Q&A: Understanding forging

  • Q: My gelding tends to overreach and forge (catch the hind shoe with the inner edge of the front shoe). Can my farrier help stop this?

    Farrier Danny Eades replies: Tiredness, heavy going and laziness can cause forging.

    Sometimes, farriery can help eradicate this, depending on whether your horse is forging in one of these situations, or if he is doing it all the time.

    If he is forging only in heavy going, he obviously finds this sort of ground difficult to work in, so try to avoid it wherever possible.

    If he forges when he gets tired, then the problem should become better the fitter he gets.

    However, if he is forging all the time there are things your farrier can do. A rolled-toe front shoe may quicken his breakover in front and get his front feet away earlier.

    If that doesn’t work, you can (if the feet will allow it) lower the heels of the hind feet to delay their breakover.

    The other alternative is to apply a heavier shoe to the hind feet, to slow them, and a light shoe to the front.

    Your farrier may also beable to shorten the toes of the front feet a little more than normal.

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