No Hoof No Horse Essay

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“No hoof, no horse” is one of many true statements made in the equine industry. This quote is crucial to understand when working with, riding, and owning horses. Of course, a horse needs four feet to support his body, but he also needs them to support the use his human has for him. Without a healthy set of feet, it is difficult for a horse to perform comfortably and therefore properly. Contracted heels are one example of a hoof problem that can become increasingly worse when left untreated. There are several aspects of an equine hoof’s mechanics that can allow a horse to develop contracted heels. Contracted heels are predominantly caused by a lack of adequate blood flow to the horse’s heel, specifically the area where the frog is located. The frog and bars allow for expansion of the hoof which aids in shock absorption. In order for blood to flow through that location, the frog needs to make contact with a firm surface. When the blood does not adequately travel through the heels of the horse, there is nothing allowing the expansion of the horse’s heels. Thus, contraction occurs from the lack of impact which stimulates blood flow. Hooves can have a variety of reasons for not making proper contact with the ground. Proper hoof maintenance is key to keeping a…show more content…
This may mean cutting the horse’s toe back farther so that they stand more upright, causing them to land heel first. After cutting the toe back, a farrier may put a beveled shoe on to allow for a roll in the horse’s toe, easing his movement. Other farriers may recommend bar shoes with pads to put pressure on the heel area to stimulate the blood flow. A good farrier will be able to understand the biomechanics of how a horse moves and what it needs to redevelop proper structures. Every case of contracted heels is different, and there is no simple “overnight” fix for

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