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What is Mediolateral Balance in Farriery?

Scientific research offers insights in the context of everyday hoof care and shoeing

Farrier Takeaways

  • Mediolateral is an anatomical term of location describing the median plane as a special sagittal plane in the midline of the body, dividing an object into left and right portions.
  • The term balance, in the context of trimming and shoeing, describes static-geometric, dynamic-functional and natural-individual factors related to the function of the equine hoof and distal limb.
  • Aesthetic ideals should not be put above the functional demands of the horse.

Mediolateral balance is a widely and sometimes misleading term used by equine professionals, in particular farriers and veterinarians. This article aims to clarify terms related to “mediolateral balance” and to give an overview of current research findings regarding trimming and shoeing.

Mediolateral is an anatomical term of location describing the median plane as a special sagittal plane in the midline of the body, dividing an object into left and right portions (Dyce et al. 2010). The term median plane can also refer to the midsagittal plane of other structures, such as the limb or digit. The evaluation of an anatomical structure in its median plane is done from frontal or viewed from the back.

Before any treatment, static and dynamic evaluation of the horse is crucial to obtain important information and references for trimming or shoeing (Baxter 2011). Previous evaluation of horses is the duty of the farrier. Depending on the results of the evaluation, decisions are made as to which trimming method is useful to maintain or improve the function of the hoof and if or which…

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Jennifer hagen 5

Jenny Hagen

Jenny Hagen, DVM, PhD, CF, is a veterinarian, re­searcher and certified farrier. She is in private practice for equine ortho­pedics and chiropractic. She is a mem­ber of the faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Leipzig University in Ger­many.

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