Inside the Perimeter: Setting The Shoe Back

Shoeing to support caudal support that doesn't have to be complicated and helps a lot of horses

Figure 1

As we all know, each association has its own set of guidelines for judging competence as far as certifications and competitions are concerned.  However, the “perimeter fit” is not the only method for shoeing a horse, though many times it is the most appropriate one.

This article will focus on the practice of setting the shoe back — or under — the hoof. This is a method with which I’ve had great success. It is also a method with which I’ve seen other farriers go horribly wrong, with the horse suffering as a result.

Let’s focus on these four areas.

  1. Easing breakover.
  2. Supporting the fetlock.
  3. What pitfalls to avoid.
  4. Support angles vs. toe angles.

Many of the horses that come to my practice are referred by veterinarians, or by my regular clients. I get a chance to see numerous diseased and poorly shod hooves. As such, I am asked to perform miracles on a daily basis.

Please keep in mind that what might work wonders for one horse, rarely works on every horse. Remember that, in most cases, it took a long time for a hoof to get to a such a poor state. Don’t plan on fixing everything that it wrong with the hoof in one shoeing.


Figure 2.

Knowledge, experience and skill in the forge have been adequate for centuries. With the exception of new materials (synthetics, etc.), we aren’t going to “invent” anything new. We are merely rehashing ancient knowledge that has either been forgotten…

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Nicholas denson 2019

Nicholas B Denson

Nicholas B. Denson is a Sagamore Beach, Mass., farrier specializing in therapeutic and performance hoof-care.

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