What horses do you typically provide hoof-care for and what percentage has high-low hooves? How do you manage high-low on these horses?



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A: I provide hoof care to Thoroughbreds, hacks, show jumper, dressage and 3-day eventer horses. About 12% had high-low hooves — here in Australia we call it “grass hoof.” It’s caused by the horse continually only putting one foot forward to feed. The foot atrophies because the high heel never takes the horse’s full weight when it’s grazing. We try to keep feed off the ground as much as possible, which helps. I manage the feet by trimming the toe from long heels and heels from long toes. Shoeing and trimming every 4 weeks works well for my clients and keeps the hoof in function.

— Brian Rourke
Gorokan, Australia

A: I see high-low in pretty much every breed to one degree or another, but a higher percentage in Thoroughbreds. For mild cases, I shoe each foot simply with a standard shoe, but find that a toe clip on the low foot provides the best long-term results. On the more extreme cases, I have found that using a toe-clipped heart bar on the low foot works best.

— Cody Bogard
Cicero, Ind.

A: I see high-low in all breeds, worldwide. I manage the low heels by using…

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Kristen Kubisiak

Kristen Kubisiak has been a writer and photographer with newspapers and magazines for 15 years. A native of Wisconsin, she served as the Managing Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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