Shoeing Question

Can anyone explain to me how to correctly shoe a horse that tends to pitch their foot forward and lead with their heel as they step down and forward at the trot? I know most farriers have their ways of remedying this but I would love to understand the ‘mechanics’ of it.

One Response to Shoeing Question

  1. I am not a professional farrier, but I shoe our show horses. I think what you are describing is the horse actually flipping their toe up just before the hoof hits the ground. I find that having a shoe with more weight toward the heel and a higher angle on the hoof tends to help this. The physics are a bit more complex and involve the shoulder movement, the collection and cadence of the trot as well as the toe length, shoe weight and hoof angle. I always start with the observation of how the horse moves at liberty in bare feet. If they don’t flip their toe then (some just naturally do), then your object is to bring the flight of the foot higher without causing the toe to start to flip up. If this is limiting your performance in classes, consult a professional farrier and experiment. Some horses respond well just to an angle change and others need a custom shoe with the weight more on the heels. What the heel weight does is move the pendulum of the shoe weight from the toe tip (where most show shoes tend to have the weight), back past the center of the hoof and toward the heel, tending to cause the hoof and shoe to “curl” more in flight. With more of a curl, the hoof and shoe do not have as much time to straighten and start to flip up prior to landing on the ground. This is my observation as a non-professional of what a slow motion camera will show is a rather complex movement. A good show horse farrier should be able to solve this for you.

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