The effects of solar corium bruising because of chronically thin soles. Photos: Stuart Muir

Add Mechanical Advantage into a Horseshoeing Prescription

Reducing concussion and understanding how the ground distributes energy is critical

Farrier science has been noted in literature for the beneficial effects in supporting lower limb pathology for hundreds of years. The farrier’s selection of shoes, approach to workmanship and focus on pathology is still relevant in today’s modern, progressive farrier industry.

When evaluating a veterinarian’s proposed shoeing prescription for the horse, considerations such as limb and hoof capsule conformation, diagnosed pathology, environment, discipline and the substrate the horse will be working in can be great places to start when creating a shoeing guideline.

With the development of analytical, slow-motion software, hoof-care providers are not only able to visualize the distal limb’s ability to dissipate significant amounts of concussion efficiently, but they are also able to appreciate the ground’s passive interaction with the hoof capsule’s solar surface.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Ensuring the hoof capsule has correct caudal support during the primary landing phase will secure the timely engagement of the shock absorbing structures within the lower limb.
  • Although predicting every surface for the horse can be almost impossible for the farrier, the traction value of the shoe and substrate need to be relative to each other.
  • Often, identifying the strongest structure of the hoof and then manipulating the loading forces to enhance the hoof capsule’s integrity can be a rewarding and pragmatic approach to therapeutic shoeing.

It is important to consider the relationship of dissipating limb weight, coupled with the opposing ground reaction forces, to offer some resolution to the loading forces that are caused through locomotion, when putting together a shoeing…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all American Farriers Journal content and archives online.


Stuart Muir

Stuart Muir is the resident farrier at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

Top Articles

Current Issue

View More

Current Issue

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings