Hoof Tubules

by Jenny Edwards
(Kingston, Ontario)

Bent Hoof Tubules

Bent Hoof Tubules

Here are a couple of pictures to illustrate how poor trimming can lead to bent hoof tubules.

The first picture shows a hoof that was being trimmed every five weeks by a traditional farrier. This hoof had been allowed to distort, with the heels running forward and too low in conjunction with the quarters being left too long. Notice how the hoof tubules (the lines that run from the hairline to the ground) are bent.

This leads to a very weak structure as the hoof tubules are similar to drinking straws in that they have strength but only when straight. If you take a drinking straw and hold it perpendicular on a flat surface and put weight on the top of the straw it will withstand a fair amount of pressure. Now take the same straw, bend it and then try the same thing - it now cannot withstand hardly any pressure.

The second photo shows the same hoof a year later, after receiving 12 months of barefoot trimming. Notice that the tubules are all now straight and the heel is more upright and further under the hoof. Also the toe wall has lost the slight bulge that it used to have previously.

This horse has an advanced case of DSLD (Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Desmitis) which makes having correct hoof form even more important. The original underrun heels put added strain on her already sore suspensory ligaments. Correcting her hooves was made more tricky due to the DSLD but shows how it is possible to reverse this issue with a physiologically correct trim.

Comments for Hoof Tubules

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Jan 14, 2011
Thank You So Much Jenny!
by: Dianne Cseh

I am the owner of this mare, (Smidge), and I just wanted to say that I firmly and completely believe that Jenny's trimming of Smidge's hooves has made her as comfortable as possible, improved her overall health in general and has also slowed the progress of the DSLD/ESPA as much as possible. DSLD/ESPA is a genetic condition and it is degenerative, painful and a truly horrible and insidious condition. I encourage all horse owners to please, please look into it. Dropped pasterns are a sure sign of the disease. Smidge also has OCD in both front fetlocks and has early signs of high-ringbone as a result (she is only 7 1/2 years old btw). Smidge had been trimmed and shod by three previous well-respected farriers but I can honestly say none of them understood or even really tried to understand her condition and none had the overall understanding of hoof structure, balance and how it all works in relation to the horse's whole body and well-being the way Jenny does. She is also very patient and kind with Smidge (and me : >!), and for that I am also very grateful.



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