Horse Savvy Ranch
 Call us at: 707-688-2538

The Hoof
​I believe being a hoof care specialist is one of the most important roles in allowing your horse to move with the best mechanics.  Basically if the base is not stable, then the body will compensate.  Tension and locking of joints will be yours horses only recourse.  This will make them harder and more resistant to ride.  It is important that you choose a good hoof care specialist who understands how to read a hoof, who understands how to support the limb, and is open to your imput of what is happening when you ride.  A good hoof care specialist wants to watch your horse move so that they can better understand how the limb is working as the hoof lands and leaves the ground.  Whether your horse is barefoot or in shoes is irrelevant, how the hoof is balanced is.  The controversy between barefoot, traditional shoes, or shoes like sneakers, is really a matter of opinion.  We use all three.  It really depends on what is best for each horse.  How do you know?  Now there is the question.
No Hoof, No Horse
​To give your a better understanding of what might be the best option for you and your horse I am going to tell the story of our journey with West.  West is a 17.2 hand warmblood gelding.  As a four year old he spent two years in a stall, one year on rest from an injury and one year due to the owners personal matters.  He was well cared for otherwise, a bit too well in the food department causing lamanitic changes and an intolerance to sugar.  He came to my barn bare foot and lame mostly on the right front.  We decided shoes were necessay as he had no core strength much less any real muscle to properly carry his body.  This made him too heavy on his feet, causing him to be more uncomfortable and unhappy to move.  We needed him as comfortable as possible if we were going to rebuild his body into a sound strong self carrying body.

​We carefully studied the right front and worked hard to get the balance and support right.  The difficulty of properly aligning the hoof to the leg is that when a farrier trys to sraighten a leg that is turning out from the shoulder, they cause an alighment change of the bones.  For West the alignment change happened at the fetlock joint. This change shifts the balance point of the limb causing pressure changes in the hoof as if lands on the ground.  In repetition this pressure change can cause a compression of the the bones which eventually will become arthiritis.  

The right front on West had been shod in the fashion stated above (In the picture below the white line shows the alighment of the leg from the knee down, and the dark blue line shows the alignment from the fetlock down).  Our job was to get the limb back to it's natural state of balance without causing more damange than he already had.  His origianal lay up was for ​lateral side bone.  We spent the first two years with the "on and off again lamess" of the right front.  But as the time went on the "off again" was greater than the "on".  

What transpired next was by pure coincidence.

​We carefully studied the right front and worked hard to get the balance and support right.  The difficulty of properly aligning the hoof to the leg is that when a farrier trys to sraighten a leg that is turning out from the shoulder, they cause an alighment change of the bones.  For West the alignment change happened at the fetlock joint. This change shifts the balance point of the limb causing pressure changes in the hoof as if lands on the ground.  In repetition this pressure change can cause a compression of the the bones which eventually will become arthiritis.  

The right front on West had been shod in the fashion stated above.  Our job was to get it back to it's natural state of balance without causing more damange.  His origianal lay up was for ​lateral side bone.  We spent the first two years with the "on and off again lamess" of the right front.  But as the time went on the "off again" was greater than the "on".  

What transpired next was by pure coincidence.