• tomasteskey

Before Reducing It, Roll It!

When approaching an upright or high-heeled hoof, it can be tempting to simply cut it down to look better, but it may not WORK better!

Learn how to determine whether a heel can be safely reduced before you do it by reading in Chapter of my book, Insight to Equus, available at

Once you are more knowledgeable about how safe it is to reduce heel height, think about rolling it instead of simply cutting it down. You will likely make faster progress towards better hoof form and function this way because it is less contrived and more respectful of nature's way. I have in-depth descriptions of the details in the book, along with all the necessary and simple bodywork you'll want to consider.

This is Jack, a teenage Quarterhorse gelding--he has a tendency to get a higher right front heel due to a lifetime of postural habits. I have kept him more even and sound for several years with bodywork and careful trimming.

Note the heel growth on his right fore is fairly upright.

Note breakover is self-trimming, while heel region and frog are less worn.

Compare right to left. The left front heel is a more appropriate height.

This is what I mean by "rolling" the heel. This is very comfortable AND allows for inviting a more relaxed, less-upright heel growth over time.

Note the nice arch in the quarters and keeping the central sulcus clear of overgrown frog material. I trimmed him with my cordless angle grinder (32 grit sanding disc.)

Heel view before trim.

Heel view after trim.

Here is the rear view showing our results. Again, there's a LOT of information to be added to this technique, so if you are interested in the details, please consider treating yourself to a copy of my book.

I also describe the dental work necessary to increase your chances of success with these cases!

Thank you to Jack and his human for helping with this...he's a joy to be around and goes most every day on rocky trail rides here in the Arizona desert.

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