Lee Green

Hoof Gauges From All the Angles

When it comes to these devices, there’s little middle ground


CONSISTENCY IS ESSENTIAL. Lee Green says in order for any hoof gauge to be used effectively, the hoof must be level and the gauge placed on the hoof the same way, each time. Here, Green Bay, Wis., farrier Monica Hoff uses a Ward And Story Hoof Protractor, which Green manufactures and markets.

Hoof guages are a little bit like seat belts.

In driver’s education classes, we’re all taught to “buckle up.” But when we get out on the road, some of us don’t.

As for hoof gauges, odds are at some point in their learning process, most American farriers are taught to use and told they are important. But once they embark on a career ...

In an informal survey of more than 100 farriers taken during the 2004 American Farrier’s Association convention in Rochester, N.Y., just 26 percent of the respondees reported that they use a hoof gauge on every horse. A whopping 63 percent said they use a gauge on only an occasional horse, while 11 percent said they never used a hoof gauge.

Why Not?

Farriers offer a number of reasons for not using hoof gauges — or not trusting them — perhaps the most frequently heard one being that no two hoof gauges measure alike. Others warn against an overreliance on hoof gauges, saying that the toe angle measured by most gauges is just one aspect of bringing a horse into balance — and probably not the most important one.

Jack Miller, a certified journeyman farrier…

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Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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