ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: [endurance] Hoof Angles

Re: [endurance] Hoof Angles

LONG JUDY (long.judy@smtpgateway.centigram.com)
Wed, 17 Jul 96 08:44:11 PST

Let's talk about feet!

Joyce wrote:

>Do you know the angles of your horses' hooves?
Warpaint's front hooves are usually 52 1/2 to 54 degrees. His RF foot is
more upright and club-like than his LF. He is shod with a wedge on the
lower heeled LF.

>Are they the same on both front?
Yes, the angle is the same on both front feet. I am currently having a
debate with my farrier on the use of the wedge pad on the LF. At the end
of our first endurance season the LF foot had spread out quite a bit and
his RF clubbier foot hadn't changed. Warpaint had had some lameness
problems on the LF. This was in 1992. Our club had a clinic with Diana
Thompson who recommended that I have a farrier/chiropractor named Geoff
Clarke come out and shoe my horse. Geoff felt that my horse needed the
wedge pad on his normal foot (LF) to balance the his limbs. I think this
is the same idea as the Gonzales brothers' Proper Balanced Movement theory.
I've had good luck with Warpaint being shod this way for the last few
My current farrier believes that the long term use of the wedge pad will
crush the heels. He argues that if he can get both front hooves at the
same angle there should be no need for the wedge pad. But, even if
Warpaint's hooves are at the same angle with no wedge pad, his RF still has
more heel.

> The same on both back?
I don't know the angle on the back but I expect them to match each other.
I'll have to ask the farrier to measure and tell me next time.

>Are both front and back the same?
I doubt it.

>How do you feel about heels - lots of heel? no heel w/long toe?
No heel with a long toe puts more stress on the leg. There is a lengthy series
of articles in Trailblazer on balanced feet and the very first article was about
long toes/low heels and why its not good.

And Linda wrote:
>Is it wrong to have nice big feet
I love big feet on a horse.

>Should the back feet be lower or higher than the front?
I would imagine that the angle on the back feet should be what is appropriate to
balance them, not necessarily the same as the front feet.

>I' ve heard different things from different shoers.
>I try to read alot on the subject but seems there are as many opinions as there
>are shoers.
Tell me about it. Every shoer has a different opinion and each one of them is
sure they are right. Every one of them makes sense when explaining his opinion
and they all make it real hard for me to make up my mind what I want.

>If a horse breaks over off center should the shoer change it so breakover is
>dead center? Some shoers say changing things can bring on lameness.
My current farrier says that the knee determines where breakover will be and so
you should not change where the hoof breaks over. If the knee is facing outward
the horse will break over on the outside of the apex of the frog. Nick
videotaped Warpaint walking the other night and I watched the tape in slow
motion. I did see the knee bend out as he walked and his feet kind of swing
outside and then down. We did the tape so we could see if he was landing flat.
As always, I'm sure arguments can be made for changing the breakover point and
for not changing it. I'm fairly comfortable leaving it where it is especially
because the horse is landing flat.

>The TB had an article that said the breakover should be about 11/4 inch from
>apex of frog but I see alot at 2 inches.
Which TB was this in? I'd like to go re-read it.

>This applies to Arabians, specifically endurance horses (of course).
My horse is an Appaloosa but I think this applies to all.

>I have a new shoer that has never shoed endurance horses before and
>I'm trying to hone up on my communication skills at his level. I
>need some help.
I loaned my farrier the Trailblazer articles on the Balanced Hoof.

Judy Long and Nachi Sunshine (Warpaint)
Hayward, California

10 days and counting to Tevis!