It’s Best If Hooves Match

A study by the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, England, has found a correlation between the shape of a horse’s hooves and his state of soundness.

Credit: Jennifer Paulson

Results showed that for horses showing lameness in one hoof, that hoof was taller and more upright than the sound hoof in about 20 percent of the cases. In addition, horses that were chronically lame tended to have hooves with divergent growth rings and nonparallel alignment of horn tubules.

So far, researchers can’t say for sure which comes first—the lameness or the physical characteristics. They also stressed that mismatched hooves are not always associated with lameness. Still, they said buyers should always examine asymmetric hooves carefully as a possible potential indicator of future unsoundness.

Share
Related Articles
Grey flea-bitten half-arabian mare in the winter field full of snow in cold sunny weather. Animal portrait
11 Winter Wellness Tips for the Senior Horse
Close up of brunette woman forming bond with an anglo- arab horse behind a wood fence in a field
3 Common Causes of Equine Stress
HR_23WIN_Solutions_Winter-Blankets_01
Winter Blanket Solutions
HR_23WIN_Horsekeeping_Sore-Muscles_01
Manage Sore Muscles
Newsletter

"*" indicates required fields

Receive news and promotions for Horse & Rider and other Equine Network offers.
Name*
Country*

Additional Offers

Additional Offers
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.