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Hoof mapping is not a new idea. During a 2016 presentation at the International Hoof-Care Summit (IHCS), Steve Foxworth traced its origins to the work of pioneering farrier William Russell, as well as to more recent work by David Duckett and others.
While the method has its critics, Foxworth, a Berthoud, Colo., farrier, and president of the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization (ELPO) believes that the process is a tool that provides a method to consistently assess distortions of the equine foot.
“This helps you understand how the hoof grows and see where the distortions are,” he said during an interview after the IHCS. “And being able to consistently address those distortions is the key to being able to balance a horse.”
Foxworth believes the evolution of the process has been fueled by an effort to add measurements and statistics to develop a consistent and repeatable system that enables hoof-care professionals to gather more accurate and in-depth information. While there are different methods of hoof mapping, he says the real key is the information the process provides and how the hoof-care professional uses it. It also can be helpful when your regular trimming and shoeing process doesn’t produce the effects you expect.
“In my opinion, hoof mapping is something you can use to check your work,” he says. “After we’ve been doing this for a while, we can get set in…