Always Consider What Affects The Hoof’s Shape

Dr. Simon Curtis reminds farriers that there are a multitude of factors that affect hoof shape — and should be considered when trimming and shoeing horses

When working with horses, it is imperative for the farrier to mentally review aspects that affect the shape of the hoof. Some of these factors can be influenced by you as the farrier, while others are completely out of your control. All should be considered when trimming and shoeing the horse, as these factors will influence your decisions in maintaining its hooves.

“There are a lot of things that affect the hoof shape of the horse,” says Dr. Simon Curtis. “Hoof shape change, even in an old horse, can be quite dramatic.”

The Hall of Fame farrier and PhD from Newmarket, England, summarized many of the factors affecting the hoof capsule at the 2018 American Farrier’s Association Annual Convention in Reno, Nev. By showing information derived from his university research and observations derived from his years of farrier work, Curtis left conference attendees with fresh considerations for providing footcare for their clients’ horses back at home.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Treat each horse as an individual and consider the factors that affect the shape of each of its hooves.
  • Hoof generation and hoof growth are two different actions.
  • Understanding hoof changes of the young horse will help better prepare for the management of mature horses.

Horn Generation And Growth

Curtis began with a review of the anatomy of the hoof capsule. Much like the rest of the presentation, anatomy is an enormous subject, and only can be touched on in a lecture. As he reminds, the hoof isn’t a solid, rigid structure…

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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