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Considerations for Getting a Better Fit

Farrier educator Dusty Franklin delivers insight on fitting feet by minding the basics

Through his travels around the globe while competing, testing and doing clinics, Dusty Franklin says fitting the feet is the most common struggle he finds among farriers. Considering all of the different points of views that exist among farriers, the owner and instructor of the Five Star Horseshoeing School in Minco, Okla., put together a presentation to address the subject in terms of the basics.

Sponsored by Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center, Franklin delivered his thoughts on the subject at The Shoein’ Shop’s annual clinic, held Jan. 10, 2015, at the Yucaipa, Calif., store. He utilized images from various cases to discuss shoe fit, followed by a live shoeing demonstration to emphasize several of his points.

Quick Tips For Fitting

Franklin says for his everyday work he cleans the sole, finds the horny frog and follows the same plane from the frog through the white line. He also applies a basic fit test to serve as a guide:

  • Establish your shape according to the white line. 
  • Find the arcs in the feet. 
  • Fit the shoe to the white line.
  • Expansion and length should be the same. 

As he ran through a series of feet that he or his students had trimmed or shod, Franklin provided clinic attendees with some quick tips and tests on improving your shoe fit.

Righty or lefty. When examining and working with the foot, Franklin says it is important to be aware of our preferences of left-handedness vs. right-handedness. This dominance can affect all aspects of working…

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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