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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.
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…