Dr. Stephen E. O’Grady, DVM
I have been doing farriery for 40 years. When I learned the farrier trade through a formal apprenticeship, I was taught to dress the dorsal hoof wall and clinch the foot by bracing the foot on my knee. I carried this method into practice and followed this routine through most of my career as a farrier and a veterinarian. A few years ago, I acquired a Hoofjack marketed by Kevin Keeler. This unique hoof stand is lightweight, durable and has a wide base for stability. It has two interchangeable inserts that fit into the base which can be adjusted to various heights. One insert is a straight post with a rubber cap on the top of the post for working on the outer hoof wall. The other insert is designed in the form of a cradle or a sling in which the foot is placed while it is being trimmed or shod. Here the dorsal hoof wall / pastern rests in the sling allowing work to be performed on the bottom of the foot. The use of this product allows the farrier to work in a better physiological position taking the weight and strain off the back, pelvis and hips. The weight that is generally placed on these structures is transferred to the hoof stand. It is interesting to me, how well the horse accepts the hoof stand and how quiet they stand. The sling has also been a great asset to our therapeutic farriery as it allows the horse to remain in a quiet, relaxed position with its hoof off the ground for extended periods of time not to mention the ease at which the clinician is able to work. It can easily be draped when doing surgery providing a clean area to work and the foot can be approached from any direction. As I think back over the years, I find it hard to imagine how I worked without a Hoofjack. This is a product I would unconditionally recommend to every veterinarian and farrier.