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Horse Health 101 : Horse Health Library : Hoof Care

Horse Hoof Problems – Veterinarians and Farriers Working Together

Every horse owner dreads the day when they will have to manage a hoof problem. It is a wonder that a 1200-pound animal walks around (let alone runs at speeds of up to 35 mph) on those four small hooves. Every horse owner is keenly aware of the potential devastation that can occur as a result of hoof aliments. Whether caused by injury, illness, poor genetics or unbalanced shoeing, developing a corrective shoeing plan with a farrier in conjunction with a veterinarian may be the best plan of action for treating debilitating and even life threatening hoof aliments.

There are many conditions that may require corrective shoeing: flared toes (pancake hoof), under run heals, seedy toe (white line disease), bruising, laminitis, navicular disease, quarter cracks and sand cracks. Many factors attribute to these conditions: nutrition, genetics, moisture, improper shoeing and illness to name a few. Each of these hoof aliments require special treatment, and in most cases corrective or therapeutic shoeing.
While Mid-Rivers Equine Centre works with farriers to ensure correct shoeing before a hoof problem exists, we routinely work closely with farriers in developing a corrective shoeing plan after a problem arises.

When we are working with a farrier to provide corrective shoeing, we provide an initial assessment of the horse and the hoof problem. Generally, this is followed by a digital x-ray of the hoof and limb to give your vet and farrier team a baseline to work from. Taking into account the special needs or aliments of the horse, we can develop a plan of action and a best possible shoeing solution. In some cases, follow-up visits are necessary.


Mid-Rivers is happy to work with your farrier at the clinic or on the farm. Caring for horses requires a team and working together is critical to success. There are times when collaboration between your vet and farrier isn’t possible. Often the issue is logistics but there can be many reasons, in those instances we often involve our practice farrier to achieve the needed changes. If you have questions or would like assistance in addressing a hoof problem please contact the appointment desk at (636) 332-5373.

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