ELPO Hoof Mapping Method Helps Farriers Trim Feet Better

Process assists in identifying critical internal structures during hoof care

The following article is based on Steve Foxworth's presentation at the 2019 International Hoof-Care Summit. To watch the presentation, click here.

Farrier Takeaways

  • A critical factor in trimming distorted feet is understanding that the front half of the foot grows forward and outward, while the back half generally grows forward and inward.
  • Forward growth of the heels can cause pressure and bar compression, leading to a bruise, fracture or abscess.
  • Too much rasping or trimming too much of the sole to overcome
    distortions can cause pressure, soreness and remodeling of P3.

As director of education of the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization (ELPO), Steve Foxworth is a strong advocate of the organization’s hoof mapping method. The Loveland, Colo., farrier believes the approach can help farriers recognize hoof distortions while being aware of the tip of P3 and the center of the coffin joint.

In ELPO mapping, the first step is measuring from the dimple at the back of the central sulcus of the frog to the apex of the central sulcus.

“The reason for that is the length of the central sulcus doubled gives us the true apex of the frog,” Foxworth says. “We then measure from the true frog apex back 1 inch on a medium-sized foot and make a mark.”

Next, he says, “We look at where the laminae terminates in the bar. If the termination of the bars and 1-inch back from the frog apex line up, we’ll make a mark; that’s the widest part of the…

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Ron perszewski

Ron Perszewski

Ron Perszewski is a freelance writer and former associate editor of Ameri­can Farriers Journal.

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