Understanding Balance In Relationship To Movement

Horseshoe developer says the interplay of these concepts is key to a horse being shod correctly

Horseshoeing is often practiced without regard for the individual horse’s conformation and without examination of his manner of movement. This approach frequently results in bad or unnatural shoeing. Practices and beliefs that produce unnatural hoof shape result from a poor understanding of the hoof’s natural functions and forms.

The hoof of the horse is designed to function and wear in specific ways and under certain conditions. A normal hoof should be strong, symmetrical and well centered under the horse’s leg to support the structure above it. A hoof that does not meet these criteria will generally be out of 

The Five Points Of Balance

  1. Medial And Lateral Balance. This is square or 90 degrees to the centerline of the entire leg in the position of contact to the ground. Therefore, the hoof must contact the ground flat. It is that simple, but can become more complex if this is not applied in conjunction with the other points in shoeing horses.
  2. Anterior And Posterior Balance. Simply put, this is the proper angle of the hoof capsule in relationship to the angle and length of the pastern. Therefore, the hoof must contact the ground flat. Although we must also understand that raising the angle tightens the extensor tendon and will appear to elevate the pastern, as well as that lowering the angle will tighten the deep flexor tendon which will pull the pastern down.
  3. Symmetry. In simple terms, this is a hoof that is symmetrical to itself. Therefore, a shoe should also…
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