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No foot, no horse.” What does that mean?
Originally, it came from the cavalry. A soldier needed the hoof of his deceased horse in order to receive a new one. Today, however, the expression has come to emphasize the importance of caring for our horses’ hooves.
It has been widely documented that shoeing has a direct effect on the musculoskeletal system of the horse.1
Until recently, farriery has been based on tradition, anecdotal evidence and personal experience. With the introduction of objective locomotion assessment and, importantly, pressure plate systems, a new revolution of evidence-based farriery research is taking place.2
Scientific study of the relationship between hoof balance and the wider musculoskeletal system is still in its infancy. However, with the expression that began this article, it’s…