Shoeing the Modern Horse: The Horse Owner’s Guide to Farriery and Hoof Care

By Steve Kraus, CJF, with Katie Navarra

In the introduction to Shoeing the Modern Horse: The Horse Owner’s Guide to Farriery and Hoof Care, Steve Kraus states, “The idea here is not to teach a horse owner how to shoe or trim. Instead, it is to help an owner have a better understanding of shoeing and hoof-care requirements for the modern horse to create more informed conversations with a farrier. It still remains that a well-trained farrier usually knows what is best for individual horses.”

With this theme, Kraus addresses current misconceptions clients may have about the care and maintenance of their horse’s feet. Kraus is Cornell University’s head of Farrier Services, senior lecturer for large animal surgery and a member of the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame.

To Shoe or Not to Shoe

In the first chapter, Kraus takes the horse by the feet and delves, unapologetically, into the controversy — to shoe or not to shoe. He explains the concepts of barefoot vs. shoeing, declaring that one method for all horses spells disaster for many of them.

Kraus developed an acronym he calls WIDTH. It is a protocol that he uses in his decision-making process that determines what is in the best interest of the horse.

Work. What does the horse do?

Intensity. How hard does the horse regularly work?

Duration. How many hours or miles does the horse work?

Terrain. How hard or forgiving is the working surface? Is traction needed to be safe while being competitive?

Horse. What is the breed, conformation, health…

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Bob Smith

Bob Smith is a Hall Of Fame farrier and owner of the Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School in Plymouth, Calif.

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