Corrective Hoof Trimming

Corrective hoof trimming is the process of restoring proper hoof form and function. Many horses have hooves that are unbalanced and flared. This places undue stress on both the internal structures of the hoof and on the rest of the body.

This page shows how health was restored to a hoof that had major imbalance at the toe.

A healthy hoof has a hoof wall that grows parallel to the internal foundation of the hoof - the coffin bone. Any deviation from parallel weakens the bond (the laminar attachment) between the wall and the bone. The bigger the deviation, the more damage is inflicted on the laminae.

Prolonged damage can lead to pain and lameness through pedal osteitis (inflammation of the pedal (coffin) bone) which leads to irreversible bone loss, so is to be avoided at all costs.

Hoof with distorted toe wall
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This photo is of the front left hoof of a horse that was diagnosed with pedal osteitis. The horse was very lame despite many attempts at corrective shoeing.

Notice how the hoof tubules (green line) start off at at good angle but then get pulled forward by the toe causing the angle to get lower the further down the hoof they go.

Restored hoof
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This photo shows the same hoof a year later after corrective hoof trimming.

Notice how far back the toe has come, how much healthier the wall is, and how the hoof tubules are now at a consistent angle from the hairline to the ground.

The biggest issue with the way the hoof was being trimmed in the first photo was that the breakover was not being properly addressed. This caused the toe wall to be constantly levered away from the coffin bone, creating a huge toe flare. This led to pain  caused by inflammation of the laminae.

By using a barefoot trim and properly addressing the breakover the pressure on the laminar connection was reduced which enabled the horse to grow in a tightly connected wall. This in turn stopped the inflammation and further deterioration of the coffin bone and restored this horse to soundness.


Anatomy of the Equine Distal Limb and Hoof Anatomy Flip Book
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