In the article entitled
Suspensory Ligament Desmitis (DSLD), Dr.Jan Young
advocates the use of a "patten" shoe for treatment of this
disease. The shoe raises the heels of the foot and prevents
the heel from sinking into the ground. The shoe can also be
used as a support shoe for other soft tissue injuries. It is
easy to construct.
This shows a 14-year-old Arab gelding with moderate hind limb
DSLD confirmed on ultrasound. To make the heel lift part of
the shoe-trim the foot appropriately and then measure the
distance across the hoof at the widest part of the foot. This
measurement will form the width or ground surface of the heel
Horses with DSLD will continually shift their weight while
resting one hind limb.
Measure the distance from the ground to the heel of the foot
that is in the resting position.
This measurement will be the vertical or upright branch of the
A piece of 3/4x 5/16 inch steel is measured, marked and bent
using a vice or a forge (Figure 3)
A shoe is fitted to the hind foot, the toe
of the shoe is rolled, the heels of the shoe are turned out
and the branches of the shoe extend ¾ to 1 inch beyond the
heels of the foot. The vertical arms of the heel lift are bent
inward and twisted slightly at the top to fit the contour at
the heels of the shoe.
The heel lift is welded to the shoe.
The shoe is attached to the foot.
The heel lift can be gradually lowered at
subsequent resets according to the comfort of the horse and
follow-up ultrasound scans.
There is also an excellent article on making a
patten shoe by Rob Sigafoos in the July/August 2000 American