The shape of a horse’s conformation often dictates the form a hoof takes. A “cow hocked” trotter is one example. The hind toes are turned outward and the cap of the hocks are turned inward toward each other. This type of conformation will cause the hind feet to land wider than normal when the horse is in motion.
The balance and levelness of the hind hoof has been a key component of “clean” gaited horses for more than 100 years. Having read books written that long ago, I realized that they had many of the same issues back then that we still deal with today.
Illinois farrier Vern Powell shares the benefits of looking at feet in terms of steel length instead of a standard factory shoe sizes. It could give you a leg up in a forging competition or when sitting for an examination.
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