Jessie Valenzuela

They Can’t Get Enough On Balance

The topic of how to shoe a horse for his own conformation always comes up whenever farriers, vets get together


Jessie Valenzuela accepted the challenge of working on Cowboy in front of an audience of 57 farriers and veterinarians.

For several years, farriers in Northern California have been holding farrier-veterinarian forums to help improve communication between the two professions. (See Local Association Spotlight, American Farriers Journal) Delta Horseshoe Co. has sponsored these events.

Over the years, we have handed out an evaluation sheet following each forum to see how we are doing and what future topics attendees would like to have covered. Each year “more on shoeing” is at the top of the hot topic list. So for our most recent forum, we chose the topic, “Recognizing A Balanced Foot.”

There were 57 in attendance. That surprised us a little as we started at 4 p.m. in order to have enough daylight for a live demonstration after the presentation. We thought that might be a little early for some working farriers.

I spoke on the most common issues causing lameness that I had encountered in the 20 years that I was resident farrier at Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center in Loomis, Calif. These were improper hoof-pastern angles, improper medial-lateral balance and short, tight shoes.

The presentation offered proven ways to recognize if a horse is out of balance with its own particular conformation and also looked at whether the shoes that were on the horse supported it properly for its conformation. It is so important for both farrier and vet to be able to understand this.

For the…

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