Think Again Before Trimming a Negative Palmar Angle Foot

Has the reliance on radiographs removed common sense before we pick up a foot?

Farrier Takeaways

  • For issues like correcting a negative palmar angle, reliance on radiographs without the understanding the mechanics of the issue results in poorer footcare for the horse.
  • It is important for the veterinarian and farrier to discuss the cause and effect of cases, and to address the needs under their expertise.

This year marks my 55th year of shoeing horses. Techniques have changed several times throughout that career based on subjective evaluation and misleading science. We now live in the age of information (and misinformation), and those who force their opinions on our farriery practices are expanding. Throw in a measure of “how-to” by owners and veterinarians who don’t shoe horses for a living, yet feel the need to tell us how to do it anyway. Fortunately, knowledge will help weed out the stupid stuff.

The autonomy that we should have to practice our craft is based on our experiences, skill and education. Actual decisions of normal hoof-care standards and the necessary techniques to address gait problems or lameness issues mediated by farriery should be left in the hands of the farrier.

Yes, input from other professionals involved with the case should be considered. However, the decision should be left with the farrier because that is the professional who will be the ultimate responsible party for those decisions.


Gain food for thought by reading other footcare observations by Randy Luikart at

Farriers have been known to make decisions that were not successful — some have made…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all American Farriers Journal content and archives online.

Randy luikart 2014

Randy S Luikart

Randy Luikart is a Hall of Fame farrier based in Ashland, Ohio. He has shod horses for more than 50 years and is a past president of the American Farrier’s Association.

Top Articles

Current Issue

View More

Current Issue

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings