Among the horses that you regularly tend to, there is probably a segment that doesn’t grow much foot — particularly this time of year. Sending it back to its stall untouched isn’t a choice that you’ll see Lafayette, Ind., farrier Danvers Child make.

“I would have looked at that foot 15 years ago and said, ‘I don’t need to trim it,’” says the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame member as he examines the foot of a 5-year-old gelding. “Today, I look at it and say, ‘This is an opportunity to finesse and gain on this foot.’ So it becomes the idea of it’s not how much you take, but how much you leave.”

In the gelding’s case, Child makes minor adjustments that will produce significant results.

“I’m a fanatic about heels and bars,” Child says. “I believe that wherever the seat of the corn is, is where your heel is functioning.”

That means pulling the seat of the corn back.

“My seat of the corn is all the way up here (top photo) and I have that bend,” he says. “If the bar is a continuation of the wall, then as it is, that’s a flare. So, I’m going to take that flare out of the bar to keep it from coming into the foot. I’ll move that seat of the corn back and encourage my heel to function where it belongs. I’ve removed very little foot from this horse, but I have functionally changed a ton.”

For more hoof-care insights from Danvers Child, read “Don’t Limit Your Hoof-Care Options” in the January/February 2019 issue of American Farriers Journal.