When a horse owner calls Blane Chapman to ask him to take on a therapeutic case, one the most important steps in the process begins immediately — the evaluation.

“My evaluation doesn’t start when the horse is trotting around the parking lot,” the Vernon, Texas, farrier tells attendees of the International Hoof-Care Summit — 2021 Virtual Clinic Series. “It starts on the phone when they call me at the outset.”

Chapman begins mining for information about the horse.

  • What is the horse’s job?
  • What is the owner seeing and experiencing?
  • When does the horse present with the problem — at the walk, run, etc.?
  • While doing its job, when is the horse having problems?

“I always ask lots of questions,” Chapman says. “The timing of when the horse is shod is important. When it’s shod, is it sore for a period of time after, then gets better? This gives me a good indication of whether it’s a trimming, shoeing, application problem. Or, is it from an old injury.”

Radiographs aren’t always available, but Chapman takes full advantage of them when they are. After all, the most important aspect of the evaluation comes from the foot itself.

“We want to make sure the horse has adequate sole depth,” he says. “Is the bony column in alignment? I’m a big proponent of bony column alignment in congruency with P1, P2 and P3. A lot of the horses are going to have joint spaces that are different medial-laterally and anteriorly-posteriorly.”

Of course, therapeutic shoeing doesn’t conclude with the evaluation.

“The trim is the most important aspect of shoeing,” Chapman says. “The trim stumps us all the time, and it’s not as difficult as we seem to make it.”

To gain insight from Chapman’s trimming and shoeing protocol, as well as how he determines shoe selection, watch his International Hoof-Care Summit — 2021 Virtual Clinic Series presentation “Therapeutic Shoeing Packages fr the Performance Horse.”

If you’re not registered for the International Hoof-Care Summit — 2021 Virtual Clinic Series and would like to watch Chapman’s presentation or the 17 other informative Therapeutic Shoeing sessions in February, you can do so here. Each month, the IHCS will tackle a different hoof-care theme. By registering today, you will have access to February’s sessions, as well as those that follow through September. In addition, you will be automatically signed up to attend live online panel discussions, as well as live question-and-answer sessions.