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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…