Corrective Shoeing of Equine Foot Injuries

Foot injuries are frequently observed in race and sport horses. These injuries are the result of high functional stresses placed on the anatomical structures involved. Therefore, we consider that a major aspect of the management of these conditions is based on the manipulation of the biomechanical stresses of these structures through corrective shoeing. A specific corrective shoeing program can be set up for each type of bone, tendon and ligament injuries in the equine foot according to :

- the precise nature of the structure involved

- the evolution stage of the lesion and repair process.

The purpose of this paper is to present a summary of our recommendations regarding the corrective shoeing of horses presenting foot injuries. These recommendations are based on clinical and imaging data obtained on clinical cases as well as experimental data obtained from in vivo and in vitro biomechanical studies on the equine distal limb.

Fig. 1 : Old bar-shoe made in 1861 for the treatment of chronic foot conditions inducing foot atrophy (courtesy: Museum of the École Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort).