Synergistic Farriery

Synergy. The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of the separate effects.

Last year, I unfortunately began battling a lameness issue in my non-pro mare. With the help of a good vet, we had her x-rayed and blocked and although the diagnosis was uncertain, the word “Navicular” was tossed around as a possibility. And while I can’t tell you on a scale of 1-10 what the severity of her lameness was, or what exactly was going on in veterinary terms, it was enough to really scare me. Selena had never taken a lame step in the entire time I’ve owned her.

“Your horse may have navicular” were not words I wanted to hear.

As a result I reacted as any normal person would in the situation. I panicked. Thus, I set out on a long journey to get to the bottom of the issue and I’m very pleased with the results. As such, it’s a journey I’d like to share with you today.

Initial xrays on my mare looked pretty good, however, there was a noticeable lameness in her front left foot that continued to plague me.

Since realizing her trouble, Clay and I gave my mare a long vacation. From October 2009 on, she was turned out for rest. Then on March 24, 2010 one of our main farriers got together with us, along with one of our main vets and a farrier from Texas named “Jimbo.” Needless to say, I was nervous about the whole session but we needed to find some answers.

Our regular veterinarian (left), along with one of our regular farriers (center) along with “Jimbo.”

My mare had both front feet x-rayed.

Then they all took a look at the images.

Then they all watched my mare walk and trot, up and down hard ground to determine her footfalls. Then they looked at the xrays some more. They compare this information with my mare’s past medical history and xrays. Then Jimbo started a shoeing process for my mare’s future.

The 2 farriers working side-by-side.

Trailers (on the side) were left temporarily on her shoe on purpose.

My mare was trimmed so her pastern angle was straight on a lateral view. Jimbo said, “Her dorsal palmar joint spaces need to be level for medial lateral balance. She also needs to be at a positive palmar angle of 3 degrees.”

Working with our regular farrier, Jimbo crafted some flat shoes and custom-fitted them for my mare.

She was rasped as she would normally be done. And since this was a bit of different shoeing/trimming concept than my mare was used to, Clay and I gave her another week off afterwards to adjust to the new foot angle.


Jimbo also recommended that I have my mare’s “ankles” injected with Hylartin V (Made by Pfizer). And since my vet had been there that day, I didn’t have to try and explain anything about what Jimbo has previously prescribed. There was no information loss, or misinterpretations. The following week, my mare was clipped, sedated and scrubbed.

Then she was injected at the joint site. Jimbo had predicted there wouldn’t be an excess build-up of fluid, in my mare’s “ankles”. And he was right.

And today, I am extremely happy to tell you, she is trotting around very soundly in both directions. Although when I tried to take a picture of her trotting, she insisted on doing more than just that… Wish me luck. Selena is doing so well, we’ll be in the show pen by next weekend!

And this is Jimbo’s business card.

Cheers.