Tab Pigg began his career shoeing horses in 1983. As a Certified Journeyman Farrier, he has shod all types of horses from everyday ranch horses, to athletic event horses. He’s worked on countless therapeutic cases, gaining valuable experience and increasing his knowledge of hoof care with each case.
Tab held various positions in the Texas Professional Farriers Association and became their president in 2000. He served as an AFA examiner for 16 years and has competed in many forging and shoeing competitions. Tab has worked for Vettec as a technical specialist for the last 8 years.
Shoeing and helping horses is much more than a paycheck to Tab, knowing he has the ability to improve their quality of life, is what is most important to him.
When riding over rocky terrain, some of our softer pad materials can get chewed up. There are different options for keeping the pads in shape on rough ground. I recently received a question on this topic and wanted to share the question and answer with you all.
I am using Equi-Pak CS as prescribed by my vet to stimulate sole growth in my horse that has half the sole depth he should have. However, in my rocky conditions in Arkansas it gets beat up and chips out very quickly, after a week or two. With the next shoeing I am going to boot him over the shoes and use a pour in pad when I ride to try to protect it.
The bars are an extension of the hoof wall, they are made of keratin just like the hoof wall. The bars have a lamina like the hoof wall and can distort as hoof wall can. After the bars leave the point of origin they can bend, roll over or even meld into the sole in a wet climate. There are some feet that have no distinct bar visible. A case such as this is where the bar has melded into the sole and is pressuring the horny sole. In many cases it will have an under lying corn and when loaded and will cause pain.
In the top photo the lines show where the bars ended up after 12 weeks. The moisture level in the hoof was high and added to the bars ability to grow into the toe.
In the spring, the wet climate, punctuated by ample rain, sets the stage for thrush to run rampant through the barn. Thrush is a bacterial infection that resides in the soft tissue of the frog. The moist environment, combined with manure and mud, create unsanitary conditions in the stall, and dirt, debris and other bacteria get trapped in the frog. If horses hooves are not picked out on a daily basis, thrush sets in and it can be difficult to conquer. And, when a horse has beginning stages of thrush, it probably won’t even show lameness symptoms unless the infection becomes more severe.
The Anatomy of Thrush
When looking at a horse’s foot from the bottom, the hoof wall circles from the