July 31, 2015

Pour-in Pads: Maintaining Normal Function

(NAPSI)—Changing seasons, weather conditions, old age, injury, overfeeding and other conditions can all affect the way a horse moves and bears weight comfortably. Providing your horse a stable platform on which to carry itself is crucial to its long-term health. Certified Journeyman Farrier Tab Pigg recommends the use of pour-in pads to provide the extra support and/or comfort that horses require as they go through life’s stages.

The Old Way
Historically, it was thought that anything put under a plastic or leather pad would provide protection and support and cushion the sole. This is not always the case as these products don’t bond to the sole and therefore allow moisture and debris to enter which can cause pressure and irritation ailments. Traditional packing materials also cannot absorb concussion which results in concussive forces being sent up the leg.

Another Way
An alternative to traditional pads and silicone filling is a liquid pour-in-pad made of polyurethane. It’s easy to apply, sets quickly and produces soft, resilient, supportive pad materials. In addition, with products such as those from Vettec, the pad forms an immediate bond with the sole, sealing out moisture and debris. Also, it can be filled to ground level for maximum support and effectively absorbs shock and concussion.

It positions the weight-bearing load over the entire ground surface and not just the wall. This reduces the “pull” on the lamina between the hoof wall and internal structures, providing the needed support as the hooves acclimate to a variety of conditions.

Some of these materials can be applied to unshod feet as well, to offer the same protection and support.

Hints On Hoof Care 
1. Hooves should be checked every four to eight weeks, depending on what the horse is expected to do; more often if his gait seems off or any injuries or diseases are plaguing him.

2. Don’t let her feet accumulate an excessive growth of horn, which can keep a hoof’s elastic structures from touching the ground and lead to diseased hooves.

3. Trimming hooves and selecting shoes should be consistent with the amount and type of work required of the animal, the environmental conditions and the surface the horse moves on.