Shoeing With Pads

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Q: I have a 5 year old French Thoroughbred with very thin soles. This horse is always running something into his sole. I currently live in Kuwait and the farrier services are a bit primitive. I would like to put pads on him to protect his feet but I don't know whether leather or plastic is better. Also, do I need to pack the hoof with something so dirt and other debris doesn't get inside. If so, what do I use? We don't have access to a good horse supply store here, so if packing is required I will either have to make it or find some other way. I have tried to toughen his feet up using a product called Tuff Stuff from the U.S. but it didn't seem to do much.


A: First you should attempt to toughen your horse's soles by painting them with Durasole or 7% strength iodine. Durasole is better. If after 2 or 3 weeks you do not see any improvement, then I suspect you will have to go to pads. In this case I always prefer leather rather than plastic pads.

A horse needing pads has to have the bottom of the foot thoroughly cleaned with hydrogen peroxide and medicated. I use Durasole for this. If you are unable to get Durasole, your farrier could use iodine. It is not nearly as good but will suffice.

On the average horse I normally use a #3 Heavy leather pad. Before the pad is placed on the foot, I burn 3 holes in it with a round punch. The holes are placed in the part of the pad which will cover the area of the foot called the bridge. Next I fit the shoe and copper rivet the leather pad to the shoe. Before the shoe is applied I fill the cup of the horse's foot from the apex of the frog forward with Forshner's Hoof Packing. I then nail on the shoe and fill the remainder of the foot with silicone by injecting it into the commissures of the frog. I keep injecting it until it oozes out the 3 holes I have burned in the pad and oozes out the heel. I duct tape the back closed for 3 or 4 hours or over night to keep it in place until the silicone sets up. The silicone filling the holes burned in the pad will act as anchors to keep the mass of it from sliding about in the foot once it has set up.

The products and supplies I mention can be obtained in this country and shipped anywhere in the world. One good supplier is Centaur Forge Ltd. Their phone number is 1-414-763-9175. Their address is 117 N Spring St., PO Box 340, Burlington, WI 53105-0340.

Hope this helps.

Geronimo Bayard
The American Blacksmith
Oakland, Oregon, USA

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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.