I have been owning my 9-year-old Arabian gelding for a week, but I have been leasing him for 9 months before then. I leased him through the winter, & I was not able to ride very much due to the snow & ice & frozen ground. Over the winter, I noticed he developed some bruising on the outside of his left front hoof. Then he developed some on his two back hooves. Those three hooves are white, but his right front is black. I figured the bruising was due to the hard ground & ice. However, the bruising still hasn't gone away. The vet tested during the pre-purchase check & he was only sensitive on his front left hoof. The back two's bruising isn't so bad at all, just a dot or two, but the left one isn't going away & it's worse than the others. The farrier doesn't really know what to make of it. He isn't lame, either. He's sound. He's barefoot, but the vet said to not put shoes on him. He has been barefoot his whole life.It's really confusing. Not sure what to make of it/do. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks! :)
Bruising has to grow out in order for the discoloration to disappear. Once the the hoof grows out and recovers the bruising will go away. My mare gets stone bruises quite frequently during early summer. She's usually ouchie on the foot for a few days, but after that she's fine to go about her regular work schedule.The pain goes away quicker than the color. As long as your horse isn't obviously lame, I wouldn't worry about it much.
In addition to above good info(tho if your horse regularly gets stone bruises, indicates she needs hoof protection Born), Horses can get bruised feet from bashing them, stone bruises, etc, and dark hooves are no different, except that you can't see the damage. But (I think in your horse's case &) in many cases, the 'bruising' is due to metabolic &/or mechanical stess. When there are horizontal rings, esp when right around all the hoof capsules, that can signify systemic/metabolic - a 'low grade' laminitic event. It can be due to widespread mechanical issues, such as peripheral loading with no support underneath or such. When there are smaller patches such as on your horse, I'm more inclined to suspect mechanical problems, hoof imbalance.