December 02, 2015

Pour-in Pads Support Horses’ Feet During Jumping Competitions

Imagine being an athlete that competes every week over the course of a whole season – your body and feet would be sore. Horses that compete in jumping competitions throughout the winter are also athletes, and just like a human after racing or physical activity, their feet get sore. Horses’ feet have to have the right amount of support and protection to compete and remain healthy at these levels of repeated activity.

Jumping Conditions

During competitions, horses are checked by veterinarians before entering the arena to assure that the athlete is sound. This is sometimes referred to as a “trot up,” and horses are sometimes obliged to jog up and down the track to assess their well-being. If they need further examination or are deemed to be lame, the horse cannot compete. Typically, horses that compete at the jumping level are a high-value investment, therefore their owners spend a lot of money travelling with them and making sure their care is optimal. Even if the feet are cared for properly, the horse can still become sore throughout competitions, which range from one-day to three-day events.

Although horses may appear sound during their examinations, it’s possible that they become lame once they begin jumping in a competition. Depending on how long the athletes are competing, different pour-in pad materials can be used to help provide the support the horses need throughout their competitions. Imagine a human running races with versus without running shoes. This is a similar concept. Without sole support or protection, the horses are essentially exposed and can become lame without any support for the impact and forces of landing and break over. Pour-in pad materials help provide that “tennis shoe” effect for the athletes during competition.

In correlation with a horse’s well being during a jumping competition, the feet are the foundation it all rests upon. If a horse’s feet are not properly protected and they keep competing, lameness can turn into a much bigger injury. With pour-in pads for protection, a horse will be better prepared to face the demanding conditions of a jumping competition.

Protecting Hooves for a Jumping Competition

Depending on a horse’s jumping event, there are different Vettec adhesives and combinations that can be used to help support its feet. Equi-Pak is ideal for horses that jump short distances. It can be injected under a pad, or used as a pad itself since it bonds well to the sole and frog. For the horses that compete in longer three-day events, Equi-Build is beneficial as it serves as a firm pad material that distributes a horse’s weight across the entire hoof-bottom. Since the impact is repetitive and sometimes over a course of multiple days, the weight distribution and support is key to a horse’s soundness.

When a horse is training and participating in jumping competitions, it’s important to have a hoof care plan and regimen in place that is supportive for the repetitive, impactful movements involved in these events. Whether a horse is doing a one-day or three-day event, pour-in pad materials can provide the support and durable protection needed for these kinds of events. More than ever, veterinarians and farriers have the ability to use materials that will help maintain hoof function, and more importantly, keep a horse comfortable and competing at its full potential.