By now, we have ALL heard the adage “no hoof, no horse” and it is SO true but, how many of us actually believe it?!? What I’d like to address here is my belief that: long before a horse is lame enough to fall into this category, their ability (and willingness) to do their job is compromised.
You can easily relate this to yourself: if your feet hurt, are you willing to go out and run – how about even take a long walk? Pain is subjective and, in my experience, most horses who are in any degree of pain will “suck it up” and try to do as they’re asked but, should they have to?
Inflammation is the main culprit behind the pain, in most cases. The fact that a horse’s foot is encapsulated makes the inflammation much more painful for the horse and it also makes it very difficult for us to observe any problems that may be occurring inside the hoof.
Horseshoes have been around for centuries and, like the material (metal) used to protect us in our vehicles, they do a great job of protecting the horse’s foot. However, the seats in your vehicle are most likely NOT metal – they’re full of CUSHIONing. All of the auto makers now incorporate airbags all through their vehicles – to CUSHION the blow. Well, THAT’S what we’re trying to do with THE BLACK PADS! CUSHION the impact for your horse, reduce the inflammation to the hoof capsule and make them more comfortable.