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.
Horse holding is a very important thing to consider when the farrier is working on your horses' feet. When a horse moves its head, the angle of its foot moves, making it harder for the farrier to assess. Check out my latest video to see how you can help hold the horse correctly.
Proper trimming is vital to horses’ overall health and quality of life. When hooves aren’t trimmed properly, horses distribute their weight unevenly, and land on their feet differently. This can cause horses to become lame. Often, farriers and veterinarians focus on trimming the toes more than the heels of a horse. When trimming, it’s important to tend to the entire foot, and not just one part, because it causes the foot to become uneven. Caudal Heel Syndrome, also known as Navicular Syndrome, commonly occurs because heels run too far forward due to lack of trimming.
Caudal Heel Syndrome Symptoms
When horses show signs of lameness, but the prognosis isn’t obvious, it is often diagnosed
When a person wears the same pair of shoes for a long period of time, parts of the shoes wear out more than others based on how the person walks and distributes his or her weight. Once shoes wear out, the feet are not properly supported. This scenario is also true for horseshoes and hooves. When hooves aren’t trimmed properly or horseshoes don’t fit correctly, horses distribute their weight unevenly, and land on their feet differently. If they put excessive force and stress on one area of the hoof wall, it can cause a vertical crack, otherwise known as a Quarter Crack, which is how the condition gets its name.
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.
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.