With four legs, four hooves, and the possibility of four shoes, a horse’s limbs may bump, twist, knock, and thump one another at even the slowest gaits. Best-case farriery and protective boots keep injuries to a minimum, but a working vocabulary of the interference problems demonstrated by horses will serve horse owners well.

  • Brushing: grazing one hoof against the inside of the adjacent limb, usually on the pastern or fetlock joint.
  • Cannon interference: similar to brushing but the hoof grazes the limb higher, on the cannon bone; might contribute to formation of splints if severe enough.
  • Crossfiring: a particular affliction of pacers, a hind hoof strikes the opposite foreleg.
  • Forging: hitting the shoe or sole of a front hoof with the toe of the hind hoof on the same side; sometimes called “clicking.”
  • Grabbing: stepping on the coronary band of the adjacent forelimb or hind limb.
  • Overreaching: knocking any part of the foreleg with a hind toe on the same side.
  • Running down: when the back of the fetlock hits the ground; usually problematic in fast work.
  • Scalping: smacking the coronary band of a hind hoof with the toe of a forefoot as it breaks over.
  • Speedy-cutting: knocking the inside of the hind leg high above the fetlock joint.

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