What is everyone's opinion about using wedge shoes. My horse is in a 3 degree wedge and has been for almost a year now. She grows a long toe and no heel. I feel the shoes are making her worse. Now my other horse is in 1 degree for heel pain. My farrier wants to keep her in them. I just don't know if we are doing the right thing for my horses.
Posted 2019-02-06 9:14 PM (#7421305 - in reply to #7421286) Subject: RE: wedge shoes
You get what you give
I think they are a necessary tool for some horses, but they need to be applied to a properly trimmed foot. If you’re not getting the results you want, I’d schedule an appointment with a vet clinic on a day they have a farrier on site and have the horse trimmed and shod with x rays taken before and after to check palmar angles, hoof-pastern axis, toe length, sole depth, and breakover. At the very least, get a set of farrier x rays to take back to your farrier so your farrier can see what he’s working with.
Posted 2019-02-07 6:20 AM (#7421329 - in reply to #7421286) Subject: RE: wedge shoes
Just a Yankee
Location: Some where I haven't left yet
I have a gelding with High Ring Bone, one leg has fused (finally) I left him barefoot for a year and a half, all he did was continue to grow toe and no heel. Farrier, sucked that toe back farther than we could with just a trim for walking around the pasture, nailed the 3 degree wedge shoe back on him with a rolled toe....... He walked off as sound as a horse with that much ring bone will walk.
If wedges are put on correctly while backing the toe off.... Absolutely, nail them on.
Posted 2019-02-07 10:19 AM (#7421352 - in reply to #7421286) Subject: RE: wedge shoes
Not Afraid to Work
Mine has been in wedges for a long time.... probably 5 to 6 years. 2 degree for many years and then had to switch to a 4 degree. I will say they DO not make the hoof better, its a catch 22 IMO. They keep his angles right, keeping him comfortable but add A LOT of pressure to his heels causing them to crush even more. I take mine off in the winter to let them rebound a little. I can only ride him in deep soft snow then but its fine since its usually too cold/crappy to ride much anyway.
I definitely would postpone as long as possible. I would x-ray and make sure its not a trimming issue. My farrier is great but he could trim a lot of effectively when he saw the xray. From the outside he looks great, takes toe back to increase breakover but once we xrayed we could see there was a lot more toe we could take for better results.
Posted 2019-02-07 10:21 AM (#7421353 - in reply to #7421286) Subject: RE: wedge shoes
Location: Smack Dab in the Middle
I think they can help, but depending on how your horse's foot grows, it will likely be temporary. My navicular horse grows a lot of toe and no heel, did WAY better in a rocker toe Natural Balance shoe, or PLRs. He had a career ending DDF tear and the vet put him in wedges, which I'm not a fan of. His foot wanted to grow FORWARD in them, even with them squared and set back, rather than DOWN. No matter what we tried to tweak each set, his foot grew forward and completely crushed his heel, ended up rocking his weight back and destroyed what was left of the DDF--that the shoes themselves were supposed to be helping. Farrier and I made the executive decision to put him back in PLRs to try to get his foot growing right again...and we'll see if we can get him pasture sound. But I'm probably looking at putting him down because of the damage done by the wedges.
Posted 2019-02-07 10:47 AM (#7421356 - in reply to #7421286) Subject: RE: wedge shoes
I have an older gelding that has pancake feet and suffers from laminitis. The shoer put him in a wedge shoe, which helped with the pain, but didn't help fix the issue. I spoke with a vet, Herbie on here actually recommended him, and sent him x-rays.
He had me pull the shoes, back the toe up to the white line, roll it and leave the sole and heel alone for 2 weeks and then recheck it. We continue to do this for 2 months, knocking of any flare on the heels but ultimately leaving them be. When we did put shoes back on we made sure that the shoe was supporting the heels so that they didn't drop behind the shoe. We had to fill space with this epoxy stuff so nothing would catch it, but after 6 months his feet were amazing and we did it all with out wedges. No more issues with laminitis and he actually had normal heel growth.(normal for this horse)
I would really consider pulling the shoes and trying it. Get x-rays, ask your vet what they see in regards to angles, coffin and navicular bones and rotation, and then go from there. I would be willing to email you this case, I have it all, and let you read his diagnoses and look at the x-rays he marked up to explain it. It won't be exactly like your case but could give you an idea of how it all works.
Posted 2019-02-07 2:41 PM (#7421387 - in reply to #7421286) Subject: RE: wedge shoes
Did I miss the party?
Special circumstances aside; I'm only a fan of wedges if the heels are trimmed back to the widest part of the frog and an x-ray deems the horse needs a higher angle. I've seen so many horses with run forward heels because they aren't trimmed properly to begin with. And adding a wedge to that just crushes heels more.
Posted 2019-02-07 9:07 PM (#7421438 - in reply to #7421286) Subject: RE: wedge shoes
Born not Made
Location: North Dakota
It just depends on the horse.
My horse Red has heel pain (but no bony navicular changes) in both front feet and he is most comfortable in a 3 degree wedge pad, with shoe. I take extra care to have him there every 5 weeks so that we can keep his toe fairly short for easier breakover.
If your horse has long toes ..... I do not see how a wedge would help mechanically (and rather, would problably hurt).
Keep in mind that wedges in general are not a "cure all". Because when you wedge, you are just moving the load from one area of the foot/leg to another. Yes, it can help in many cases but you also have to realize what other areas it could affect.