Here a nice little dissection video of a hoof in the way we look at hooves at our hoofcare seminar. It’s always great to see when people walk away from a seminar with enriched understanding.
The key thing to understand here, but not mentioned in the video, is that some internal structures, aka pedal bone, navicular bone, and deep digital flexor tendon are descending slightly on weight bearing. When you see how little space there is from the top of the collateral groove to those descending structures, then it starts to make sense, that if the horn is not “moving out of the way”, aka is not descending as well, the soft-tissue in between will get compressed. Since this is uncomfortable to the horse, the horse will choose not to load the back part of the hoof, i.e. it will not demonstrate a heel-first loading in movement or it will stand under when at rest. Unfortunately, this is easily mistaken for conformational issues, or we hear statements like “that’s just how this horse is”, but we must realise that is a compensation issue.
The purpose of trimming such a foot must be to establish the correct deflection of the hoof capsule in the compromised araes and with that establishing comfort. This will alter the way the horse chooses to load the feet in movement and rest. In order to achieve this, the trim must focus on the internal structures and hoof deformations at corium level, rather than aiming for a certain look on the outside. Illustrated here.
If you would like to improve your understanding of the hoof, come and attend one of our seminars.