A soundness exam can go a long way toward determining whether a horse is dealing with a subtle injury.

Mark Silverman, an equine veterinarian and farrier at Sporthorse Veterinary Services in San Marcos, Calif., discussed the importance of coordination between the vet and farrier during his lecture, “Podiatric Considerations in the Soundness Exam,” at the Northeast Association of Equine Practioners Symposium on Friday in Norfolk, Va.

“There’s a difference between a soundness exam and a lameness exam,” Silverman says. “There are no preconceptions with a soundness exam. We’re trying to find out whether something is wrong. It allows the opportunity to establish an overall impression of the horse.”

Silverman also discussed how a hoof-care practitioner might find greater insight from a thorough hoof exam and what other information might be discovered.

“Take a visual tour of the hoof,” he says. “You’re looking for things that suggest you should look further. Is the foot balanced? Are there flares? Is there jamming?”