of the foot. Therefore, from the clinical as well as radiographic follow up, the shoe has the capability to enhance the healing environment for a variety of foot problems that are influenced by the DDF.

                                          The majority of foot pain is illustrated by the force of tension or compression. Most problems occur in the toe or heel. Apparently, as the PA rocks forward, this shoe relieves tension forces on the laminae and therefore the sole compression. During the same action the heel tubules are compressed and tensions over the navicular bursae, navicular bone and associated ligament attachments are reduced.

                                          Thin soles, white line disease, full thickness toe cracks and laminitis are syndromes that affect the toe area. Reducing tension forces on the wall, laminae and compressive forces on the sole corium aids healing by enhancing perfusion to vital growth centers of the sole and horn wall. Venogram studies suggest that direct correlation exists between increased perfusion and growth center stimulation. The crushed and underrun heels and inflammation of the heel apparatus in general is a major cause for chronic heel pain found in most all breeds. The shoe offers a means to shorten the stance phase while moving and resting, apparently reducing compressive as well as tension forces within the heel area, which subsequently reduces pain.

                                          Specific Uses of the Shoe

                                          Thin hoof walls and thin soles are frequently encountered on performance or speed horses. Farriers are often accused of removing too much foot. Perhaps some do, but the competent farrier knows when there is no foot to be taken off. In these cases, close observation will reveal 3-4 sets of nail holes in a foot, confirming that no foot has been removed and little growth has been present for the past several resets. Farriers routinely brush the dirt and broken horn tubules off the ground surface and either try to find a place to secure a rail or use composites to attach the shoe.

                                          Foot mass diminishes for many other reasons than a visit from the farrier. Lack of demand on the foot, excessive moisture, nutrition, speed and other man-induced demands on the foot have cumulative effects on the strength of feet. Inherited and congenital weakness compounds the problem, as the reserve offered by a strong, upstanding hoof capsule is simply not there. Using the full motion rocker shoe as a tool to aid quick mass recovery is one of its most promising assets.

                                          Venogram studies by Redden1 suggest that healthy, vascular supply to the sole corium and heel apertures requires 10-12mm of space below the palmar plantar surface of PIII. A PA of 3-5 degrees is required to sustain the solar papillae that are responsible for sole and other sensitive structures of the heel apertures. Sole proper and horn wall structure play a major role in protecting those vital growth centers. The minimum depth of sole required to adequately protect and support the vascular supply is breed and use dependant. A minimum of 5-8mm of sole (non-sensitive) is considered adequate in most light breeds. Therefore a healthy foot on a light breed horse should have a minimum sole depth of 15-18mm measured radiographically from the ventral side of the apex to the ground or shoe surface. This measurement does not include a 3-5mm natural cup of the sole that can also be measured radiographically.

                                          Most all horses lose hoof mass once in training, as sole depth diminishes. Farriers often feel obligated to cup the sole to reduce sole pressure on the shoe. However, cupping the sole that is losing mass soon becomes counterproductive. Cupping the foot that doesn’t have a cup is detrimental to the foot as the protective, supportive function of the sole is greatly reduced, setting off a cascading series of events that further weaken the capsule. As the sole thins the wall follows pursuit. Stimulating accelerated sole growth likewise stimulates rigid horn wall growth. Further studies are needed to better understand the mode of action.

                                          Anatomy of the Shoe

                                          Any shoe can be forged with a convex ground surface. The depth of the shoe branch and the design, e.g. flat, wedge, rail and the degree of convexity, determine the mechanical potential of the shoe. To help simplify mechanical action, the author has developed a scoring system. For every 2º the PA is altered in the static state the shoe gets a score of one. For example, the shoe required to raise a pre-shoeing PA of negative 4º to a post-shoeing PA of positive 6º would be a 5 point shoe.

                                          The shoe is designed to set solidly on the anterior quarter of the foot referred to as pillars by Duckett and the posterior quarter, which is located on either side of the foot at the widest part of the frog. The degree of convexity or rocker will depend on the predetermined goals, the problem you wish to solve, the mass of hoof present (sole depth and horn quality), and the PA, The breed, gait and intended use must also be considered. Informative soft tissue detail lateral and AP radiographs are required to accurately design and fit the shoe to meet the mechanical goals in mind. Post shoeing radiographs are required to confirm whether the mechanical goals were met and to set the new base line, which is needed to accurately record progress.

                                          Shoe Attachment

                                          Several methods of attachment are available depending on the severity of the problem, and rehab vs. continued training. When adequate foot mass is present the nail pattern is placed in the center and either side of the most convex part of the shoe. This attachment site assures that the shoe moves at the same speed as the horse and is not trapped on the ground as the foot breaks forward. Nailing in front of the widest part of the foot has long been advocated for flat shoeing. This concept is thought to prevent entrapment and contraction of the heels. Further studies are needed to confirm the validity of this concept. Flat shoes nailed anterior to the widest part of the foot are often stationary as the heel comes up in an attempt to start breakover. This “loose shoe” appearance will invariably create large oval nail holes in a matter of days and weaken the wall adjacent to the nails. The full rocker shoe attached at the center of the convex surface shows little or no nail hole wear from reset to reset, indicating it is not resisting the movement of the foot.

                                          Adhesives - The shallow foot (less than 15mm of sole with a zero or negative PA) cannot be trimmed to meet the convex shape of the shoe. Therefore to apply the desired mechanics the shoe can be set into a bed of composite and held off the ground until it has cured.

                                          Nail and Adhesive – A combination of adhesive and a couple of nails also works well for the shallow foot. Caution is due. Driving nails through the cured composite can create problems by deflecting the nails. Cleaning up the nail holes before the composite cures is recommended.

                                          Trimming the Foot

                                          The depth of sole and the PA are basic deterring factors for all trims regardless of the goals for the shoe. For example, there is very little to trim on a thin soled horse (less than 15mm and with a zero or negative PA). Determining how to fit a rocker rail to this foot requires rasping the toe (ground surface) at a very low angle (10-15 degrees) in a plane perpendicular to the long apex of the foot. The goal is to produce a flat, smooth plane across the sole well in front of the location of the apex of PIII. Removing sole directly over the apex of this foot is not conducive to better soundness.

                                          The heels are then backed up from just behind the widest part of the foot to very close to the widest part of the frog. Removing the section of horn tubules that are bent forward and folded towards the midline of the foot offers a more solid end tubule loading and significantly increases shoe/horn contact. Caution is advised when fitting a full rocker shoe to this type of foot.

                                          The frog should not be touched. Fortunately, most thin soled, underrun heeled feet will have a wide, thick frog that protrudes well below the bearing surface of the heel tubules. To effectively push the heels back with a prominent frog, the rasp must be worked along the sides of the frog. Removing frog to get to the heels is a common error and often the cause of post-shoeing lameness.

                                          Fitting the Shoe

                                          Deciding on whether to rocker a flat shoe, rail, wedge or a full rocker shoe depends on the complaint (ailment), whether the horse is rested or trained, and what degree of mechanical action is needed to adjust load and/or internal tension from areas of influence to sounder parts of the foot. Once the shoe is selected it is fitted to the shape of the foot allowing approximately 1/8 inch of extra width on either quarter. Using a rocker jig or the step of the anvil the ground surface is forged, creating a smooth, convex ground surface.

                                          When forging, start the rocker at the heel and work forward to assure the most optimum point of convexity is at or slightly behind the widest point of the foot. Once the desired amount of rocker has been applied to the shoe lay the heels of the shoe (ground surface) on the face of the anvil and soften the last 1-1 1/2 inch of the branch. This is a vital step. Allowing the convex surface to continue into the bulb area will invariably cause post shoeing pain. This is a common error that many farriers fail to detect.

                                          When the shoe is fitted properly there will be an air space between the toe of the foot and the toe of the shoe, and the shoe will sit solidly on the four points of contact. The shoe will not sit on the quarters. When a large air space is present (4-5mm) the shoe will require a bed of composite to offer adequate foot/shoe contact. Nailing with a small 2-3mm air space under the quarter does not pose a problem.

                                          How to Determine Radius of Convex Surface

                                          The principal design of the shoe offers a variety of mechanical influences on the PA. One of the goals of the shoe is to re-establish healthy digital alignment. The majority of horses do not have matching feet, PA, bone angle or toe angle, therefore the mechanical demand will be different from foot to foot. Normally when used as a rehabilitation shoe on a case that is not in training, the higher score shoe would be used with the goal of promoting accelerated sole and horn growth while the horse is out of training. For example, the performance or speed horse that has a sole depth of less than 7mm or a zero to negative 5 degree PA and very poor quality, thin walls can benefit greatly with a couple of 4-6 week periods using a 5-7 score shoe. This would be considered a moderate rocker. Many times hunters, jumpers, cutting horses, reining horses and other slow sport horses can go back into training with the same degree of rocker once the foot mass has been restored. Some compete well with new foot mass and the same mechanics, where others need slightly less mechanics.

                                          Tendon surface angle (TSA), heel and toe angle may differ greatly between two feet on the same horse. Therefore, slightly different mechanical action is indicated for each respective foot to correct digital alignment. For example, the club foot with thin sole and a zero PA will need only slight to moderate rocker to achieve desirable PA. The opposite foot with a negative PA will require a higher score shoe to offer the same self-adjusting healing alignment.

                                          The score of the shoe is influenced by the shoe design, how much rocker is in the shoe and where the peak of the rocker is located. Moving the rocker from the widest point towards the heel increases mechanical score.

                                          Speed horses – When race horses are diagnosed with sore feet, pedalostitis, heel pain and often quarter cracks, the trainers are looking for a quick fix. Re-establishing sole depth and rejuvenating crushed digital cushions with horses in full training is a much slower process than in the horse that is laid up for a few weeks. A much lower profile shoe (less mechanics) is used on speed horses that remain in full training. Using a very low mechanical shoe on a horse in training will yield small improvements in sole depth, heel mass and horn growth; therefore the speed of progress is limited.

                                          The low profile rocker is placed on the foot in the same fashion. Normally it is glued on with composites for the first few shoeings, and the peak of the convex surface is positioned in a fashion that offers center to toe loading when static. Most low score shoes can change the PA 4-6 degrees without taking any foot off. The author recommends all speed horses be shod a minimum of 4-6 weeks before going at race speed. This offers healing time (though limited by training speed) and gait adjustment. Once reset, the foot mass, digital alignment and muscle soreness associated with extremely low PA has normally been improved and the horse has adjusted to the shoe.

                                          Informative venograms are very useful as a tracking tool as they clearly reveal the speed and degree of solar fimbrae reconstruction, which appears to play a major role in healthy sole growth.

                                          Results

                                          The full rocker motion concept shoe has been used frequently over the past several years by the author in his exclusive podiatry practice.

                                          Long Toe, Underrun Heel

                                          All breeds world wide with a long toe, underrun heel condition appear to be prone to losing heel mass once put into strenuous training. The author has treated numerous cases in Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds (race and brood stock), American Saddlebreds (show and brood stock), Morgans, Tennessee Walking Horses, Quarter Horses, several warm blood breeds and cold blood crosses. The typical long toe, underrun heel has a broken back digital alignment. The severity of the imbalance is relative to the palmar angle and level of pain. The mechanics are adjusted to meet the digital alignment in the static plane.

                                          Foot trim and shoe attachment is critical and should only be performed by farriers with good working knowledge of the internal structures of the foot. The availability of pure lateral, soft detail AP and lateral radiographs can offer valuable information for the farrier who can accurately interpret the radiographic soft tissue parameters. Take caution, as farriers who work without the benefit of current film, or find it difficult to interpret the information provided by the film may find it very difficult to find success with this concept. The heel and toe are often compromised by excessive and direct load when overzealous trimming has preceded an improper rocker shape and/or application.

                                          Tremendous sole growth occurs within weeks when the horse is out of training. Training horses require less mechanics (lower score shoe) and therefore respond much slower. The speed of the accelerated sole growth apparently is due to the ability of the shoe to enhance perfusion to the sole corium. The effects of the shoe on the solar papillae can be monitored via digital venograms. As the papillae reappear, normal, anatomic space and sole production is evident.

                                          Crushed Digital Cushion

                                          The underrun heel is the result of cushion compression without recall. As the support cushion becomes compressed and compacted the PA decreases, in turn producing a broken back digital alignment relative to the degree of PA decrease from the norm of the individual. The unique conformation of specific breeds influences the correlation of PA to digital alignment. The majority of individuals within the domestic breeds require a minimum PA of 3-5 degrees in order to maintain digital alignment. Exceptions normally have a coffin bone angle that is lower than normal.

                                          Speed horses are frequently examined with less than 7 mm of sole and a zero to negative 7 degree PA. This degree of imbalance is not compatible with longevity and is often associated with compensating leg injuries and catastrophic breakdowns.

                                          Cushion regeneration and heel tubule realignment is aided by custom fitting a positive pressure frog plate to the custom fit rocker shoe, whether it is flat, rail or full rocker. The frog must be tough and remain dry and tough during use if the shoe in order to be used as a support member. The frog with high water content is soft and vulnerable to compression and compaction, greatly limiting its ability to support direct load.

                                          White Line Disease

                                          Using a 6-10 score rocker rail fitted with zero PA between the foot side of the shoe and wings of PIII from the widest point of the foot to the heel and a minimum of 20mm between those two surfaces offers an effective adjunct to therapy. The mechanics of the shoe provides adequate reduced DDF tension, directly reducing internal stress on the horn wall. Often this mechanical advantage helps promote new horn growth without fungal invasion. Accelerated sole growth also appears to aid recovery as most white line disease cases have very thin soles due to impaired papillae function.

                                          Radiographs taken when the shoes are reset clearly distinguishes the case that fails to be responsive and requires aggressive wall removal to aid debridement from the case that is responsive. The shoe can be altered in a variety of ways for the case that requires major wall removal. Used with a positive pressure frog plate, the rocker rail provides a reliable means of protecting the vulnerable sole and coffin bone while enhancing sole and horn growth. Most all therapeutic shoes can be applied without nails, which can enhance wall regeneration.

                                          Chronic Laminitis

                                          The full rocker shoe has been used very successfully to treat numerous stages of laminitis. The author does not recommend this shoe for the very early stages of laminitis as other more non-traumatic, higher mechanical devices are available. The mid to high scale case may require several weeks to start growing sole while wearing an Ultimate® before going to the lesser mechanical shoe.

                                          Chronic laminitis months to years old have benefited from the shoe when fitted with a zero PA between the wings of PIII and the shoe is rockered to meet the mechanical requirement that is relative to existing PA. The goal is to shift load to the heel and away from the apex. Therefore the PA, when shod, should be elevated or greater than the starting PA.

                                          Full Thickness Toe Cracks Full thickness toe cracks, thin soles, and frequent abscesses that break at the coronary band are frequently encountered in brood stock. The shoe has been used successfully on numerous cases. The majority of feet treated have 10-15 mm of sole growth and _ inch to _ inch of new horn growth proximal to the crack within 30-45 days of application. The mechanical advantage of a 6-10 score shoe is readily evident with these cases.

                                          The author advises farriers to develop the technique and hone their skills with this shoe on chronic toe crack cases. The horn response is dramatic over a short period of time and the risk of unknowingly violating the basic principle of the concept is much less than with thin wall performance horses.

                                          Navicular Syndrome Pain arising from the navicular bursae, or navicular bone, and associated ligamentous attachments is apparently due to load and tension sustained by these sensitive structures. Load and tension are apparently influenced by the direct action of the DDF. Reducing DDF tension with a self-adjusting PA has been a useful means of reducing pain in the navicular area.

                                          Conclusion

                                          The Rock ‘n Roll shoe has been a reliable adjunct to therapy for several foot problems. The shoe concept has been very beneficial for cases that have problems associated with less than optimum foot mass as it consistently accumulates sole and horn growth, enhancing the protective function of the horn capsule. Sole mass is often restored to adequate levels in 2-3 shoeing periods. Crushed digital cushions responds well when the shoe is used with a positive pressure frog support. Young horses respond more favorably than older, more chronic cases.

                                          Best results are obtained when the horse is out of training, as higher score mechanics can be used with the resting horse. Training animals can benefit from the shoe provided the mechanics elected are compatible with gait, speed, terrain and training needs. The shoe has offered beneficial results with several syndromes that are directly influenced by the DDF. Used as a means to offer self-adjusting internal load shift, the shoe can be used as a diagnostic tool and enhance the healing environment.

                                          References:
                                          1. Redden RF. The use of venograms as a diagnostic tool, in Proceedings. 7th Bluegrass Laminitis Symposium, 1993; 1-6.

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