The Progressive Hoof - Methodology
The basic shoeing protocol is a relatively simple concept, but difficult to apply. This may be why most
horse owners do not shoe their horses themselves. Correct basic shoeing involves numerous requirements,
but here are a basic few horse owners should be aware of.
Trimming for shoeing
Correct trimming is paramount to almost anything else. It must be balanced M/L and D/P. It must provide enough
sole relief from the shoe and yet be flat enough to provide a good shoe to hoof marriage. The frog and bars must be
properly dressed to provide the correct amount of pressure. Heels should have some reveal, as to not develop corns.
Center of Articulation
COA - is where the center axis of the joint of P2 and P3 run perpendicular to the middle of the shoe.
Hoof Pastern Alignment
HPA - Is simple. The angle of the pastern should match the angle of the hoof wall while the horse is standing on a
flat surface at a normal stance.
Fitting the shoe
Properly applied shoes should fit the hoof, matching the white line and provide @ 1/16 " reveal
from the widest part of the hoof to the heels. This is called shoeing full; However, not providing
this reveal is called shoeing tight and is commonly used for highly athletic horses that are reset
Hot - Fitting
A simple process of utilizing a forge to heat the shoe and burn the shoe to the hoof for 4 seconds. This shows the
farrier where the high spots are while cauterizing and sterilizing the horn tubules. Helps the farrier flatten the hoof
wall to provide a perfect marriage between the shoe and the hoof.
Nailing and finishing
Every attempt should be made to keep all the nails forward of the widest part of the hoof as to allow
expansion of the heels. The clinches should be 3/4" high and tight resting in the hoof wall not on it. The
clinches should be smooth to the touch, maybe even sanded and the holes can be filled with a wood putty
to provide a nice finish.
This shoe was fit "Full"
This shoe was fit "tight"
Basic Shoeing Methodology
Image - Courtesy of Ronald Aalders