The Low-Down on Keeping a Hoof Low

Mirror, Hoofjack and a grinder keep a horse with a locked knee more comfortable and a farrier safer

I needed to figure out a way to trim himby bringing both hooves

-Kevin Keeler

Farriers frequently run into situations when they want to keep the hoof of a horse low as they trim and work on it. It’s a fairly common practice with older horses or those experiencing joint soreness or that have suffered hock and fetlock injuries.

Kevin Keeler, farrier from New Plymouth, Idaho, owner of Equine Innovations and inventor of the Hoofjack, ran into a particularly tough situation with a retired carriage horse and came up with this innovative approach that allowed him to keep the foot low and also to work safely.

Here’s his description of the process.

“The horse has a locked knee on the left front and will not allow any flexion (of that joint) at all,” Keeler explains. “Flexion on the sound right front seemed to painfully load the lame left front, so I needed to figure out a way to trim both fronts by bringing the hooves forward, as the horse would allow me to work on him in that position.

“We had a successful trim by bringing the hoof forward and keeping the height on my hoof stand very low. I used a mirror to obtain my trimming landmarks.

“The mirror made my job safer as well as faster by allowing me to see those landmarks without having to drop to my knees and put my face under the hoof.

Kevin Keeler

Because of the height he had to work at and the

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