Some interesting thoughts concerning flared hooves by Cindy Sullivan of Tribe Equus

Flares by Cindy Sullivan




Flares due to medial/lateral imbalance

Are you obsessed with chasing flares? Is your horse coming up sore as a result? STOP! Step away from the rasp!! Think!!

You are fighting what you perceive as flares. But are they really? One of the biggest problems I see out there – more and more recently – are people going insane over flares, but not having a clue what that means. There are flares, but there is also (and these are my own terms) dorsal divergence, directional extension, and expansion deviation (aka “belling”).


If you have been routinely aggressive in removing flares,  concerned yourself with “cleaning out” around the frog perhaps seeking to encourage that elusive concavity, you may only have succeeded in taking away the adaptive support the horse was desperately trying to put down setting it up to go flatter, or remain flat. The thinning of the wall, as in an aggressive effort to remove “flares”, or relieving it from its job as a weight bearing structure reduces containment in the distal aspect of the hoof capsule.  Inner structures then expand the capsule outward where the wall is too thin and the foot becomes flatter. From the dorsal view with the foot on the ground, it appears as a bell shape which is misinterpreted as flares.


But it cannot be a “flare” if the wall isn’t there in any substantive measure and the whiteline is intact. This is what I call “belling”  the capsule angle turns outward at the bottom like a bell and it is entirely human created by over thinning the outer wall. If your horse has that form naturally and is sound…then don’t try to read something into it.



My take on it is that if you are constantly chasing flares, look to the cause, which in most cases is likely medial/lateral imbalance, and address that.

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