Young horses in a growth spurt often experience some conformational issues.

According to the 2013 American Farriers Journal Horse Ownership Survey, 94% of all farriers are horse owners, and Darren Owen is no exception. His 16-month-old chestnut gelding is growing so quickly that his hind end is considerably higher than his withers.

“The horse gets muscled up during a growth spurt,” says the Suffolk, Va., farrier. “The feet rise up and fall to the inside. I leave the toe to challenge the digital flexor tendon.”

However, the foot likely will drag out. Owen uses a method that he picked up from Craig Trnka of Edgewood, N.M.

“I push the toe quarters in with the rasp,” Owen explains. “It allows the horse to develop a purchase point on the foot to do its work.”

Check out this and more farrier tips from Darren Owen, who is featured in December’s Shoeing For A Living in the next issue of American Farriers Journal.

Do you have a helpful tip that you would like to share with your fellow farriers? Please send it to Jeff Cota at If we use your tip, we’ll send you a free shirt.