November 22, 2016

How Bars Affect Feet

A horse that is at risk of developing unhealthy bars may have one of the following characteristics:

  • Stacked sole
  • Pinched heels

Signs that a horse may have unhealthy bars:

  • The horse appears lame
  • White lamina lines (bars) are not visible when looking at the sole
  • The sole appears stacked
  • The horse has a bruised sole or an abscess

Managing and maintaining healthy bars to recovery:

  • Limit activity level (riding and exercise)
  • Examine the hoof cavities to make sure that the bars (lamina) are visible
  • If bars are not visible, bars should be trimmed such that the lamina of the sole are visible
  • In addition to bars being visible, it’s important that there is very little bend or deviation in the lines
  • If the bars are so stacked or buried that you cannot visibly see them, soft pour-in pad products, such as Equi-Pak from Vettec, can help to keep moisture in the hoof so that the bars will loosen, making them more noticeable and easier to find for trimming

How farriers prevent unhealthy bars:

  • Trim and examine the horse’s hooves consistently
  • Make sure the lamina is always visible in a horse’s hooves
  • Apply pour-in pads to help to keep moisture in the hoof so that the bars will loosen and become visible, making them easier to trim