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  • darrallclifford

Do we trim the equine foot according to measurements and angles?

Hi everybody, this blog might get me in trouble with some who could read it; however, I believe it needs to be raised, and this is my blog anyway.

I am now seeing a lot of internet content from different individuals and groups putting up photos and content on trimming the equine foot by measurements and angles. This could be right in the perfect world and with the perfect horse, but who among us really lives in that world?

The problem with trimming too angles and measurements is that you are not taking the individual horse into your trimming strategy. The balance and shape of the external hoof capsule come from the horse’s centre of body mass and the way it is transferred orthopaediclly through the limbs to be carried in the distal joints of the limb: the distal Interphalangeal joint. The DIP joint or coffin joint is in constant movement as the horse moves its body, either moving its upper body segments or even breathing in and out and looking around for danger.

When the body is in motion, the body’s stability is influenced by the neurological system, and when we set the foot to a particular angle or measurement without taking in the individual animal and its pathology of their orthopaedic balance, we must think about the neurological implications behind doing that.

There is a lot to consider when you want to step in and trim or shoe the equine foot, as you must realize that you are not just working with a static form: the hoof capsule or foot of the horse. The hoof capsule or horse’s foot is in constant motion or reshaping depending on the upper body balance and the neurological influence on the muscular-skeletal system and ends up influencing the tendon and ligaments of the distal limb. This neurological influence physically influences the balance of the distal interphalangeal joint and, therefore, the shape and balance of the external hoof capsule that you are about to trim or place a shoe on.

Please be more mindful of the trimming and shoeing strategies you want to use every day and start to wonder if you change the shape of the hoof capsule or over adjusting the animals through manipulation therapies and what influence that could have on the body’s stability.


The horse is the teacher, and we are their students; as that, we are the students of their destiny.


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