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Effective Hoof-Care Begins with Evaluation

Developing a routine to improve dynamic and static assessment will pinpoint existing or potential problems

Farrier Takeaways

  • If hoof-care providers do not make the time to approach the entire horse rather than just the feet, we are doing the horse a disservice.
  • Comprehensively assessing the horse with a systematic approach can accurately pinpoint existing or potentially problematic areas.

Farriers have an incredible influence on the health of the horse. We are often the first called when there is an issue, regardless of its relation to the feet. Farriers are expected to be experts in other aspects of horse care and are tasked with keeping a horse sound and comfortable throughout its life. There is much more to farriery than horse feet.

“Every detail of a horse’s life offers the farrier information that can be used to help the horse,” says Mike Wildenstein, FWCF, CJF, of Sharon, Vt. “Fine-tuning your observational skills and understanding the types of conformational deviations … and their origins will better position you to provide the best hoof-care solution for the horses in your care.”

By developing the skill to comprehensively assess the entire horse with a systematic approach, a hoof-care provider can accurately pinpoint existing or potentially problematic areas. Subsequently, the provider can then develop a plan or provide a solution for the future health and soundness of the horse.

Details such as the horse’s occupation, age, breed, previous injuries and health history offer important information to plan a shoeing protocol. If we do not make the time to approach the entire horse rather than just the feet, we are doing…

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Elise umstead

Elise Umstead

Elise Umstead is an Inter­na­­tional Association of Pro­fessional Farriers ac­­cred­ited professional farrier-I who is based in Prince George, Va.

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