A Question of Balance: A Hoof-Care Constant

Advice on this important topic, drawn from the AFJ archives

There may be no topic in hoof care that draws more interest — and causes more controversy that that of hoof balance. Here are a few comments, ideas and theories drawn from the archives of American Farriers Journal.

And, yes, we’re sure some of them will cause controvsersy.

“To balance a horse’s hoof is both an art and science. The art is in delvoping a visual sense of what is needed and how to maniuplate what you have to achieve your desired effect. The science is found in developing a systematic, consistent method of observing the hoof. The science is learning what is normal and what is not. But is is by developing both the art and the science that we all can better serve the horse.”

— Tracy Turner, DVM, Anoka, Minn., AFJ, Nov. 2003

“You’ll hear me talk about good hoof balance or correct hoof balance, but hopefully, you’ll never hear me say ‘ideal’ hoof balance, because that implies that there’s one hoof shape that’s ideal for all situations. I don’t believe that. I think you have to view balance in relatinsip to the rest of the horse, how it moves, where it lives and what it does for a living.”

— Al Kane, DVM, Fort Collins, Colo., AFJ, Sept./Oct 2004

“Balance as it applies to horseshoeing can be defined as trimming and shoeing the foot so as to apply the weight-bearing base of the foot as close as possible to the center of gravity of the leg…

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