What advice has been most helpful when you first encounter a club foot?


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A club foot will show a positive, broken forward axis in the coffin joint region.

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A: Ask yourself: Why is the foot clubbed? Shorter leg? Wearing problem from pawing? Conformational? Is the so-called clubbed hoof really clubbed or is the other hoof low-angled or under run? Is there a tendon issue?

— Jim Wiedmeyer, West Bend, Wis.

A: Be cautious about your trim by taking little breaks and asking the horse: how does it feel? Be mindful of a tight deep digital flexor tendon.

— Ron Vogel, Adamstown, Md.

A: In short: you can’t “fix” it. Resist the temptation to drop the heels in an effort to match it to the other front foot or to appease a worried owner. Even though the club foot appears different, many of the same guidelines for performing a physiologically sound trim apply. Determining the grade and radiographs can help in developing an appropriate shoeing plan. Some horses with club feet may have additional pathologies such as pedal osteitis as a result of this conformation and this should be considered. The trim is likely suitable for the horse and hoof in question when there is an absence of dishing flare…

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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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