L = load or weight transmitted down the cannon- bone surface to the long pastern, where the resistance at the articulating surface (the joint) .

P = power comes from the shortening of the flexor muscles.

F = the Ful Crum represents the relationship of the ground weight surface with the weight bearing axis of the limb.


Changes in the toe length, pastern axis or hoof angle all effect the second class lever, significantly delaying the lever with the presents of a long lever arm requiring more time & effort to rotate the heel around the toe .

#Excessive toe length can result in damage, tearing of the wall & coffin bone.

#shortening the lever arm will relieve break over. Broodmare Care

As my training and driving days are behind me now, for a while anyway, I have become interested in breeding and owning the odd horse to keep my hand in the industry. We are all striving to breed a champion or in most of our cases just one that is commercial to make money. It always confuses me that people spend so much money on breeding to the best stallions and use the best horses feed, have the best grazing and worming plan to give themselves the best chance of having a wonderful strong foal to start with, but their broodmares feet seem to be over looked time & time again.

When I started out a few years ago in the farrier industry I, as many probably did, started off trimming broodmares, paddocks and paddocks of big fat bossy broodmares. I remember I started trimming for Charlie Hadley up in South Auckland he seemed to have an endless supply of them, it was a well organised set up from running them in to the concrete yard trimming area right through to the billing out process, it was a done well. The biggest thing I remember though was how organised they were with the time between trims, every mare was trimmed regularly and I can’t recall having any serious hoof problems, and that was of great importance to him.

Too many times lately we come across broodmares with disgusting, neglected hooves, lame with cracks like cows hooves, which can only be the result of poor management.

I even had an owner that tried to tell me his whole breed have had bad feet which resulted in putting his broodmare down, with the young ones all going on to having seedy toe cavities you could stick your hand up. This is totally wrong as this only happened through lack of care. Horses aren’t born with bad feet, it is through our bad management that we let them get this way.

In most cases we see the mares are lame through seedy toe or abscess and other basic and common complaints again only because of lack of care, Most of these complaints are a result of poor balance and my enemy “Flares”. Basically the hoof grows untamed till it then cracks, the cracks get bigger and then get infected resulting in seedy toe (white line disease) or end up with an abscess taking over. Even with the most basic trim this whole nightmare can be eliminated. It makes no sense to me to put this normally pretty fast and well-bred broodmare through this.

In previous articles I mention the importance in shoeing a performance horse every 21 days this is the only way I can guarantee that he the horse will run 100% balanced as after 42 days they will be less than 50% balanced with a further reduction the longer they are left and so on. Broodmares are important to, the summer months are the time their feet are growing at their fastest as we know they slow and accelerate four times a year so they require trimming as regular as every 6-7 weeks. It seems important to me to have these mares on some kind of organised trimming schedule to eliminate any of these problems.

To many times I am being called to mares to put casts on hooves, drilling out seedy toe cavities, and the list goes on when we just need to be more proactive in there care, surely for the benefits they give to us we owe it to them .

MUSTAD Asia Pacific farrier Conference 2011

Melbourne was the place to be the weekend of 7th -11th of October not only did Mufhasa finally win his group one on Australian soil and Black Caviar equal Phar Laps winning streak it was also the 3rd annual Mustad Asia pacific farrier conference held at NMIT Epping campus .

The conference had a number of well-known farrier’s from all over Australia and one relatively novice in comparison from New Zealand.

Although the level of farrier’s was very high everyone was very interested with hearing about my shoeing run and the problems I run into every day seem to be on par with what seems to me the norm amongst my pears.

This year the standard of guest speakers raised the bar once again, first was an America AFA certified journeyman farrier called Mitch Taylor American Farrier Association “educator of the year2011” who spoke about track surfaces and locomotion of the flat racing horse, anatomy and biomechanics of the distal limb.

Greg Murray senior consultant farrier for the ‘Korean Racing Authority’ spoke in depth about the challenges for shoeing racehorses in Australia and Asia.

Melissa Jackson a lecturer in equine studies and PhD in veterinary epidemiology topic was about developmental orthopaedic disease – the multi-million dollar problem of young horses.

Although there was a massive amount of information to take in, some of the problems hit home with the racehorses in Asia, climate, hard tracks, poor shoeing techniques all problems we also face in NZ. In the early days Greg was faced with hoof capsule imbalance where 75% of horses had interfering, bruising, overreaching and scalping. Most heel trauma and lateral bruising is a result of 25% worn heart or straight bars etc.

We talked in depth about medial heel trauma and re-establishing balance. Casted shoes in racing was a topic we all took interest in as the Hong Kong jockey club had documented every shoe lost since early 2000 with 17 (20%) lost just after the start and 8 (47%) were sprung on the lateral heel suggesting that these may have been stood on by the horse in the adjoining gate.

Non weight bearing nails, the importance of Vettec glue products treating quarter cracks all important issues covered. Negative Palmer angels, excessive toe length and shoe with a rocker toe also added to my reference material. Interesting points also were watching slow motion track surfaces & locomotion of the horses’ legs in flight.

I must thank Mustad for the wonderful evening at Moonee Valley in the valley view room was amazing three course meal, beer, wine was all laid on.

On the weekend everyone was running the streets with black caviar flags all I want to do is get home and fix more feet.