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What Causes Hoof Capsule Distortions?

A quick survey of common causes of distortions to the hoof capsule

Tom Petersen defines distortions as alterations from the original form. More specific for farriers, common deviations like flares or crushed heels are alterations of the original form of the hoof capsule

“It may not always mean a bad thing, but we have to address it,”  says the Bozeman, Mont., farrier. “We need to keep the hoof capsule strong and help the horse with its longevity.”

But what causes hoof capsule distortions? The answer may seem like remedial farrier knowledge. However, Petersen says to not dismiss the simplistic. He shared a quick review of the subject with attendees at the early winter Michigan Horseshoers Association annual contest and clinic at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

Conformation as a Cause

Petersen says recognizing and accessing conformation can be difficult for the novice farrier, yet its understanding is a foundation for success. Recalling his early career, Petersen now sees how helpful it would be for novices to receive help from seasoned farriers in reading conformational deformities for making swift and appropriate decisions for the horse’s hoof care.

Seasoned farriers will view this as basic information, but Petersen reminds that the basics are the basis of service to the horse.

“Basics are incredibly important,” he says. “Having a solid understanding of conformational deformities allows you to pick them apart rapidly so you can develop a game plan and can execute it with intent.”

Set Goals and Stay Motivated

Tom Petersen has developed a reputation as a top competitor and knowledgeable farrier. His achievement…

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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