As horsemen continue to look for ways to help horses stay sound longer, an innovative new product may be one of those solutions. AIRshod™ is a state of the art pad that incorporates the shock absorbing qualities of air with a design intended to support and stabilize the hoof arch and bone column. Recently completed field testing indicates that AIRshod™ is effective at helping horses recover soundness and be more comfortable, resulting in returns to training, improved training and racing times, enhanced movement and decrease of lameness indicators.
Testing was conducted at several racetracks, as well as in hunter/jumper and dressage barns. Horses in varying stages of soundness were studied, from some that had been on stall rest for seven months to those who frequently experienced lower limb swelling. Once AIRshod™ was applied, improvements were assessed in stride length, rating on the lameness scale, decreased swelling and overall comfort.
“Horsemen live by the saying ‘No hoof. No horse,’” explains Kevin Graham, former farrier of 14 years and Vice President of Development and Education at AIRshod Inc. “As we know the hoof is one of the keys to a horse’s overall health and soundness. The slightest imbalance can create a multitude of injuries that may quickly progress from minor to catastrophic. AIRshod™ is another tool in the veterinarian and farrier’s tool box for promoting soundness, from prevention to rehabilitation.”
Patent-pending AIRshod™ is an inflatable, adjustable air-bladder horseshoe support pad with an air valve. AIRshod™ is available in several sizes designed to fit horses that wear racing plates in sizes 4-8 and standard shoes in sizes 000-5. This single unit, lightweight pad eliminates messy mixing and additional materials that other support shoeing options may require. Because it can be adjusted throughout the shoeing cycle, AIRshod™ decreases the entry point for debris. This adjustability also ensures even support every day. Ease of use is already drawing raves from veterinarians and farriers.
One of the case studies during the beta testing was a four-year-old mare training and racing at Calder in Florida. The mare had been out of training for seven months with the last three on stall rest and showed no improvement. The owners were preparing to retire her when AIRshod™ was applied. Within two days and minor adjustments to the air bladder, the mare was comfortable and back in training again. Within two months the mare placed in a $250,000 stakes race and was running the fastest times of her career.
Another case study involved a four-year-old warmblood gelding. The young jumper was sound, but when AIRshod™ was applied, an immediate improvement was noticed. His gaits were more even and each hoof was planted more confidently.
AIRshod™ President Mark Pound says, “Our goal is to provide a product that makes a measurable difference. We are investing in the research and are working in conjunction with the industry’s top veterinarians and farriers to ensure that AIRshod™ delivers a real foundation to improve performance, prevent injuries and enhance rehabilitation efforts.”
Additional clinical studies are underway to further understand the mechanisms and specifics of hoof balance, impact, and the importance of the hoof arch. The AIRshod™ website is a resource for articles about hoof health as well as complete product information, including a 3-D demo. Visit www.airshod.com to learn more.
About AIRshod Inc.
AIRshod Inc. is headquartered in Napa, California and strives to partner with veterinarians, farriers, trainers, riders and equine professionals to find real world solutions to improve the welfare and health of the horse.