Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gettin' testy: An insider's look at hoof testers

 I think they look like salad tongs. My husband thinks they're instruments of torture.  Some variation of hoof testers has probably been around since people have been using horses for work.

 Okay, now I've exhausted MY knowledge. Fortunately there is a wonderful article on the subject of hoof testers -- the kinds of hoof testers, how to use them, what they reveal, and their role in diagnosing lameness -- all from an experienced farrier.

 Gettin testy: A hoof tester primer was written for the magazine Professional Farrier by Danvers Child. It's a real gem, and I highly recommend both the magazine and the Danvers Child web site.  There are other articles too, which you  can check out below...

Adams Lameness in Horses section on hoof testing
The use of hoof testers by
Hoof testing description from Equine Podiatry by Andrea Floyd Szabuniewicz M. Use of the hoof tester in diagnosing lameness in horses. Vet Med Small Anim Clin. 1975 Feb;70(2):205-12.
Gettin' Testy: A hoof tester primer by Danvers Child and Crystal Chapple. American
How sore are your horse's feet? from BVA Animal Welfare Foundation


  1. I've been seeing too much of hoof testers lately. Farrier and vet keep finding sore spots in Tucker's foot, but no cause. If it is an abscess, it just can't seem to find out where it wants to be. *sigh*

  2. When Final Call had his pre-purchase exam last week, the vet used hoof testers. The right front came up sore, but he flexed and trotted sound. Vet tested again - nothing. It was very odd. He suggested the horse was just nervous about the testers. I really question their value.


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