Thehorse.com - Full Article
by: Christa Lesté-Lasserre
March 21 2008, Article # 11531
Choice of farrier may have a significant influence not only on the shape of a horse's hoof, but its soundness and athletic ability as well, according to new research carried out by veterinarians in Switzerland.
Forty dressage and show jumping horses, divided into six groups, were trimmed and shod by one of six selected farriers over a period of one year. Their hooves were periodically evaluated and compared by radiographic exam. Of 15 variable parameters evaluated, 14 differed significantly among farriers, according to an article based on the study and forthcoming in The Veterinary Journal. Parameters included dorsal wall length, hoof angle, sole thickness, the distance from the cannon bone to the toe and wall, and other lengths and angles measured from front and side views.
Although all the parameters can affect the hoof's shape, toe length and mediolateral (side-to-side) hoof balance are most important for the horse's overall soundness...