Millman BBA, CJF, Dip.WCF
Jack Millman Farrier Service, Farrier Consultant,
and Educational Clinician
Willow Farm 295 Old Post Road Worthington, MA
413 238 5555 Phone /Fax email Cell 413 539 7704
Bar Shoes their use, function and
The various types of bar shoes are tools that can be used by the
Farrier in conjunction with the Veterinarian in the treatment
process of the horse.
Bar shoes can be applied for balance protection as well as therapy.
Over the past years many manufacturers have produced bar shoes that
can be readily put on the horse.
These shoes come in every conceivable style and size. They are
easily adjustable in the forge.
An important point to remember is that bar shoes are only a tool and
perform only as well as the ability of the Farrier applying them.
We must all, both Farriers and Veterinarians, know what we expect
our shoeing to accomplish and how that shoeing is to be applied
before we can set our goals for treatment.
Straight Bar Shoe
The primary purpose of the straight bar shoe is to stabilize the
hoof capsule while distributing weight bearing over a full 360
degree bearing surface.
This will facilitate a healing process for damage to the hoof
capsule or related soft tissue when used in concert with appropriate
The most common indications for the application of the straight bar
Hoof Cracks. Toe. Heel. Quarter.
Hoof Avulsions/lacerations-[ Wounds to the wall or sole].
Severe medial/lateral anterior/posterior imbalance.
Hoof distortions, chronic laminitis, keratoma.
Post surgical. In concert with hospital/treatment plates.
Fitting of a straight bar shoe should follow the same basic
principles as any proper shoeing.
Sufficient stock size should be used to stabilize the hoof capsule
both medial/lateral and anterior/posterior.
Construction should be sufficient to allow the shoe to be
serviceable for at least six weeks.
There should be full coverage of the hoof wall with proper expansion
and posterior support.
Egg Bar Shoes
The primary purpose of the Egg Bar Shoe is Caudal support.
This shoe will allow the horse to properly load the leg and hoof by
changing the position of the leg under the body.
The proper loading of the bony column will allow normal blood supply
to all parts of the hoof and facilitate the normal growth of hoof
horn and the healing of bruised or damaged parts.
The most common applications for the Egg Bar Shoe are:
Forward stance, camped out, Long toe/low heel syndrome usually
caused by poor husbandry and / or inappropriate Farrier care
resulting in Caudal/Palmer distress due to crushed or under-run
heels and soft tissue bruising.
Egg Bar Shoes must follow the same basic principles of all good
Construction of the Egg Bar Shoe must be of such strength as to
support weight bearing in the extreme posterior of the shoe.
The length of the Egg Bar Shoe must be appropriate to compensate for
the capsular distortion or the trauma being addressed. An Egg Bar
Shoe of insufficient length will be of no value. One of excessive
length will act as a posterior lever creating new problems.
Heart Bar/Frog Plate Shoe
The Heart Bar/Frog Plate Shoe is dedicated to relieving the weight
bearing from the hoof wall and sole by allowing the frog to accept a
portion of the load.
This shoe distributes weight bearing over a greater than 360 degree
When properly applied this shoe is very useful in the treatment of
acute Laminitis and has shown to be useful in the stabilization of
the hoof capsule in phalangeal rotation, hoof capsule rotation and
PIII sinker. As a mechanical support this shoe can aid in the
restoration of a balanced blood supply to the hoof.
The Heart Bar/Frog Plate Shoe has also been shown to aid the horse
with Caudal/Palmer distress, False Quarter and Quarter Cracks.
It is a useful tool in aiding the healing process of the hoof
I must stress that this shoe must be applied properly and carefully
monitored because of the frog plate, if it is misapplied it is
capable of causing severe soft tissue damage.
How this shoe is applied is based solely on the experience and skill
of the Farrier in concert with the diagnostic ability of the
Placement of this shoe when dealing with rotational founder or
sinker should be based on radiographic evidence.
295 Old Post Road
Worthington, MA 01098