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Defining and Fixing a Horse’s Club Foot

Hall of Fame farrier Simon Curtis maps how the industry can eradiate the equine club foot


Pictured Above: An upright foot is likely to have a contracted, oval-shaped hoof capsule, narrow frog and contracted heels.

Farrier Simon Curtis wants everyone to know that a club foot is not the same thing as an upright foot. Making the distinction is the first step toward resolving a club foot, he says.

“I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet because people are forever saying ‘an upright club foot.’ There is no link between an upright foot and a club foot. The only similarity is the dorsal hoof wall angle is quite steep,” Curtis says.

He knows what he’s talking about. Curtis, based in Newmarket, England, has been a practicing farrier for 46 years. He has lectured and demonstrated farriery in more than 30 countries on six continents, been published in numerous journals, authored four textbooks, earned a PhD in equine physiology and biomechanics, and is the only farrier to have been awarded an Honorary Associateship from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. He was inducted into the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame in 2005.

Farrier Takeaways

  • An upright foot is not the same as a club foot. It is important to understand the difference and spot a club foot early in a foal’s life.
  • Fixing a club foot requires relief of the underlying tendon-ligament stresses causing the flexural deformity.
  • Four treatments are available, only one of which is administered by a farrier. In some cases, more than one form of treatment might be needed.
  • Resolving club…
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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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