Hoof Questions..

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Hoof Questions..

This is a discussion on Hoof Questions.. within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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  • 1 Post By usandpets
  • 1 Post By loosie

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    02-08-2013, 06:13 PM
Hoof Questions..

So, in the past couple months, after the drought began affecting my horses' hooves, It hit me that I know close to nothing about a healthy hoof my dad always took care of the farrier work. Well, now I want to learn the basics of a healthy, well trimmed hoof.

So, I am going to state what I know, and correct me if I am wrong, and feel free to add more facts.

The heels should be level with the frog as far as height.
The bars should be close to level with the sole.
The wall should be close to level with the sole, also.
The length of the crevice between the heel and the base of the frog extended to the point of the frog, should equal the length from the tip of the frog to the toe.

Also, The process of bringing back underrun heels? I have a farrier coming, but I would like to know what he's doing, and just have the knowledge:)

Thank you,
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    02-08-2013, 06:19 PM
I couldn't tell you whether your calculations are correct, since I don't quite know myself...but - since you asked for any other tips and you mentioned a drought/dry season, I can give you advice regarding that. Make sure you keep your horses' hooves hydrated during the dry season to prevent cracks. This is easy to do with the help of a bit of hoof oil/hoof dressing on them every few days :]
    02-08-2013, 06:39 PM
Green Broke
I can't offer advice but I'm interested in learning more to trim ours. Gets expensive to pay someone to trim 8 horses.
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EthanQ likes this.
    02-08-2013, 06:53 PM
Usandpets- I hear ya. My dad and uncles (my teachers) don't believe in paying a farrier to just trim, and lately we haven't had the need for shoes, so they're hooves started flaring. My friend is certified and she's been doing some trimjobs in return for training. It'd just be a lot easier if I had a basic understanding of the hoof.
I apparently never realized I didn't pay that much attention to it.
    02-08-2013, 07:14 PM

Firstly Ethan and ponyface, a drought/arid dry environment will be doing your horse's hooves GOOD! It is highly unlikely that they will be suffering from being too dry. You don't need to 'hydrate' a horse's feet(except to make trimming easier!) & topical goops, especially oil based, aren't helpful from a health perspective & don't prevent/cure cracks. What is likely to suffer from drought, which can affect a horse's feet is his nutrition.

The heels should be level with the frog as far as height.
The bars should be close to level with the sole.
The wall should be close to level with the sole, also.
Yes to all of the above.... generally. There are lots of 'conditions & exceptions tho. Eg. If heels are high &/or heels are weak, they shouldn't be trimmed too short, particularly never into the sole plane. Walls in soft/yielding environments can afford to be a bit longer & this can be helpful for grip, whereas walls in hard environs can't really afford to protrude from the sole plane at all.

The length of the crevice between the heel and the base of the frog extended to the point of the frog, should equal the length from the tip of the frog to the toe.
Not sure I understand but if I do, no. The frog, from the back of the central sulcus to the apex/tip should be at least 2/3 the length of the entire hoof capsule - so there should be 1/3 or less in front of the frog. Equine Lameness Prevention Organization explains the whys & wherefores of a/p balance quite well.

Also, The process of bringing back underrun heels?
Ensuring toes are kept back is the main thing. Frog support pads(NOT under walls) can be helpful too, to allow crushed heel walls some relief.
LexusK likes this.

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