Let the Heels Show the Way

California farriers find the back of the hoof wall holds the key

START WITH THE HEELS. The authors believe that most farriers are not taught to use the heels as a reference point. They use the toe instead.

Most of us will never forget the first time we took out our nippers and bit into a horse’s foot.

We did that first trim by the book. Most of us learned that your first action is to clean out the horse’s foot. Secondly, we were taught to use our hoof knife to pare out the sole, exposing the white line and toe as our point of reference. Then we began our trim at the toe. We were taught to remove excess hoof starting at the toe and tapering down as we approached the heel. 

Years later with thousands of trims under our belts, most of us still do things pretty much the same way we were taught. All of us revere our instructors and try to emulate them in our day-to-day work. That is as it should be. But there are likely at least a handful of things that most of us have altered at least a little bit. 

Over the years, we develop our own style and our own methodology. We build on the foundation of our predecessors like contractors build houses on concrete foundations. Sooner or later, our own unique shoeing techniques emerge and stand alone.

The Importance Of Heels

Over the years, we have noticed the effects of our shoeing methods. We have “talked shop” all along the way and…

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