In most of our articles on various shoeing topics, we talk about conformation first. The conformation of the horse will dictate how the hoof will land while the horse is in motion, whether it be at a walk or run. Our program referring to the 6 Steps in our Grammar School of Trimming and Shoeing DVD plays an important role in providing the best support for the horse. After all the purpose of shoeing the horse is, “To keep the boney column in alignment so when the hoof strikes the ground, the entire boney column, including the spine, equally absorbs the concussion.” These two are the basis of the continuing education we offer here at the FNRC and is the basis of every evaluation made on horses brought to the center. Without a true and understandable evaluation, the farrier cannot apply his knowledge towards successful results and in return explain his work to the horse owner.
Contracted heels can be caused when a foot or portion of the foot is not bearing its share of weight, causing it to shrink, become thin. It can be caused by lack of moisture, poor circulation due to lack of exercise. Contraction may be in one foot or both feet. It may be on one side or both sides of the foot. Neglected or irregular maintainance, trimming and/or shoeing and even improper shoeing can cause contracted heels. A contracted foot has heels buttresses closer together than normal and a frog that is smaller than normal.
The bars are attached to what we call a fish hook at the buttress. The heels, at the buttress, are about 1 ½ inches in width, when there should actually be 3" wide across.