<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Farrier Brisbane


Problem Cases

Problems should always be seen as opportunities to learn. Every now and then I run into something that I'm not sure how to deal with. This is when it's great to have friends. Over the years I have met and become friendly with some of the best farriers in Australia and overseas. This gives my clients a huge advantage as I have many specialists that I can call on for advice (or even just to confirm that I'm approaching things in the right way). Below are some of the more intersting ones that I have had. Unfortunately, it is only in the last few years that I have been taking photos, so some of the most interesting things I've seen I don't have any photos of.


Sole Depth: As can be seen from the above x-rays sole depth can vary from horse to horse. As well as the relative position and alignment of the Pedal bone. The horse in the x-ray on the right was quite sore around the point of the toe from the lack of depth. A shoe glued on with the toe left open returned him to soundness.

Lacing Cracks With Sutures

Medial Quarter Crack: This horse had a medial crack that was full thickness and bleeding when worked. I would normally just patch over a crack with composite material with a drain directly over the crack to ensure to not cause an infection. However, when the crack is bleeding then I prefer to lace them with wire so as to make sure the crack is as stable as possible. This procedure is not without its risk and is best done with the horse sedated.


Thoroughbred Filly: Due to a paddock accident this filly has a hoof where the whole heel and bulb has been lost. This results in a very unstable inside wall back where the missing heel and bulb are. As it was bleeding it was decided to suture it as well as a composite patch. As it grows down intact it will hopefully only need the patch and not the sutures.


Thoroughbred Mare With Dorsal Wall Crack: This mare was lame with a full thickness dorsal wall crack that had extended up the coronary band. I initially laced it with wire to stabilise and applied a bar shoe. Over a period of time the crack has gradually resolved.

April 2018


January 2019


December 2019



30 yo Retired Trotter: This old fella has been retired for many years but is still much loved. He suffers from chronic laminitis whic has ravaged his feet over the years. He's only a recent addition to my shoeing list and while he had been managed barefoot for many years, I felt that his quality of life would be greatly improved by the comfort that shoes can provide. His owner has reported that he seems much happier and walks around a lot more since he's had shoes on. He is quite difficult to do as he's not very steady on his feet and doesn't like the nailing as I'm sure the jarring hurts his feet. Next shoeing he will be going into glue on's in an effort to extend the time between shoeings.

July 2019

July 2019

September 2019

September 2019

December 2019

December 2019


Quarter Crack: This horse developed a quarter crack that had gone through to sensitive material causing some bleeding. His hoof is offset laterally to the Cannon Bone which causes uneven loading on landing which caused the crack. With a straight bar and a synthetic patch over the crack he has been able to go forward with his current preparation.


Broken Back Hoof Pastern Axis: This racehorse has collapsed heels on one front hoof causing a broken back hoof pastern axis. I used synthetic material to build his heels up the required height. This horse raced and won 5 days later.

Racehorse With Coronary Band Injury : This horse had an injury that occured when he was a yearling. The resulting scar tissue means that some of the horn producing tubles are missing so the horn grows in a disorganised manner. It was cracking open and bleeding during work. With the crack patched to give it some tensile strength and a heart bar applied to spread the weight over a bigger surface area it has no longer been a problem. On raceday the bar shoes are removed and a standard race plate applied, the heart bars are reapplied for trackwork after the horse has raced. The damaged area will never come back to normal horn so management is the key.





Ivy: This mare has always had a history of superficial grass cracks on both front feet. Over time they became gradually worse and required a heart bar shoe to stablise the foot and take some of the weight off the dorsal wall. She has had the heart bars for approxiamtely 6 months now and the cracks appear to be under control. However, heart bars may be what is required for Ivy from now on to ensure that her feet remain healthy.


White Line Disease Case: This mare had a history of being continually tender footed. She has had persistent White Line Disease which had contibuted to the lameness. With aluminium heart bars fitted and the affected area resected, she now has a good chance of being able to get on top of the anaerobic bacteria which has caused the cavity to form. The bacteria that causes White Line Disease survives in an environment where there is no oxygen. That is why recection of the area is vital to halting it's progress.


You can see that 5 weeks down the track she is well on the way to having a healthier hoof capsule.

Update: After the above photos were taken I didn't see this horse again for about 2 years. She had been under the care of a barefoot trimmer and then sold. The photos below show the cracks had again progressed up to the coronary band. The photo below right is 5 weeks after and shows the cracks beginning to grow out again. I'll put up progress photos to show how its going in the coming months.

29 September




Laminitic Pony: This little guy is aged over 20 and had become quite sore from dropped soles caused by chronic laminitis. This in turn lead to some separation at the toe which needed to be resected. The heart bars have allowed some concavity to return to the sole and he has a much more solid foot growing down as a result. It's always nice to be able to improve the quality of life of an animal and make them comfortable and happy.

Update on this guy, as he's now quite old he's suffering from arthritis in his knees and is quite difficult to do unless sedated. After consultation with the vet we have decided the best course of action is to glue his shoes on as he doesn't cope barefoot at all and with th glue on's we are able to keep them on him for 10 weeks at a time which extends the times between the administration of sedation.






Thoroughbred Mare: This mare has always had thin flat soles. I first saw her when she had pulled a shoe and stood on the toe clip which pierced the sole. She developed a major infection and only through the diligence of her owner was she able to return to soundness. Whilst she will always have flatish feet she will build up some sole mass thanks to the heart bars and continue to be able to be used as intended.



Foolish: White Line Disease can be a painful experience for the horse if not addressed. As the cavity in the wall starts it fills up with mud and debris and this provides a moist environment for bacteria to continue to eat away making the cavity go further up the wall the hoof. The best treatment is to debride the area and expose it to air so that it can be treated with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents. I find this to be the most effective treatment however, there are always other approaches to these hoof problems. My aim here is to just show how I deal with them. The following photos highlight how quickly the hoof can recover from this condition when the area is debrided and a shoe applied to stabilise the hoof capsule.

The photo on the left is of a thoroughbred gelding that had severe seedy toe in both front hooves. The area is trimmed back to new horn so that a cavity no longer exists for dirt and mud to pack into. Whilst the foot is not asthetistically pleasing to the eye, the horse was showing no signs of lameness.


This photo is the same horse 4 weeks later. As can be seen the hoof has grown a considerable amount and the new wall above the cavity is sound, solid hoof.


A total of 8 weeks on and the hoof continues to improve with the cavity gradually growing out.


12 weeks on and the cavities are getting towards the bottom. This shoeing was done the morning after a thunderstorm so the feet were pretty waterlogged. Even so they are so much better than when I first started to resect the area of seedy toe.


Today you can see that with proper management Seedy Toe can be eradicated. This horse is perfectly sound and happily running around.


Wally: I first encountered Wally in January of 2011. His owner contacted me concerned he had a large dorsal wall crack. I must admit at first glance I thought it would be reasonably straight forward to rectify, but it hasn't been the case thus far. Despie several attempts the crack continued to move up the wall. I have ended up having to screw a patch over the crack to immobilise the area. This seems to have worked well and the crack is well on its way to being resolved. I have always used small pieces of aluminium for my crack repairs but found it difficult to get a snug fit with the wall. After speaking with a few other farriers I have switched to using a piece of PVC pipe. This tough plastic becomes very pliable with just a little heat applied and can be held onto the area to be patched for a few seconds while it cools. Once cooled, the plastic stays in the shape of the wall where it was held, this makes for a very snug fit. As you can see from the last photo, I have now gone for a large patch that can stay in place for several months now while the crack grows out.




As you can see the crack has now been stablised by the application of a heart bar and grown out returning the the foot to a sound structure.



Wally as at November 2019: As you can see the crack has completely resolved and he has a nice strong, healthy hoof capsule.



Yearling With Hoof Avulsion. This guy was 4/5 lame due an infection that had developed in the injury site. Once resected and a heart bar applied they were able get on top of the infection. The last photo is a month after initial shoeing and the new growth is clearly evident at the coronary band. It should all grow out with no scar at all.