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The Equine Foot

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Without sound feet, a horse can’t move freely, and a horse whose movement is hindered becomes a liability to its owner in a domestic setting.

Hoof and foot are not synonymous. The hoof  is the three-layered outer surface of the foot. The foot, on the other hand, includes the hoof and all the bones, blood vessels, ligaments, tendons and nerves. The bones of the foot provide the framework and facilitate locomotion. When all goes well, they fulfill their roles admirably. However, when something goes awry with the bones of the foot, the result can be devastating lameness that is difficult to treat.

As a result, special care sometimes becomes the norm in order to keep these hooves and feet functional. This special report examines the structures that make up the horse’s foot, inside and out.