Equine Hoof Balance
I have been asked numerous times what is or what makes a balanced foot.
What constitutes a balanced foot and how such an idea could be maintained is far more contentious.
All farriers are trained to look at the feet of the horse and balance them before placing a shoe on the foot.
However, once an adequate comprehension of hoof balance has been achieved, it is then necessary to consider the changes in the animal's upper body.
These can be dynamic reloading resulting in muscle and fascia tension patterns, fatigue of the major muscles of the passive stay apparatus, and eventual chronic alteration of ligamentous/tendon tension and persisting pain issues. Correcting these issues with chiropractic or osteopathic intervention without correctly assessing and addressing what is changing in the feet can and will result in a cycle of treatment following treatment, together with ever-increasing rider and trainer frustration.
Trimming to the hoof pathology is the only way to listen to what the horse is telling us and thus ensuring the correct loading of the interphalangeal joint and, therefore, the functional orthopaedic stance of the horse along with optimal biomechanics and, in return, acceptable neurological transmission and optimum musculoskeletal alignment.
This process of trimming the equine foot to the pathological markers is the only way to determine, trim and maintain such an idea of the perfect balanced foot and answer what consists of a balanced foot.