The latest information regarding pathology in pleasure and performance horses is suggesting that the lack of leverage relief offered by either foot wear or the terrain is a primary cause. Strain or lesions on the DDFT and the connective tissue around the coffin (DIP) joint is a growing concern based on MRI findings over the last 5 years.
Because horses were not particularly designed to turn and run in tight circles, the joints in the lower limb, especially the coffin joint takes a beating. When the connective tissue and the joint surface itself becomes traumatized, the soundness & performance of the horse rapidly decreases. Reducing the leverage to the joint by bringing the breakover point of a shoe to a closer proximity to the tip of P3 has proven to be extremely beneficial as a treatment protocol. When this approach also includes the reduction of leverage both medially and laterally, the results are even better.
Now that we have a better understanding of the causes to so many of these pathologies, and the treatments that are working to remedy them, we now have some guidelines on how to prevent these lameness issues.
The optimized reduction of leverage offered by the Natural Balance PLR is proving to not only be a superior tool for treating lameness, but also for preventing lameness and improving performance. The simple fact is that horses that are free of pain with a reduction in the amount of effort it takes to move will perform better and stay sounder longer. This is what the NB PLR offers the performance horse.