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Practical Advice for Reading the Horse

At the Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners meeting, Swiss farrier Stefan Wehrli discussed his thorough plan for evaluating a horse

 

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Read about Stefan Wehrli’s application of what he sees in his examination of the horse in developing a plan in the March 2019 issue of American Farriers Journal.

It is one of the basic cornerstones of farriery: invest the time with the horse to watch it before picking up its feet. Each farrier has their own system, withsome commonality to their approaches. But is the necessary time being spent with each horse, and is the process with each horse consistent?

Hedswli, Switzerland, farrier Stefan Wehrli says it is imperative that the horse must be thoroughly examined by the farrier before working with it. But it isn’t good enough simply to watch a horse move. You need a consistent, repeatable and objective method for your horse analysis. Wehrli has a structured process for examination of the horse before he shoes it. He shared this approach at the September 2018 Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners Symposium in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Farrier Takeaways

  • aluating a horse should be consistent and helpful in providing information you need for improving its footcare.
  • Observe the horse moving on a flat surface and the surface material it works in.
  • Watching each limb individually when a horse walks on a sloped surface provides different perspectives on it.

Step 1: Gait Analysis

Farriers often have access to advanced diagnostic results. These are helpful under the right circumstances, but Wehrli doesn’t like to see radiographs of the horse before he conducts his own examination. Instead he wants…

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Jeremy_mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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