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Wedge pads

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  • Wedge pads

    My farrier wants to put a wedge pad on my 12 yo OTTB because of his overrun heels. The main problem is his left front, while the right front is much better and does not need the wedge. Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of this? I have discussed this with my vet as well, and he was not against it. However, I'm just trying to educate myself.

  • #2
    well they can work miracles but also be a trap, if you start with them sometimes you have a hard time getting out of them. Has your vet X-rayed the P1-P3 to see how the low heels are affecting his angles. Sometimes you get good news and sometimes bad but you ALSO have a road map for HOW MUCH wedge you should use if needed at all. KEEP that toe backed and I know for some the cost his crazy but what comes up in the back must be maintained in the front and often resetting every 4-5 weeks is need to help keep the toe back and heels growing for "some" horses. Good luck but I would not put wedge pads on without X-rays first.
    To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart


    • #3
      We have done x-rays, but they were done a while back (we had to do a resection on the left front and xrays were shot on both front feet. Should I get those for the farrier to look at before I let him put the wedge on?


      • #4
        What is the farrier doing, or what has he been doing, to address the underrun heels? These generally go hand in hand with long toes.

        if he's not addressing the trim, he's going to create more problems with wedge pads.
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


        • #5
          First, your horse isn't the first nor the last to have different angles in his front feet. I think it's called "high low syndrome" and plenty of 'em have it.

          I agree with all that's been said about keeping toes short and shoes backed up so that the break-over phase of the stride is short and easy. This will help out all the joints you're worried about with the underrun heels.

          You also might need to think about the material used to form the pad. As I understand it, the problem is that when we build wedges, we increase ground reaction forces at the heels, or at least need the wings of the coffin bone. The harder the material, therefore, the greater the concussion on these fragile tissues. In order to have your horse grow his own damned heels and maybe someday lose the wedges, you need to make sure he has enough blood supply to do that.

          I'll be interested to see what some real live farriers have to say.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat


          • #6
            Not an expert but have a OTTH with similar problems. My guy started out barefoot and had a pretty bad bruise so vet recommended shoes with pads. First pads were some type of plastic and now he has leather pads.

            He has had pads for about two years and seems to be doing well. Right side has a little bigger wedge than the left. I have my shoer apply magic cushion every time he puts new shoes on. It helps keep the hoof healthy.

            The plastic pads seemed to slip backward after about 4 weeks so he ended up having to be reshod every 4-5 weeks.

            Now with the leather pads he is able to go a little longer 5-6 wks. The pad seems to conform to his hoof better and seems to be more forgiving.


            • #7
              The pads should be riveted to the heels of the shoe. My new farrier just did my mare without rivets and that only secures the pad at the front in the thinnest part with the nails. I used to drill out the shoe and pad and secure them with rivets. Never lost one.
              Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
              Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
              Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)


              • #8
                I feel I can manage a foot and get it in good condition with trim and shoe fit. I will use a wedge for preventive maintenence. If you're going to use a wedge you need to trim and fit the shoe accordingly so you don't crush the heels with the wedge.
                Eric Russell CJF


                • #9
                  I say this from the bottom of my heart... dont

                  I used to pay $180 for aluminum wedges every 5 weeks to keep my horse moving okay. i thought i had the best farriers and vets involved. We trotted out into the pasture one day and his right front shoe ripped off, and something inside of me snapped. I threw in the towel on shoes, and learned to trim myself.

                  Happy ending; my horse no longer has "under run" heels, he's barefoot, sound, happy, and athletic. We event and focus on dressage... it can be done and it doesn't involve kook aid.

                  Get rid of the sugar in his diet, get a hoof education and give your horse the hooves he's dreamed of. it can be done!
                  chaque pas est fait ensemble


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
                    I say this from the bottom of my heart... dont

                    I used to pay $180 for aluminum wedges every 5 weeks to keep my horse moving okay. i thought i had the best farriers and vets involved. We trotted out into the pasture one day and his right front shoe ripped off, and something inside of me snapped. I threw in the towel on shoes, and learned to trim myself.

                    Happy ending; my horse no longer has "under run" heels, he's barefoot, sound, happy, and athletic. We event and focus on dressage... it can be done and it doesn't involve kook aid.

                    Get rid of the sugar in his diet, get a hoof education and give your horse the hooves he's dreamed of. it can be done!
                    I suppose if you are now hoof educated you can explain why aluminum wedges didn't work. Mind explaining?
                    Eric Russell CJF