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Farriers/low heeled horse


QUESTION: Hi sir. i have a question for you. how can i get to know that my horse has low heels?


First... Look down the horse's front leg from a side (lateral) view.
Make SURE he/she is standing "square" on ALL four limbs !!
THE WORD "Ideal" or "Normal" always bothers Me...LoL
What Is Normal for one...Is Not Normal for another !!!

YOU would "like" about 65/35% of the hoof in view... meaning... IF you dropped a string or
line from the middle of the knee(carpus), down the front limb, stand sideways you SHOULD SEE
how much hoof is in front of the knee & how much is behind the string.

Most OR alot of horses in the States, are about 70/30 & worse 75/25 or even 80/20% !!
Usually, they are the ones with the crushed heels,contracted or heels pushed forward,
that cause caudal (heel) pain or even worse navicular bursitis.

Last thing...Trimming is Everything !! Shoes or NO Shoes, the hoof properly trim in ALL
FOUR aspects "anterior/posterior/lateral/medial IS THE KEY to a balanced horse,
relieving stress not only on the tendons and ligaments, But the hoof capsule itself !!

Best To You !!
Joepaul Meyers,CJF

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thanks for the answer. for a long toe/low heel horse we use wedge pads. but, i didn't understand the way you answered me. isn't it possible to figure our a low heel horse by lifting its hoof and viewing?

Yes Rohit...
But...The way I explained to you is Actually easier !!!

Depending how good you are at understanding the hoof capsule; IF the bars of the hoof are weak,
or You can see the heels are crushed forward, Then YES you can tell... Most cannot, so viewing
from the side (laterally)You can judge where the hoof is in conjunction with the front limb !!

Again... follow the steps I laid out & it will work for you !!

Thank You !!


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Joepaul Meyers,C.J.F.


With over 40yrs. as a Certified Journeyman/Master Farrier, I have taught at the Univ.& Trade School levels. My specialty is Veterinary Farriery, Lameness and Therapeutic shoeing.

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