Having a great farrier is invaluable, as the old adage goes, “no hoof, no horse.” As Equine Guelph explains in their Infosheet for Horse Owners , “The hoof supports the whole weight of the horse, absorbing concussion and allowing the horse to move forward freely.”

Given the hoof’s importance, the more precise a farrier can be in terms of angles and shoe type, the more comfortable your horse is. This is especially true if your horse has recovered from injury or has a medical condition such as navicular that requires corrective shoeing.

A French company called Value Feet has developed a system to help farriers fine-tune the shoeing process. The star product is a digital hoof scanner that is, according to the company’s website, the first of its kind in the farrier world. The optical-thermography scanner allows blacksmiths to take precise pictures of a horse’s hoof which is then transferred to a tablet in order to model and make a 100 percent precision custom iron horseshoe for that particular animal.

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The company also developed a software program that helps the farrier to design a shoe, as well as what Value Feet call their Seed’z platform, that allows blacksmiths to manage everything from hardware, order taking, invoicing or veterinary prescriptions.