Bar shoes could be considered the foundation of therapeutic farriery. A bar shoe is one in which the heels are joined to form a continuous unit of steel or aluminum. There are several patterns of complete bar shoes commonly used in therapeutic farriery including the straight bar, the egg bar, the heart bar, the heart bar-egg bar (full support shoe) and the "Z" bar shoe. It is important to realize and understand the multitude of benefits a bar shoe can provide such as increased stability of the hoof capsule, increased ground contact surface, local protection and recruitment of additional weight bearing areas of the foot. Furthermore, they decrease the independent vertical movement of the heels and provide the ability to unload or support a section of the foot. Placing a bar between the heels of a shoe adds several inches of surface area to the foot, thereby reducing movement and stabilizing the hoof capsule. The additional ground contact surface also seems to prevent the palmar-plantar section of the hoof from sinking into deformable surfaces providing a "flotation" effect. This effect appears to be helpful when treating palmar foot pain as it seems to limit the extension of the distal interphalangeal joint during the impact phase of the stride.