Hoof Anatomy & Physiology


The Quest to Conquer Laminitis

May 01, 2007

"Owners and trainers worldwide have the feeling that every veterinarian and every farrier have years of experience and vast knowledge about laminitis and podiatry (foot care). Unfortunately, this is not the case," said Ric Redden, DVM, founder of... Read More


Function of the Palmar Foot

March 24, 2007

Several lameness problems can exist in the rear (palmar) half of a horse's foot; most bear the very general title of "heel pain." The real problem is that without very careful diagnosis, lameness in this general area might be attributed to the... Read More


Correcting Shelly Feet

March 01, 2007

Shelly, crumbly feet can be a challenge for horses and their owners. The feet break down too readily if the horse is barefoot, and they are unable to hold nails if he's shod. In this article we'll look at several causes and potential treatments for... Read More


Supporting Limb Laminitis: Learning How to Save Horses Such As Barbaro

February 03, 2007

Barbaro's death might lead one to think that despite the best veterinary care available, horses with severe leg injuries and/or laminitis are unrecoverable and should be immediately destroyed. But one equine veterinarian says that couldn't be further... Read More


Hoof Structure and Foot Facts (Book Excerpt)

May 17, 2006

The old saying, "No hoof, no horse" is very true, especially as it pertains to the horse's working ability and soundness. The horse is an athlete; we use him for a variety of athletic purposes -- racing, jumping, chasing cattle, pulling carts.... Read More


Anatomy and Physiology Part 5: The Equine Foot

May 01, 2006

The equine lexicon is filled with clichés about the equine foot. Most horse owners have heard them all. "No foot, no horse...The foot is the horse's foundation...For want of a shoe..." The list goes on. Without sound feet, a horse can't move... Read More


Hoof Trimming and Leg Stress: One Step at a Time

January 01, 2006

As a rule of thumb, we know that our horses should be trimmed (and shod if necessary) at least every six to eight weeks. But where did those numbers come from? Van Heel recently studied how a hoof changes between trims, and she found that neglecting ... Read More


Hoof Supplements (Book Excerpt)

October 19, 2005

A number of nutritional factors are promoted as hoof growth aids. Such products may include gelatin, numerous vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other dietary supplements.... Read More


The Perfect Hoof

May 01, 2005

An interesting dichotomy exists when we turn our attention to the horse's foot. On the one hand, without a healthy foot, a modern-day horse really has no value. On the other hand, the foot often is the most neglected part of the horse's anatomy.... Read More


Big Feet, Big Shoes

May 01, 2005

Whether you're a heavy horse fancier or not, a big hitch of fancy draft horses is an arresting sight. But what's the connection between all this flash and the ideal function of a heavy horse? Show ring insiders say you're seeing an animal... Read More


Managing Wet Feet

May 01, 2005

Hoof care is one of the most important aspects of quality horse management. Hoof trimming, good nutrition, and... Read More


Basic Horse Anatomy and Physiology

January 01, 2005

Gain an understanding of how the horse is constructed and what this means in the realm of form to function.... Read More


Equine Podiatry: Gaining a Foothold

August 01, 2004

The reason for this is that equine podiatry is still in its infancy, and while there are a lot of very intelligent people working to better understand the horse's foot, it's still a very complex structure with no real analogue in the human physique, ... Read More


The Australian Take on Laminitis

August 01, 2004

The second most-common killer of our horses after colic is laminitis. The disease is a crisis, and it is often chronic and life-altering. It can be caused by illness unrelated to the foot, such as a retained placenta or grain overload. It can be... Read More


Managing Hoof Problems in Horses

June 01, 2004

Just about every horse out there has what we might call a hoof problem on at least one of his four feet. It might be a simple mismatch that might not be a problem, or it might be much more serious. In any case, hoof problems, regardless ... Read More


Managing Thin, Shelly Feet

March 01, 2004

Poor genetics, environment, nutrition, and foot care are the main causes of thin, shelly feet according to Ken Marcella, DVM, and farrier Jaye Perry. Marcella co-owns Chattahoochee Equine in Canton, Ga., and Perry, a farrier based in Cumming,... Read More


Good and Bad-Footed Horses

February 25, 2004

Bowker, one of the foremost researchers on the structure of the horse's foot, discussed several characteristics that differ between "good" feet and "bad" feet in great detail. First, however, he defined what most consider a good, strong foot.... Read More


Nutrient Requirements of the Foot

February 23, 2004

"The hoof is a truly dynamic architecture, and its nutrient supply is critical for its strength and function," said Connie Swenson, PhD, research nutritionist with Zinpro Corporation, at the Second International Equine Conference on Laminitis an... Read More


Developments in Understanding Laminitis

February 11, 2004

For those who follow horse laminitis research, the name of Chris Pollitt, BVSc, PhD, is synonymous with advanced research on the subject. At a recent laminitis conference, he discussed research into hoof growth, laminitis triggers, and cryotherapy.... Read More


Hoof Wall Growth and Adaptability

February 08, 2004

The structural appearance of the foot is continually being modified by the interactions of the foot with the environment and the environment's influences on the foot and hoof wall. The term environmental influences includes just about everything that... Read More


Evaluating and Measuring Hoof Shape

February 01, 2004

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, recently developed a new three-dimensional system for measuring various aspects of the horse's sole. One day their work might help ascertain if hoof shape abnormalities can be predictors of... Read More


Clinical and Radiographic Examination of the Equine Foot

January 28, 2004

1. Introduction

Lameness is one of the most frequently encountered problems in equine practice. The foot is involved, either directly or indirectly, in the large majority of lameness cases, because it is the first line o... Read More


Glass Horse Model Expanded

January 07, 2004

The popular three-dimensional electronic horse model, "The Glass Horse CD," which offered a novel look at the gastrointestinal anatomy of the horse when it was introduced in November of 2001, has a new companion that depicts the structures of th... Read More


Where Does Laminitis Start?

December 01, 2003

New research will help determine where laminitis begins and how it affects internal structures of the foot. Hoof researcher David Hood, DVM, PhD, and his staff at the Hoof Diagnostic and Rehabilitation Clinic at Texas A&M University, joined... Read More


The Basics of Breakover

November 01, 2003

What exactly is breakover? Most would answer that it is the horse's heel lifting off the ground and rotating over the toe as his foot leaves the ground. Breakover is simple in its definition, but pretty complex in its implications for your... Read More