Scooping quarters on the hoof

We recently started with a new farrier, and I’ve never had a farrier scoop the quarters so much before. It seems to me that this leaves the heels too long, as my horse starts chipping at the heels only a couple weeks after the trim - which is definitely something new.

Does anyone know why scooping the quarters helps the horse? I’m happy to talk to the farrier and explain my concerns, but I’d also like to hear if it helps other horses or why farriers may recommend trimming this way.

I have a couple of horses that I trim who will perpetually flare in the quarters with vertical cracks if I don’t take the wall right down to sole level and alleviate any chance of pressure there. They have both had hoof injuries so it’s very much for remedial purposes.
Others I will still lower the wall a rasp touch, but leave it proud.

Generally it’s only needed in a hoof that hasn’t yet reached optimum concavity or is naturally very flat even with good sole depth….a way of almost carving the hoof into the shape you want it to be….which isn’t always helpful!
But as your seeing the trim still needs to be balanced to what you’re doing. So does the bearing surface on the heel need to come back a touch more with a rocker / slipper added?

What kind of footing is your horse living and working on?

There are varying thoughts about scooping.

Some say if you’re regularly working and living on softer sandier footing that’s “squishy”, then scooping can allow some of that footing to “squish” out the sides of the foot and not pack so much up into the foot. I don’t know how much of that I believe.

Some say that “scoops” are a natural byproduct of following the contour of the sole, which I have seen in some horses that don’t have as much of a ledge of sole around the quarters, as they do around the toe.

I have personally done small scoops for reasons Hightale said - help relieve some flaring that has developed. Most of the time the flaring is trim-caused - underrun heels, overgrown bars. But I have 1 horse who is permanently lame in his LF, and it affects how his RF and RH are bearing weight, and the RH especially now tends to develop weird flares due to how he positions, weights, and unweights that, so if I see some flaring develop, or chipping, I’ll scoop that quarter for a few trims.

Scoops to the point they are forcing heels, and just the toe, to bear weight, is too much. They’re scooped too far back. It doesn’t take much to create a scoop to affect whatever you’re trying to affect.

But also, scoops don’t leave heels too long. Heels are too long, or they aren’t. But if this farrier is scooping to help with flaring caused by HIM leaving heels too long, and/or bars overgrown, that’s a farrier issue, and not likely something you can get him to correct, because he either doesn’t see it/know how to do it properly, or he doesn’t care

But, the first step would be to say to him - hey Farrier, I’ve noticed that my horse’s heels are really starting to chip around the 2 week mark these days, what do you think could be causing that?

And then see what he says.

Thanks! I appreciate the replies. I’ll be sure to ask our farrier because the slope from the quarter to the heel just seems too steep to me. That’s where the hoof starts chipping, and I think it’s because the heel has been left too long.

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