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Much like the hoof gauge, using the T-square is a basic tool that can go a long way toward accurately assessing medial-lateral balance.
“When used properly, this tool will help you train your eyes to see a high inside wall or a high outside wall. People miss that so often,” says Blake Brown, a veteran farrier from Penryn, Calif.
He offers several suggestions for effectively using a T-square.
Pick up the horse’s foot and hold the leg above the fetlock, letting the foot hang loosely, Brown says. “If you hold the leg at the pastern or the hoof capsule, the foot won’t hang naturally like it does on the leg,” he notes. “You would be distorting the actual angle of the horse’s foot. That’s why you want it to hang loosely.”
Lay the T-square along the back of the leg, with the bottom-most, leading edge of the T-square resting on top of the bulbs of the foot rather than on the hoof wall. The upper portion of the T-square should lay on the fetlock, with the guide looping over the superficial flexor tendon.
Slowly slide the T-square down the leg. When one side of the heel comes into alignment with the leading, horizontal edge of the T-square, the other side of the heel will also align with the leading edge if the hoof is in medial-lateral balance, Brown says.
“If one side doesn’t align with the leading edge of the T-square, that side is high, or longer,”…