Twinkle Toes

Fitting shoe to hoof

Friday, August 02, 2019

This is short and sweet for the farrier is coming soon. I must get out to feed the horses before he arrives. Fortunately, he moved our appointment up an hour, which left me with time to jot a blog.

My horses naturally have very tough hooves and always were barefoot before we started driving. Pulling a vehicle forces hooves into traction against the ground. This wears a bare foot more severely than does carrying a rider.

When I first got horses, it seemed their hooves amounted to little more than sturdy blocks of matter at the ends of legs. Well, I sure learned, for hooves are very complex structures full of nerves and with critical bone mass. Mistreating its hooves will end a horse’s ability to function. A horse that’s barefoot needs regular trimming and balancing of hooves.

When it comes to shoeing, the stakes are more complex. A good farrier shoes to protect the hooves during traction, and to correct the alignment of legs and strengthen gaits. Horses like people are subject to club feet, pigeon-toes, and misalignments, small or large, that impede flexibility and ease of movement.

Neither of my horses trot with adequate width between their rear legs. This reduces function. Our farrier makes corrections by building shoes that force the rear legs to lift off and land more properly. Over time, we hope this shoeing will strengthen unused muscles and improve natural gaits.

Oh dear, as usual I digress, and build a watch instead of telling the time.

Dear Friends: Good morning to you all, and have a great day. Diana

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