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Why the feet are so important in your horse.

I think any rider that has any experience knows on a certain level how important your horse’s feet are. We know the statistics that at least 75% of a horse’s lameness is in the foot. But what I find very interesting is that most horse owners don’t know what specifically defines a good foot. Riders are very clear on what they don’t like about farrier work but not sure on how to get to what they do like. I feel like I’ve had a lifetime of farrier anxiety….will the farrier know what to do and what if my best horse gets shod incorrectly?...the list goes on and on. Most of this anxiety was simply the fact that I didn’t really know how to evaluate their work and I wasn’t 100% sure on what doesn’t look right when I looked at a foot. I just knew I liked how my horse’s feet looked or I didn’t like how they looked. It was as simple as that.

I’ve had a great advantage of being able to always work with a vet and ask a thousand questions… and I’m sure a lot of them have been repetitive and pointless. But what has happened over the years is that the information is finally making sense to me. I’ve always gone over the anatomy of the leg in order to get familiar with the tendons and ligaments but the foot seemed a part of the anatomy that was difficult to diagnose and in a realm I left to the farriers and the vets. The foot doesn’t need to have special treatment but it does have to have very good balance in order to function properly and what I have realized is every time I say I don’t like how a foot looks, what I mean is this foot doesn’t look in balance with this horse. It sure doesn’t take much in unevenness to put a foot out of balance and by unevenness I mean the length of each heel, the length of each toe and the angle of the foot.