03-29-2009, 08:56 PM
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A horizontal crack is usually an old abscess or "gravel" that blew or popped in the hairline. It can come and blow without your knowledge or the horse ever taking a bad step. A blow to the area while that section of hoof wall was growing can cause a weak section that cracks, and it's no big deal. As long as the hoof seems otherwise sound and it's relatively small, just don't worry about it. It will grow down the hoof wall, and then the only problem it's likely to pose is wanting to chip off as it reached ground level. Your farrier will address it as it approaches the ground, and it can make it hard to hold a shoe on while that section grows out. If the horse is barefoot, it's not an issue.
Your farrier is right, in that when shoes are removed or a trim is corrected, increased blood flow means the body starts healing little things it couldn't before and abscesses can be part of that healing process. If it happens a lot, though, I'd look into dietary issues, such as too much sugar or starch (grain, molasses, corn, certain grasses, etc).