Chat Transcript – Vance Glenn

American Farrier Association-certified journeyman farrier Vance Glenn, of the Chester County (PA) Farrier Association, addresses EquiSearch users' questions on hooves and shoeing.

HorsesADM: OK all – we’re about to start. Tonight we have with us Vance Glenn, who is a certified journeyman farrier from Pennsylvania and he’s here to answer questions about shoeing and farriery.

HorsesADM: Just send me a quick private message if you have a question and I’ll let you know when it’s your turn.

xxs: Welcome Vance.

GeminiHOST: Welcome to Horse Chat Vance. We are pleased to have you here tonight.

Vance: Thanks, I’m happy to be here.

Guest668:Vance, when do you recommend first shoeing a young horse?

Vance: If a horse has problems like angular deformity, you may end up putting glue on in the first few weeks. If a horse has no problems, say a racehorse ready to sell, shoe as a yearling, and that’s mostly for aesthetic reasons. A regular horse that you have, don’t put on shoes until you absolutely have to – say when he feet get worn down or try to break.

Vance: The longer they go without shoes the better the hoof.

Vance: As they are growing up, they will develop a stronger hoof.

Guest668:We do everything from backyard ponies to grand prix horses.

Guest668: Is there a way to shoe for a certain type of desired movement–for example, the “daisy cutter” style for hunters?

Vance: If the horse is a lousy mover, he is a lousy mover, but shoeing a horse with aluminum shoes which are light may help them move more in the daisy cutter style.

Guest668: If a horse toes in, can you correct that with shoeing?

Vance: A light shoe gets the maximum desired movement out of the horse.

Vance: You can’t correct it but you can compensate for it.

Vance: A pigeon toed horses fitted with a full fit on the lateral side where he is bearing more weight will help support the hoof.

Vance: What this does is moving the weight bearing surface under the center of gravity of that limb.

HorsesADM: TomHost has a question.

TomHOST:Vance, If you are familiar with Cytek system, do you think it is beneficial or not and why?

Vance: Tom would you clarify what you mean by Cytek?

TomHOST: Cytek is the United Kingdom’s version of New Balance. Which I think is based on the 4 point trim method. Both Cytek and New Balance make their own shoes that have the break overpoint near the tip of the frog.

Vance: I think that all those products definitely have an application. The problem is people have luck with them in the beginning and try to apply one type of product like the four-point shoeing style to all applications.

TomHOST:When would that style be useful?

Vance: Typically if you have horses with a full body imbalance, maybe different length of stride on one side or another, hind feet not really following their front feet, etc. A horse in this position over time has developed a bad imbalance, a four-point helps them move differently and realign them selves and become more balanced.

TomHOST:Thanks for your answer Vance.

Guest668:What are keg shoes used for?

Vance: Keg shoes are used for every application really. They are called keg shoes as they used to be packaged in kegs. Really any prefab steel shoe is a keg shoe

Guest668:What would you recommend for a horse that paddles?

Vance: If the horse is paddling, he has a slight conformation defect, maybe is not perfectly straight. You don’t want to try to try and correct the conformation problem causing him to do that, but if you keep his point of breakover short and pulled back and give him a freer way of breaking over, the paddling won’t be as pronounced.

Guest668: Any thoughts on a horse with a very thin sole?

Vance: One thing you can do is take shoes off and let him suffer for a while and he will develop a harder thicker sole. But you have to put him and you through that first. That’s my first pick.

Vance: I like the product Equipack, a eurothan gel you inject into the sole, and it sets into the consistency of rubber. I use it without pads.

Vance: It protects the sole well.

HorsesADM: Gem has a question next.

GeminiHOST: Vance, how would you recommend shoeing a horse with navicular?

Vance: The classic style is to raise the hoof angle and a very very short toe

Vance: In the recent years, heart bar shoes are being used putting pressure on the front, which increases circulation.

HorsesADM: I think xxs has a question now.

xxs:Vance, I am not able to find a farrier who is willing to do miniatures, so I have to do my own trimming. I have a dwarf filly that I have to keep her outsides trimmed or her knees buckle to the inside…will she outgrow this?

xxs: She is a coming yearling.

Vance: I recommend possibly looking at someone to do a medial extension (glue on shoe)

Vance: Do this as soon as possible.

xxs:But her feet are the size of a half dollar — do they have shoes that small?

Vance: Also have your vet check her over for other options.

Vance: You would have to make special shoes but it’s possible

Vance: I usually make them out of PVC pipe.

xxs:Ok, thanks.

HorsesADM: Leaf has a question next.

Leaf:Two questions really but they relate to each other.

Leaf: Anyway, as a corollary to the thin sole question, what do you do if your horse is naturally tenderfooted. I can’t let him go barefoot when I ride on rocky ground because it’s obviously uncomfortable.

Leaf: Second question is, would an easy boot work as temporary shoes or would a davis barrier (not medicine) boot work better?

Vance: Leaf, the Equipack would be a good option. Another good product is Keratex, which you point on.

Leaf:Keratex or Kopertox?

Leaf:I’ve never heard of Keratex.

Vance: Leaf, an easy boot is great while you are waiting for the farrier.

Vance: Keratex hoof hardener.


Leaf:But would easyboots hold up to my occasional level of riding? I’m a pleasure rider with a 22 yr old Appy with what my farrier says are the best feet in his practice.

Vance: Leaf, I don’t have experience with riding in easy boots.

Okeydoke:What do you think of rubber shoes? Do they help cushion the stress to the foot? Are they good for horses with arthritis and navicular?

Vance: Okeydoke, I don’t use rubber shoes because they are difficult to fit properly. They probably do help dissipate concussion.

Vance: They are also very thick.

HorsesADM: Snaffles has the next question.

Snaffles:Most of our horses – as their hooves grow out – the toes grow out longer first. However – we have a TWH with slow toe growth and fast heel growth. Is the fast heel growth abnormal?

Vance: Not necessarily. Count your blessings.

Vance: Snaffles you are lucky , good heal growth is desirable.

Snaffles: Thank you.

HorsesADM: I have a question next.

HorsesADM: I have a TB; in the winter his feet are really good, but in the summer they fall to pieces – what do you recommend.

HorsesADM: He’s 23 and more or less retired.

Vance: HorsesADM, I would pull his shoes in the winter when they are good and allow him to stay barefoot. Make the transition from having shoes to barefoot while the ground is soft.

HorsesADM:That’s great – that’s more or less what I’m doing – good to know I’m on the right track. Thank you.

Guest2254: We acquired a six year old 17.1 Irish draft/x hunter w/ deteriorated frogs & oblong feet. He also is covered w/sarcoids. I clean & medicate his feet. I exercise him regularly. Should I file his toes shorter? Any suggestions?

Vance: Guest2254, it sounds like he has an oblong upright foot, and has depth and traps a lot of debris leading to thrush. What medication are you using?

Guest2254:Actually the foot is oblong but not at all upright.

Vance: What medication are you using?

Guest2254:Various things – iodine occasionally, thrush buster ix or 2, wash w/soap & water, cotton, furomoside,

Vance: Guest 2254 – a good product is Hetison K used by dairy farmers. It’s essentially an antibacterial cream, packaged in a syringe.

Guest2254: Thank you.

HorsesADM: Tom is next.

TomHOST:Vance, how do you tell what is really thrush and what is just “toe jam”?

Vance: Tom, it’s hard to tell sometimes. Thrush usually is a black gooey substance and you can see your frog is going to deteriorate.

HorsesADM:You can smell it too, right Vance?

TomHOST: So thrush is not thrush until it deteriorates the foot? (I ask cause a friend is constantly pouring coppertox and thrushbuster in horse’s feet for a little bit of black goo that a hoof pick can scrape out.

Vance: Horsesadm, yes you can smell the bacteria. It may be present and still have a perfect frog, or you may have thrush.

Vance: Tom, medicating for thrush can’t hurt and will definitely help to prevent it.

TomHOST: Oh okay. Then I will not worry anymore. Thanks Vance!

Guest668: How does a farrier usually handle seedy toe?

Vance: Guest668, you can live with it if it doesn’t create lameness, or you may need to resect the affected area. I have had success resecting a hoof – it takes a long time to grow back but it was worth it.

HorsesADM:Related question – what exactly is seedy toe?

Vance: Horsesadm – a seedy toe is where the lamina is torn and therefore permeable and debris can get in.

KatieC:What is your experience with a horse with a club foot?

KatieC:Do you feel that corrective shoeing can correct it?

Vance: KatieC, if you have a young horse or foal with club foot and it’s severe, then the vet may get involved and you may need a check ligament desmotomy and use a toe extension. That only works in foals unto about a year old. After that, you have to live with it. It is not usually a problem unless you try to fix it later in life.

KatieC:So then you do not alter the shoeing to accommodate or correct it?

Vance: KatieC, alter the shoe to accommodate but not to correct it. The common mistake is that they try to make the club foot look like the other foot. Keep the club foot 60% and the other 45, and that is fine.

Guest2254:What if seedy toe is caused by concussion, doesn’t cause pain, debrement makes it worse. Anything else to do? If the horse is a jumper?

Vance: Guest2254, if horse is in a situation where he is lame, you will probably have to take the time and do a resection.

Guest2254:The horse appears to be sound as a dollar. It started in one back foot, then his left front got a big mark and crack and you can see marks where it will start in the other two feet.

Guest2254:Thank you very much. Your advice is appreciated.

HorsesADM: You can go ahead now Gem.

GeminiHOST:Vance, what specific problems do you run into shoeing Hunters and Jumpers that other performance horses don’t have?

Vance: Gemini, the biggest problem with hunter and jumpers is that they are kept in confinement and then have pounding from jumping in unpredictable footing.

Vance: Make sure you have a good team of vet and farrier.

GeminiHOST: So the more turn out time they get, the sounder their feet are?

HorsesADM: That’s all we have time for tonight.

GeminiHOST: Thanks Vance.

HorsesADM: I’d like to thank Vance for chatting with us.

xxs: Thanks for coming Vance.

GeminiHOST: And with us.

MomHOST: Thanks Vance.

Blueberry: Thanks!

HorsesADM: And I’d also like to thank our sponsor for tonight’s chat – Hoofcare and Lameness magazine.

Vance: It was my pleasure to be here.


GeminiHOST: It was a treat to have such a qualified farrier with us tonight.

HorsesADM: I really enjoyed it, and learned some things too.

KatieC: Thank you Vance.

TomHOST: Thanks a ton Vance.

HorsesADM: Thanks for coming everyone.

Guest668: Do you know when the American Farrier’s Association conference is? <> And thanks to ZLinda for typing her fingers off while balancing a phone on one ear.

KatieC: Very interesting and informative chat. Thanks Equisearch.

TomHOST: Thanks ZLinda!

GeminiHOST: What a great turnout we had for this chat. More are in the making I hope. <><> Thank you ZLinda.

HorsesADM: Ok ok, so I typoed her name.

HorsesADM: Make me look bad, why don’t you.

TomHOST: Oops, I didn’t see the typo.

GeminiHOST: The typo was funny; the thanks were heartfelt!

TomHOST: Sorry Jayne.

Vance: Thanks again, it was my pleasure to be here.

HorsesADM: Zlinda? Should have been Linda.

HorsesADM: Thank you Vance.

TomHOST: Oh, thanks Linda.

Vance: Happy trails!

MomHOST: Thanks Linda, and thank you Vance.

Fran: How about preventing problems…what can we owners do that most of us aren’t doing?

xxs: Well, that was pretty neat!

TomHOST: We will have to save Fran’s question for the next time Vance comes in

MomHOST: And the few others that didn’t get to ask theirs.

HorsesADM: Yes, that went very well – thanks for coming in and not making it one speaker and a whole bunch of hosts!

GeminiHOST: That went pretty well. I was glad we did that.

TomHOST: Yes thanks!

HorsesADM: We’ll be putting the transcript online, so everyone will be able to read it




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