The use of Pads on horses can give you very good results. There are various types of pads available for many and varied problems.
The most commonly used pad is the Rim Pad. This pad is genreally cut out in the shape of the horses shoe. It can be riveted to the shoe at either the heels or left joined across the frog so that it holds both the heels together and stops the pad from moving out from under the shoes at the heels.
Horses that have concussion problems, corns or sole bruising, are generally best shod with Rim Pad’s and you may also need to apply bar shoes as well as the pad’s if the problem is severe. Alternatively, Aluminium shoes in either a bar or ordinary shoe can also assist with these types of foot problems, as they are able to dissipate the shock that takes place when your horses feet hit the ground.
Selecting the correct pad for your horses problem is important as you need to be aware that pad’s can be very damaging to the hoof capsule if they don’t sit firmly under the shoe at all times. Generally speaking, pads that are hard are used for protecting the sole of the hoof and are usually left as a whole pad covering the sole and frog. When shoeing with a whole pad, it is always advisable to pack under the pad with either Pine Tar and Hemp or Stolkholm Tar and Hemp as this will assist in keeping the horse’s sole free from bacteria.
Pads can cause problems with the nails as when there is movement from the pad, this can cause the nail to break up in the wall of the hoof. From past experience, I have found that it is good practise to replace at least four of the nails each week, especially if your horse is a performance horse. I would also always replace the nails if your horse is racing.
Bar Wedge Pads that are designed to raise the heel’s of the horse are a problem as they generally cause the heel’s to collapse. I am not exactly sure what cause’s this problem as when you make wedged heel shoes (graduated) out of steel, the heel grows down normally and after a couple of shoeing’s, you can go back to a normal shoe.
Combi Pads are a new product on the market that have a filled in heel and require a half shoe to be fitted over the toe and quarter areas of the hoof. This pad and half shoe combination work very well together for horses with chronic concussion problems.
Article courtesy of O’Dwyers Horseshoe