Computerized Hoof Analysis Offers Instant Look at Footcare Worries

When dealing with complicated shoeing work, a new type of hoof analysis may provide valuable answers in the future

During the recent International Conference on Equine Locomotion, staffers from Tekscan, Inc., demonstrated the firm’s F-Scan Hoof System. While the unique hoof pressure measurement system has many benefits in providing research answers, farriers in attendance also indicated that the information could be used in clinical analysis of numerous footcare problems.

Adapted from more sophisticated systems used in the human medical world, the pressure analysis system from the South Boston, Mass., company has many applications in hoof-care research work and in equine health programs compared to other motion analysis units costing nearly 20 times as much.

Pat Reilly, the resident farrier at the Rochester Equine Clinic in Chester, N.H., sees a tremendous potential for these systems when doing a clinical analysis with problem horses. The resulting data could be used to determine how the center of force moves around the foot, help find new ways to more effectively treat laminitis, refine trimming, techniques, analyze the effect of breakover and even determine how to select the best shoe for a particular therapeutic problem.

“As an example, I can use Vettec’s Equi-Pak to spread the weight around a hoof, but this may change the center of gravity and the center of force,” says Reilly. “By using this computerized hoof analysis system, we might find more than the obvious benefits. With laminitis, as an example, I could see the impact of moving weight around the hoof and see the effect of moving the center of mass away from a particular area of the foot.”

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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