Balance and the Basics

Farrier Shayne Carter highlights several cases from his work to remind farriers it usually comes down to the basics

Payson, Utah, farrier Shayne Carter first delivered his presentation “What Is Balance?” at the 2005 American Farrier’s Association Convention. Those who see this presentation today are rewarded with 11 years of additional experience that the Hall Of Fame farrier has augmented this lecture with. Although his experience and insight have grown over the years, Carter reminds that the principles he discusses come back to the basics. Most recently, he delivered this food for thought at the winter Anvil Brand clinic in early February 2017.

Defining Balance

Consider packing a horse for a mountain trail ride. Carter finds the principles for this are similar from the footcare. When a pack is unbalanced on the horse, things go awry.

“And they go south quickly,” says Carter. “When the pack gets out of balance when you’re in the Rocky Mountains, you’re ready to have a train wreck. So you’ll need to reposition it.”

When farriers speak of balance, Carter reminds that there are many interpretations to consider:

  • Anterior-posterior balance.
  • Medio-lateral balance.
  • Ease breakover.
  • Coronary band level with the ground.
  • Hoof flat, perpendicular with the cannon bone.
  • Hoof flat, perpendicular with the relationship to the spine.
  • Hoof capsule landing flat.
  • Weight bearing.
  • Hoof-pastern axis.

In his presentation, Carter showed several cases that he reviewed or worked on that related to points of balance. Introducing these points allowed him to share other crucial points about proper shoeing.

        Farrier Takeaways

When you encounter a problem with a horse, tell the owner and document what you said.     

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern is the former Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is president of American Horse Publications.

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