TECHNOLOGY MEETS THE ART OF FARRIERY
It is true that you can successfully trim and shoe many, if not most, horses adequately without ever looking at a radiograph of its foot. However, for animals in high performance jobs, those with anatomical issues, metabolic issues and/or horses with a history of foot problems like laminitis, radiography of the foot can be a valuable tool for effective management. Things are not always as they seem from the outside looking in which is especially true when it comes to hoof balance. Insight into the anatomy of the foot and the relationship between the bone and the hoof capsule and between the foot and the limb can help even the best farrier more optimally trim and shoe any specific horse. If that "specific horse" happens to be your own, it may be worth a conversation with Dr. Weeks and your horse shoer about how "farrier films" can help perfect the fit of those expensive dancing shoes.
The advent of digital radiography has made it much easier and more practical to tailor radiographic imaging specifically for the purpose of guiding farriery practices. The lateromedial (side) and dorsopalmar, aka, AP or anterior to posterior (front) views of the foot are most helpful for assessing hoof conformation and balance. (see examples in photo, above) New tech lets us take an x-ray and see the results immediately on site. When you think about it, that is a pretty amazing thing... the "visible horse" right in your own barn isle. For some animals it can make the difference in helping to keep them comfortable and/or sound for demanding athletic pursuits. Check out our special offer during the month of February if you think farrier films might be helpful for your horse.