Q: We recently
purchased a horse (American Saddlebred/Arabian Gelding). This horse had egg bar
horseshoes on his front hooves. Our farrier stated that egg bar shoes are only
used because the horse had major problems (foundering, muscle or tendon
problems, etc.). We asked the seller of the horse if any problems existed and
why egg bars were used. She stated 1) the egg bars are commonly used in training
an "English" style horse and 2) the horse was a little "underslung"
and the shoes allowed more heel to develop.
Could you shed some light on this issue. Are egg bars ever used for correcting
minor problems, such as underslung horses or to train them in the
"English" style? Or does the presence of egg bars indicate the horse
had earlier, major problems such as foundering or muscle problems?
A: The egg bar shoe is not an
invention of the 90's. It has been around for a long, long time.
This shoe has recently stepped from recognition as being only a corrective shoe
to wide acceptance as being a preventative shoe for aiding horses so that they
will not fall prey to a host of physical structural problems. This view of the
egg bar shoe has been echoed by respected veterinarians, farriers, trainers,
judges and horse owners alike in many equine disciplines.
Although the presence of egg bar shoes should alert one to be watchful for
possible past problems, they should NOT automatically lead one to conclude that
the horse did have major problems.
Both the reasons stated by the seller of your horse are valid reasons for a
horse to be wearing egg bar shoes. The majority of egg bar shoes that I apply in
my practice are in fact for underslung heels. However, the number of sport
horses I shoe with egg bars as preventative shoes is increasing.
The egg bar shoe should only be applied by an experienced, knowledgeable and
I hope this helps you feel better about your new horse.
The American Blacksmith