Horse foot care is essential to keeping a happy (and healthy) mount. Nothing is fun when your feet hurt.
Know Your Stuff
Knowing the basics where your horses feet and hooves are concerned helps you to practice preventative maintenance, troubleshoot problems and communicate better with your farrier.
Here is a quick guide to teach you the key points of horse foot anatomy.
Bone that connects the leg to the pastern.
Also called third phalanx, the coffin bone is the lowest in the horses foot, connecting to leg muscles via tendons. Cartilage extends backwards and upwards from this bone.
The point where the skin and hair meets the hoof wall. New hoof layers grow just beneath the coronet.
Deep Flexor Tendon
Extends down from muscles in the forearm / gaskin into the foot and provides weight-bearing support to prevent over-extension of the fetlock joint.
The padded underside of the frog which comes into contact with the ground.
A membrane lining which attaches and suspends the coffin bone within the hoof.
Bone below the cannon bone and above the short pastern.
A little bone located behind the joint of the coffin bone and the short pastern.
A sensitive and rubbery structure within the hoof, situated above the frog.
Where the white line defines the sensitive areas of the hoof.
Bone below the long pastern just above the coronary band.
A line of distinction between the insensitive outer hoof wall and the inner area of the hoof which contains sensitive nerves and vulnerable blood vessels. This line can be seen on the bottom of the hoof and is similar to the quick of a fingernail.
Know that you know the anatomy of your horses feet, why not learn the anatomy of the rest of the horse?