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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mustad Equilibrium Shoe Debut with Dieter Krohnert at Germany's Luwex Festival

©Hoofcare Publishing
Before: Dieter Krohnert's spider shoes had been on this horse for a year. The horse has developed an infection in the back of the heel bulbs and up the pastern (blue arrow) and was possibly neglected. (Fran Jurga photo)
In October, I was on hand at the Luwex Hufsymposium in Krueth, Germany to see the first horse shod in public with Equilibrium shoes, the new shoe design from Mustad that was developed using research techniques pioneered by Meike Van Heel during PhD studies at the University of Utrecht in Holland.

But first, the horse! One of the interesting things about the Luwex event is that they brought back the horses that the speakers had shod the previous year, and they discussed how the horses were doing. He was a mature Hanoverian stallion training at the Grand Prix level.

German National Federation team photo Dieter Krohnert hufschmied
Dieter Krohnert,
German team farrier
They spoke in German, of course, but I think I understood. This horse had been shod with spider shoes by Dieter Krohnert, farrier to the German international teams, in 2005. He developed the shoe, which is similar to our aluminum spider plates that are riveted to shoes as an interface device.

Dieter said he thought the shoes had been successful the year before but that the horse had not been well cared for and perhaps had gone long periods without trimming. The heel bulbs contracted and thrush or some other bacterial infection had gone up the back of the pastern. The horse had medial quarter cracks in both front feet.

© Hoofcare Publishing Fran Jurga
This is the same foot, re-shod with one of the brand new Equilibrium rolled toe shoes from Mustad for a demonstration. There was a big crowd around, photography was difficult. The shoe was "invented" via research protocols to test characteristics of horseshoes at Utrecht University in The Netherlands during the PhD research of Meike van Heel. Mustad is now manufacturing the shoe. (Fran Jurga photo)
Dieter re-shod the horse with the new Mustad Equilibrium shoes, which are designed for easy breakover across the entire toe surface of the shoe.

Meike van Heel, researcher
The horse strode out very freely after standing for three hours to be shod in the demonstration. Dieter asked his helper to really trot the horse out and show what he could do, which he did, and then took a flying, bucking leap into the crowd. About 50 farriers ducked and ran, missing the flying hooves by inches.

I think I saw Dieter's hair turn gray right before my eyes but, as always, he kept his cool, shrugged, and said with classic understatement, "See, he's sound now."

For more on the festival, visit

For more about Dieter Krohnert, read "High-End Hoofcare for High-Flying Horses : Dieter Kronhert and Steve Teichman" by Fran Jurga in Hoofcare + Lameness: Journal of Equine Foot Science, Issue 76. (print only) Also search the blog for articles about Dieter.

All HoofBlog text and images ©Hoofcare Publishing 2006 unless otherwise noted.
To learn more about new research, products, and treatments for the horse's hooves and legs as reported to veterinarians and farriers in the award-winning "Hoofcare & Lameness Journal", go to
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