Custom Orthotics


I'm just gonna take a nap, mk?
Archie's feet having been progressing brilliantly since I switched farriers.  The new farrier is still pleasant to talk to and answers all my annoying questions.  He's also almost got the dip on Archie's right front grown out.  There's barely a sliver of the enormous stress crack left and I'm pretty sure it'll be a normal hoof in the next cycle or two.

When we got the news about the progression of Archie's ringbone, one of the things the vet had recommended was leather pads.  Turns out, leather pads aren't entirely feasible in the deep south, so he suggested silicone pour-ins instead.  (Which makes the vegetarian very happy.)  And we were on circle-suspension until he got the pour-ins, so most of our rides have been giant loops outside the ring and on the trail.  We were all set to do them last cycle, but then the Kid embedded a nail and brewed an abscess and couldn't have his sole covered.

But he got his custom orthotics!

Here's the step-by-step-ish, since this was my first time ever seeing them done:
  • Farrier set his front shoes, but rasped the inner circle of the shoe to help the silicone "grip".  He expressed concerns that Archie's flat and wide feet wouldn't hold the silicone well, so the goal is to hopefully get 2-3 weeks of wear out of the silicone.  He said it would be different if we were treating a laminitic horse versus my arthritic horse.
  • Then the farrier attached self-adhesive foam pads to his shoe, pressing in on the center rim so they weren't flush with the bottom of the shoe.
  • Devote a couple minutes to cut the shit and let Archie help adhere the foam.
  • It was like 27º outside so I really questioned the efficacy of this, but the silicone is in a double-barreled tube (spring-loaded like a caulk gun) and it's got a long screwed-on tip.  Then he inserted the tip into the pocket of the foam created by the opening of his shoe and just injected the silicone.  Couple squishes for bubbles and to determine fill and then Archie could put his foot down.
  • After both feet were done, the farrier trimmed his hinds and we waited about another fifteen minutes for the silicone to harden.  He said it would be much quicker in the summer.
  • Extra foam on the toes to prevent leakage.
  • Removing the foam.
  • And Archie's new orthotic squishies!  
Shit you not, I squeed when he said that Archie would feel like he was wearing tennis shoes.  I'm so excited that the old man will be so comfortable.  The only major downer may be that he wants to put Archie in a bigger shoe next time and thinks it might take more than one tube of silicone.  No partial purchases of tubes.  X+2Y=$$$.  Worth it.

I hopped on the Kid yesterday and we did a little bit of walking before he spooked and I asked him to move forward.  Instead of the trot I expected, Archie picked up a lovely rolling canter and maintained it for a while.  He was just incredible.

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21 comments

  1. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Technology FTW! Glad to hear that Archie's new kicks seem to give him some immediate relief :)

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  2. So excited you have a farrier who works for you and a new plan of action!

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  3. So neat! Hope Archie enjoys his new tennis shoes :)

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  4. Hooray! A foundered horse at the therapeutic riding center had these and they helped him so, so much; I'm glad to hear they're helping Archie!

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  5. Ooh, he did a MUCH better job with those than the farrier that had used them on Bobby. I hope his new kicks make him so much more happy!

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  6. Cool looking shoes. They really look comfy.

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  7. Do these not wear down at all? Asking just because I don't know! They look so squishyyy

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  8. oooooh those look downright luxurious - i hope Archie *loves* them!

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  9. Woohoo! That's exciting! I hope the shoes last longer than predicted!

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  10. This made me so happy for you!!!

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  11. Farrier did a great job, hang on to him :) enjoy all the cantering!!

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  12. Wow that looks awesome. Never seen it done before!

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  13. SO EXCITING!!! A friend of mine has a horse with ringbone in his fronts and some navicular changes who also gets the silicone pour-ins, and he's been super sound with them! I hope Archie loves them!

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  14. I love pour-ins. They are like magic! Bacon's usually stayed in for the whole showing cycle, so hopefully Archie's will hang out for longer than a few weeks!

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  15. Fancy shoes! hope this helps :)

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  16. Squeee I am so delighted for you both, I'm fascinated by the silicone & how it'll help his feet. Does it cushion his soles? Sorry if you have said this elsewhere...am having a senior momento

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  17. It is pretty amazing to me what they can do with shoes and inserts now. When I got my first horse who had some foot issues it was a lot of slap a shoe on and hope for the best still.

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  18. Pour-ins are great. Mare has silicone under the "good" foot and equipak under the bad and it's done wonders. Glad Archie likes them too!

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