Proper alignment & balance for hoof when shoeing a horse

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Rick had a guest on the show who was a farrier and perhaps a vet. He had a "plate" that fit under the hoof to find out how comfortable the horse was or was not. He also had a method of measuring the width of the hoof to find balance. I am interested in finding more information about this and the farrier/vet who introduced us to this method. Thanks, Sandy in Marin County, CA.

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  • I'm not sure if this is any help?


    Seems to be by farriers on balance and comfort.

  • Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for writing. I'm sorry for the slow response. The man you're referring to is Gene Ovnicek. Visit hoofcaretoday.com to learn more about his work. The plate you mention is really a type of boot that is strapped on to the horse's foot. It is called the Krosscheck system. The boot has a movable wedge on the bottom that rotates like the hand on a clock. The testing protocol calls for putting the wedge in eight different positions, effectively elevating a different part of the hoof, and asking the horse to bear weight with the hoof at that orientation to the ground. The horse's reaction is noted and a plan is then made for creating an appliance (shoe, clog, etc.) that gives the horse the most comfort and allows soft tissue that had been strained to heal. Note that this is a system for diagnosing lameness and devising treatment. It is not needed for horses that are sound.

    The other thing you mentioned is part of a protocol for trimming the foot of any horse. It was developed by Gene and  is promoted by the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization. It is known as hoof mapping, which refers to the way the hoof is marked for trimming. The goal is to balance the foot around its widest part, an infallible landmark on every hoof, regardless of hoof capsule distortions. I recommend that you watch the short videos Gene and I made. You'll find them on the web site.


    Rick Lamb