Introduction To The Hoof

No hoof no horse.  It is that simple.

These topics will show you the abundant things that can go wrong with the hooves.  However what will be different here are 2 things.  You might notice that I always look at things differently.

Physics and math (vector analysis) are critical in understanding how the hoof responds to the pressure applied to it.  The way the hoof responds to the pressures applied to it is dependent on the quality of the material of the hoof and that is all about feeding your horse correctly.  You must feed the horse specific raw materials to develop a strong hoof before you try to apply any principles of physics (trimming and shoeing).

The hoof continuously grows throughout life and most foals through several years of life have no problems with their hooves.  Hoof problems develop over time starting with bruised soles, hoof abscess and cracked walls.  Next come the deformed hoof walls, damage to the internal structures (bones and connective tissue) and worst, the separation of the bone from the wall (laminitis).  It is interesting that these develop only in time and this is why I believe that almost all hoof problems stem from poor nutrition.

I cover the physics and math behind hoof issues and the nutrition of the hoof as “related material” so be sure to open that tab within the topic.  

If it is true that the horse can’t survive without the hooves then how did they survive for millions of years then suddenly (in the past 1000 years) suffer from all these painful and life threatening issues of the hooves?  I first look at the issues and then I add my thoughts.  I also wonder why vets and farriers overlook discussing and focusing on preventing the root cause of hoof problems before they occur.  Could it be that the horse developed an incredible appendage that protects them on all terrain? This may be a refreshing look into hoof health because it starts with what goes in the mouth.