Developing The Eye For Detail

Learn to observe greater detail in the equine foot by breaking it down into smaller parts and sketching it


  • You can read a 2017 paper by Dr. Redden on principles for successfully sketching the equine foot.
  • Watch interview videos we recorded with Dr. Redden.

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I am constantly striving to find ways to teach my veterinarian and farrier students how to tune their eyes to observe the smallest details. Many years ago, I learned that the caveman mentality is still a great way to teach. Simply studying the many messages left on stone by our predecessors from thousands of years ago allows us to step into their bare footprints and visualize what their eyes were seeing.

Also, one of the most effective methods of learning observation of the equine foot is through sketching. When we learn to draw what we see, we realize that our eye really did not capture the smaller details as the sketch may not even resemble what we thought we observed.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Using a grid can help you look at the foot in smaller sections, allowing for clearer recognition of subtle details.
  • When using the photo grid, move from one square to the next to help train your eye.
  • The practice of sketching the foot and using a photo grid can allow farriers and veterinarians to have more productive conversations with the footcare team through communicating on the same page.

Sketching The Foot

Our perspective of the foot varies greatly for several reasons. No one can see the world through another’s eyes. Therefore, the perspective views are…

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Ric redden

Ric Redden

A farrier and veterinarian, Dr. Ric Redden earned his veterinary degree from Ohio State University in 1974. In 1983, he built the International Equine Podiatry Center — the first podiatry center dedicated exclusively to the equine foot — in Versailles, Ky. He is a member of the International Equine Veterinarian Hall of Fame.

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