'EXTRAORDINARY': Doubtful rider converts to new technology
DEEP scepticism has turned to true delight among horse owners, who are experiencing remarkable results after recently "converting" their horses to a revolutionary new style of shoe.
When Darling Downs horse owner Tracey Zabell attended a special clinic in Allora, she had no intention of trying the new "Cytek" shoes on her horses.
"I was not going to be putting the shoes on him at all," she said.
But within half an hour of seeing the effects on other horses, Mrs Zabell was convinced.
The most profound change she noticed was the reduced heart rate of horses wearing the shoes, which were positioned under the pedal bone of the hoof.
While doing physical activity, the horses' pulse was reduced 20 beats a minute.
The change in design brings the horse's break-over point further back on the hoof, thus improving blood supply to the leg limb.
"I found that extraordinary," Mrs Zabell said.
After a few weeks, Mrs Zabell said she could not fault the new shoes.
She said she had particular success with a warm-blooded mare with pregnancy lameness and another horse with lam.
Cytek shoe inventor Bill Diemling said he designed the shoe based on the natural hoof prints of wild brumbies.
"Rim shoes put extreme pressure on the sensitive tissue of the hoof wall, which then affects blood supply," Mr Diemling said.
He said the new shoe could help correct pathological problems caused by normal rim shoes.
Travelling all the way from his home in the UK, Mr Diemling visited Allora from April 16-20 to introduce the shoes to Southern Downs farriers, breeders and horse owners.
"For now we are just concentrating on small areas now of farriers and training them up so they can support each other," Mr Diemling said.
Ellengowan horse breeder Peta Murphy has been using the cytek shoes for four years and said owners were doing "a 180" after seeing the impact the shoes have.
"I am passionate about this, because I think of the effect it has on these horses and the difference it makes to their lives," she said.
The five-day clinic at Highbourne Farm in Allora, was well attended by farriers, breeders and horse owners.