Q: We have a horse,
she is fine at a relaxed trot. When you ask her to pick up the pace and go
foward, her left front leg seems to buckle under her. She has slight navicular
and wears egg bar shoes with pads and borium.
She is a 11 year old Dutch warmblood mare.
Would you be able to give any advise on what might be cause this? We could e-
mail photos of her legs and shoes if that would help.
A: As a farrier with over forty
years' experience, I can offer an educated guess as to what may be going on with
your mare. It sounds like this horse has too much shoe and traction, which is
causing her leg to buckle under her. Let me explain…the egg bar shoes not only
extend support further back of the hoof, but also increase traction and the time
that the shoe is left on the ground (slows down break-over). The borium, which
is a very abrasive and gripping element, also extends the length of time the
shoe spends on the ground. The horse is moving at a speed at which her feet fall
behind the momentum of her body due to the slowed break-over. With all this
friction and traction, the leg has to buckle because it is being pulled forward
by the body while the hoof remains on the ground. This would be my logic as to
why I would not shoe this horse with egg bar shoes and borium.
I also wouldn't suggest pads. If they needed to be used, I would only use heavy
I would suggest you read my web site Q&As on navicular. I am not saying that
your farrier hasn't done right. I am simply saying that this is not how I would
shoe a navicular horse.
The shoeing regime that has worked best for me, has been a swelled heel of
approximately 2 degrees, a rocker toe, and a piece of rasp welded on the ground
surface in the area under the navicular bone to prevent it from being struck
Read my Q&As on Navicular and also the one entitled Stumbling for more
information. I hope this helps you in some way to figure out what is best for
The Village Blacksmith