Leverage Vs. Support

Before extending heels and adding extensions to your horseshoes, be sure you understand the conflicting forces that come into play

It is human nature to think that if a little is good, lots would be better. Applying that thought to most aspects of shoeing is incorrect, and giving support to the point of leverage is a good example.

I hope that this article can give you some thoughts on the subject, and a position to defend when discussing the benefits or downside to the application of different shoeing strategies. It is also important for every reader to easily understand these principles, so the math and physics of leverage are not what I am trying to explain, just some straightforward thoughts on the subject of placing a horseshoe under a horse.

Defining The Terms

Let’s begin with some definitions. First is support. The word has a lot of meanings in different contexts. For our purposes, support means to bear or hold up weight, mass structure, etc., provide a foundation without giving way. That is easy to understand, and ideally what a shoe provides to a foot, leg, limb and horse.

Now to the definition of leverage. Leverage by itself is defined as the use of a lever. So, what is a lever? It is a rigid object used with a fulcrum to multiply mechanical force. This can be termed “mechanical advantage,” and it is one of the six simple machines. As you can easily imagine, support taken too far creates leverage.

The terminology we are using here can be used in many different contexts. Consider politics, where an industry supports…

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Chris Gregory

Chris Gregory is the owner of Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo., and a member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame.

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