Upcoming Events

  1. Brock, TX | November 10-12, 2017

    November 10 @ 9:00 am - November 12 @ 5:00 pm UTC+0
  2. Host a Clinic

    January 15, 2018

August 2017

Don’t Touch the Heels!


By Lee Olsen Have you ever heard others complain that, "My farrier cut all the heel off?" Or perhaps you’ve even said yourself, "Don't touch the heels, that's how the last guy crippled him." I'm sure I have at least thousands of times. It's a misconception, however, to think that leaving excess heel will help "stand your horse up." In fact, common sense may trick you into thinking, the more stood up the better. That is simply false information, and the side effects can lead to real problems. I'm not saying to only take off heel; I'm just saying it’s necessary to take off some of the heel to get the foot back up under the leg where it's supposed to be. Heels grow forward and at a greater angle than the toe. Hoof balance with good heel support is a major key in achieving soundness with any horse. Simply chopping the toes off is not enough to back the whole foot up. The red lines indicate the long heels first point of ground contact. The yellow lines indicate the first point of ground contact of a trimmed back heel. You will notice the red line is a lot further forward than the yellow line. The problem with this is that it puts the load of the horse (weight distribution) directly over the bony column, navicular region, and coffin joint, thereby affecting the whole foot. Further back is the yellow line where the hoof is designed to take the load of the horse, over the Digital Cushion. Problems that can result from excess heel: Heel pain Navicular disease Coffin joint injections Navicular bursa requiring injections Jamming of the coronary band, leading to quarter cracks, therefore causing the foot to become more under run Heels contracting/crushing Toes running forward Horse's will feel cumbersome and slow footed, etc. Got questions about equine hoof care? Join Lee's Facebook group, "Ask the Farrier," and be part of the iron-sharpening discussions. Upcoming Hoof Care Clinic

April 2017

March 2017

Hoof Care Neglect


Hoof Care Neglect, as published in the Dally Times, March 2017 In my experience, hoof care neglect is one of the worst things that can happen to your horse. When the foot grows too long, it creates a lot of leverage and stress. This stress causes hoof distortion, stretching of the laminae in the foot, and in turn, weakening of the hoof. Length creates leverage, and when the toe grows too long, it puts significant stress on everything, specifically the tendons. This alone is a bad circumstance, but if a hazardous situation occurs, such as deep footing, serious injuries will follow. In addition to serious injury, hoof neglect negatively affects performance. Imagine if you were trying to compete as an athlete with athletic shoes that were twice as big as they should be. (insert conclusion of why this is bad) If there is ever a chance of infrequent shoeing or neglect, in most cases, I recommend trimming instead of shoeing. A benefit of trimming is that when trimmed, a horse will usually wear down his own feet. God Bless America. Lee Olsen AFA Certified Farrier Weatherford, TX