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Guide To Detecting "Pressure Shoeing"

Editor’s Note: The following information is reprinted with the permission of David Pruett.



A Nonexclusive List of Indicators Used To Aid In The Detection Of “Pressure Shoeing”


1.                  The “flipping” of the front feet, the floating of the front feet, and /or the walking on the heels of the front feet during the locomotion phase of the inspection process.

2.                  The shifting of weight from one front foot to the other foot after the locomotion phase and throughout the balance of the inspection process.

3.                  A horse with a short toe, a horse with a long toe and a short heel, and /or a recently shod horse as revealed during the physical examination phase of the inspection process.

4.                  A level sole or a sole trimmed below the level of the frog of a front foot, the discoloration of the sole or frog of a front foot, an indentation in the sole of a foot, and/or an indentation or cornification of an area at or near the point of the frog as reveled during the physical examination phase of the examination procedure.




A DQP finding any one or more of the foregoing should consider using hoof testers, a testing hammer, fluoroscopy, and/or the removal of shoes as further diagnostic tools. In the use of hoof testers or hammers, careful consideration should be given to localized areas providing a consistent repeatable pain response as indicated by those signs of pain commonly observed during the physical examination and general appearance phases of the inspection process. A diffuse, inconsistent, and/or non-repeatable response should be afforded less weight in the final diagnosis.


A horse that a DQP is convinced meets the definition of a “pressure shod,” horse should be issued an NHSC pressure shoeing violation ticket.


A horse that a DQP has significant reason  to suspect is “pressure shod,” but is not convinced to the degree required, may find the horse unacceptable, disqualify the horse from showing, exhibiting, or selling, and no further penalty shall attach.






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