All images courtesy Killjoy Productions



It can take a period of shoeings or trimmings to appreciate the changes that occur over time. Those changes may or may not suit the individual horse. The time it takes for the farrier to recognize that a problem is developing will determine the severity of the change and longevity of the correction. Before and after still shot pictures, as valuable as they may be, leave too many gaps to watch and take in the slow process that rebuilds or dismantles the sophisticated architecture of the Hoof.

Have a Vision of where the hoof will be in the Future

Moving your horse from a weak walled situation sometimes warrants some type of glue-on shoes. Developing a strong hoof involves Balance, Persistace and Vision with the emphasis on Vision. The view of this hoof is from the ground surface only. This is a wall re-build with kevlar and a shoe nailed on not glued. This method allows the hoof to function as it is designed to do. Without a cuffed glue-on shoe the heels move as they should. It took several shoeings to develope enough wall to nail the shoes on without a wall re-build. The shoes were both filled with a packing that gives support to the entire hoof and skeletal column. 


Courtesy Killjoy Productions.


Training the eye to see negative changes in the hoof can be difficult but there are obvious signs not to be overlooked. There are distractions, for example, polishing the entire hoof by excessive sanding to give the best aesthetic presentation. The signs that show you there is problem developing are hidden by buffing and clear coating. It is easy to miss the subtle changes that are occurring. Erasing the cracks, flaws and lines make the feet seem perfect to the client and trainer. We should know better. There are pressures from the trainer, owner, judges and many others to make the hoof look perfect. The hoof does give insights into problems in other areas of the body but do not disregard the bends, coloring and wall that is crushed and maybe missing. Determining the flaw in the gait or soundness involves the hoof, but it can help isolate problems in other parts of the horse. Perfecting the hoof includes assessing the entire horse. You cannot blame the hoof inadequacies for all of the problems in the rest of the horse Try not hiding the flaws in balance and wall quality and watch the changes that happen over time. If you have or suspect an issue, check in on the horse in between shoeings or have pictures and the client can send same views you thought were important. Question the health and soundness of the entire horse along with scrutinizing the hoof. Start concerning yourself with the question, for example, why is this sole continuing to appear thin every time I re-shoe this horse. There are more questions under the obvious surface. Look outside to see inside.

Courtesy Killjoy Productions.


When the view becomes this obvious, it doesn't take long for someone, anyone, to point this out. The decisions that have to be made are how to trim this hoof into balance and find the cause that took it out of balance. Rebalancing and finding out why is definitely key to the future performance of this horse. Persistence is what will get you back to a balanced foot. It is highly unlikely this hoof can be brought back into balance in one shoeing. Put this horse on a 3 week interval for the next few shoeings and take note of the growth and balance each time. Write down, take pictures of the changes of subsequent shoeings and predict the next shoeing improvement on the horizon. There are numerous questions to ask your team about this horse from, the way she feels to the rider, to how she looks to the trainer. Keep on the questions and the answer will become obvious.



Content for New div Tag Goes Here


Content for New div Tag Goes Here


 © Killjoy Productions 2000-2022 All Rights Reserved

No content may be copied, distributed or otherwise used without the written consent of Killjoy Productions 

 and EquineAir.com