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What About the Bony Column?

Proper alignment of angles, checking hoof-pastern axis are still seen as a critical foundation of good farriery.

Are farriers paying enough attention to aligning the bony column? Are they making enough of an effort to achieve an ideal hoof-pastern axis when possible? Or do some farriers overemphasize this concept as they work to balance hooves?

We decided to put some questions about the importance of this idea to some veteran farriers. The questions and answers follow.

Is proper alignment of the hoof-pastern axis or bony column important to good farriery and hoof care?

To begin with, aligning the bony column and hoof-pastern axis are two different things in my opinion. The bony column for me is the view from in front of the leg (dorsal view), and the hoof-pastern axis (HPA) is a lateral view. This is a very important part of proper farriery. If you don’t understand the basics of these two topics, you can’t make good decisions on where and how to properly trim a foot.

— Chris Gregory, Heartland Horseshoeing School, Lamar, Mo.

Proper hoof-pastern alignment is the essence of sound farrier work. In my opinion, this alignment can be summed up in one word: balance. Balance includes anterior-posterior and medial-lateral planes of the hoof.

The overall conformation of the horse needs to be taken into consideration when addressing this issue as well. A well-balanced horse is a comfortable horse, and a comfortable horse will be more likely to perform to its highest potential.

— Chris Beymer, Lexington, Ky.

If the leg joints of a horse are in line with each other — from…

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