A Right Front Foot With Poor Hoof Form Causing Steep Pastern Angles
“Incorrect hoof form” is a very broad and unspecific condition but in fact it is probably the leading cause afflicting lame horses as they are not able to use their limbs in a proper biomechanical fashion.
This foot starts out with very poor hoof form, and in fact the horse was lame at the time of the before photo. The lateral cartilage (1) is unnaturally pushed up and and bulging out of the back of the hoof capsule, the heel (2) is too high and forward and the lateral quarter (3) is too long causing the flare and chipping. But the most glaring problem is the steep pastern angle (red line) resulting from the heel height and location and toe length. This sort of joint alignment subjects the front of the coffin joint to excess pressure where it should be evenly distributed throughout the surface of the joint. This can lead to arthritic conditions such as ringbone.
Before, Recently Deshod After 2nd Trim
It is commonly believed that the pastern angle is fixed and the hoof should be trimmed to match it. This is a misconception, as the joint is mobile and the angle easily altered according to the hoof form, provided there is no joint adaptation and the joint still retains a normal range of motion. In this case the pastern angle was changed to a much healthier alignment in two trims by lowering the heels, bringing them back towards the widest point of the frog, shortening the quarter walls, and shortening the toe.