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BALANCE THEORY. David Farmilo, shown here during the 2006 International Hoof-Care Summit, believes his method of balancing the hoof can clear up many common hoof-care problems.
What does it mean to “Balance the Hoof?” Ask a farrier if he balances a hoof and he will say, “Yes.” Ask him to describe how he balances it and he will generally describe very convoluted ways of doing so without having any specific reference points for others to copy.
Is balancing a hoof a matter of trimming or shoeing so that it looks right?
Is there a simple, prescribed method to balance the hoof? Can it be found in textbooks?
What is the method of teaching young apprentice farriers to balance the hoof?
Do farrier schools have a standard method to balance the hoof?
Surely we need to make it simpler for young farriers to learn the simple basics if we hope to encourage them to join the trade.
I have been shoeing for 52 years and teaching for 6 years, and I have greatly simplified and developed my method of teaching in that time. In the eyes of the academics and the purists, my teaching method may not be the perfect method of shoeing, but it certainly achieves a very high degree of accuracy in a short amount of time while under the horse and enables the pupil to quickly understand what to look for and to solve the majority of problems.
FIGURE 1. This is a view of the foot before…