Q: I have just been
introduced to your Q&A website and I hope have read everything available
regarding "underslung heels, egg bar shoes, wedge pads, etc." The one
question I couldn't find an answer to was "If you have a horse with two
different front feet (one with heel and the other without) and the foot with no
or very little heel and long toe should require an egg bar, is it necessary that
the other foot also require an egg bar for proper balance.
Have not had much success regarding this question with the
I was delighted to have found your website and have found it
to be one of most easily understood and most informative sites regarding shoeing
problems and solutions.
I hope you might find a little time to answer this.
Thanking you in advance.
A: Thank you very much for the kind words about the web site. The pats on
the back are what really make it worthwhile to spend the time doing it.
How could I not answer your question when you ask it so nicely and have already
done your homework by doing the reading?
The short answer is no. You do not have to shoe both feet of a pair with the
same type of shoe.
To get the horse moving in a balanced way with an even stride it may be
necessary to use two different types of shoes on a pair of feet. In the
situation you described, the foot with the low heel might best be shod in an egg
bar or even dropped down egg bar shoe, probably with the toe squared or rocked.
The steeper foot with heel can probably be shod with a plain flat shoe. If the
plain shoe is of thicker stock it will help balance out the extra weight of the
egg bar shoe. Since lower angles tend to cause more action as do heavier shoes
you can help the horse move evenly on both sides by changing the weight of the
If the horse is not in work you probably wouldn't need to worry about increasing
the weight of the plain shoe.
Sometimes an egg bar shoe or shoe with swelled heels will be used to ease strain
on an injured or bowed tendon. The other foot can be shod normally.
Thank you for your question. I am sure it will be of interest to many readers.
Mrs. Mary Bayard
Dodge Creek Stables
The American Blacksmith