The rivet in a hoof knife handle can be used to measure the width of a foot and ensure shoe fit. Images: Jeff Cota

Briefings: April 2023

Measure a Horse’s Foot with a Hoof Knife

Tired of wearing a path from the horse to the anvil while trying to get the correct fit? Collinsville, Texas, farrier Danny Anderson reduced the number of trips by simply using his hoof knife.

After trimming a horse at Espuela Ranch, a Western pleasure horse training facility in Collinsville, Anderson places his hoof knife across the widest part of the hoof. After lining up the hook with the edge of the lateral wall, he notes where the second rivet lines up with the medial side of the hoof.

Anderson retreats to his Stonewell trailer where he retrieves a Kerckhaert Triumph aluminum shoe and places it on the anvil. Anderson places the hoof knife across the widest part of the shoe, lining up the hook with the lateral edge.

“When I check it,” he says, “I can tell whether I need to narrow or widen the shoe.”

The shoe is slightly too wide for the narrow-footed horse. After a few quick blows with his rounding hammer, Anderson checks the width of the shoe again with his hoof knife. 

“It gets the size pretty close,” he says.

Gain more insight in the May/June issue of American Farriers Journal as we spend the day with Anderson and his son Jarred.

Federal Court Rules Horseracing Act is Lawful

Congressional changes to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) are enough to satisfy constitutional concerns, the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rules. However, disagreements abound…

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