Vegreville AB November 18 - 20th, 2016

Nov 18/16 Hoof Balance and Anatomy - how this affects movement including lameness issues
Nov 19/16 Hands on Hoof Trimming
Nov 20/16 Hands on Shoeing

Here are before and after pictures of a horse that was brought to my clinic in Apr/16.  The horse had been lame on and off for 4 years.  The owner said she was not able to ride him for 20 months because of lameness.  After simply balancing the horse, within two weeks, the horse was back running barrels.

Contact Cherie Ziegler 780 632 9780

Equine Lameness Clinic

"The Balanced Horse"
April 17, 18, 19, 2015
Prince George BC
Contact: Kim Meise 250 649 8376
If you have lameness issues with your horse, plan to attend this clinic.

Balance and Symmetry

"Balance and Symmetry"
Moose Hill Ranch Equestrian Centre
March 8, 2015 9 am to 5 pm

Do you have a horse with lameness issues and are looking for answers as to why?  If so, come to this clinic.

Contact:  Mary Robinson at 403 818 2236

Henry Wahl

Henry came to me in June 2003. He had under run heels as well as contracted heels. The x-rays showed navicular spurs on both besides of both front feet. The owner was told the she might get one year out of him. The vet sent Sue to me the first shoeing I raised his angle 10 degrees, this stood Henry up to a natural angle he seemed to travel better right away. In time I slowly got rid of the wedges to where Henry could be shod with normal shoes. We re:x-rayed Henry in 2008 and found no changes too his navicular. In 2011 Sue took Henry on the ride for cancer on 22 highway. Sue said he never took a bad step.This is proof that hoof balance does make a difference.Now Henry is bare foot and happy 10 years later.

Tricky Garnier

This was a gelding that was brought for veterinary and farrier examination. The gelding has minimal response to hoof testers over the medial and lateral aspect of the frog as well as minimal response to sole pressure. The owner had him examined by another vet who performed nerve blocks and determined that there was a positive response to a lower posterior nerve block making them suspicious of heel and foot pain. I performed radio graphs of this patient and found him to be moderately to severely unbalanced medial to laterally as can be seen on the left DP radio graph. The coffin joint spaces have a significant difference in measurement. The patient was trimmed and balanced and radio graphs were taken again for interest purposes and the coffin joint was re-balanced to almost the millimeter. The navicular radio graphs of this patient did reveal some mild sclerosis in the navicular bone which most likely could be attributed to years of improper hoof care causing abnormal stress in the caudal heel region resulted in chronic changes of the bone and the surrounding soft tissue. After examining this horse and working with Ian to balance the horses feet I do believe that there is a fair to good prognosis that this horse can go on to have a long sound career.

B Kay

Front Feet Before (too small shoes, heels to far
forward, pastern hoof angle to low)
 Front Feet After (heels back under cannon
bone, hoof angle raised to balance with pastern)


Hind Feet Before (too small shoes, heels too far
forward, hoof pastern angle too low)
Hind Feet After (hoof angle raised to balance with
pastern, bigger shoe puts heel base under cannon bone)


B Kay

 Shauna B Kay story


I bought Dr. Hempen B Kay late summer 2008 at the age of 17. I knew he was a stallion and had bred

approximately 100 mares until Irene had him gelded at age 13, Irene also trained him for Barrel Racing &
Team Roping. From the first time I rode him I loved him, he is an amazing animal.

Every jackpot we entered from the day I bought him I either won it or made money through to the PCBRA

finals September 2008.

We ended up the 1D runner up winning a beautiful buckle.

Winter 2008 I went in the Double Dollar series and did very well there also, however B Kay had a reoccurring

uveitis in his right eye that would not clear up. The vet in Peace River looked at him several

times and told me to increase his drops and it should clear up. He had injected dye to see if there was any

permanent damage under the cloudiness and said there wasn't any. I asked for a referral to somewhere

with more experience we ended up in Edmonton at Westwind Veterinary Clinic where he was diagnosed

with little or no sight left in his right eye.

Dr. Amy Doyle recommended removing the eye. I asked for a

second opinion we went to calgary to Moore & Company and met an optomoligist specialist from the care

Center, he said the same as Dr Doyle. We went back and Dr. Doyle removed his eye.  B Kay's eye

healed well and come spring 09 we took out our permit, our runs were ok at the start but I

could tell something was off and by June I was back at Westwind for a lameness exam. I thought because

of the way they had hoisted B Kay by his legs and feet to get B Kay on the operating table to do the

surgery that had caused him the trouble. B Kay was never packing a leg but he was off. Dr. Doyle did a

lameness exam and x rays. She concluded that B Kay showed signs of navicular on both front legs.

We tried a drug she recommended called Tildren that was done by an IV drip over 4 hours, it was very

expensive and suppose to go directly to the problem area to help. She also recommended a farrier that

could do corrective work; he came to the clinic to work on B Kay. We tried corrective shoeing & jell pads.

It did not work. I tried several different drugs and herbs that included adeqaun & silver lining herbs and

many others over the summer of 09 nothing worked. I also had tried all kinds of therapy from massage,

chiropactic & touch for health. I tried magnetic & back on track products. We also went to an equine

rehab therapy facility by Carstairs, Alberta.

I had a second opinion from Or. Chad Hewlett, he looked at B Kay's x

-rays and also watched him in the round pen and basically said the same thing Navicular

I refused to bute B Kay to run him

so I turned him out until spring 2010 when I was told about Dr. Charles

Briggs. We went to see Dr. Briggs and he also did a lameness exam and felt it was more Arthritis in both

front legs from the knee down
We tried injections that took the edge off and appeared to make B Kay sound, I competed in jackpots

throughout June, July& Aug 2010.

The first injections lasted about 5 weeks and each time they did not last as long. I decided when the

summer series of 5 jackpots at Swartzy's was over & B Kay had the fasted overall time & the open 10

buckle that it was time to retire him. It was not fair to him to keep going because he has the biggest

heart& would probably run on 3 legs if I asked him.

All the drugs that I tried were very expensive not to mention the travel from Manning, Alberta to the

Edmonton area. I was very discouraged and once again turned him out. Again he was not packing a leg

while walking in his pasture

My friend Marti told me that I should haul him to her Farrier Ian Zoerb in Brooks, Alberta. But by that point

I was so discouraged and had spent so much money. I believed what the vets had said about

B Kay having Nuvicular and Arthritis and that he was done. I turned him out and retired him again.

Well I should have listened to Marti then because I met up with her July 2012 and had B Kay with me so a

little girl could try him because I felt he still had a lot to

offer and thought maybe with the right family he

could help a child learn to do barrels.

Marti & her husband Terry who have both taken Ian Zoerb's farrier clinics twice had a look at B Kay and

being one of my best buddies Marti told me straight out if I was to get my ass to Ian she was almost a

100% sure he could get B Kay sound.

Marti did me a huge favor and called Ian and explained my issues with B Kay and we were extremely lucky

that Ian squeezed us in on July 25, 2012.

After Ian was done B Kay was sound.

I know fricken amazing!

I started with light workouts to let him get used to being balanced and at the correct angles. On Aug 4th,

5th & 6th we went in our first jackpots at Swartzy's (an amazing sand arena).

I had planned on just loping the pattern to see how B Kay handled the ground and the workout, well he

had different ideas. He remembered the arena on our way up the alley and when we were headed to the

first barrel he let me know he was feeling dam good and he was in charge. I let him pick his pace and just

went along for the ride. We ended up a tenth

too fast to win the 2 D average over the weekend.

This from a horse that was nowhere in shape and just got

trimmed and shoed correctly by Ian Zoerb

10 days earlier and had about 30 hours in a trailer from the 23rd - 26th.

We continued our light workouts increasing slowly and went to Ian for a second re-set on Aug 28th.

We went to the PCBRAfinals September 7th, 8th & 9th 2012

. We ended up winning the 2D on Sunday

with a 16.854, the fastest time was set by a professional barrel racer with a 16.016

I audited some of Ian's farrier clinic in Grande Prairie Oct 2012.

I cannot say enough about what Ian has done for B Kay. B Kay struts his

stuff in his pasture to let me

know how good he feels. I am very excited for 2013 barrel racing season to start.

I have arranged with Ian to have him come to Manning, Alberta the weekend of April 20, 21 & 22, 2013 to

teach a farrier clinic

. We are very lucky to have Ian share his knowledge with us.

Shauna Kamieniecki



















I believe that keeping horses sound is simple. If you learn how too balance a horse too it's natural bone structure. I also believe that in the last five to ten years we have gone back words thirty years in shoeing practices. In the late seventy's and early eighty's farriers were being told that you had too cut the heels down and lengthen the toe, this would give them more stride. What actually happened was as farriers we created a hole lot of navicular horses. How ever this is still being taught at some farrier schools today.In the last couple of years there has been a big push to get the frog and sole on the ground. I had about thirty horses come to me this year with this problem. In every case I have put bigger shoes on and in the more severe cases I have had too use a wedge shoe. Some of these horses could hardly walk. As soon as we got there angle right most of these horses showed immediate improvement. That is why I strongly believe that all it takes too keep a horse sound is too properly balance it too it's bone structure.The problem with this is you have too be willing too measure hoof angle using a hoof gauge. medial lateral balance using a T square, and toe lenght using a tape measure or a protractor.I strongly believe that there is no way anyone can do this just by eye. In my blog you can find all kinds of pictures of improperly shod horses that were just done by eye.If we don't start looking at the horse as a individual we will just keep on making more lame horses. Some farriers believe that it's the shoe that makes the difference. I believe that the shoe or the type of shoe has nothing to do with balancing a horse.I also believe that hot shoeing does not make any difference when it comes to balancing a horse.Just because your farrier makes his or her own shoes does not mean you are getting a better job.I think you are better off with a farrier that is more interested in trimming the foot properly.                                                



In all of these pictures the horses have too small of shoes and uneven toe length.I am discussed that farriers can do this kind of work and charge money and go home and sleep at night. I wounder where these farriers are learning there trade. I believe that the north American schools are failing there students and the horse owners. When a student goes to a farrier school and all they learn is blacksmithing skills I don't believe that they are getting the wright skills. What they should be learning is proper hoof balance and anatomy. In my 30 plus years as a farrier I have fixed hundreds of horses by just simply balancing there feet.

Hock Injections

Do your horses feet that look like this.If so they have a serious balance problem.
The pic on left shows high on inside,the pic on right shows too small of shoes and under run heels.

Is your horse getting regular hock injections, just too keep it going. I believe at best this is a band-aid solution. What if you could keep your horse going with out injections. I believe that most horses are sore in the hocks because of bad farrier practices. At farrier schools we are taught too leave the heels high on the inside on the hind feet too make them stand straight. If we as farriers and vets would learn to balance the hind feet to the angle of the femur and the natural angle of the leg, we would not have hock problems. For the horses sake we need too look at the long term not just a quick fix.I believe that if you balance a horses feet too it's cannon bone using a T square you can eliminate hock problems. I also believe as equine professionals we need to start measuring toe length and hoof angles. We are the only professionals the can get away with not measuring!  What we go to school for two months and come back with a magic eye.I have had horses come to me so sore that they could hardly stand too be worked on. As soon as I got there feet trimmed to balance using a T square hoof gauge and measuring toe length,they stand relaxed. By using these tools they have staid sound with out drugs for as much as 11 years. RE: Henry a navicular since 2003 still going with out drugs.
I had a customer ask about hock injections as preventative maintenance. I was shocked too here that people are doing this. When it is so easy to keep your sound just by proper hoof balance. Why spend hundreds of dollars on injections when it can be fixed with proper shoeing.

Same horse balanced too it's natural bone structure. Using  just bigger shoes on hind. I believe we can fix any lameness problems by balancing our horses too there natural bone structure.


When I was down in Texas going to rodeo school I had to get my black horses hocks injected every month. Since I  have been going to Ian Zoerb I have not had to have his hooks injected or use any drugs.

Hoof Crack

Question by Tiffany Rozumniak
I watched your clinic at farm fair and was very interested in you techniques.

I have a gelding who has had a toe crack for probably the last 5 years or so.  I have had  numerous Farriers shoe him and say that is the only way to fix it. However even though the shoes would make it look like it was gone and healing,  there would always still be a hairline crack right from the top. My most recent farrier shod him and he kept losing shoes and his feet seemed to be crumbling so I had him take the shoes off.  He told me there would be no way to fix this crack.  I have attached a picture below and was just wondering if a stitch could be used to fix this crack?


I believe that a stitch would fix this crack. The problem with just shoeing the horse is the foot will expand with the horse's weight. If you just put a shoe on it, it is going to stop it from expanding  at the bottom, but it will continue to expand at the top. This will prevent the crack from healing completely. If it is stitched just above the crack, you will stop it from expanding at the top.  When you were having trouble with the feet crumbling, it is just from using too small of shoes and rasping off too much hoof wall.


Jake is one of the horses that attended the horseshoeing demonstration held at Northlands Nov 07/11.  He was short striding - landing toe first.  He was out of balance medial laterally with under run heels.  I balanced Jake's feet and am pleased to report he is moving much more freely.

Up Coming Clinics

Hoof Balance and Anatomy Clinics
-instructed by Ian Zoerb an Alberta Farrier who has over 30 years experience keeping horses sound
-learn how hoof balance affects your horse's movement
-maintenance and soundness of all types of competition horses
-how to balance your horse to avoid medications and injections
-keep your horse at peak performance
Up coming clinics

Feb 8, 9, 10, 2013  Cold Lake AB
 Cold Lake Ag Society
 Call Niki Elash 780 812 5719

Day 1 Anatomy and hoof balance ; Day 2&3 Hands on Bring your own horse.

Apr 20, 21, 22, 2013 Manning, AB
Call Shauna Kamieniecki 780 626 0507                                                                                                                                                                                       

CC Profile

CC was very sore on all four feet - landing toe first stabbing his toes into the ground.  He spent most of his time laying down.  When he would get up, he would push himself onto his hind quarters lifting himself up with his hind legs.  After balancing CC's feet, he walked more comfortable and wanted to buck and play.

                                                                   Front Feet Before

                                                            Front Feet After
                                                     Hind Feet Before

                                                         Hind Feet After

 CC Two Weeks Later 
(I apologize for the video quality, it was taken from a phone and sent via text message to me)

pic of foot

shoe too small
Back feet too small shoes too low angle. This is way too common, there is no support to bone column at all.

front feet uneven, left half inch longer
under run heels, shoes too small

If you look at these pictures all these have under run heels. This is the number one cause of lameness in horses. The second most common cause is out of balance medial lateral.All of these problems can be fixed simply by tacking the time to measure, toe length hoof angle and most of all using a T  square!! Last week I had a horse come 6 1/2 hours because of being diagnosed as a navicular horse It turned out he was gust out of balance medial lateral. We x-rayed him before trimming it showed he was out. We then trimmed him and re x-rayed to see the difference it showed he was balanced perfect to his bone structure,this was very interesting to me. But it makes me wounder why more farriers don't use tools to measure hoof angle toe length and use a T square!! I am 100 % positive that if farriers would learn to use these tools we would have a lot less lame horses.

Ian Helped

I have a 14 year old mare  that I was told had navicular and wouldn't last a year without nerving her. Within a couple of months I was roping on her sound and without butte.
                                                             Zane Hankel

t-square (part 1)

Check out previous videos on the new VIDEOS page.

TWO By Jody Husted

Before coming to Ian, my horse didn't seem to be fluid in his turns.He felt stiff + uncomfortable. Almost like he didn't want to turn. After coming to Ian it's like riding a totally different horse! He feels free and comfortable.  My times are quicker  and I am confident with how he runs and feels. I like that Ian shoes my horse to the way he is built.

3 Tools Your Farrier Should be Using: Part 1-Caliper

Would you hire a carpenter that never used a measuring tape, a level, or a square?

Not a good idea and yet, how is that many farriers can convince people they can trim and shoe without any measuring tools? A wise horse owner should question that logic, or rather, lack of it. No one has eyes (alone) that are that good.

So much damage can be done. A little knowledge can ward off a lot of grief.

The following are 3 tools your farrier should be using. I've been at this for 30 years, regularly deal with difficult cases, and yet with every horse, every foot, every time, I measure with all three of these tools.
1. Caliper
 2. hoof guage,
 3. T-square

1. Caliper

Used to measure the toe length. Both front feet should be the same and both back feet should be the same. Although the fronts may be different than the backs.

Why? Well think of it it this way. On your own two feet, if you were wearing a shoe that fit and one that was longer on the other foot not only would it be annoying but it would bother your walking and eventually make you sore. It's the same for your horse.

Also, in a horse, a 1/4 inch of toe-length can make a 5 degree difference in the angle. An 1/8 inch can make a 2 1/2 degree difference. Do you think your farrier can eyeball an eighth of an inch? For us, that might be like wearing a flat shoe and one with a one inch heal. We won't be performing our best so how can we expect a horse to, whose angles are affected by his toe-length. More on angles in Part 2: The Angle Guage.

3 Tools Your Farrier Should be Using: Part 2-Angle Gauge

The Angle Guage

The angle gauge has to be held tight to the foot .

This checks the angle of the foot compared to the ground, front to back. Like toe-length explained in part 1, both fronts should be the same angle and both backs should be the same but the backs may not be the same as the fronts.

We don't want to walk with two different heights of heels on our shoes.  Also the horse has 7 joints between his coffin bone and  his elbow. Being two different angles can put stress on their joints.
I like to check angles on both fronts to see if there is any difference before I start. This gives me an idea if I should take off toe or heel.