Using Adhesives To Balance A Horse’s Foot

South Carolina farrier uses creativity when a horse doesn’t grow enough foot

Several times a day, a farrier is seeking “stability produced by the even distribution of weight” in horse’s feet. Although the definition is rather straightforward, achieving balance is another ball of wax.

“Balance is not black and white,” Jeff Pauley told attendees at the annual Centaur Forge fall clinic in Burlington, Wis. “There is no blueprint for balance because all horses are made differently. Balance is particular to the horse you’re working on.”

The Landrum, S.C., farrier had yet to see the horse scheduled for the afternoon shoeing demonstration. If it had a blueprint, it was lost long ago.

Farrier Takeaways

  • When working on a horse for the first time, it’s important to watch the horse trot before touching it to assess its movement and determine its soundness.
  • When an imbalanced horse does not have enough foot for a trim, an artificial hoof wall can be built with an adhesive.
  • When applying the adhesive, keep it to the outside so it will run off to the outside of the foot rather than the inside, which would create sole pressure.

Analyzing The Horse

Assessing the horse before lifting the leg is an important first step for Pauley.

“I don’t always trot out horses, but I’ll watch them come to me,” he says. “If I’m not around when they come up to the crossties, I will at least evaluate them by walking around them before I start shoeing them.”

Pauley will make a point of trotting the horse, though, in specific situations.

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Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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