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What angle do you think is correct for a horse's hoof to be? Someone thinks my horse is set too high the angle should be 30 degrees?

Edit: Is there a way I could measure the angle I have right now?
 

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My old farrier said, and I have heard others say, that it should follow the angle of the pasterns. So it will be different on different horses.
 

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The angle is a consequence of trimming the rest of the foot according to its anatomical features, not the goal. An excessively high or low angle can be an indicator that the trim needs to be looked at.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The angle is a consequence of trimming the rest of the foot according to its anatomical features, not the goal. An excessively high or low angle can be an indicator that the trim needs to be looked at.
Is there a way I can tell myself to see how far off it is?
 

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Is there a way I can tell myself to see how far off it is?

You can get very technical or as simple as you want...
Simple...
Take a straight-edge...something firm, straight and not sharp..
Place it along the front of the horses hoof from pastern to ground...it should rest gently, easily against the foot and hoof.

The angle of the pastern should be matching the angle of the hoof front so it appears a solid line \
If there are noticeable "breaks" in the line, a dip or bulge...you might be having a issue with trim following the horses anatomy.


Farriers actually have a tool that measures angle by degrees...
If you are super careful with your fingers you might be able to use a mathematicians protractor & compass or spend the $ for a farriers hoof gauge.


Honestly, most experienced farriers just "sight" the angle unless they are changing a way of travel for a reason...
Each hoof is a individual, but they also must make a semblance of a balanced pair for the horse to travel even and sound.

:runninghorse2:...
 

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Can you post some pictures? Make sure horses feet are clean. Look at loosie signiture for how to take hoof pictures.
 

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The bottom of the foot should follow the line of the live sole. Period. The hoof angle that follows will be anatomically absolutely correct.


It takes some skill and experience to recognize the live sole and is best learned from someone who is already experienced.


The principle land marks to be uncovered at the live sole are the seat of corn and at the center of hoof adjacent to the hoof wall at the quarters. The toe is important also as the live sole curves upward some at the quarters, but the special structure of the toe callus must not be disturbed. Points behind the pillars can be examined if needed.



An xray can be helpful as well.


To trim to a hoof angle that has not been determined by the horse is detrimental to the horse.
 

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Some people go on & trim to 'ideal angles'. For eg. a German vet called Hiltrud Strasser preached that dorsal toe angle should always be 45 degrees(fronts) and hairline should always be 30 degrees. I don't believe this is a good move. Too many exceptions in 'the real world', for one. But there are a number of angles & measurements it's important to understand & consider...

Sighting side-on, the dorsal(front) aspect of the *bony column* should align - as HLG explained, the hoof pastern angle should be a straight line. *But beware that the dorsal angle of the hoof wall may not reflect the angle of the bone inside.

Sighting side on, the hairline gives a rough idea of h/p angle, and should be around 30 degrees, relatively straight, sloping down to the (low) heels. *But beware that the hairline distorts easily & may be 'jammed up' if the hoof wall is peripherally loaded/imbalanced. If the hairline is a lot shallower(or even, Dog forbid, sloping DOWN at the toe) this is an indication of forward 'rotation' of P3.

The distal(bottom) surface of P3 from side on should be raised at the heel from ground parallel, by around 3-5 degrees. And the *live* sole plane and the collateral grooves should be reasonably equal from toe to heel. *But this is disregarding exceptions such as 'clubbed' feet, too sensitive heels which may 'need' to be a little higher, etc.

Fore feet have a lower dorsal hoof angle than hind feet. If this is not the case in a particular horse, it may be due just to hoof probs, but it is often(usually?) an indication of body issues.

Based on measurements of many mustang hooves, it was found, by Ovnicek & Jackson(going off memory, don't quote me on actual numbers) that the *average* (meaning normal, but not all) dorsal hoof angle *of those horses* of fores was somewhere between 44-48 degrees & hinds were between 48-53 degrees.
 
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