Balance From A "Classic" Perspective

For this master of shoeing trotters, the topic was a major concern

Editors Note: With balance being so critical to the success of trotting horses, it’s no wonder that Charles Arthur McLellan devoted a lot of space to the topic in his 1927 book, “The Art Of Shoeing And Balancing The Trotter,” which has been reissued by American Farriers Journal as part of “The Farrier Classics” series. Here is some of what McLellan had to say about balancing hooves.

Why My Method Has Not Been More Generally Adopted

I have read a great many articles in horse papers from the pens of various writers on the subject of balance, and in almost every case the writer described how he balanced some particular animal successfully. Such articles are interesting, but I shall attempt to show they may not be at all instructive when it comes to the question of application.

Of the many authors who have written books on the subject the majority, whose works I have read, have a tendency to recommend a particular treatment for each trouble, like shortening the toes in front and lengthening them behind, or perhaps the reverse, for over-reaching or scalping. In most instances, they fail to direct the reader to ascertain the cause then apply treatment accordingly.

To my mind, David Roberge, in his book, “The Foot Of The Horse,” is in a class by himself as an authority on balancing; but it is hard for the ordinary reader to catch the meaning of much that his book contains. For a horseshoer with a fair understanding…

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