Signposts of the Hoof

An informal survey finds many different landmarks are used to guide hoof trimming

An informal survey finds many different landmarks are used to guide hoof trimming

Just about all farriers and hoof-care professionals acknowledge that the trim is the foundation of good hoof care. There isn’t much argument about that.

But exactly what makes a good trim? Go there and you can get a real donnybrook.

In the March issue (Pages 31 to 33), we reported on a presentation at the International Hoof-Care Summit by Michael Miller, an American Farrier’s Association certified journeyman farrier, who was critical of several trimming styles and reported on a study he had conducted comparing the effects on feet that are trimmed in a traditional manner vs. those trimmed using the four-point trim theory.

To some attendees, it was the best presentation at the Summit. To others, it was one of the worst. One thing seemed clear: Whether attendees loved or hated Miller’s presentation, they paid attention to it.

We recently sent out an e-mail asking our readers to contact us and let us know what landmarks they use to guide their trimming. We got a lot of responses, many of which went far beyond simply identifying those guide posts.

Here is a look at some of the responses we got.

Frog Focus

My first and most important landmark is the frog. Once properly prepared, it alone can tell me about the depth of sole, if the foot is healthy, the position of the coffin bone and where to trim the foot. If I cannot properly define the…

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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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