Thoughts On Medial-Lateral Balance

Colorado farrier Jim Quick shares food for thought on trimming and shoeing for a balanced foot

If you go to a Jim Quick clinic expecting him to dictate how you should shoe a horse, you’re at the wrong clinic. Instead, the Niwot, Colo., farrier says his purpose is to not give instructions to tell other farriers how to shoe, but to share his thoughts on how he does the job. Quick did just that at Bruce Daniels Memorial Clinic in early April when he suggested points of consideration regarding medial-lateral balance.

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” he says. “There’s always more than one way to approach any horse’s problem.”

“Farriers are taught to balance feet, to balance shoes. We try to build that balance in shoes early on as practice. But later on as you get out into the field, there’s going to be feet that this shoe just won’t go on,” Quick says. “My consideration is that there are feet that the shoe shouldn’t go on. There are things to consider when we assess each horse.”

As he showed slides of various horses, Quick joked that he should have qualified his presentation as “Random Thoughts On Trimming And Shoeing For Balance.” Here are some of those points that Quick shared with the attendees:

Understand your terms. Quick stressed the need to understand two often confused terms: symmetry and balance. “Symmetry refers to shape and balance refers to weight distribution,” he says.

He stresses that farriers recognize the difference and understand what you are searching for in “balance.”

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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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