Shoeing with Conformation in Mind

Taking note of seemingly minor points of how a horse stands and is put together makes a big difference in achieving balance

Bryan Baire, owner of Palmetto Farrier Service in York, S.C., and I met for breakfast at a little restaurant in York, a short distance from his home. Baire has been shoeing horses for a little over 3 years and is certified with the American Farrier’s Association and the Brotherhood of Working Farriers. We talked about the plans for the day and then headed out to his client’s barn, which was also in York.

We were met by the owner of Equisport Stables, Cyndi Jones, along with Beth Rebels, the owner of a nice Thoroughbred mare. Rebels’ mare, Cappy, has had some ongoing lameness issues and Baire thought it would be a good case to review. It also proved to be one that demonstrated the importance of taking a horse’s conformation into consideration when providing hoof care.

Taking Notes

I have an evaluation sheet that I use when I am doing consultations on horses. With the evaluation sheet I am able to review the horse’s conformation and note any irregularities that a horse may have so that those will be addressed during the trimming and shoeing of a horse.

York, S.C., farrier Bryan Baire, left, with Blake Brown, a clinician for the Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center.

My experience at working with nothing but lame horses over the past 28 years has shown me that when the horse’s conformation faults are recognized and addressed in trimming, then supported with a proper-sized and properly fitted shoe, those lamenesses disappear.

High-Low Problems

The first…

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