About the Frog
More and more people are coming to understand the importance of supporting the frog. This is why there is a proliferation of pads, fillers, packings, etc appearing on the farrierry supply market.
We believe, as many other do, that because in nature the hoof is often packed with dirt, the hoof has evolved to function best with some kind of packing or supporting material in and around the frog.
The EponaShoe supports the frog and provides a built-in pad so there won't be localized pressure anywhere under the foot.
We believe a normally-trimmed foot would look like figure 1 below.
Figure 1: Normal Foot
In this case, when the EponaShoe is applied the load will be shared between the hoof wall and the frog. The farrier can modify the ratio of weight on these two structures by trimming the heels carefully in relation to the frog. Figure 2 below, shows the shoe and shared loading.
Figure 2: Normal foot with EponaShoe used to share the load between walls and frog.
Sometimes the frog "sticks out" of the foot and goes lower than the hoof walls - can the EponaShoe still be used? Yes, but in this case we recommend the use of glue for a couple of shoeings until this situation is resolved. Figure 3 shows such a foot.
Figure 3: Frog sticking out below the level of the hoof.
First of all, you should understand that this is not a normal situation. This is something that would never be found in nature. In most cases, it is a consequence of the horse having been shod in a traditional metal shoe which supports only the rim of the foot. Figure 4 shows a traditional shoe from the rear.
Figure 4: Traditional shoes cause the frog to move down to seek the support of the ground.
What happens is that the frog 'seeks the ground' -- another way to say it is that the weight of the horse crushes internal structures down a bit until the frog finally finds support on the ground. Even without the modern research into the physiology of the hoof, it seems common sense that this is not a good situation.
With the use of glue, the EponaShoe can be used on such feet as shown in figure 5.
Figure 5: Use of glue to shoe a descended frog.
Generally after a shoeing or two, the situation gets better and the frog can again become more or less level with the heels, and then the glue is no longer required.
Another problem regarding supporting the frog is that of a damaged, small, or missing frog as shown in figure 6.
Figure 6: Missing Frog - how to achieve support?
In this case the EponaShoe packing is used to fill in this space so that once again, there can be some load sharing between walls and frog. The farrier can carefully adjust the amount of packing used to adjust the amount of weight borne by each component of the foot. Figure 7 shows the packing and shoe as it would look in such a case.
Figure 7: With a damaged, small, or missing frog, packing can be used to provide support.
Generally, the frog will improve over a couple shoeings and less and less packing will be required.
Figures 1 through 7 above illustrate that no matter what the situation, frog support can be achieved using the EponaShoe.