How it All Began...Henry
29 March 2022
I started the research and the design of the COBIT in the spring of 2016. The horse that started it all was named Henry who promted my search for a better way to help horses with foot problems. I had X-rayed Henry's feet to determine exactly where his breakover should be and breakover in realtion to his center of balance. I found it was quite a bit farther back f rom the toe than I thought it would be. I wanted to come up with a way of finding breakover without repeatedly X-raying Henry. I was familiar with the center of balance, so I crudely put a rod on the bottom of his foot to see if I could find a balance point. It was not that pretty the first time, but I found the center of balance. I now had a place I could measure from. About six months later I checked again. This time I had a little better instrument to find the center of balance. henry was X-rayed again, and I found that the distance did not change. I started to think that this instrument would be beneficial for more horses than Henry. I began using it on a lot of problem cases. In doing so i found that center of balance became a repeatable point to measure from. THis led to finding a common number of 2 inches from center of balance forward to breakover on the majority of quarter horse sized feet. That is how the COBIT came about. Over the next three years I kep retesting the measurements on horses feet to see if there was a common distance and how repeatable it was. From all the testing and confirming with X-rays i found that the measurement really was very repeatable.
There is not a lot of difference between horses, their breek or disciplines to where breakover is located in relation to the center of balance. The size of the foot was not a large factor when I was considering how to improve my prototypes of the COBIT, it was more about making the actual COBIT more functional and easy to use. The first few protypes were a little crude and somewhate effective. Adapting what I had learned from my prototypes I was able to create the COBIT I now use today. It is the most useful and functional of all the different prototypes I made.
One of the things that helped me create the current COBIT, was analyzing horse's behavior and their reactions to being trimmed after using the COBIT to determine their center of balance. I based all my test on positive and negative reactions of the horse itself. I have always based my horseshoeing on listening to the horse, watching its reaction and always letting the horse tell me if it is right or wrong. The ultimate judge is the horse.