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 or it is genetically predisposed to thin soles, it’s important that hoof care professionals examine the conditions horses are in because it directly impacts sole health. Think of soles like calluses on feet – if you’re active, calluses protect your feet from getting blisters. If calluses are removed from feet when you’re active or in abrasive conditions, the feet develop blisters and become painful. In order to keep soles in healthy condition, hoof care professionals need to be astute to the conditions the horses are in.
Successfully transitioning from shod to unshod can be a simple process if done correctly. The way to achieve this is to get rid of muscle memory and keep in mind that it is a mistake to trim like you would if you were going to put a shoe back on. In this video, I go over what I do when transitioning a horse to barefoot.
Proper trimming is vital to preventing lameness and injury for horses. Keeping a horse’s bars aligned and healthy are dependent upon trimming as well. Bars appear as white lines along the frog and are made up of lamina. Think of the bars like plastic straws – if you push down on the straw from the top, it stays strong and holds its form. If a straw gets too long, it will likely bend with any pressure that’s applied and become weaker. In order to keep bars aligned and healthy, hooves need to be trimmed and collected on a regular basis. Without healthy bars, a horse can develop what’s called a “stacked sole,” or worse, a bruised sole or abscess.
Recently we had a request on Facebook that asked to show the proper way to pick up a horses' foot. There are certain things to know before you pick up a hoof. You want to be able to calm a nervous horse as well as keep yourself and the horse comfortable. This latest video clip gives some tips on how to accomplish this.