Hoof Anatomy

Hoof Anatomy

Hoof Anatomy Equine 2014 Structure & Function No foot, no horse Feet are the foundation of the horse

What are hooves designed for? Support Weight Replenish Itself Absorb Shock Provide Traction Conduct Moisture Assist in Pumping Blood

Structure & Function Conformation of the horse greatly affects? Foot function The small bones in the foot must be: Light enough to:

Allow the horse to move without fatigue Structure & Function How does the foot aid in concussion? Acts as an overall shock-absorbing mechanism What affects the amount of

concussion? Angle of shoulder and pastern Elasticity of the lower leg ligaments Elasticity and movement of hoof wall Structure & Function Why is it important that the hoof is proportional to the horses

body size? Ideal distribution of body weight over the foots laminar surface So hoof can expand normally during movement Structure & Function Hoof size is apparently highly

heritable: Correlates with bone growth Some breeds select for small feet for aesthetic purposes Structure & Function Hoof can be divided into two areas

Sensitive Insensitive Sensitive areas provide: Nourishment and promote growth Contain blood vessels and nerve endings Insensitive areas provide: Support

External Parts of the Hoof Sole Inside the white line Does NOT include frog and bar Primary function Protect sensitive structures beneath sole

Perimeter provides support (share with hoof wall) Usually arched White Line Not actually white (yellowish) Commonly mistaken for

inner wall which is white Function Join the sole to the inner wall of hoof Seal off the boarder to prevent bacterial infection Creates ridge to increase traction

Inner and Outer Wall Inner Hoof Wall White, does not contain pigment High moisture content which allows inner wall to stretch Protect internal structures from shock

Outer Hoof Wall Colored Grows down from cornet band Protects hoof and absorbs shock Bars Extension of wall which runs along frog

Function Controls movement at back of hoof Adds strength to heel Protects from distortion Angle of the Bar

Misleading, refers to heels Function Take initial impact of horses stride Absorbs and displaces shock Balance is important Collateral Groove Grove that runs along frog

Needs to be cleaned diligently Thrush Frog Most important structure Wide, thick and leathery

Works with Coronary band Bars

Sole Digital Cushion Frog Function Works as a pump As horse steps on hoof, pressure is applied to the frog (hits digital cushion) and pump blood

up the leg Provides traction Absorbs shock Protects internal structures Coronary Band & Periople Coronary Band

Sits at top of Hoof Wall Functions Protects outer hoof wall Very strong and acts as support band for entire hoof during movement Periople

Protective covering for newly formed hoof Soft Covers hoof wall Internal Structures Coffin Bone

Provides strength and stability to hoof Various tendons and ligaments attach Connected via laminae Navicular Tiny bone

Sits behind coffin bone Deep digital flexor tendon passes over navicular bone Horse has navicular Internal Structures

Digital Cushion Venous Plexuses Insensitive Laminae Sensitive Laminae

Digital Cushion Sits behind coffin bone and above frog Function Absorb shock and pump blood http://

www.thinklikeahorse.org/images/yaaa dajdklad.gif Venous Plexus 5 venous plexuses Solar

Digital Cushion Lateral Cartilage Lamellae Coronary

http:// www.thinklikeahorse.org/images/hoof _mechanism_movie1.gif Venous Plexus Laminae

Hold the hoof wall to the coffin bone Filled with blood vessels and nerves Sensitive and Insensitive laminae interlock Very strong bond Make up white line (at bottom of hoof)

Laminae Sensitive Attached to coffin bone Filled with blood and nerve endings

Insensitive/ Horny Closest to hoof wall Attached to the hoof wall Laminae

Laminatis Shock Absorption When the horse takes a step: The sole descends and flattens slightly White line absorbs impact as the wall moves out

Laminae diminishes concussion coffin bone Transfers weight and redirects forces between hoof and skeleton

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