Founder – Laminar Wedge

The Laminar Wedge

is the space in the front of the hoof at the toe, where stretched and torn laminae have caused the coffin bone to rotate away from the hoof wall.   The space between coffin bone and hoof wall has widened at the bottom, relative to the top, and has filled with wound secretion, blood and torn and dead laminae.


From the Front

The ‘dead’ laminae are black.  


From the Top


From the side. The tip of the toe no longer contacts the ground.

(the photos are of both front feet, both of which foundered).

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  1. Trisha McDowell

    i started trimming horses feet in the area where i live about two years ago. Just today i came across a little pony that man just bought that foundered in all 4 feet and they look a lot worse than this as the sole wall has rotated up towards the horses knees, but the laminae looks similar to this. I trimmed everything that i could, but as i have not seen a condition this bad before i am wondering if you have any advice as to how to trim this particular case.

    • Well the pictures of the laminar wedge are ‘after’ pictures, months after the pony had been being trimmed regularly. They started out worse than this too. However your case does sound very severe with the convex sole and all 4 feet foundered. It sounds challenging. Generally speaking the advice is to lower heels and shorten toes but without more information I can’t say anything more. Is there any way you could get some pictures online? And in particular with ponies it is extremely important to manage the diet. Is the pony overweight? What does s/he eat? Does it show signs of metabolic symptoms? Such as insulin resistance?

      • Trisha McDowell

        Well, this is actually not my pony. So i wont be able to get any pictures for about 3 weeks. The problem is that the man does not have the finances to get any x-rays done for me to see exactly where the coffin bone rests, so i feel as though i have to trim blind. the pony is not overweight at all in fact the pony was slightly underweight when he got him. I will have to ask him what he is feeding him. If i am able to go back out there in the next few days, i will take some pictures.

        • I did understand you were trimming this pony for an owner. Whatever you can do in the way of pictures will be helpful. If you like I can post them here once you get them, and we can discuss them. Xrays are always helpful but you can still provide a reasonably knowledgeable trim without them especially in the beginning. Primarily you will most likely be lowering the heels, and then backing up the toe, but not touching the sole forward of the frog apex because of the convex condition you describe. Xrays would show how close to the sole the tip of the coffin bone is and how thick the sole is, but there isn’t much you can do about that anyway other than wait for it to grow, all you can do is lower the heels to get the pressure off the tip of the coffin bone on the sole.

  2. sure. I have alot of pictures! i have trimmed the pony several times now, and i have my previous trim and the most recent trim in pictures. if you would send me your email or wherever else i need to send them to i will

  3. Hi Trisha,
    Send your pictures to


  4. i am in the same kind of situation with a mustang mare i am trimming. Her toes were curled up into the air in front when i arrived and she could barely walk. I just graduated farrier school in feb so i am not experienced with this level of neglect but i couldnt walk away without helping that poor mare. I took off what i could from the top because she couldnt lift her leg for more that about 10 seconds. I came back the next week and she was moving out better and i was able to lift her leg and clean up the bottom a bit but her sole is buldging out so i didnt really cut too much…just cut down the bars and heels a little. the sole seemed to be way to thick but was a waxxy texture so i didnt thin it down any. Would you have any advise for me?

    • Hi Jessica,

      If you have convex sole – that is very serious founder. The waxiness indicates the presence of inflammation mixed with horn production. I would recommend getting some xrays. No doubt the heels are high and I suggest working on trying to lower them until you get a ground parallel coffin bone so the stress comes off the toe. If she can’t hold up her feet you can always get the vet to block them, or at least provide a heavily padded surface for her to stand on. The acutal ‘laminar wedge’ will not be visible until months of fixing the hoof form and the hoof starting to grow out at the proper angle. Lastly, advice is spelled with a ‘C’. One of my pet peeves.

  5. Thank you for your adviCe lol I dont think the owner can affor the x-rays she is close to 30 and they just want to make her remaining time more comfotable. with the little work ive done she has gone from the classic founder stance/laying down to loping and bucking so we are well on our way to better :)I will try to send you some before n after pics!

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