Grant Moon, the Welsh-born farrier who now lives in England, isn’t a big fan of the phrase “long-toe, low-heel.”
Speaking at a clinic at Wagon Mound Farrier & Ranch Supply in Solano, N.M., Moon told his audience that the phrase can send a wrong message to clients — that the problem is that the foot doesn’t have enough heel. If t hey think that, they are likely to wonder why they see the farrier trimming any heel at all.
Moon prefers to use “long-toe, collapsed-heel,” or “long-toe, underrun-heel.” Clients more easily understand that the collapsed portion of the heels needs to be trimmed away, or that underrun heels need to be corrected.
When dealing with this situation, Moon believes shoes need to be set back. However, he says the shoes does not need to (and in some cases cannot) be set back to the correct position the first time you shoe for the condition. Instead, he’ll move the shoe back in stages.
“It probably didn’t go wrong in one shoeing,” says Moon. “It doesn’t have to be solved in one shoeing.”
Setting the shoes back and extending the heels is not a miracle cure, Moon maintains. He points out that most heels grow forward, particularly underrun heels. And no matter how far behind the heel the shoe extends, concussion will affect the hoof at the last point of weight bearing. If that point is too far forward, the concussion will hit the wings of the coffin bone and the navicular area, instead of the digital cushion. He points out that the coffin bone and the navicular area do not absorb concussion well.
Moon believes 85% to 90% of proper shoeing is the trim.
“How we trim the bottom of the foot is the most important part,” he says. After Moon rasps the bottom of a foot, he rasps around the outside edge from the bottom, removing any distortions or flares.
“Everything outside that belongs to me,” he says, pointing at the white line. “Everything inside belongs to him.”
We’ll have more on Moon’s presentation in a future issue of American Farriers Journal.