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The front half of a horse’s hoof has been the center of trimming and shoeing discussions for quite some time. Specifically, finding the ideal breakover point has been the focus of countless conversations and endless training.
Lafayette, Ind., farrier Danvers Child points out that the vast majority of hoof issues occur in the back half of the foot, not the front.
Founder, seedy toe and toe cracks are the most significant issues in the front half of the foot. There’s a litany of maladies that can happen in the back half of the hoof, including collapsed heels, underrun heels, quarter cracks, heel cracks and bar cracks, among others.
Since a greater number of situations can arise in the back half, it stands to reason that this should be the focus of trimming and shoeing practices, rather than the front half. One challenge is that no clear definition of the quarters exists.
The perennially popular The Principles of Horseshoeing (P3) by Doug and Jacob Butler doesn’t include a definition for quarters.
“They talk about false quarters and quarter cracks and things…