Uneven Hoof Walls

This is a Left Front foot with the inside wall curving to the inside, in a bell-shaped fashion (red dotted line Fig. 2).  This is being caused in part by the sole at the inside toe which is  too high (Fig. 1) as well as the toe too long.

This young mustang, never shod, has very thick and extremely hard walls which do not break off with wear but continue growing in a distorted way, and altering the horse’s stance.

1alfbefmu.jpg    4lffrontmu.jpg

Fig. 1                                                          Fig. 2

The trimming treats this condition similarly to a flare but also lowers the toe on the inside (sole is removed). So, there are cases when sole forward of the frog does need to be rasped. The trimming is complicated by the inside-growing direction the walls have adopted. Now that the inside wall is growing more correctly, the outside wall needs to begin to start growing in a more outwardly direction (more visible in Fig 3 due to the angle of the photograph). Advanced trimming techniques such as floating the heel and the diagonal toe will allow this to occur.

2alfheelsnov1mu.jpg   5lffrontoctmu2.jpg

Fig. 3                                                     Fig. 4



Fig. 5

A photo from an early trim shows how all the pressure was  put on the inside wall by the long toe, with all the compression rings on the inside only.

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  1. So does this hoof grow like this because the hoof wall is so strong it doesn’t wear evenly or is there a conformation issue or muscle soreness issue that contributes to the problem?

  2. It’s hard to say. In more straightforward cases, there is a thicker wall and a thinner one, with the thin one wearing more quickly. The horse had not been trimmed in at least 4-6 months at the time it looked like this. The walls are the same thickness in this particular case, but they are very thick and strong, so they were not wearing at all. So having said that, she probably had some muscular issues resulting from the too long toes.

  3. Hi, have just come across this thread and wondered if you may be able to help. I have a horse with conformational issues, diagnosed with navicular 4 1/2 years ago, barefoot… comfortable and in work however still struggling with some issues. Pigeon toed, thin outer hoof wall, inner wall much thicker, frog off centre and pointing towards outer wall. I try to balance the hoof each time I trim. If I were to e-mail you a solar view of the hoof would you be able to give me any advice please. Many thanks Angela

  4. Hi Angela,
    It sounds like the trim needs to be better balanced. Solar views are not enough to decide how to properly balance the foot. I’ll also need the hairline from the front, the side, and the heels down shot where you hold the pastern and let the foot hang. That one shows you if the boney column is twisted. Please email your pix, I would love to see them. You can also join my barefoot yahoo group to discuss your case, the JOIN button is at the bottom of the photos on the right hand side on the front page.

  5. Oh, thank you so very much…. I will definately join the yahoo group… think I’ve been here before, few years ago now…. will get some pics sorted on Sunday and post them to you… Again, many many thanks. Angela

  6. You’re welcome. I look forward to seeing you at the barefoot yahoo group. If you’re interested we could do your horse as a case study there; we present a case to a panel of experts who weigh in with their opinions and suggestions.

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