How is Your Hoof Care Affecting the Inside of the Equine Foot?

Identifying traumatized internal structures can help prevent and intervene on pathology

Pictured Above: Creating heel checks on the grinder can allow substrate to move through the heel region without gathering and causing discomfort. Photos: Stuart Muir

The art of farriery has been in practice for hundreds of years. The trademark of a highly skilled farrier during this period has been precision fit and a polished finish, coupled with meticulous care and pride.

Although the farrier industry has a historical foundation, the internet has provided a significant amount of access to new information in recent years. Hoof-care professionals are generally more educated about internal anatomy, and how therapeutic accessories affect the horse. This movement has grown because researchers and hoof-care providers from around the world can connect with each other.

With the availability of information, for the first time in years, the farrier industry is seeing advancements in not only literature but also product availability. Because of this, coupled with veterinarians sharing diagnostic imaging, the farrier industry is seeing significant growth.

Farrier Takeaways

  • It’s important to recognize the effects of bone remodeling before trying to achieve ideal angles through farriery.
  • Treatment plates can help deflect ground reaction forces that can create bruising to the sensitive underlying structures.
  • Wedging the hoof capsule over time can put the caudal region of the foot under more stress with center-of-pressure changes.

Identifying Internal Structure Changes

While the art of horseshoeing focuses on cosmetic attributes, it’s important to consider that the sensitive structures located below the exterior surface are being stimulated during the shoeing process. It can…

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Stewart muir ihcs 18

Stuart Muir

Stuart Muir is a resident farrier at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., and president of the Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners.

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