Q: We have a quarter horse
stallion currently in training with a very well known trainer in Texas. He is
being shown in hunter under saddle classes. This trainer insists on using eggbar
shoes with a wedge because the horse doesn't grow enough heel. The problem is
now the horse has developed a quarter crack. Could the quarter crack be the
result of the eggbars? The horse is 4 yrs.old and had been last year without any
problems, but that was with a different trainer and regular shoes.
A: Could egg bar shoes result in
quarter cracks? Not if properly applied. Quarter cracks are almost always the
result of an improperly balanced hoof, regardless of the type of shoe used.
You stated that your trainer insists on egg bar shoes with a wedge. I am not
clear as to what you mean by "with a wedge". If you are referring to
wedge PADS, your trainer is insisting on incorrect shoeing. If you were
referring to an egg bar shoe with a wedged heel, your trainer would be correct,
providing that the shoe is not aluminum.
I would venture to say that even though you said your horse had no problems with
regular shoes, your horse was probably already loosing heel with them. Read my
Q&A "NONEXISTENT HEELS". It deals with
developing heel using a shoe called the dropped down egg bar shoe. This shoe is
also discussed and illustrated on the Q&A "BOWED TENDON
ON HIND LEG". This shoe has been highly successful for me in growing
heel in horses that have no heel. However, the horn tubules must be cut back to
where they are not lying in a horizontal plane. They must be in a vertical plane
to grow heel with ANY shoe. Competent Certified Journeyman Farriers will know of
which I speak. If your farrier doesn't know what I am talking about, then you
need a new farrier or you need to educate the one you have. You can educate him
by having him e-mail me or call me on the telephone and talk to me directly.
Your horse is a young one and growing heels on him should not be a tremendous
undertaking. It won't happen over night, but you should be able to put heels on
a horse like this in 6 months of corrective shoeing.
To summarize: back up the break-over, extend the dropped down egg bar shoe to
the bulbs, and re-set approximately every 5 weeks. In 3 or 4 shoeings you should
see tremendous amounts of heel growing. I would also like to recommend HT-20 by
Vita Flex Nutrition for its biotin and other hoof-building ingredients.
The American Blacksmith