I haven’t opened a can of worms in a while I thought that this might do the trick and get people to give their opinions on one of the most discussed foot problems today – what is often referred to as “Low Heel Syndrome”.
There are various theories floating around the Internet and throughout the entire horse industry. You will find that the veterinary community has one and a specialized way that they approach this problem. You will get various theories from the farrier community, one from the farriers and another from the bare foot trimmers and finally you most likely will get another theory from the training community, not to mention the breeders of horses.
The biggest drawback that has presented itself is the lack of looking at the entire picture. People need to pull back and take a good long look at what really needs to be looked at, you have to look past the foot itself and start to analyze the entire structure of the leg that is affected as well as the one that is not. The foot is not the only part of the foot that is affected by this condition and once that you accept the fact it starts to become quite clear why the horse is the way it is.
One of the first farriers to really take that long look at the entire problem was the late Tony Gonzales back in the 1980’s. What Tony initially discovered was that the knees of the horse were not even or parallel with each other. Now the difference is not a great amount, in most cases it is only 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch difference, but they were not level with each other. Once that Tony discovered that the knees were not even he created a process of adding various types and sizes of pads until the knees were even or balanced with each other. Creating that program allowed the horse to start to move in a much more athletic way. Another discovery that Tony came across was that additional areas of the internal structure were out of alignment when the horse had this low heel problem. That point was a problem within the shoulder. That will be the topic of my next post in this series.
If you have or have had a horse with this problem I want to hear from you, what was done to help the horse, what worked and what failed. Let me know.
Until next time “Ride for the Brand”.