natural balance shoeing ( uh what ? ) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-06-2007, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Location: washington
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natural balance shoeing ( uh what ? )

I am very confused on this subject. Maybe someone can explain it clearer than what my farrier is doing. He has been my shoer for a couple of years now and I don't understand what he is doing to my horse. I am at a stable where quite a few people use him but he is making my horse so short with the front two hooves it's ridiculous. He got shod yesterday and last night when I went to take him out of his stall and looked at his hooves I about died. He is a big Quarterhorse with good size feet and now he is standing on these hooves that look like they belong on a pony ( just about ) They aren't even even if you look at both of them from the front. His right he took much shorter and is almost starting to look like a club foot. Apparently I need to move onto a new shoer but what the heck is he doing? He calls it natural balance but what does that really mean. I've never seen a horse in the wild with hooves that looked like that. Is this completely abnormal what he is doing? I rode him last night thinking that for sure he would be lame but he wasn't. I am going to go check on him today and see how he's doing.
any input on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-06-2007, 12:11 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Hmm.. I know about natural hoof trimming. Never heard about natural shoeing though. The whole idea of natural trimming is that you don't need shoes with natural trim. Such trim indeed makes hoof look smaller and tighter, however good size hoof still should be good size hoof. And the natural practitioner is not suppose to cut live sole to shorten the hoofs (which sounds like your guy is doing). In any case if you don't feel comfortable looking at the trim - change the farrier!

Do you have pics of the hoofs to look at?
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-07-2007, 12:28 AM
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Natural balance shoeing usually refers to the type of shoe being used. The NBS(steel) NBA(alumimum) shoe is squared off or dubbed at the toe shoe manufactured for a faster breakover.
They have become quite a fad the last 5 or so years since they are "natural".
Don't be fooled by the N in natural. There is nothing natural about shoeing horses.
My personal feeling is some farriers apply them way to agressively in the setback at the toe.
I have very few horses that live full time in NBS-NBA shoes. Those that do, I limit the setback once a opotimal hoof angle is achieved.

NB shoes usually aren't recommended by me unless the animal has serious lack of breakover issues possibly combined with underslung heels and very low hoof angles.

Hope that helps. first post here. 8)
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-07-2007, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you hoofixr..... I have been so upset over the last day or so that I thought I should calm down first before calling him to talk about this. You're right, he has gone above and beyond being aggressive. What I don't get is that if I stand at the back of my horse faceing his rearend and I look through his hind legs to the back of his front hooves, they don't even match. It's as if he is wearing a sneaker on one side and a high heel on the other. I am afraid to ride him now because won't that mess up his back being that uneven? My poor horse has never had any issues with his feet ( well until now ) they've always been strong and healthy and EVEN.
Anymore comments would be great !!
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-07-2007, 10:38 AM
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No prob.
You are correct in assesing the heel length viewing directly behing the animal. I get right behind them,squat down, and lift the tail so I can get a good view. You horse is obviously not symmetrical. This will effect the movement and hoof flight.
Obviously I can't diagnose your horse without looking in person or seeing pics.
Has this shoer been working on your animal very long?
I'd have a chat and discuss why your horses shoeing was changed without your direction. I would never change shoeing without consulting the owner first.
good luck
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-11-2007, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks hoofixr, what you're saying makes sense to me. To my astonishment he still is not lame but I'm worried about his ankles and other problems that can result from this mess my shoer has created. I'm taking it easy with him and really being cautious of any signs of anything going on. He has been my shoer for 2 years and has done a okay job until now. I have a new shoer all lined up that knows what is going on and can work with it. Thank you so much for your input.
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