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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn Wright

Hoof Balance

Updated: Jul 27, 2019

Trimming the hoof cannot be done without affecting the internal structures and function. All too often the horse's foot is trimmed and shod without taking into consideration of each individual foot fall.

Types of Hoof Balance:

Geometric Balance - the foot should be symmetrical


1. The assumption that geometric balance is the strongest foot confirmation

2. Does not consider the landing pattern

3. Does not consider any potential relationship between leg and foot confirmation

Dynamic Balance - a balanced foot should land symmetrically


1. Because of leg confirmation, not able to achieve flat strike pattern

2. Could be detrimental if trimmed to land in flat strike pattern if abnormal leg

confirmation is present

Natural Balance - confirmation should be modeled after the foot in its natural state


1. Not known if natural balance allows for maximum functional strength

2. Does not take into account what the horse does

3. Not usually compatible with modern shoeing techniques

Trimming and Shoeing:

1. Can alter the pattern of force transmission throughout the foot

2. Can alter the motion of the foot in flight

3. Can result in conformational changes in the leg

Stephen E. O'Grady, DVM

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