February 12, 2013

2MT - Tech Question - Sole Depth: What is Good Depth?

Hi Y'all, 

As I receive tech questions, I will post them here so that they can help anyone else with the same question.  This one has to do with proper sole depth.  I've attached the video segment on sole depth below in case you missed it the first time around. 

Question:

Hi, just watched your video on sole depth. Our quarter pony (700lbs, 17 year old gelding) was just radio graphed (nerve blocked prior to that and the lameness was definitely in hoof) and the vet said that he has thin soles. 8mm in the left and 10mm in the right. He is obviously lame and tender footed. My vet said the sole should be closer to 20mm? He's getting shoes on Monday. He lives in a huge field, but there is an issue with very wet footing by the barn. He's been barefoot as long as his owners have had him....6+ years. (We lease him). So what is the proper sole depth? Thank you for your input in advance! 

Answer: 

Hi,  To answer your question, 8 to 10 mm is thin but it is on the high side of thin. 4 and 5 mm is when I see it being a real big problem. As to what is the perfect depth, 12 mm to 15 mm is a good thickness, 20mm is asking a lot.  You can try adding one of the pour in pads like Equi-Pack or Equi-Pak CS. This will seal out the air and cut down on the amount of moisture entering the sole. I think the biggest problem we have with thin soles is moisture and sharp knifes. If you can keep that to a minimum you can generate some sole depth.

That being said, I have seen a real problem with the way feet are being trimmed the last few years. It seems to be a fad to leave the bars too long and laying on the sole. This compresses the sensitive sole under the bars and will cause the horse to be a little lame. If the pad is put in on a foot like this it will cause the foot to abscess under the pad. Be very sure that the bars are cleaned up and in the proper place.

I hope that helps, if you have any other questions please let me know.