Farriers' Roundtable

Q. When extending the heels of a shoe beyond the back of the foot, how do you balance the horse’s need for support with concerns about leverage created by the steel hanging out behind the foot?

— Maryland  Farrier

A: Every horse has different needs. On back feet, I extend shoes no further than to the back of the bulbs and that depends on what the horse is used for. If he is low- or high-heeled, there is no set answer.

On front feet, if the horse has an over-reach problem I will not go past the end of the heel. That applies to roping horses, barrel horses and any horse that works or turns at high speeds. I will give a horse that is a pasture ornament more length because he doesn’t do much work.

If you shoe every horse the same way, you will end up shoeing 99 out of 100 wrong.

— Steve Eastman, Kenwood, Calif.

A: As a therapeutic farrier, it’s my professional opinion that if a horse requires extending the heels of a shoe farther back behind the foot, then that is where I put it. To do any less would be unethical.

Most horses I shoe for the first time end up in a larger shoe than what they were previously wearing — often two or three sizes larger. Support outweighs any concerns I would have about excess leverage generated by a full-support shoe.

I have found no research showing that a fully fit…

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.

Top Articles

Current Issue

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings