F1_S Curtis.jpg

Grip comes from reducing the slippage between the horse’s hoof, whether it’s shod or unshod, and the ground. Purchase is when the foot, both shod and unshod, holds onto and uses the ground to propel itself.

How Grip and Purchase Benefits the Horse

Understanding grip and purchase will improve your understanding of farrier physics

Farrier Takeaways

  • Understanding the concepts of grip and purchase can benefit the horse’s traction and hoof health in how you approach their shoeing.
  • Different horse breeds and disciplines will require their own unique levels of grip and purchase to function properly.
  • Grip and purchase can differ from breed and discipline, or if the horse is barefoot, but all horses use the basics of locomotion, grip and purchase.

Of the different techniques farriers bring to trimming and shoeing horses, probably one of the least talked about, yet vital resource, would be the concept of grip and purchase, according to Dr. Simon Curtis, a Newmarket, England-based farrier and International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame member.

Curtis, while lecturing at the 19th International Hoof Care Summit in 2022, explains that regardless of breeds, disciplines and uses, horses require a different understanding of how to use your grip and purchase when shoeing and trimming.

In simple terms, Curtis says, the grip of the horse’s hoof occurs in the back of the hoof, while the purchase happens in the front (Figure 1 top). The ideal definition of grip comes from reducing the slippage between the horse’s hoof, whether shod or not, and the ground. Purchase is where the foot, either shod or not, holds onto and uses the ground to propel itself farther along. Understanding how the horse’s hoof locomotion works is an essential part of properly shoeing and trimming.

Curtis says that it is important to understand a few definitions before continuing down the…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all American Farriers Journal content and archives online.

Al dickenson copy

Albert Dickenson

Al Dickenson is a freelance writer who is based in the Milwaukee, Wis., area.

Top Articles

Current Issue

View More

Current Issue

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings