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Pictures or drawings of what a horse's feet should look like..

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  • Pictures or drawings of what a horse's feet should look like..

    Hi All,

    I've looked through a bunch of my back issues of USEA mag and Chrono looking for examples of how horse's feet should look (i.e. angles, toe length, heel, etc) and also the angles of the feet themselves and then also in the hind legs how "straight" are they supposed to be? I'm looking for some examples to show my farrier and also to further my knowledge of correct angles and look of feet.

    I'm lucky enough that I don't have to worry about bar shoes or pads or anything like that now...

    Any thoughts or pictures/ drawings would be great.


  • #2
    GOOGLE is your friend





    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


    • #3
      the august 2010 issue of practical horseman had an article i really liked called "shoeing essentials for long term soundness" pg. 50.

      explained in great and practical detail the must haves for a balanced foot with photos and anatomical details shown.

      hope this helps!
      Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
      Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy


      • #4
        When I first read this it scared me. Your farrier should be able to explain to you the hoof angles and how the coffin joints sits. What angle your horses feet are. Low heel, long toe, high inside, high outside, and all kinds of things about the health of your horses feet.

        If he can't I would be really worried. Pictures can help but looking at actual feet is the best!


        • #5
          remember every horse is different, and a good farrier has to take into account that horse and how he stands up when balancing the foot......
          Be a part of the solution~ Adopt a thoroughbred!


          • #6
            Originally posted by Eventcrazy View Post
            When I first read this it scared me. Your farrier should be able to explain to you the hoof angles and how the coffin joints sits. What angle your horses feet are. Low heel, long toe, high inside, high outside, and all kinds of things about the health of your horses feet.

            If he can't I would be really worried. Pictures can help but looking at actual feet is the best!
            This was my first thought too! My farrier would be HIGHLY insulted if I printed out pictures from a website to show him what I thought he should be doing.
            He's the qualified one, not me!!


            • #7
              I, too, don't want a farrier who knows less than I do!

              That said, vets, trainers and farriers need to have a dialogue in some cases (especially if the horse has some soundless issues that proper shoeing can mitigate). I find that it can be best to have the professionals speak directly to each other in those circumstances. If your vet says "have the farrier shorten his toes" and you just relay the message there is no nuance (or "why") included in that message. See if the vet is willing to write a note or call the farrier. If you are interested in learning more, be sure to ask questions (especially when the vet says to change the feet... say "can you explain why and how that helps?").

              It's very good to increase our own knowledge. I have found that being surrounded by very knowledgeable professionals has educated me the best. Make sure that you have a team whose judgment you trust and who you can have a dialogue with. Be there when the work gets done and ask question (also being mindful that they are working and don't have all day ).
              "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant


              • #8
                I can only imagine what my farrier would do if I showed up with pictures of what my pony's feet should look like...probably turn around and say you shoe the pony!!! LOL!!!

                Last year after the cob went off had a three hours lameness exam with beyond several x-ray's. Fortunately my farrier was there with me and looked at the x-rays. Talked with the vet and came up with a plan. I know this is not the ideal situation for everyone. What can I say!!! I my farrier rocks!!! LOL!!!

                He even went above and beyond the call. Sent copies of the x-ray's to other well know farrier friends.

                It was such a good learning experience about how such a small little corn can cause so much pain and trouble!!!!

                Just my two cents!!!


                • Original Poster

                  I definitely don't want to offend my farrier. My vet has mentioned something and then my trainer mentioned something and the angles his feet are at... and it got me thinking.

                  I definitely don't think that I know more or doubt my farrier, but I wonder if there are some little tweekings we can do, and I should have my vet discuss this with the farrier. I also wanted to know what exactly my vet/ trainer were talking about and I am a very visual person so pictures/ drawings are good learning tool for me.

                  Thanks for the advice


                  • #10
                    You should take this up with the farriers on horseshoes.com

                    They can tell you specifically what would need tweaking, and why, and how you can discuss it with your farrier. They can discuss what your farrier has been doing and explain what they think is his reasoning, and comment on what effect it has on the horse. They can also tell you whether or not your farrier's work is that of a competent farrier, and lastly, they can recommend to you the corrections you need to make and why, and how to find a good farrier in your area, if it seems you need a new one.

                    Usually, its alot easier to ask your farrier to discuss his work with the farriers on that board than for you to show him pictures generalizing what you think is correct. The farriers on that board often will ask you to invite your farrier to discuss with them. The point is, if a farrier is truly intent upon learning and reviewing his work with other competent farriers, they welcome the collegial input. I do myself in my profession.

                    You need to take good photographs of very clean feet from ground level, up close, both sides and front and back of the feet, then lifting the hoof up pics of the underside and post them there with your questions.

                    Good luck. Let us know how your query is going. Post a link here once you've started your thread there.
                    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


                    • #11
                      Not all farriers are created equal. I know of three that will give you a totally different foot. one long long toe, another, rasps the heel right off. Another- will have the oddest angles on different feet- not due to the horse- but not knowing angles. I can usually tell by looking if one of those guys were used. Until I went to farrier school myself- I had no idea what my farrier was doing as I stood there holding my horse., I just trusted that he(or she) knew their craft. If a vet, and an experienced trainer see something wrong- there probably is. In general, depending on the horse- the angel on a front foot will be about 50 and the backs 3 degrees higher. I had one horse I stood at 52 and 55. That is very variable. You can buy a gauge, so you can become familiar.


                      If you notice one front at 50, another at 48,one back at 45 and another at 51, there probably is a problem. Some dressage horses may be lower behind to aid in getting the hinds under. Race horses also have different angles. The hoof should be level, which you can also tell with an angle measure.
                      I don't shoe anymore- but it is nice to have learned what I did. Good luck!


                      • #12
                        It is nice if you have angels on the hoof- but that's
                        really not what I meant.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wolfmare View Post
                          It is nice if you have angels on the hoof- but that's
                          really not what I meant.
                          OMG!! I WANT AND NEED ANGELS ON MY HORSE'S FEET!!!

                          Wolfmare, you are too funny with this post....


                          • #14
                            I have yet to meet a farrier who didn't say at least one thing the last guy was doing was wrong. It's in their blood to find fault with each other, which is helpful at times but other times is just about different ways to accomplish the same thing.
                            I evented just for the Halibut.