What is Good Horse Shoeing?
What should you look for in a properly trimmed hoof for shoes -- without shoes?
Here we assume that we have a normal hoof to dress for shoeing. Starting with the frog which grows in layers, the hoof knife should be run down both sides to clear the channels. This makes it almost impossible for a stone or other debris to lodge in the foot. Rarely should any be taken off the ground surface of the frog. The frog acts as the pump for the whole circulation of the foot and most of the leg.
The sole should be cleaned and checked for bruises or any irregularities. If there are bruises around the outside of the sole this usually means the shoes were resting on the sole or left on too long.
There should be ample concavity to the sole but enough thickness left for protection against stones, etc. The sole should never spring under thumb pressure.
The bottom of the hoof wall should be absolutely flat and with ample heel so as not to expose the navicular area to injury. At the heels you will notice the hoof wall seems to angle in towards the toe of the frog. This is the bar of the foot and should be left even with the wall at the heel creating what is called the buttress. The bar should never be cut out at the heel but should not be allowed to grow around the toe of the frog. This causes an unnecessary concussion hazard.
At the heel between the bar and the wall, the sole should be lowered to avoid corns. There can be some sole touching the shoe when it is fitted to the foot. This sole helps support the wall and the coffin bone.
A foot that is only to be trimmed should conform to all that the shod foot requires. There are three differences: