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.
Proper trimming and awareness of a horse’s sole thickness is vital to maintaining optimal hoof health. Whether a horse is growing back over-trimmed soles, is genetically predisposed, if it’s an older horse or other environmental factors, it’s important that hoof care professionals examine the conditions horses are in because it directly impacts sole health. Similar to a fingernail on a fingertip, soles protect the feet from outside harm, and having thin soles is similar to having thin or even no fingernails, making the feet more vulnerable to injury or blisters on abrasive ground.
The surface a horse stands on can have a considerable impact on its hoof health. Depending on trimming procedures and how active a horse is, a horse’s hooves can change and may require extra attention. If neglected, a horse may experience sole deterioration or other harmful consequences. To maintain optimal hoof health, it is important for horse owners to consider the terrain a horse lives on (i.e. gravel, sandy or grassy ground) to avoid injuries or infections.
How a Hard Stomping Grounds Impact Hooves
Because changing terrains have a different impact on the sole, examining how a horse’s home turf affects its hooves is crucial when looking at overall hoof health.
Seasonal weather changes have a major effect on a horse’s hoof health. Depending on the time of year, horses’ hooves change and may require extra attention and treatment. Neglecting environmental factors can lead to sole deterioration or other harmful consequences. When it comes to a horse’s environment, there are two main seasonal factors that impact hoof health: temperature and moisture.
How the Changing Temperatures Impact the Hoof Cavity
Depending on the weather, the speed at which a hoof grows can be affected. A cooler climate causes foot growth to slow down, while warmer temperatures allow for normal sole development. Changes in growth impact a horse’s hoof condition.
In this video, I talk about points of a trim. What I mean when I say points of a trim is, where the coffin bone is in relation to the toe, where the widest point of the foot is in relation to the toe and the heel, and where the bars are. This clip goes over what to look for and what to be aware of when trimming a foot.