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The practical art of shoeing horses is often a combination of necessity and the desire to provide therapeutic or athletic advantage to the horse. Hoof capsule variances can provide untold obstacles and challenges that might need addressing during the life of a horse.
Identification of contradicting pathology or diseases can make a shoeing prescription challenging. It also might make certain approaches either infeasible or unsustainable for a particular horse over an extended period of time. An example of this could be internal pathology coupled with exterior environmental diseases of the hoof capsule.
It can be useful to approach each limb as an individual case to maximize both the horse’s and farrier’s chances for success. Therefore, having an evaluation protocol can be useful.
Employing a systematic approach in the overall assessment can help the hoof-care provider interpret the case and aid in deciding the best approach to managing any potential problems. Once the hoof-care provider has identified the need for change within a shoeing prescription, creativeness and adaptability can come into play.
Assessment of limb conformation is a good place to start when preparing to shoe a horse…