Gary Werner/Jesse Werner
Certified Farriers


What is a Farrier?

About Gary Werner

My Services

About Hooves and Horses

Case Studies

Fun Pictures

About Horses & Hooves

A horse is a beautiful and mesmerizing creature. Dynamic by nature, gregregarious and migratory in its natural environment. Forward movement or propulsion is generated from the hind legs. The front limbs provide the pulling force.


A race horse can travel up to 40 miles per hour with a rider. The hoof velocity prior to impact can reach 60 miles per hour. The stride is approximately 24 feet. The compression on each hoof upon impact can reach 3000 pounds per square inch. At full speed, the movement of the hooves is too fast for the human eye to follow.

While at a walk, trot or canter, the jockey feels each movement of the horse. But at a gallop, the ride is described as 'smooth as silk', or 'slick as water.'

Scientific Percentages

60% of the horses weight is carried on the front limbs.

65% of the riders weight is carried on the front limbs.

75% of all lameness directly involve the front limbs.

90% of all front lameness is from the knee (carpal joint)down.

75% of this 90% directly involves the hoof.

25% of all lameness involves the hind portion of the horse.

80% of all hind lameness is from the hock (tarsal joint) up, including the hock, stifle, patella and hip.

Phases of the Stride

Breakover - heel lift
Breakover - toe pivot

The Hoof (Hoof Capsule)

The Hoof is exposed to many forces caused by the external environment:

Concussion - The foot is subjected to impact forces when it comes in contact with the ground.

Compression - The hoof is compressed and absorbs the impact forces each time it comes in contact with the ground. Some of this force is absorbed by the bones and joints of the horse.

In addition, the hoof capsule serves the following

Weight Bearing - All of the horse's weight bears upon the hooves while the horse is standing and while in motion.

Protection - The hoof capsule covers and protects all sensitive internal parts of the hoof.

The blood brings nourishment to the hoof and sensitive tissues. It also aides in dampening forces when the hoof impacts the ground.

The Naked Hoof Capsule

Cornified Epidermis - Note the actual thickness of Hoof Wall protection against the outside elements and impact barrier