Therapeutic Shoeing for the Performance Horse: Outside In and Inside Out

May Dinner and Discussion Hosted by the Kentucky Horse Council

While the old adage “no hoof, no horse” is close to every horseman’s heart, the term “therapeutic shoeing” may make a horse owner’s heart race at the thought of a potentially arduous, expensive journey takes shape.

Dr. Raul Bras, a veterinary podiatrist with Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, will explain therapeutic shoeing and its application to performance horses at the Kentucky Horse Council’s Dinner & Discussion (formerly called the Kentucky Equine Networking Association or “KENA”) on Tuesday, May 23, at the Kentucky Horse Park Visitor Center. Held from 5:30 to 8 p.m., this educational series is geared toward equine professionals, horse owners, riders and other equine enthusiasts.

More than 80 percent of lameness is related to the feet, Dr. Bras says. This often involves hoof capsule distortion, conformation, injury or wear and tear. As both a veterinarian and a Certified Journeyman Farrier, Bras will offer his unique perspective on shoeing performance horses, which can include Western and hunt-seat competition horses, trail horses, racehorses and everything in between: Each discipline puts different stress on the horse’s hooves.

Dr. Bras will focus his presentation on how he looks at a horse as a farrier: from the outside in (how the form and shape of the horse’s foot affects how he goes); and as a veterinarian: from the inside out (using tools to see exactly what is happening inside the hoof capsule and how it affects the horse). Dr. Bras will address not only shoeing horses that are injured or that suffer from diseases like laminitis or navicular, but also how to shoe an equine athlete so it doesn’t get injured in the first place.

Intricately aware of the potential hard feeling that can occur between vets, farriers, owners and others on the horse’s health care team, Dr. Bras is devoted to improving the veterinarian-farrier relationship.

“Trimming and shoeing should marry the shape of the hoof capsule and its internal function, while reducing stress to both prevent injury and treat disease or damage,” says Dr. Fernanda Camargo, associate professor and equine extension specialist in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences and co-chair of the KHC Dinner & Discussion committee. “Dr. Bras has a unique gift in not only taking potentially complicated issues and distilling them down into easy-to-understand pieces, but also ensuring that horse owners and caretakers don’t get overwhelmed during the shoeing process.”

This dinner is part of the Horse Council’s Dinner & Discussion event series, which provides an educational and social venue for equine professionals and horse enthusiasts from all breeds and disciplines to share ideas, business strategies and knowledge; and to obtain up-to-date information on horse and farm management, as well as on issues affecting the equine industry.

For details and reservations for the May 23 event, click here. Tickets are $30. Interested in sponsoring this event? Click here.

ABOUT THE KENTUCKY HORSE COUNCIL: The Kentucky Horse Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and development of the Kentucky equine community through education and leadership. The KHC provides educational programs like large animal emergency rescue training and livestock investigation training; networking opportunities through the Dinner & Discussion series; personal liability insurance through individual and family memberships; and financial assistance programs for horse owners in need through the Save Our Horses (SOHO) fund. Learn more at

Kentucky Horse Council
Sarah Coleman, Executive Director
330 518 9001 /