Shoeing Tips

Tip No.1 Knee Knocking

I find these fall into a couple of categories 1st good gaited horses that start hitting for no apparent reasons.

The 2nd group when conformation and gait are the main cause for the interference.

Basically knee knockers don't like to be high on the outside (lateral) but in saying that I'm not a fan of lowering the outside,tipping feet distorts the capsule over time. This set up causes more problems elsewhere.

I always claim, to break over even or level they have to land level. I generally don't like to use a square toe trying to advance break over doesn't work in my opinion.(photo1)

I have been having success with a new type shoe I have been fabricating we call it a griffin shoe (photo 2,3,4,5) I find this to work really well on toed out and straight knee knockers. Basically I find most racehorses while sprinting roll over/ break over on the medial (inside) toe quarter. The griffin shoe is designed to break over on the outside lateral side.

I have experimented with lateral extensions with mixed results I think they could help with toed out horses.

(Click on photos to enlarge - or view as a slideshow)

Tip No.2 Scalping/hitting in behind.

Scalping generally occurs when the front hoof hits the dorsal or top of the hind hoof. This mainly happens at a extended trot .

I have had trainers and read in text books the way to fix trotters scalping and hitting in behind is to speed up the fronts and slow down the hinds. To be fear actually at one time I thought this was a prefect method. But of course this is impossible and I have never had anyone tell me how to achieve this. The front half of a horse can not travel faster than the hind end as it would be a very short trip before the whole horse split in half down the middle.

The inconvenience of a spine prevents this theory from working.

Tip 1 ) I have used a few different theory's here to correct this problem. Basically the importance of correctly balancing the capsule is paramount and no horse deserves to be balanced incorrectly.

Firstly I would use a half round or a rocker toe shoe in the front. In behind I have lately been using a double trailer shoe or fabricate some small caulks on the hind feet to open the horse up a little bit in his stance. Heel caulks will cause the hind to hit the ground earlier in the stride, moving the feet away from the front feet.

We have had a bit of luck with an open toe bar shoe used on a trotter. I have used a fabricated winged shoe for this problem.

Click on photos above to enlarge

Adam White Farrier - How We Trim


90% of soreness is hoof related and most of this is completely unnecessary. Most gait problems and back strains problems stem from incorrect balancing the hoof.

We must never attempt to do anything to the hoof unless we understand why we are doing it, and what the effect is going to be for the horse.

HOW TO CORRECTLY BALANCE THE HOOF (How I trim for prefect balance)

I base all my trimming for the centre of articulation the exact middle of the hoof, the middle or centre of balance is the same on every horse regardless of the size of the horse.

The centre of balance of the hoof is 19mm back from the active tip of the frog. The measurement from this point to the toe and to the heel buttress should be equal when the hoof is trimmed in accordance with our prescribed trimming method.

We also measure the medial - lateral should be equal as well.

The heel buttress I calculate to be set 6 mm above the critical frog/ heel junction.
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