A Valuable Diagnostic Tool When Properly Used

Practice will help you learn to localize pain without causing the horse too much additional discomfort

Like most tools at our disposal, there is a correct and safe way to use them, as well as an incorrect and dangerous way.

There are some basic parts to the hoof testers. The reins are what you hold in your hands; the jaws are the area that goes against the foot; and the stops, located at the base of the jaws, prevent the tips of the jaws from hitting each other.

AFJ_71-72-1.jpg

Testing around the inside of the hoof wall, moving ahead 1 inch at a time from heel to heel.

Hoof testers come in varieties as well. Some are adjustable like a pair of channel-lock pliers. Some have an adjustable slide and some have pressure-sensitive releases that can be programmed to place a certain amount of pressure on a foot. There is even a hydraulic type out there.

Regardless of the design, they all have one thing in common: They put direct pressure on an area of the foot with the intent of finding the point of pain in that foot. I like the larger, old-fashioned type.

Hoof-testers-23.jpg

Using hoof testers to test across the heels of the hoof.

Start With A Sound Foot

To use a pair of hoof testers, I first watch the horse go, so I…

To view the full article, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all American Farriers Journal content and archives online.

Chris Gregory

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

Top Articles

Current Issue

Cover_AFJ_0918_pub.jpg

American Farriers Journal

American Farriers Journal is the “hands-on” magazine for professional farriers, equine veterinarians and horse care product and service buyers.
View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings