My Tennessee Walking Horse Forges. Please Help with Shoeing and Trimming Advice!

Q. I wonder if you might be able to help me with a question on a shoeing issue I have with my gaited Tennessee Walking Horse. Although I think things are getting a bit better, I sill have a problem with his rear feet "clicking" against his front shoes. This happens when he is in a flat foot walk, and I do not notice it when he is gaiting. His ride has improved tremendously since my farrier has been working on his feet, but he and I are both unsure about which direction we should go now. When we reset him, he was set at 53 degrees in front, and 55 degrees on the rear.
Should we lower the angle of the front, increase the angle on the rear? Can you give me some sort of assistance? Sure appreciate anything you can do to help with this issue, as it cannot be good for the horse to be "clicking" shoes all the time, and is very distracting for myself and the friends I ride with. I just don't know what the proper solution may be. He does not ever pull shoes as a result of his stride.

Hi Don,

If the angles of his foot match that of his pastern, and he doesn't have too much toe or heel, then I wouldn't change things. A horse, regardless of breed, ought to be shod in accord with his individual conformation.

What you might try is having your farrier square off the front toes. This can work very well to give a little faster breakover in front without actually changing angles. Also, be sure to ride with plenty of impulsion. Sometimes horses who are forging are simply too lazy to move well off their hind ends and pick up their feet. You need to keep right on such a horse to get him to collect up and move out as he should.
Watch our trimming demonstration here: Natural Trimming and Hoof Care for the Gaited Horse (Video)