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Hoof Pads For Horses
Horseshoes protect the outer edges of horse hooves but they leave the center of the foot exposed. Idaho rancher Heather Thomas says she and her husband have come up with a way to keep flat-footed horses from going lame.
"We make durable, inexpensive hoof pads out of neoprene, the material shoe-makers use to make soles and heels on shoes. It's very durable and can withstand hard riding in rocky terrain. Often a hoof pad will last through two shoeings," says Thomas.
She says you can buy a large sheet of the material from most shoe repair shops. You use the horseshoe as a pattern for the pad and cut it out with a sharp knife. You can make the pad round to cover the entire bottom of the foot or, on a really flat foot you may want to cut out for the frog so that the pad fits snugly on the flat sole without having to bend up over the frog. "If the pad is cut out for the frog, the frog is exposed to the air and is thus less likely to develop thrush, which might otherwise get started under a hoof pad if conditions are wet and muddy because the pad holds in moisture. If thrush does get started under a pad, just squirt a little iodine underneath the pad," says Thomas.
"On our ranch we use horses a lot for working cattle, and checking on cattle when they are out in the mountains on summer range. A couple of our horses have flat feet and bruise easily in the rocks. These pads keep them from going lame," says Thomas.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Heather Thomas, Box 215, Salmon, Idaho 83467.

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #1