Footcare Fit for a Farrier

Proper shoe selection will enable hoof-care professionals to improve posture and reduce pain

Pictured Above: The forefoot consists of 10 bones — five phalanges and five metatarsals; the mid-foot has a navicular, cuboid and three cuneiform bones. The talus and calcaneus bones can be found in the hindfoot along with synovial joints.

Editorial note: This is the first in a three-part series in which human and equine chiropractor Patricia Bona explores the significance of proper shoe fit and how to achieve it.

Farriers are well-acquainted with the phrase “no foot, no horse.” They understand probably better than anyone that strong, sound feet lay the groundwork for the overall health of the equine. Despite this understanding, farriers are often surprisingly unaware about their own footcare needs, and the adverse health effects that can result from poor shoe selection and fit as it relates to the farrier’s foot — the most significant being poor posture.

Posture is simply how your body is positioned when you stand or sit. Characteristics of good posture are neutral spine alignment and proper distribution of stress across the muscles and ligaments, the net result of which, less wear and tear on the joints.
Poor posture is just the opposite and can have a variety of long-term negative health consequences, the least of which is chronic pain.

As a chiropractor to humans for 33 years and horses for 26, I have seen and handled thousands of feet. Plantar fasciitis, fallen arches and bunions are the most common foot issues that I see. I watched my mother have hammer toe and bunion…

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Pat bona 2018

Dr. Patricia Bona

Dr. Patricia Bona, D.C. is a chiropractor for humans and animals (AVCA Certified since 1994), the co-founder of Broad Axe Chiropractic Center and inventor of the Posture Prep Cross Fiber Grooming system for horses. She has also spoken at such events as the International Hoof-Care Summit and Equine Affaire. Visit her at

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