The old adage “no hoof, no horse” accurately sums up the fact that a horse’s soundness is highly dependent on the quality of its feet. That’s why I treat my farrier like royalty!
Interestingly, Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown has been plagued by problems with his front feet. Problems that have repeatedly sidelined him from racing. Alternatively reported as quarter cracks or abscesses, depending on the article, the end result is that Big Brown now wears special padded glue-on shoes to protect his feet. They are Yasha shoes, invented by Tender Hoof Solutions, that have a rubber piece to cushion the heel and help keep his feet cool during races.
There are some fascinating posts — including photos of Big Brown’s hooves, supplied by his farriers Ian McKinley and Tom Curl — on Fran Jurga’s Hoofblog. I’ve really enjoyed reading this blog and looking at some of the other “Shoeware of the Fast and Famous.” In particular, looking at the differences between the horses’ frogs is quite illuminating. This blog is definitely going on my must read list.