Evaluating for Trimming and Shoeing Plans

Hall of Fame farrier Grant Moon reviews the thought process that should result in a proper trimming and shoeing plan for the horses he works with.

The following article is based on Dr. Scott Fleming and Grant Moon's presentation at the 2019 International Hoof-Care Summit. To watch the presentation, click here.

Gimmicks and fads never last. What will always remain is a process of thought based in the basics of farriery. Grant Moon calls this being a thinking farrier — always evaluating what one sees and does when working with a horse. 

This thought process yields a system that is repeatable and applied to every horse. For the performance horses he works with, Moon calls this goal “shoeing in the normal zone.” He shared a survey of his process at the 2019 International Hoof-Care Summit during the Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center Friday Lunchtime Panel.

Building a Picture

It is important to have a repeatable process of evaluation before you work with a horse. Moon likes to begin with a static evaluation. During this, it isn’t just the observations he notes regarding the horse’s conformation or changes in the hoof capsule, but he also wants to gather overall information from the client, especially if he has never previously shod the horse.

“I’m going to ask how long the shoes have been on, if I haven’t shod the horse before, because that can be really indicative of some of the problems the horse has,” he says. “My shoeing looks good at 4 weeks, but at 12 weeks, it’s not so pretty.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Time is money, but you must swiftly conduct static and dynamic evaluations of horses.
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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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