Why David Duckett’s Foot Balancing Method is Still Confused with Russell’s

Maryland farrier Matthew Taimuty revisits the differences 20 years after writing Duckett vs. Russell

Farrier Takeaways

  • Establishing a scientific standard such as those that veterinarians adhere to would be beneficial for farriers to speak and understand the same language, thus benefitting the horse, Matt Taimuty says.
  • It’s critically important to follow David Duckett’s method in its entirety to ensure success. Piecemeal and improper application can result in a lame horse.
  • Applying Duckett’s work in its entirety results in accurate and repeatable hoof care, Taimuty says.

Duckett’s Dot likely is the most commonly cited reference point for farriers when determining balance of the equine foot. Yet, acceptance of David Duckett’s theory didn’t go according to plan.

When Duckett presented his groundbreaking work at the 1988 American Farrier’s Association Convention, in Lexington, Ky., it was almost immediately confused with the writing of another. Reuel Darling, a Clovis, Calif., farrier, told Duckett about Professor William Russell’s work in “Scientific Horseshoeing,” believing it to be his.

“You could have knocked me over with a feather!” Duckett recalled, according to “Duckett vs. Russell,” an article that was written by Federalsburg, Md., certified journeyman farrier Matt Taimuty and published in the March 1999 issue of American Farriers Journal. “It is obvious to the reader that I was not influenced by Russell’s work because there is a tremendous difference when making a comparison.”

The misconception about the similarity between the two theories persisted through the ensuing decade, prompting Taimuty to write the comparison-contrast article in hopes of dispelling the myths, as well as other mischaracterizations.

“People were comparing Duckett and…

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Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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