Horseshoeing that is balanced is set in such a way that performance and soundness are both enhanced. The exact center of the foot have been accurately located by a proven mapping system. The location of center will is absolutely necessary to accurately achieve balance. A balanced foot will have an equal distance from the center of the foot to the break over at the toe as it does from the center of the foot to the end of the heel. The foot will also be centered from center to the lateral wall the same distance as it is from center to the medial wall.
In horse shoeing the frog in a balanced foot will be healthy and in proportion to the foot. It will be a fat wedge that works properly as a blood pumping and a supporting structure of the coffin joint and will be instrumental to the bone alignment of the pastern. In the days of the Calvary the horses frog was referred to as the stay. This is an accurate description of one of the functions of the frog. It helps to support the rear portion of the leg and helps to hold the foot under the load of the horse thus the term stay.
A balanced foot is without distortion in horseshoeing and will solidly support the horse’s body. Distortion occurred when the foot is allowed to become too long in certain areas. Therefore to keep a horse in balance it requires continuous attention to detail and the distortion must keep in check by recognizing its earliest appearance and addressing it accordingly. The hoof is a very playable structure and will change shape drastically under the weight of the animal and the terrain the horse is performing on and the moisture content of different areas.
Balance is optimal of coarse but it is fleeting. As soon as the hoof is prepared properly and it is balanced around center most of the time the foot will begin to distort forward and in six weeks or so the foot will have more toe in front of center than it has support from center back to the heel. Most horses have a tendency it seem to start to slip off if their foundation to the rear as the go through a horse shoeing and this is one of the main causes of unsoundness . This is the reason that good farriers who understand how to balance a foot are always in high demand and get paid well for their services.
Of course, you will also need all of the right tools which we will get into in the next article.
Farrier/Trainer Dennis Cappel understands the horse more because of him being a trainer and competitor.