Equine Body Work Benefits Hooves

Making uncomfortable horses comfortable makes farriers’ jobs easier and improves feet

Pictured Above: When a horse doesn’t want to put a front hoof on a stand, there is usually a pain issue, Rebecca Tenges says.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Imbalances in the upper body can affect the form and function of the feet and also cause discomfort and reduced range of motion in the legs when the farrier is trying to work on feet.
  • It doesn’t do much good to trim and balance the feet if abnormal forces in the body are going to keep pulling the leg/hoof out of balance and re-create the problems.
  • Whole-body bodywork can relieve stresses due to soft-tissue pulls on the skeletal structure and make the farrier’s job easier and more productive.

Each horse is born with its own conformation, but many factors affect skeletal structure and posture as the foal grows up.

Often by the time a farrier is working on that horse’s feet, there are issues that put stress on various parts. The feet and legs not only will be out of “balance,” but the horse might be uncomfortable in positions farriers want for it as they work on the feet. A farrier might think the horse’s resistance is a behavioral issue, when in fact it is related to discomfort.

More Than Massage

Rebecca Tenges, owner of Equine BodyWorks LLC and Equine Bodyworks Academy International in Mequon, Wis., often works with farriers on horses with challenging…

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Heather Smith Thomas

Heather Smith Thomas is a freelance writer based in Salmon, Idaho. She has been writing books and articles for nearly 50 years.

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