This Book of Basics Gives Nod to Natural

Understanding Equine Hoof Care

This is a primer on hoof trimming, shoeing and overall care written primarily for horse owners, though it might serve as a starting point for someone interested in becoming a farrier. Novice shoers might also find it useful as a quick reference work. 

The author, Heather Smith Thomas, started shoeing at age 14 on the family ranch under the watchful eyes of her father. Later, she was tutored by a local horse breeder and farrier.

Forty-seven years later, she’s still at it, and since 1966 she’s been caring for hooves on the Idaho ranch where she and her husband raise horses and cattle.

Along the way, she also took up endurance riding and became a prolific writer in the equine world, producing 18 books and thousands of articles for horse and livestock publications. She’s been a frequent contributor to American Farriers Journal.

Starting At Square One

Understanding Equine Hoof Care, a 160-page paperback, starts with basic anatomy of the hoof in the first chapter. Subsequent chapters tackle the logical topics: cleaning and trimming hooves, basic shoeing, types of shoes, dealing with loose or lost shoes, and common foot problems.

Understanding equine hoof care.jpg

By the final two chapters, Smith Thomas leads readers through “Corrective and Therapeutic Shoeing” and “Pinpointing and Diagnosing Lameness in the Foot.”

Through the chapters on the cleaning and trimming of hooves, Understanding Equine Hoof Care can be used as a how-to book of instructions for horse owners wanting to tackle the job themselves.

It can also be used that way…

To view the full article, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital and Premium subscribers. Please purchase a subscription to get access to all American Farriers Journal content and archives.

Heather Smith Thomas

Heather Smith Thomas is a freelance writer based in Salmon, Idaho. Her new book, Horse Tales, is available on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and other online retailers.

Top Articles

Current Issue

Cover_AFJ_0418_pub.jpg

American Farriers Journal

American Farriers Journal is the “hands-on” magazine for professional farriers, equine veterinarians and horse care product and service buyers.
View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings