When the foot is viewed from the hoof bottom, Duckett’s Dot can be found about of an inch behind the point of the trimmed frog.

Horse Foot Balance is Verified

Scientific research easily defines and proves hoof balance is understood

Farrier Takeaways

  • Balance as applied to farrier work is defined as equal weight or force distribution around the center of gravity of the horse’s limb.
  • Balance is influenced by many things. First and foremost is limb conformation. Nutrition, condition of the teeth, ability and position of the rider, soreness, draft, speed, weight and configuration of the shoe, can all affect balance.
  • Visualizing the position of the coffin bone within the hoof around its axes is essential to creating a sculptured hoof attached to a shoe base of support. The shoe must be fit to provide the base necessary to bring the limb into equilibrium.

Recently it has become popular for some farrier and veterinary clinicians to speak of horse foot balance as “not easily definable,” “not well understood,” and even “controversial.” They apparently are unaware of the vast body of published empirical evidence and scientific research verifying the principles of balance. Or, they have chosen to ignore such and have a favorite shoe or technique they desire to sell that is based upon an unsubstantiated idea.

All well-trained and competent farriers can recognize balance or lack thereof in the horse’s foot. It has been my experience after 58 years of teaching that those persons who say balance is controversial or subjective have not spent the time to study and/or had enough farrier experience to understand balance. Seeing and achieving balance is a right brain activity learned by experience until it almost becomes subconscious.

Balance as applied to farrier work is…

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Doug butler 0917

Doug Butler

Doug Butler and his sons Jake and Pete run Butler Professional Farrier School, LLC near Chadron, Neb. They have trained successful farriers from all over the world. Their weekly “Farrier Focus Podcast” features interviews with successful horsemen and farriers. They have authored many of the standard texts used for modern farrier training. Doug was one of 51 teachers interviewed by Bill Smoot for his 2010 book “Conversations with Great Teachers” published by Indiana University Press.

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