Category Archives: Flares


The failure to understand and address this area in hoof maintenance programmes for many decades has led to a multitude of ongoing lameness problems, and has been the catalyst for so many bad trimming and shoeing outcomes for too many farriers and hoof carers.

Just for the exercise, go and have a look in that pile of old horse shoes behind the shed, you will find some of the most amazing shapes and creations, all man made alterations to cater to the distorted hoof shapes.

Less than one percent of horses’ hooves have genuine hoof deformities and these are the result of accidents causing damage to the coronary band which results in permanent distortion to the new growth area and hoof wall shape.

Lack of understanding of what is the normal hoof shape is the biggest problem. If we can just look at the hair line shape of the coronary … Continue Reading ››


There is no such thing as a ‘Normal Flare’ or a ‘Natural Flare’ in any horse’s hoof. Making a statement like that in public in this 21st century will provoke a predictable reaction, which it is meant to do because only then can we begin to examine that statement. The first step is to understand what a flare is: a flare exists when any part of the ground-contacting edge of the hoof wall becomes long and bends out of shape compared to the normal shape of the correct coronary band shape. The pedal bone shape imitates the white line shape and they both imitate the coronary band shape to give the horse its normal natural hoof shape. The second thing to understand is what causes a hoof to bend out of shape and become flared: It is directly related to leg alignment and is common to most horses (Pic 1). There are very few horses without some degree of error from the knee down; as a working farrier I might see only one horse with perfect conformation in the space of a whole … Continue Reading ››