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Best Practices When Tightening and Loosening Calks on your Horse’s Foot

Are your supporting your horses hoof properly when you tighten and loosen calks?

The addition of calks on your horse’s hoofs while in the grass or on wet footing is a great way to add some traction and prevent your horse from slipping when you ride. However, one of my pet peeves is seeing someone cranking on a wrench to put calks in or take them out of a horses shoe without supporting the hoof capsule. Overly tightening them with a wrench means that, in turn, you’ll really have to crank hard to get them out after you ride.

When holding a horses leg, it’s easy to feel how flexible and mobile the hoof is. Which makes me nervous when I watch horses hooves getting cranked on by a wrench when someone is adjusting calks. So be careful! Support the hoof capsule with your leg and hands, and don’t just haul on the wrench with the hoof resting on your knee, as this overly torques the horse’s foot. Instead support the hoof and then gently tighten the calk.

Bernie Traurig

As a Horseman, Bernie is renowned for not only his riding talents but for his teaching and coaching gifts. As a competitor, Bernie has represented the United States Equestrian Team both at home and abroad on many occasions and reached the top of the sport in all 3 of the International Equestrian Olympic disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing.After amassing 60 years worth of training and riding techniques and experiences with thousands of horses, Bernie is driven to give back to the sport that has given him so much fulfillment and success.

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