Egg Bar Shoes--Warning of a Problem?

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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 skilled farrier.

I hope this helps you feel better about your new horse.

Geronimo Bayard
The American Blacksmith

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This entire web site is copyright protected.  1996-2001 Geronimo & Mary Bayard,  2001-2008 Mary Fitzpatrick
All rights reserved. Contact Mary for reproduction information & permission.