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Correct shoeing for vets and owners
Quite often an owner, trainer or farrier will fall heir to a horse that is completely awry as far as training or shoeing is concerned. Evaluating the problem requires the establishment of a K.D.P., or known datum point as it is known to surveyors.
The K.D.P. is actually a compilation of all that you know about the horse at this specific point in time. The more information you can formulate, the more accurate your training and/or shoeing program will be. The K.D.P. is the basis for the need to keep records of shoeing and training. Recording the K.D.P. of a fresh shoeing job entails certain key points.
Aside from the usual observations of way of standing and going, several things need to be carefully noted. The balance of the foot preparation, the length of the toes and the angle of each foot need to be recorded. Style and weight of the new shoes as well as any accessories added to the shoe should be noted as well. Prior to a fresh shoeing job, observing the wear of the old shoes can add a great deal of information to your K.D.P. Uneven side wearing and position of the wear of breakover are useful aides in establishing an accurate set of records.
Some horses have been so jammed around in their shoes that it is difficult to tell if the shoeing is helping or hindering the animal. Should a horse come within your stewardship carrying an unusual amount of excess baggage in the form of unnatural balance and/or exotic horseshoes, the farrier and trainer will have some decision making to do. Unless the horse had come with a manual of shoeing and training and instruction, the K.D.P. must be evaluated from what you see.
If the trainer or owner is totally satisfied with the way the
horse performs, it will be important to critically emulate the
previous work. If there is room for improvement, get back to good,
sound basic shoeing and design a sensible program from that point.
These same principles will apply when first placing young horses into
a shoeing and training program. The following is an evaluation of
The frog: Trimming of the frog should be done to
sufficiently restore shape to the horny structure. (Horny frog should
resemble sensitive frog. ) All diseased portions of the frog should
be removed. As much healthy tissue as possible should be retained. On
rare occasions the frog may be oversized and need to be reduced in
Shoes should be selected to suit the activity of the horse.
Normally, shoes are for the purpose of protection of the feet and
support of the limbs. The most common error made by inexperienced or
careless horseshoers is the use of shoes which are too small. The
shoe should be as light as practical, but wide enough to offer
sufficient protection to the bottom of the foot. The fit should be
exactly to the perimeter of the foot at the toe and quarters. The
shoe should fit slightly wider than the foot near the heels.
(Approximately 1-1/2" of the heel of the shoe.) This is called
expansion and the amount of expansion ranges from 1/16" - 3/16".
This article reprinted with permission from Horseadvice.com, an internet information resource for the equestrian and horse industry since 1994. On the WWW at www.horseadvice.com we have tens of thousands of documents on the web about horse care, diseases, and training. © 2005