Sport Horse
focus: Equine Podiatry
Sponsored by Richard Mansmann, VMD, PhD of
Equine Podiatry & Rehabilitation
Mobile Practice of North Carolina
Managing Flat-Soled Horses

1.No knife!
Trim as little as possible from the underside of the foot
Take the toe back from the front of the foot, not the underside

2.Support the foot
Move the base caudally by rasping the heels back to the widest part of the frog
Consider thorough heel support; grind down the solar surface of the shoe so that the shoe is not putting pressure on the sole
Support and protect the sole by using the impression material of your choice packed into the underside of the foot once the shoe has been set; if nothing else, fill the lateral commissures (sulci) of the frog

3.Keep the shoeing interval short (e.g. 4 - 5 weeks), and be consistent - increasing the interval between trims will not result in the horse growing a stronger hoof wall

4.Manage any flaring of the wall and confine the wall with an appropriate sized shoe (with or without clips)

5.Minimize chipping and breaking of the wall by controlling large changes in hoof moisture
Take the horse off pasture during wet conditions
Have the owner regularly apply a hoof protectant (not hoof softener) to the lower 1/3 of the wall (from the nail holes down)

6.Encourage the owner to reduce the horse's body weight, if overweight
Taking the horse off pasture, using a muzzle, or decreasing pasture access is a big help (it also helps control changes in hoof moisture)
Minimal grain
Daily exercise is also important