On June 14, Olympia Farrier Supply, http://olympiafarriersupply.com/, hosted a clinic sponsored by Farrier Product Distribution, http://www.farrierproducts.com/, in Olympia, Wash. The clinic featured a presentation and the live shoeing of a horse by clinician Dave Farley, drawing 38 attendees.

Clinician and American/Canadian Association of Professional Farriers, http://professionalfarriers.com/, President Dave Farley is from Ohio and has 35 years of farrier experience. He was named Clinician of the Year in 2000 by the AFA and was inducted into the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame in 2008, https://www.americanfarriers.com/pages/Information-International-Horseshoeing-Hall-Of-Fame.php. In more recent years, his focus has been on hunters and jumpers in the A circuit.

Dave’s presentation was focused on his “12 Points of Reference for Evaluating Limb Balance,” for which he also has a DVD series with Roy Boom, APF, CJF. The DVDs go into more detail for what the reference points are and how they affect balance. According to the Farrier Product Distribution website, Dave’s 12 points of reference are as follows: 

  1. When you stand to the side of the horse, you should notice the plane of the knee. It is important as the direction of the plane of the knee affects break over. From the same position, you should also look at the cannon bone and its relationship to the knee. Is it normal, or is it offset, medial or lateral to the knee?
  2. While in front of the limb, draw a perpendicular line down through the center of the cannon bone through the pastern and exiting the center of the hoof.
  3. Look at the coronary band (frontal view) and its relationship to the ground. Compare the medial and lateral length of hoof wall from this view.
  4. Check the hoof edge or shape in relationship to the coronary shape.
  5. From the side (lateral view) of the horse, draw a perpendicular line down through the cannon bone to the highest, widest part of the frog. Position the heels to that point.
  6. From the same viewpoint, compare the hoof and pastern alignment. Toe length, heel height and length of pastern should be used to determine normal alignment.
  7. From behind the limb, draw a perpendicular line don the center of the canon bone through the pastern through the center of the frog.
  8. Also from the posterior view, compare heel heights and both medial and lateral wall heights.
  9. In the Farrier’s position of holding the foot, look at the heel positioning in relationship to the highest, widest part of the frog.
  10. From the same farrier’s position find the medial/ lateral center of the frog and measure from that point to the widest part of the quarters, both medial and lateral and compare measurements.
  11. From the farrier’s position, sight the foot to measure the heel length and the level of the bottom of the foot.
  12. With the hoof on the hoof stand, sight over the coronary band to compare the shape of the hoof edge to the coronary band’s shape. A contour gauge can be very helpful in comparing coronary band shape to the toe.

“The idea behind the 12 points is that when you develop your overall perspective of the limb, the challenges you face in establishing good hoof and limb balance are lessened,” claims the Farrier Product Distribution website. More information on Farley’s “12 Points of Reference for Evaluating Limb Balance” and on his DVD series can be found on the Farrier Product Distribution website at: http://www.farrierproducts.com/farriery/NAArchives/featurearticles/feature6.html.

Olympia Farrier Supply holds frequent clinics and will host another soon. “It’s a good deal for farriers,” says Ken Floyd of Olympia Farrier Supply. “A lot of them want the continuing education. As long as they keep coming to our clinics and want the continuing education, we will continue to host these clinics. I try to give the farriers whatever they want in regards to the clinics we host. I’ll say, ‘Here’s who the options are for the clinicians,’ and ask them who they would most like to hear from and about what.”