Duckett Vs. Russell

Similar or not, comparing the hoof balancing ideas William Russell used almost 100 years ago and those advocated today by David Duckett have resulted in considerable confusion

Author's Note: This is a non-biased perspective on the work of William Russell and David Duckett for the purpose of comparing hoof balancing methods. It is limited to the basic concept of hoof balance in the normal horse. Remedial and therapeutic practices will not be addressed, as that is another topic altogether.

Wherever possible, both men are quoted verbatim in order to minimize any confusion or inaccuracy due to paraphrasing. All references to William Russell’s work are taken from the seventh edition of Scientific Horseshoeing which was published in 1903.

Edited quotations of Russell are presented for journalistic reasons. He had a tendency to expostulate grandly, often saying things in several ways. The editing in no way detracts from or changes Russell’s intended meaning.

It is not the intent of this article to be a how-to or step-by-step dissertation on the work of either man, but to compare the basis of their hoof balancing methods.

For a more in-depth look at their approaches, Russell’s book may be purchased through many farrier shops and book outlets and David Duckett’s clinics and lectures may be attended at many locations.

All quotations and information relating to Duckett’s work were taken from his lectures and interviews in preparation of this article. All illustrations and photos referring to Duckett’s work were approved by him. He is also in the process of writing a book on his work.

—Matthew Taimuty

"There are some points on the question of shoeing notoriously at issue between writers and shoers…

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